Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Think That The Gift For a First Anniversary is Paper - Fitting I Think

Today it has been one year since I posted my first blog.  An entire year of blogging.  When I started this blog it was because I wanted something to take up my time while I wasn't going to school.  I am amazed at how therapeutic blogging ended up being.  I was able to work through a lot of crap throughout this past year.  I have always known that I understand better when I read what I think.  In order to read what I think, I have to write what I think.  The best thing about writing down your feelings or what you think about something is that you can read it the first time know what is where you are really at.  Then you can edit until you are comfortable with other people reading it.

I have posted 118 blogs in the last 12 months, had 8,318 total page views and people in over 10 different countries have read my blog.  Obviously the U.S has the most reads, but then comes Germany and Canada.  The oddest countries that my blog has been read in are South Korea, Turkey and Singapore.  Not surprisingly the #1 read blog is My New Tattoo, my second highest read blog is A Little Late on this #yesallwomen Bandwagon, Then Drama, Drama, Drama. Why? Why? Why?, and finally A Sweet Story About Puke rounds out the top four.  I'm sure that the blog about my tattoo is viewed the most because of Pinterest and the pictures in the blog.  The #yesallwomen blog taught me the power of the hashtag.  The drama blog was a surprise.  It's amazing to me the number of times that blog is read per week.  And it always does my heart good when I see that the Puke blog has been read since it is one of my favorites for a lot of reasons.

I haven't been blogging a whole lot in the past few months.  When I first started blogging I didn't care if people were reading my business.  After all it was my business and whether or not people were reading it was something that effected only me.  Now it's a little different.  I know a lot of my friends read my blog and a lot of Josh's friends.  He has a hard time with that and in return I have a hard time blogging.  He's never asked me not to blog, or told me directly that it bothers him for other people to know what's happening in our lives.  But I can tell it does. I sometimes wish I had the foresight to keep our identities secret at the beginning. I'm pretty sure everyone still would have figured out that I was the one writing and that Josh was the one I was writing about and who my ex-husbands and kid are and who my parents are.  For those people that know me all of that information is obvious and for those that don't it isn't.  But it is certainly hard to maintain a blog and not write about the things going on in your life.  Thus, telling other people your business.

I also experienced someone taking information out of my blog a using it against me a couple of months ago.  It wasn't a happy experience, it's what the Drama blog stemmed from.  I never really gave two seconds of thought to whether or not people who didn't like me were reading my blog.  It just didn't matter.  If I matter enough to someone that they are going to read my blog just to find out information about my life, that's their problem.  Or so I thought.  I had no idea that someone would take general information that they knew about my life, add it to information that they learned reading my blog and then use it to play on every insecurity that I have in this world.  Let me tell you it was an eye opener.  And it made me just as hesitant to write about my life as "telling other people my business".  I even dreamed last night that I was mad and upset about something different and I yelled "she's the reason I can't blog!"  I guess my subconscious was trying to tell me something.  This makes me mad and embarrassed especially since I have spent the past year of blogging trying to be positive, change my life for the better, and not care what other people think about me.

This blog started as a 30 day challenge and has now managed to make it 366 days.  In the past year a lot of things have changed and my life is completely different today than it was last September. School starts in a week.  I'm not sure that I am going to have time to blog and combined with the fact I'm not sure what I have to blog about this may have only lasted a year.  But let me tell you.  I am proud of what I have written. What I have learned about myself. What I have worked through with my relationships. And I'm not sure I could have done it without the help of this blog.

So, thank you, to everyone who read this is the past year and helped me reach 8,318 pageviews, who supported me with great comments in the early days.  Who encouraged me to keep writing when I was finished with my challenge.  I hope that I have kept you all entertained and made you think a little bit.  I hope more than anything that my journey inspired you a little bit. It's been a good year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Only OCD My Life. Not Yours.

I was at my moms a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about her starting a blog or a Facebook page/group supporting partners of men with prostate cancer.  She made the statement that she isn't sure that she wants to commit that much time to managing and maintaining a Facebook page.  I was trying to explain to her that it wouldn't take that much time. While she was trying to explain to me that she is afraid that she is too OCD, which I should understand.

It was at that point that I made the statement. "I only OCD my life.  Not yours".

Isn't that kinda true for everyone?

