Wow. I never thought deciding my Write 31 Days topic would be so complicated, so potentially life-changing, or in the end, emotional! The fact that I cried when I was sharing my thoughts today with my business mentor, Michele, reinforced for me that God had a big hand in this and that I am on the right track.
Before I reveal what I decided on, I’ll share a bit about how I got there and what my other plans were.
Write 31 Days is a challenge for bloggers to choose a topic, preferably specific (not broad), and to write about that topic every day for the month of October. The more specific the topic, the more creative the writing and the more challenging to the blogger’s skill. The challenge is to improve our writing and creativity, and often through the series, the blogger learns a lot about their self and the topic they chose.
In the past I have always written about things that I wanted to learn more about, do better, or that I knew would improve my life somehow, all while inspiring others to do the same. I’ve written about saving money, organizing, and having a blissful fall. In thinking about what I wanted to focus on for this series, I struggled because many of the things I’m working on now I’ve written about in the past. Not that it couldn’t be done in a different way, with a different twist, and not that readers wouldn’t benefit from a similar topic again, but I personally wanted it to be different. My biggest needs now are for simplifying and being intentional with my time, as well as paying off debt and exercising/eating right. Maybe the fact that we’re still struggling with so many of the things I’d written about in the past was a clue that I either needed to focus on it all again, or that what I was doing wasn’t entirely working.
Then enters God. I have developed a stronger relationship with God over the past couple of years, and not only that but He has put people in my path that have helped me be closer to Him and that has brought about blessings that I never could have imagined. Relying on God for help with my business wasn’t something I had really done in the past, but I have found that entrusting God with all areas of my life is important and that things start to come together better when I follow and let Him lead the way. So for the past week, I thought my topic was going to be “31 Days: Letting God Lead the Way”. While the topics would still be about simplifying and being intentional with time, cutting spending and paying off debt, etc. etc., the overall theme would be about God leading each day and how I spent my time, my money, etc. I worried, though, that a) The title was too different than the normal content on my blog and b) it didn’t represent exactly what I intended to write about. But it stuck with me for a week and I was sure that was what God was telling me to do, and I was determined to listen.
The past few days, however, things shifted again slightly. One of the biggest catalysts was a book that I have been reading called Soulful Simplicity. A few minutes from typing these words, I was interviewing the author of this book. I spent the past few days reading a digital copy in preparation for the interview and the blog post that I’ll write about in December when her book launches. (You can pre-order her book now here!) Courtney took my desire for simplicity and creating a life I love to a different level and gave me the tools to get there. Not only that, but her book made me realize (indirectly) that my feeling that God was pulling me in a slightly different direction with the blog was right on, and now I think I know what it all means and where I’m supposed to be going.
Those realizations and the topics that I originally wanted to write about and work on in my own life brought me, FINALLY, to the title of my Write 31 Days series, and here it is: 31 Days of Redefining My Blissful Space.
When I started my blog, it was intended to be a means to promote and launch a professional organizing career but also to be a place to write and share about all the things I love, the things that bring me “bliss”. It’s now almost five years later and I still love blogging and organizing. But what has changed is that in a quest to make a career out of my blog, help it grow, compete with other blogs (which isn’t really necessary but a perceived problem), all while working full time and trying to be a wife, mother, and maintain our home, I stopped having time (or feeling like I had the time) to WRITE. Writing a blog post became a marathon by which I had to make time to do a project, take pictures of said project, edit those pictures, write about the project, and share it not only on the blog, but also strategically share to social media. Because I didn’t know how to do all of the things I thought I should be doing to grow my blog as a business, I purchased trainings and courses that I have yet to complete or fully implement, and that further took time away from what I love about blogging…writing and sharing. (That’s not to say that those investments won’t be worth it in the end, but at this time where blogging isn’t my full time career, I have to be more realistic and intentional about where I invest my money AND time.)
