Not so long ago I hit a bit of a blogging slump. Not because I didn't have ideas or I wasn't feeling inspired... but because I felt an immense amount of pressure to post both frequently and consistently. Granted, this was entirely self-appointed pressure- but it took it's toll nonetheless. I started trying to churn out posts as often as I could and as a result the quality of content I was producing suffered. There is a vast and vibrant blogging community, which is amazing and beautiful and inspiring. At the same time, as someone new on the scene you can get sucked into comparing yourself to veteran bloggers and people who you admire.
I decided to take a step back and think about what was most important to me. I spent a lot of time thinking about what made me happy, what I valued and what I wanted to take pride of place in my life. I love my little blog. It is so exciting to meet people, share ideas and have people that are genuinely interested in what I have to say. I like recognising names in the comments and building relationships with my readers. I love working out how to design my space, how to take and edit my photos, how to expand my creativity. But my blog is my hobby, and there are things in my life that are far more important to me. My blog makes me happy, but what makes me more happy is learning how to fit it in with the rest of what I do, and how to enjoy creating content without the guilt of it not being enough or good enough.
It's easy to get swept up in what we should be doing, or how we think we should be living. But who came up with those guidelines? You must strive to be the healthiest version of you possible. You must have one glass of wine, but not two. You must exercise X amount of hours a week. You must drink X amount of water a day. You must save your money. You must not be indulgent... that is selfish. You must be career driven. You must be ambitious. You must be educated and you must be sociable. You must be interactive and reflective. You must be compassionate and you must be honest. There are all sorts of ideals that we find ourselves constantly striving to achieve... not just through our blogs, not just in our physical appearances, but in the quality of our lifestyle. Who is to say, though, that one way of living is better than another? Why should you feel guilty when you eat a whole tin of custard? When you buy yourself something you don't really need? When you decide to sit at home doing nothing rather than going out?
It is so, so easy to get swept up in becoming the best version of who we think we should be that sometimes we forget to just do what makes us happy. I don't want to be constantly comparing myself and living a certain way just because I feel I should. If I live a life where the small things that surround me make me happy, I believe that will reflect in the relationships I have with people, the content I create and my approach towards the future. Just some thoughts, and with that I leave you with a few things that make me happy:
1. Having fresh white flowers.
2. Drinking a cup of tea in bed before I do anything... or maybe a pot.
3. Making homemade food and forcing it on everyone I know.
4. Buying beautiful plates and mugs even though i have perfectly good plates and mugs.
5. Spending 3 hours on the phone with my favourite people when I should be doing something else.
6. Naps, preferably long and frequent ones.
7. Not replying to social media or messages for a good few days... because really, there's no need.
8. Sitting on a train doing absolutely nothing but look out the window- even when I'm in a tunnel.
9. Speaking my mind, especially at the most inappropriate of occasions.
10. Baileys on ice.
11. Drinking the rest of the gravy boat after a Sunday roast.
12. Crying at X Factor. Crying at 24 Hrs in A&E. Crying at television in general.
13. Organised spaces... oh, and stationery.
14. Looking through old Facebook photos for hours on end.
15. Seeing young fathers with children... my heart swells.