I’ve been more or less paralyzed with blog anxiety since early December. Do I post just to post? Do I wait for writing inspiration that may not come? And why the heck does two weeks of silence improve my blog traffic?
These are all mysteries. And I can tell when I’m doing well and when I’m not by how good I am at compartmentalizing these mysteries and stresses from one thing to another.
Do I approach each section of stresses in my life mano e mano, doing battle in careful segments? Or do I stand on one side with an Earthful of problems on the other, me against 1,000,000 all at once?
The former means I’m at the top of my game. The latter means I retreat, retreat, retreat into books and feeling generally overwhelmed by the meaning of everything all the time.
Gratitude always turns my ship around. And as annoying as it is to seek them out, there are always hidden blessings in every challenge we face. Here are some problems you can help me with if you’re feeling
- My business feels stalled without specializing in one kind of writing, but the idea of specializing feels like I’m saying No to opportunities. But I know for a fact things only get better when you specialize. But I can’t see how I could choose just one thing I do and do it forever. Hidden blessing: I’m unbearably, incredibly blessed to get to work for myself. That I have a supportive spouse who agrees to let me do this, that I made $57K (gross) doing it last year, that I set my schedule, that I choose my work. There was a time where I would have given up anything to be able to do this, now I’m doing this, and I’m finding a reason to be unhappy. That’s crazy.
- We want a family, but it’s not happening, and it’s not happening for a number of reasons: fear, autoimmune disease, finances, did I mention fear? We have friends who can’t get pregnant and desperately want to, friends who got pregnant by accident, friends who would dread having a baby, and unmarried friends who are waiting patiently for their own family to find them. Each of us is on a little island of loneliness, thinking someone else’s situation is better than ours, distracting ourselves from our lives by our perceived unique pain. Hidden blessing: My life, with or without children, has JHubbs in it, and that is an ultimate blessing. My life, with or without children (or without JHubbs, if I have to live through that), is the intentional work of God, and if I’m meant to be without those things, it’s for my own good. The only way out of this pain is through it, into deeper understanding of my friends and relationships and how we are all struggling with the same pain and fear.
- I crashed AIP over the Christmas break (staying gluten free) and realized all over again why people eat a “Standard American Diet” (SAD). It’s delicous, addictive, and it propagates itself over and over again with little “Well, it doesn’t matter if I just eat a little bit of…” moments (like the milk & coffee chocolate bar sitting in the freezer). Saying No to these things for the past few days — coffee, chocolate, food in restaurants (with those secret oils and chemical sweeteners and corn and gluten syrups), popcorn — feels like a fresh new wound, even though I have immediate, chronic reactions to all of these foods. That makes no evolutionary sense, but even that is a strong indicator that something is unhealthy about the foods we’ve added to or made staples in our SAD. Hidden blessing: I prayed and suffered for so long, hoping to understand how to treat my body for the ultimate health (because it really, really wasn’t calories and exercise). And now that I have the answer, I’m complaining it’s too hard? Of course the answer was going to be hard. Because it was too, too easy to be unhealthy. The world is fine with you being unhealthy because the world doesn’t have your best interests at heart. So doing something that is counterculture for your own health and happiness (which is awfully similar to most religious practices, don’t you think?) makes perfect sense. I’m incredibly blessed to have found AIP, to be able to financially prioritize the food and supplements I eat, that there’s such a vibrant online community for it, and that I had immediate relief from living it.
Well, that got Real real quickly. And in the process of writing about each of these struggles, they folded up a little bit and re-compartmentalized into something easier to deal with today.
Care to share some hidden blessings of your own? I can all but guarantee that it will 1) make us feel closer together, and 2) make your burden a little easier to bear today.