A lovely finish line

This is the twentieth – and last – day of the Love Blog Challenge
hosted by the lovely BelleBrita
Prompt for 2/28: Love Blog Challenge

wesley-eland-678737-unsplash reliefAt the beginning of the Love Blog Challenge, I needed to make some daily adjustments. A blog post every week day? Good golly, Miss Molly.

But it was a good month for my first challenge. I had lighter-than-usual free-lancing obligations, no home projects looming, and almost everyone else in my life was moving along at a steady pace.

It was a good month.

But it wasn’t just about being a part of this lovely group. I learned at least two valuable lessons:

  1. Yes, I can do a blog post a day.
    … at least week days.
    It would require some long-term changes to continue, both for me and Tim. It would demand a more structured writing calendar. But, yes, I can. I won’t, but I can.
  2. Be careful what you wish for.
    I know very few bloggers or writers of any kind who have no interest in anyone else seeing, reading, or responding to their work. Both the written and spoken word are, by and large, meant to communicate to others. Private journaling notwithstanding, almost everything I write is a message to someone. It may be someone I already know or someone I’ll never meet, but I am sure God put words in my heart to share.
    What I learned from this challenge is the consequences of having more than three faithful friends and family members reading each post. I experienced what it would be like to read and keep track of and respond to comments from people I don’t really know. My email inbox notifies me every time there was a comment or “like,” and it’s been uncustomarily full.
    So if people really do start reading and interacting with me – what I’ve hoped for all along – I’m going to have to schedule time to respond to them. After all, it’s not about me preaching – it’s about us chatting.

Then there was that one more thing – perhaps the most important: I was granted permission. Or maybe relief.

When BelleBrita posted the prompts and expectations for the challenge, I followed my routine. You see, when I receive an order for articles, my first “job” is to create and save the documents, indicating the requested title, the word count requirement, and the summary my client provides. That way, I don’t have to pull up the purchase order each time I start something new. It’s there waiting for me in my File Explorer.

I did the same thing with the prompts for this challenge, preparing all twenty blog posts in draft mode, saved on my LivingCenter.me website. Each day, I simply went to the Draft file and selected the date. Voila! Ready to write.

Here comes the permission/relief part. I promised myself I would take it all the way. I would post every ding-dang Love Challenge day, come hell or high water. I would be The One who took this seriously, joining Brita arm-in-arm at the finish line. Victorious.

Nope.

There it sits: 2/20 in the draft pile. The penalty box. The prompt: Cooperation, still waiting patiently to be completed.

Oh, my lovelies, I tried and tried to get that one done. I started over at least three times. I let it sit for an hour and came back. Rinse and repeat.

I said I’d just post it late. I looked for inspiration with Googled definitions and YouTube videos (which, by the way, can be huh-LAR-ee-us). But, still, nope. Nuthin’.

And you know what happened?

NUTHIN’!!!

Not a thing. No one called me out or pestered me to get going. (Except me, for a while.) My other posts were not disqualified. I didn’t get an A- or a late fee or This is Your Final Notice.

I just didn’t finish one post out of the twenty. And look at me, all living to tell you about it.

Maybe I’ll just leave 2/20 in that draft pile. Not as a reminder of how I failed to follow-through, but as a reminder that I can let it go. With my own permission. Relief from a perfect record.

What an unexpected blessing.

 

Photo by Wesley Eland on Unsplash

4 comments

  1. It sounds like you’ve learned some great lessons! And I totally get having trouble giving yourself permission. I think we are often our own worst critics and it’s so hard to just let go when we don’t accomplish something on our long list of expectations for ourselves. I would totally keep the draft as a reminder that you can let go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I texted my husband *I’m not sure what to do with my time, now that the challenge is over” he answered “Finish the cooperation blog? (with a sinking emoji)”
      “Nope.” You are so right about leaving it right there unfinished.
      Thanks for the encouragement throughout the month… xoxox

      Like

  2. It was so great having you participate! And yes, the whole “online community of strangers (at first)” can be a little weird at times. But also good. 🙂

    I am often my own worst critic as well. I get annoyed when I don’t meet arbitrary deadlines I set for myself (even when those deadlines end up unrealistic). But it’s good to give yourself permission to skip a task, or move a deadline. There’s more than one way to improve yourself, to challenge yourself. It’s okay to learn that lesson as you move along.

    Liked by 1 person

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