All my lofty plans for world domination (aka consistently posting and engaging on my blog this year) fell apart this winter. In February. Not even two whole months into the new year.
The worst part?
I had the perfect plan
More than half of my content for January and Februray was already written. I had Buffer set up with all my social media shares, and I’d reached out to fellow bloggers, networked on Facebook groups, forced myself to participate in Twitter events, the works!
I even had back-up content in my queue for days that things didn’t go the way I needed them to.
And then life hit me with a steamroller. My landlord became the biggest jerk in the world, and I spent most of February talking to lawyers. Then I switched website hosting companies and ended up having to rebuild my entire site from scratch–Thank you, WordPress.
I peeled myself up the pavement, looked around, and I realized that even though I could still post all my awesome goal setting tips and how tos, I wasn’t going to be able to interact beyond the scheduled posts in my queue. My whole strategy was built on the idea of one-on-one interactions, so…
I kinda panicked.
You ever have a really great idea, do all your research, put all your initial work together way ahead of time, network like hell, and then get steamrolled at the last minute? The whole project falls apart and you’re left standing there with this look on your face like “Bwuh…? What do I do now?”
Or maybe you finally figured out what you wanted to with your life, got your act together, did a huge turnaround and then got slammed with an anvil out of the sky. I know about steamrollers and anvils. My whole life is been full of them. I’ve gotten pretty good at picking myself back up and starting over, but I wasn’t feeling it this time.
I was a great student who took pride in my intellect and school performance. Until trauma and mental illness ravaged my teen years and left my GPA in tatters.
I got married at 19. My husband kept me barricaded in our bedroom and refused to let me out of his sight, even to go to the bathroom. I got divorced and ended up in a homeless shelter.
In my 20s, I went to a community college and made the President’s List until my last term when an unexpected illness landed me in a hospital bed for three months. After that, my power wheelchair died, and my home state refused to pay for repairs. I was literally trapped in my home for six months. Back then, online learning was barely functional and none of the classes I needed were offered.
After THAT, the one class I needed for my degree requirements was not offered for a year. When it was offered again, it was only at a time when I would miss the last bus home.
During all of that, I was living in a tiny studio apartment with a bathroom floor that was so water-damaged my downstairs neighbor needed a bucket every time I took a shower. I spent 10 years fighting with that landlord over repairs and wheelchair accessibility. They tried to force me out by insisting on “housing inspections” every month.
After 10 years, I moved to what I thought was going to be a great little one-bedroom in a nicer part of town. It turned out that the management company was planning to renovate the building, and I ended up living in my bedroom while unfinished renovations dragged on. I’ve lived here for 7 years, and I’ve spend most of it with a broken bathroom sink, no living room, and kitchen appliances I can’t access due to ADA violations.
I made plans to go back to college for graphic design and spent a couple of years improving my photoshop skills and building a portfolio while I researched and tried to get the rest of my life in order. Then I severely injured both arms. I can still do a bit of digital art and design, but I’ll never be able to work full time as a designer.
So. Enter Evil Genius Consulting. This is the umpteenth detour on a long, well-paved road where steamrollers hold contests to see who can run me over the most. I’m in it for the long haul, and I don’t expect overnight success. I still want to have something to show for it. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy when my dumb landlord chose this particular time to amp-up the asshole routine.
I had all the stuff that was supposed to help manage stress and overwhelm.
- SMART Goals
- Time management
- More Lists.
- Social Media automation.
I was even more stressed.
Every time I had to take a day to manage the impending lawsuit, it threw my schedule off. Then I had to stop and put the schedule back together.
Buffer Queue ran down and I had to find more content for that.
While I was trying to build a website.
And work on my book.
And take a bunch of classes.
And, you know, eat. Sleep. Breathe.
With depression, PTSD, and physical disabilities that require a full-time job’s worth of hours to manage.
Things kept piling up while I got more and more overwhelmed. Finally I threw on the brakes and decided I’d had enough.
Of course, as soon as I did that, an anvil dropped out of the sky and flattened me again.
Oh, the management company is being audited? What? They’re going to inspect all the apartments? When? MONDAY MORNING?!
I got through the inspection with only one panic attack, but when it was over, the panic attacks didn’t stop. The last two weeks of February were a blur of panic and hyper-alert jumpiness.
Things did calm down, but once I was stable again, I had to figure out what to do with my blog. Could I pick up from where was and keep going? A lot of the content I had written was seasonally specific, and the rest was about a goal planning method that hadn’t actually worked out for me. So what was I going to do now?
I’d have to start over again, and the thought of doing that was overwhelming and exhausting. How many times could I go back to the drawing board? My whole blog is littered with features that I had started and burnt out on. Now had something that I enjoyed writing but my whole goal system was a bust!
Or was it?
I remembered my own advice from early January.
Don’t be afraid to start over if something isn’t working. Don’t keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different result. It’s okay to change your mind, change your goals, and go in a different direction. You just have to start, and you can start over anytime you want.
So, here I am, starting over, and I’m inviting you along. I’m not sure where we’re going yet, but I do know that I can keep going when the anvils drop and the steamrollers come through. I can show you how to do it too. Because that’s what I’ve done my whole life.
My blog plans may have been a bust this winter, but I’m still here and still writing. My serial is still moving along, because I know how to keep going on the rough days–or maybe I’m too damn stubborn to stop.
Either way. Do you need some help starting over? Are you just starting a blog and don’t know where you’re going? Click that subscribe button in the sidebar and join up with me.