It's the classic do as I say not as I do.  Or, how when you are looking at someone else's life challenges you think that you know what they should do and how they react and you don't understand when they don't do the same thing you would do.

Everyone sees things differently.  Everyone approaches problems different.  The other day Josh was cleaning out the garage and every time I walked out there I looked at the order at which he was dealing with the massive mess and it took everything in me to not say anything.  After all, he wasn't doing it wrong.  He was just doing it different than the way I would do it. The end result was the same.  A clean, organized garage, with enough room to play ping-pong. Goal achieved.

That's also why people can give advice so easily. Because it is super easy to give advice about a problem or an issue that you aren't invested in. Emotional investment is what makes problems so hard to solve for yourself. Emotional investment is what keeps people up at night (and boy am I an expert on over-thinking keeping you up at night).  Emotional investment is what makes a person think that they are too OCD to manage a Facebook page or keep up a blog.  It's funny that something so simple can cause someone's OCD to kick in.  I know that if I don't blog fairly regularly I start to feel guilty. That is for sure my OCD tendencies rearing their ugly heads.

I suppose that being emotionally invested doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to be OCD about something.  Obviously I am emotionally invested in my dad's cancer and the way it effects my family. However, because I live in a different house, 15 minutes away, and see my parents once or twice a week I do get to be emotionally distant to some extent.  That can even help with the advice. Any sort of distance can lend perspective.  That is why couples "take a break" or have a "trial separation". If you distance yourself from a situation you are able to see it more clearly.

Emotional investment is also what makes anyone else completely unqualified to have any sort of say in your life.  If someone is not emotionally invested in the outcome of your issue than they aren't the one who is affected by any decision you may make.  Which potentially makes their viewpoint valuable,  But by no means should you take the advice of someone who doesn't have to deal with the ramifications of your decision.  Although, I do believe that any emotionally distant viewpoint may lead to the one paragraph, or sentence or word that resolves your issue which that is awesome. You are the one who gets to make that decision.  Not the person who doesn't have to deal with the fallout.

I guess the moral of this blog is that if you need any advice I'm sure I can give it (but you maybe shouldn't take it).  I may not have my shit together (as my over thinking proves) but the fact that I am emotionally distant from you means that I might be just what you need to solve any problem you may have.  After all.  I only OCD my life. Not yours

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eh, whatever. It's a blog.

I haven't been blogging at all lately.  I feel like it's weird that I quit my job and because I didn't have anything to bitch about I didn't have anything to blog about.  That isn't true.  I blog about a lot of stuff that isn't negative.

It could be that for three weeks I was pretty much interacting with the same two people every day. That doesn't lead to a whole lot of blog topics typically.

Or maybe it was that I was having such a hard time with the fact that I wasn't working that I just didn't want to blog about it.  No one wants to admit that they are struggling with a decision that they had made to better their lives.  I don't regret quitting my job in the slightest but boy did I struggle with not working.  I guess I need to feel productive.   Shocker.  I don't know where that came from. The best thing is that at the end of the day I love being able to say that I quit my job because I was unhappy, I'm much happier now and I had the support I needed to do it.

I could have been blogging about how hard it is to find a part time job, or two, that let you work more than 69 hours in a month.  Or how hard it is to find a full time job because no one wants to pay for health insurance.  Thank you Obamacare. (There is a chance I might still blog about this, I'm pretty annoyed).

I guess that's my summer in a nut shell.  I spent three weeks stressing about quitting my job, three more weeks without a job and the past two weeks working at Clark College.  This summer was not uneventful.  But it's just about over and since I was able to summarize (lol no pun intended) it so well in the past four paragraphs it's just time to move on to fall.

Fall, fall, fall.  School started for the kid yesterday, school starts for me in two weeks.  It's been a little over a year since I went to school.  Getting back into a routine will be necessary. I get to adapt to having a part time job, potentially two, while going to school.  Which is still going to be better than doing property management and trying to go to school.

It's funny looking over this blog I feel as though I should have had a whole lot harder time with this summer than I did.  And although the people I live with may not agree with me, I feel as though I handled all of the changes fairly well. At least for me.

It's amazing what surrounding yourself with the right people will do. Help you cope. Get you through. Support you. Make all the important little things seem big and make all of the stressful big things seem little.

Amazingly all things seem to be falling into place.  Just like things are supposed to.  Now, let's tackle fall.