Learning the Ropes

To be perfectly honest, I am learning the ropes of blogging. I’m no expert and I don’t even follow other blogs. That is my upfront disclaimer if I happen to break any written or unwritten rule of blogging etiquette.

Those of you who first saw my blog might have noticed that I’ve refined the layout somewhat. I think it fits my style and for those who need the tip, be sure to take a look at the gadgets on the right that tuck away neatly. I thought I created the capability to follow by email but I’m not sure if I got that right. And yes, the bullets of my last blog post are ugly. I’ve recently read that learning and growing is a key ingredient to happiness so bring on the learning!

I’m also curious to know what readers think of AdSense. I’m not a big fan of ads, and their assault on the senses – especially anything that throbs. Earning money while writing sounds quite appealing to me though.

I struggle to achieve things without a goal. If I can’t run an ultra-marathon this year, I’ll have to find goals associated with getting better or learning. So I’ve decided to follow three blogs as my first goal and hopefully I’ll pick up some tips.

Over a year ago I started an electronic journal that I called a ‘God blog’ due to my fear of public humiliation. In writing, identifying the target audience is one of the first important things to decide as it shapes the style substantially. She already knows me and wouldn’t judge me too harshly so that’s what I called it. It is lonely being a business owner as you have no-one to talk to about your challenges. You can’t talk to your staff about your worries of being able to pay salaries or whether you’re leading this thing in the right direction. You need to appear confident and calm in knowing what you’re doing. So writing was my outlet and my tool in crystallising my thinking about the future of the business. I continue to use it in the path to my new career trusting that the same enlightenment is on its way.

So I think my journey will go something like this: acceptance then understanding, then healing and finally action. Since my diagnosis three weeks ago, I have most certainly accepted that my life needs to change. I think I’m still trying to understand why, although I’m most of the way through that phase. The next phase of healing will most likely be quite long as I let my body recover from years of going against the flow and suppressing my fatigue. That may take a good few months but I can say that I’m already starting to feel better.

I’m not known for my patience and I do find it very irritating that I can only have one outing a day. More than that and I find I’m pretty tired by the evening. Through regularly testing my patience, I think my children have helped me become more patient. Watching a toddler ram a round peg into a square hole (literally) over and over can be most frustrating. I think I’ve told them  hundreds of times that you don’t need to tip a cup with a straw. I’ve learned to accept and even marvel at the pure volume of what human beings have to learn. My six-year-old asked me the other day ‘What is a test?’ and my first reaction was ‘Oh boy, does she have a long way to go.’ But seeing how excited she is to learn to read without being overwhelmed by how far she has to go, is inspiring to me. She tackles learning with the same gusto as she does playing.

Our society really seems to value being busy. When people ask about my well-being I’m not sure I want my response to always be ‘Oh I’m so busy I can barely cope’. Since I’ve taken a step back from the hamster wheel, I’ve started to notice the small things around me. Since my condition makes me overheat a lot, the rain is absolutely glorious! I’m a lot less abrupt with my kids now too and I’m taking the time to tickle them; to give them frights and really listen to what they’re saying.  I want a life that contains living on purpose, stopping to enjoy each important moment; and filled with activities that are fulfilling (not just time-consuming).

I’ve secured myself a four month sabbatical from the business. I’m a very determined person and when I focus on something I can get it right. So now my major commitment is to get kids to school and to recover. Resting on purpose is very weird to me but perhaps it’s one of the lessons I have to learn.

Adequate recovery will mean that I’ll be ready to take action when the time comes. The action will be to ensure that my job is fulfilling, I have enough space to recover from all the things that drain my reserves during the day and I will have time to be a good parent too. As much as I have a need to achieve professionally, I’d rather be remembered for being a good parent because the impact is far more meaningful.

So I’m learning the ropes with blogging, but also with how far I can push myself currently. I am trying to really listen to my body to make sure I’m picking up early cues. It’s not forever but it is an important part of the process to ensure the future is designed right.

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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