I love this image! I found it just searching 'hang ups' and it
has absolutely made my day!
Sooooo….. You know those times when (for whatever reason) life throws you a bit of a curveball that knocks you a bit out of line? Like, not something super bad or life-changing, but just something a bit insidious that has you doing things differently without you really noticing it?
Well that was the majority of my 2014. That’s not to say it was ‘A Super Bad Year’ because it definitely wasn’t (and it was nowhere near as bad as 2011; also known as ‘My Shittiest Year Ever’) but it was a year of…. Irritations.
I was considering whether or not I really wanted to write a blogpost about last year. After all, it’s been and gone, and I’m definitely all about the new year. Also, I’m not into being all ‘Wah wah wah, woe is me!’ But in order to work out what I want to do with my blogging, I kind of feel like I need to mention it, before I go onto other things. Also, let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely that there’s anyone still reading this blog (if you are: Hey! Thanks for still reading, I promise to be more interesting soon!)
So, 2014! I mentioned ‘irritations’ that were, more specifically, health problems.
Nothing major, or worrying, just a recurrence of an old nerve problem in my neck. It causes a serious amount of pain in my neck, arm and shoulder, and some muscle wastage, and loss of fine motor function. Generally, it’s kind of background noise with some minor twinges, but I can normally do pretty much anything I like. Unfortunately 2014 seemed to be ALL ABOUT THE NERVE PAIN. So, from last spring onward, I spent a lot of time at the Pain Management Clinic, being poked, prodded, injected, injected with something else, injected with needles hooked up to machines, and medication. Lots of medication. SIGH.
Most of the time it was just annoying more than anything else, with the pain minimised thanks to painkillers, and there are people who are far worse off than I am, so I really don’t want to sound ‘wah wah wah…’ but the pain/hospital appointments/medication combined to make a few things happen last year that were less than ideal.
1) My levels of exercise went right down. I went from being really-quite-fit to being so-not-fit. Most of the time I couldn’t exercise, and when I could, it was so much harder because I was out of shape and out of practice.
2) I could not sew/knit/crochet/anything else crafty you can think of, without being in a ton of pain, and quite frequently it just got a bit dangerous (using really sharp fabric shears with a hand with a loss of motor function = a fairly bad idea)
3) I put on weight. Like, a lot. At first I put on weight because of the medication, then I put on weight because of the lack of exercise, and then I put on weight because of, y’know…. Ice-cream.
These things combined to make my blogging and sewing pretty much non-existent. Also, I would go through periods of fervently reading all the blogposts I could get my hands on, and then ignoring the blog roll for a week, because I hated feeling like I wasn’t part of the sewing community. And once you stop blogging for a while, it feels that much harder to start it up again. Also, when you’re in a place where you don’t really feel like yourself (not that putting on weight is something to be ashamed of! Because I’m not. It happened because of certain circumstances and my overwhelming need for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s! I’m okay with that… but I find it hard when I go through any quick physical change) it makes it difficult to think ‘Oh yeah, I’ll take a load of photos of myself and put them online for the whole world to see!’
I also began thinking about what it was that I really wanted to blog about. Was it really just my sewing? Because when I started this blog, I felt like I was doing it not only to talk about my sewing, but how that meshes with my lifestyle, the activities I engage in (not many of those at the moment, I’ll admit, but here’s hoping!!) and my interests. But, I ended up mostly just talking about the sewing, thinking that once I felt more comfortable blogging, I’d start writing about the other things that I somehow felt more vulnerable blogging about, like my love of books and comics, and the video games I’m most enjoying, that kind of thing.
Although 2014 wasn’t the best year for my sewing career, it might have helped me recognise my ‘hang ups’. I can be very hard on myself, and expect myself to be perfect at something the first time, and when I’m not, I think I must be a failure! So, blogging around areas that I’m not very comfortable exploring is very difficult for me. But I’m also aware that I would probably find blogging a lot more rewarding if I DO blog about the things that really mean something to me, even if they stray into areas where I have my little ‘hang ups’ and where I’m not at my most confident.
So, I’m not sure I’ve necessarily got to the point where I know all the answers to my blogging conundrums yet, but I think I know what I want from this year – to try to blog about what I am HONESTLY INTERESTED IN BLOGGING ABOUT, without letting my insecurities shut me down before I start. I don’t judge other bloggers, I just enjoy their creativity, no matter what they’re blogging about. So I’m going to try to extend the same courtesy to myself.
Here’s to a new year. And to anyone reading, I hope that you too, remember to be as nice to yourself as you are to others! Sometimes we judge ourselves so harshly!