You know that mom who won’t put her baby down for anything or anyone? And I’m not talking about judging her, I am simply talking about observing her– maybe she was a friend or your sister or maybe it was you. She’s the mom who can’t bear to be without her baby, either because of fear or anxiety or simply because she has no desire to be with anyone else in the world. But at some point, you started to notice that she could use some self-care of the non-baby variety– like a hair cut or a massage or a dentist appointment. Hell, how about some pants with a waistline? Or just some pants, period?
You know the mom who desperately needs to take a step away, but she can’t. She won’t.
Ya’ll, I have been that mom with my blog. I didn’t want to step away even for a day. My obsession found great support in November, in which the blogging community celebrates NaBloPoMo (“National Blog Post Month”) and challenges bloggers to post every single day.
“Bring it on!” I thought to myself and said to anyone who listened. I was already blogging most days anyway, so what’s a little challenge?
As the month of November unfolded, I metabolized the pressure to blog on Thanksgiving (and the day after that and the day after that) and put my head down. I kept writing, feeling comforted by the pressure and all the company. Some of my favorite writers were posting everyday too, and I was getting to know people better. That was a huge payoff.
And that’s all good.
But challenges can be a little bit tricky for me because I take them very seriously. Too seriously. (Just like this one, which I nailed, thank you very much!)
Then, I noticed that I became afraid to let go. I’m going to blog everyday for the rest of my life because I can’t bear…..
What? What is it that I couldn’t bear?
The loneliness. I didn’t realize how much your comments kept me company and brought me friendship, laughter and your collective wisdom.
The fear. If I let go for one day, my (slightly addictive) brain says either (1) I will never blog again, or (2) you will forget about me. So, of course I have to keep going until I die.
The anxiety. When I had a blog post obligation hanging over my head each day, I had a focus for all my anxiety. Gotta get my post out! Without that pressure, what the hell am I going to blame my anxiety on? Luckily for me, December offers about a bazillion reasons to be anxious, so I’m good there.
So I took Saturday and Sunday off. And ooooh eeeeeehhh, I think I was in withdrawal. I was jittery, I picked fights with Jeff, and I weeped on and off all weekend. I ate lots of ice cream. It was like when I broke up with caffeine, but without the headache.
On Sunday night, I curled up on the couch, willing myself to leave the computer unplugged and out of sight. But I could get something started while Jeff puts Simon to bed.
And I could have, and it might have been the beginning of this post.
But, I didn’t. Because sometimes stepping away is just as important as stepping up.