Healthy Challenges (or: Energy Dipping, cont’d)

Finally, a new blog post. This one is going to meander a little bit, but bear with me.

A couple of months ago I set myself a challenge here on this blog: to write a post every day, no matter how short, about anything that came to mind. My daily blogs were supposed to get me into a daily writing habit, but rather than that happening, it only served to rub my nose in my own failure when I fell short.

Clearly, I had not met my own challenge and that was pretty discouraging, especially since I love writing. In retrospect, it was also not surprising, and it has taught me a few things in the process. Such as – and this is an important one: setting unrealistic goals is pointless and oftentimes even counterproductive.

The rather disappointing outcome of my endeavour moved me to find out whether the idea behind my own challenge was actually a good one, and I have to admit that it wasn’t for two reasons.

While a daily writing routine is very useful, it also has to be feasible. Now, I know that there are bloggers and authors out there with 12 kids and endless social and professional commitments who can still manage to meet their daily writing goals, but I have to admit to be an inferior specimen in that regard, because with only two children – one of whom a now 9-month old baby – I simply can’t manage to find the time, or more importantly, the energy to block an hour or even half an hour to write every day. Certain things have taken priority over the past months, and when the necessary daily chores and unexpected interruptions had been dealt with and I could have theoretically sat down to write, I found that I had expended every last drop of energy I had.
Interestingly, I found myself talking to a friend the other day about energy and how I wish I had more of it, and she told me she had been wiped out by day’s end for years now and that she could only dream of still being bubbly and active when the daily routine had been dispensed with. (She’s a mother of three.) I have to admit, I was surprised. My friend is one of those people who appears to have endless stamina, and whose demeanour certainly doesn’t betray even the merest hint of fatigue, but it’s there. And this is not to be mean but: I am not alone – hurrah!

(This is fodder for another, imminent blog post on the detrimental effects of constant competition in a meritocracy that is becoming increasingly damaging to the human spirit. But I digress.)

This brings me to the second reason: those priorities I mentioned earlier. One of them is me. After the birth of my baby last year, I realized that I should probably begin making some healthy choices in my life: I had to start taking care of myself a little bit. Not as an afterthought, or with some occasional maintenance as I had been doing up until then, but as a real pillar of my existence. So – and this is completely out of character for me – for the past few months I have been looking after myself better than usual: I have committed to an exercise routine, I have enlisted my love of cooking and baking to establish a healthy diet for the whole family, and I have invested in several online courses to engage my mind in the areas that I am interested in.
While all this might sound rather mundane and uneventful, for me – as I suspect is the case for a few more people (perhaps more than a few) – it’s huge! And while it has given me a lot of positive energy, it has also physically exhausted me as I have been working hard to establish and maintain this new routine.

So there they are: some of the lessons I’ve learned since picking up my blog again (before this post, that is.) We learn through failure, right?

As for a post every day on whatever topic, I think I will instead focus on a few things that I feel strongly about, topics on which I feel I really have something to say. So keep an eye out: perhaps some if it will interest you.

And thank you for sticking with me.

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