It got to the point this year that multiple times I questioned if I was even supposed to be writing this blog at all. Maybe, I thought, I’m supposed to embrace my full time job helping with preschool children (it is meaningful, important work, after all), and kick the idea of owning my own business and having the flexibility and autonomy that comes with being my own boss and working from home. But my heart continued to hold onto My Blissful Space and all that it encompasses. Just the other day I got an email letting me know that I was featured as one of the top 100 organizing bloggers (in the top 50% even!) on feedspot.com (see the post here). I was honored to be featured like this again (I had been named in a top 30 organizing bloggers list here as well), and it was reassurance that not only was I doing work I love, but that the work I was doing was making an impact (and that was after a year or more of pretty infrequent blogging!).
But something had to give, and after gradually eliminating more and more commitments, trying to focus my time and manage an ever-growing to-do list, purging “stuff” and trying to simplify, I still feel “stuck” trying to balance it all. What possibly could I remove now without quitting the job that pays the bills or giving up on my dreams and passions in the form of my businesses? And how do I do it all and give my family more of me, because, let’s face it, time is flying by and in the end those relationships and how I spend my time will be more important than any of the rest of it.
Through coaching calls and accountability club sessions, through reading and prayer, and through my interview with Courtney, I think I finally have some direction and a workable plan, and I intend to use the month of October and my 31 Days writing challenge to move towards positive change that will get me where I want to go. I hope that through my journey I can help you become unstuck in your life, too. What became clear is that I can’t do it all (duh!) and that I need to quit trying to do ALL the things (which isn’t realistic). As Courtney said today in our interview, when we try to do too much, “our efforts are everywhere, it all gets diluted and not one thing really sticks.” I need to focus on one thing that I can do that will be really impactful, and right now I think that one thing for my business is to get back to WRITING.
So for the next month, my posts may not have tutorials or project ideas. They may not have any photos, and the photos I do have may not be magazine worthy (well, that’s not a change, lol!). But what I realized today is that having a blissful space isn’t necessarily about the STUFF that’s in it, but it’s about creating a space and a life that you love, that brings you joy (not stress), and that allows you to remember who you really are and what’s important. THAT is what “Redefining My Blissful Space” will be all about. While we’re figuring out what our personal blissful space is, I may also be redefining what My Blissful Space, the blog, is!
You might also find that most of my posts will be on Instagram. What made me feel like I could possibly keep up with a 31 day challenge of writing was the addition of an Instagram micro-blogging category. I’m just not sure how it’s all going to look, but be sure to follow me on Instagram if you haven’t already so you can keep up with the series!
During October we’ll look at our lives and reevaluate what’s important. We’ll look at how we spend our money and how we can improve our financial situations. We’ll look at how we spend our time and what we can do to better manage it and make the most of this short life. We’ll look at how we take care of ourselves (or not) and what we can do to implement some self-love and improve our health. And we’ll look at our clutter…both the physical clutter and the clutter we feel from life being so “busy”, and decide what we can do about that, too.
My guess is that most of you are in a similar situation as me. You have things in your life that you want to change. You are too busy and feel like you can’t ever catch up. Your house is a mess and you’re constantly reorganizing. You want to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight. You’re in debt. You aren’t doing work that is completely fulfilling. You feel like you don’t have time for the people and things that you love. You don’t know what happened to the YOU that you used to be. Join me…we’re going to start making changes!
I know I don’t usually talk a lot about God on my blog, and while I have no intention of making this a Christian-based blog, I will not apologize for doing so, either. Here’s the deal. I have learned that being open to what God wants for me and my life has created more blessings than I could ever imagine, and that I may have missed if I wasn’t paying attention. He brought me to this blog, He brought people in my life that have gotten me to this point, and He is taking me on a slight detour with my writing and business. I know that by following His lead I will find myself again, will be doing meaningful work, and will be able to bless others as well as myself. I don’t feel like I can take this journey over the next month without including God in it. Part of that journey will be daily prayer and time spent journaling and letting God guide what I will do and talk about. As I came to tears this morning telling Michele about my ideas for this challenge, I knew that God was doing amazing things in my life. I can’t wait to see what He has in store!
Over the next few days my family will be enjoying some much-needed days off soaking up the outdoors. During that time, I plan to lean into the quiet and keep technology far away but my pen and paper close by. I hope that in the quiet I’ll be inspired with exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and writing about in October, since it hasn’t been as planned out and scheduled as I intended for it to be! Let’s see where this takes us! It’s time to redefine our blissful space!