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My 2016 Re-Awakening

Spring has arrived, and my soul has awakened.

I’m not trying to be poetical. I feel like I’ve been in some kind of emotional slumber during the past few months. While it has sometimes felt like depression, it’s been mostly a kind of soulish lethargy.

I lost enthusiasm for gardening. I began to get tempted to cancel our nearly $800 Raintree Nursery order. (Why not just live on Masaji and bananas and be happy, and not try to produce our own fruit?) Recently, despite what I wrote in this post, I’ve wanted to quit blogging, maybe quit writing altogether.

Part of the reason is that my mood is strongly affected by the weather. Always has been, which is one reason I moved down South. I need more sun in order to be happy. But even here, the sun can disappear for days at a time during the winter months, bringing to me a mild to moderate Season Affective Disorder.

Another part is that I have been off track with my business. Let me touch on that first…

My online business struggles

They mostly have to do with YouTube. First, I read that a successful blog should have a video in every post. So I felt pressure to start creating more videos so I would have one to go with every post.

Second, I started a YouTube show about our homesteading life called “Our Underground Life.” Even to do only two shows a week takes an inordinate amount of my time. Our intent in moving out here was to live a life of freedom, but doing that show began to feel like a kind of bondage within a very short period.

Taking time to listen to that still, small voice within me the other day, I discovered that I am not supposed to be striving to make money with YouTube. It is not against God’s will for me to upload videos that I really want to create and share, but it is not supposed to be something I spend a lot of time and creative energy on.

I made a conscious decision to no longer care about how many videos I put out, how many subscribers I have, or how much money I’m making, and a weight lifted off my shoulders.

But my business struggles haven’t solely centered around “to YouTube, or not to YouTube.” As what has always happened when I’ve started a blog, I grew tired of it long before it became profitable. And I have two blogs right now, both of which I have been sorely tempted to drop during the past couple of weeks.

But when I’ve prayed about it in the past, the answer has always been that I am supposed to maintain both. So the other day, while asking about YouTube, I asked about the blogs as well.

Here’s what I got: I’m not supposed to follow the blogging rules. What rules?

  • All posts need to be over 1800 words in order for Google to like them.
  • All posts need Pinterest-friendly images.
  • All posts must be based on (and include) long-tail keywords (phrases at least four words long) that a lot of people are searching for.
  • All posts must be about a topic a lot of people are searching for.
  • All posts must make you sound like an expert.

Dear Lord, I’m getting frustrated and bored just writing that list!

So if I’m not supposed to be following the rules, what am I supposed to be doing?

Sharing my thoughts and experiences in an authentic way.

Kind of like, say, this here blog post. 😉

Continue to expect to see encouraging posts about working toward having more freedom in your life. But also expect to see more posts about my own growth, including my frustrations and disappointments because I know for myself that just knowing somebody else is making an effort to overcome the difficult parts in their life encourages me to keep moving forward.

What about growing food?

What can I say? With the sunshine and warmer weather, I am suddenly as excited about gardening as I have ever been. I have a renewed determination to do my best to produce all of our own produce – or at least, most of it. We like bananas and dates, and they kinda sorta don’t grow this far north. 😉

Maybe it has something to do with all the baby tomatoes growing in the bathroom. Maybe getting all of our fruit trees/bushes/vines in the ground the other day helped.

And here’s the other thing: if I’m not busting my rear to produce videos, I have plenty of time to focus on growing food, which makes my life a lot less stressful.

So even though I’m getting older in body (46 years in less than a month!), I actually feel younger and more alive than I did last fall.

Your turn. Tell me in the comments what positive changes are blossoming inside you this spring. 🙂

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