As my dad says, “Back to the ol‘ drawing board.”
Sometimes you have to clean the cobwebs off your desk before you can wipe away the cobwebs of your mind. True story.
After writing my 25 Days of Christmas series, I sat for a couple of weeks trying to figure out what to write about. I even had a bit of an emotional breakdown. Messy, stupid, sad breakdown of uselessness. Ugh. Don’t worry, I’m fine, now. The Christmas series was such a well-defined, time-limited, succinct idea in my mind, it was easy to write. But after the flurry of writing and getting it posted on the web – and then the subsequent lack of traffic to the project I had worked so hard at and promoted – I was left with a big fuzzy gap in my brain called “What now?”
Write a curriculum? Holy cow, that will take me months! And on what subject? Am I really knowledgeable enough to write any curriculum other than Pre-K stuff? I literally just gave myself the side eye. Write an e-course? About what? Make printables? What kind? Write a book? Okay, I plan to do that, but that was not going to fill the slots in my blog at all. Impart my sage advice to other parents and homeschoolers? :crickets:
I couldn’t figure out what I could possibly impart to my readers that would actually add value to your lives. Because I couldn’t figure out what I am good at. Or what my “passion” is. Or what I’m an “expert” at (hint: not much).
So, yesterday, still not knowing what to do with my blog and with my life (other than, you know, parenting and homeschooling and that whole gig), I decided to clean my desk. It was horrific. Baaaaad. Piles and piles. No desk space left. Don’t believe me? Think yours is worse? Here’s a pic.
Who knows, maybe yours is worse. That can be your little secret. Maybe my desk is so bad, you turned your eyes away in horror. That can be your little secret, too.
Anyways, I was cleaning my desk, and listening to and reading from a free e-course about starting a mom blog called The Blog Plan (You can check it out here if you’re into that sort of thing: https://www.startamomblog.com/), when it hit me. The thing. THE THING I am actually good at. Hint: It’s not teaching, homeschooling, or parenting. I mean, I’m not bad at those things, I’m just not an expert. Shocker, I know.
Still not that great, but better. Please notice the poorly designed tissue box that wanted to give me 30 tissues at once instead of one. Get your act together, Puffs!
I am an idea gatherer. I am an information seeker. I am a Googler extraordinaire. I am a chronically unorganized, messy, weird human that is always trying to figure out some way to do things better, faster, more efficiently. And if you like things better, faster, more efficient – well, I’m your blog lady. If you expect me to have it all together, though… well, you’re out of luck.
I am also a good “make do-er.” Is that a word? No, it is not. My old English teachers just rolled over in their graves. Oops, hold on, I don’t think any of them are dead yet. Scratch that! But I am good at making do with what I’ve got, sometimes making… interesting… substitutions in the recipe or instructions or whatever thing I am trying to do. One Christmas, I was considering making some fudge or some other Christmas treat as a homemade gift for someone on our Christmas list. I ran my idea past my husband, and his response was something like: “Sure. Just don’t Melinda-fy it.”
“Excuse me?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Don’t make it weird or try to make it healthy. Don’t put your spin on it. Just make it exactly how the recipe says.”
“Exactly what are you trying to say here???”
Hmmph. Bless his heart. But it’s true. If I’m not trying to make something healthier (not as tasty to my children and husband apparently!), I’m putting in something I have on hand rather than what the recipe calls for. Or I’m saying, “That’ll be just as good” while putting in blueberries instead of raisins. According to my daughter, both are gross. Whatever, Picky Daughter! It was awesome!
I am also the Queen of Useless Trivia. Ask my friends. They’ll tell you. I’m so weird. Fortunately, they like weird, so we’re still friends. I have the ability to bring up random trivia in conversation that is pretty much useless. We’ll be talking about bad short-term memory and I’ll bring up some random study about Alzheimer’s or some strange fact about Ancient Egypt. “How do you even retain that kind of information?” they ask. Actually, the better question is how do I remember that stuff, but I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast or that I have a kid’s doctor’s appointment on Monday? Yep. Anyways, I don’t know how that will add anything to any of your lives, but I’m just putting that out there so you won’t be surprised if (when?) useless trivia spills out onto my blog posts occasionally. You’ve been warned, LOL.
So, that’s the direction I am heading with this blog. It’s about homeschooling. It’s about parenting. It’s about saving your sanity and my sanity or at least preserving the tiny bit we have left. It’s about trying to figure out how to do it better, easier, more efficiently. It’s about learning not just from my successes, but from my mistakes and failures, as well. It’s about finding things that make parents’ and homeschoolers’ lives easier. It’s about Googling the heck out of something until I find answers so that you don’t have to. Trying stuff out and then telling you about it. Finding parenting, homeschooling, and life resources that will help and sharing those with you.
Because this is something I can do. That’s what I’m good at. And I hope this blesses you and others like you.