In Search of the Wagon

Hey, lovelies.

Happy new year!

It feels weird, but REALLY good, to be writing this, after falling off that wagon three weeks ago and then skulking around the wagon trail pretending I might get back on at any moment but knowing in my heart that I’d never make it up into the jockey box with a heavy rucksack weighing me down.

The rucksack, if you haven’t guessed already, is “100 Happy Days.”

I love the idea of sharing images of the things – usually simple and ordinary – that give you a smile or a thrill in a day. I have loved seeing the things that my friends have posted as their photos for 100 Happy Days. But as of this writing, the last happy day I ostensibly had was Day 39, twenty-four days ago.

Which is part of why it’s taken me so long to get typing. It’s kinda embarrassing. I never would have pictured myself as someone who couldn’t hack one happy picture per day for three months… One of those quitters they talk about on the 100 Happy Days website who just can’t find the time to log my happiness.

Though, to be honest, the attitude on that website bugs me. The idea that the people who didn’t complete the challenge “didn’t have time to be happy” is inappropriately smug, and also, I suspect, bullsh*t.

It wasn’t true in my case. I have always been a person who deliberately savours things and moments and images. Sometimes you want to take a picture, and sometimes you want to just enjoy. Sometimes you’re smiling because of words or fragrances or endorphins that are not photographable. And sometimes you look at the curve of your child’s cheek and know you could take a thousand pictures and still never capture the bliss of it.

A few things I realized while NOT blogging:

  • An early setback really takes the wind out of the sails. I mean, duh, of course it does. But the thing about me is, the longer I work at something, the more stubborn I get about finishing. If I could have used my initial momentum to get the first thirty days legitimately done, then I would probably have kicked into stubborn mode and made it a lot further. But with my technical difficulties early on, and being behind before I really got started, the momentum and inspiration just ebbed away. Sigh.
  • It’s confirmed: I don’t blog to post. I blog to write. If I’m not carefully selecting and kneading and relishing the words, at least to some extent, then I’m not invested. While I love seeing other bloggers’ photos and photo-based posts, posting photos myself does not motivate me. (Clearly.)
  • Those seemingly simple photo posts took up just enough time each day that I never felt I could spare more for the wordier posts I wanted to write.
  • All those pent-up words I wasn’t writing were getting very antsy in my brain.
  • The longer I spent not writing or posting at all, the more upsetting it was to remind myself of my neglected blog. Where would I even start, after disappointing myself so, and subconsciously saying “screw it” to the whole process?

Well, that’s what the New Year is for.

Here’s my plan. For those of you who would like to see the happy photos I continued to take even though I wasn’t posting them, I will back-publish them in chunks. When I have time.

And just to appease the (large, insistent) part of me that hates quitting, I will say that my 100 Happy Days can happen whenever. I will post a happy photo and add it to the list when it makes sense to do so. My 100 days might take all year; so be it.

To you lovely di-hards who nudged me, letting me know you missed my posts, thank you. It means a lot to me that you noticed and cared.

And to you lovely di-hards who noticed and cared but didn’t mention it, thank you also – I appreciate that too. Since the person who nags me the most about this compulsive hobby is actually me.

To sum up: it’s 2015. This year it’s all gonna happen. Time to get over myself, stop being annoyed/guilty/self-critical and be awesome instead.

Want to join me?

Here's my representation of the awesomeness about to start (i.e. Dilovely is messing around with Procreate).
Here’s my representation of the awesomeness about to start (i.e. Dilovely is messing around with Procreate). My next artistic attempt will be greener.

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13 thoughts on “In Search of the Wagon

  1. I always get behind on what I mean to post, so I completely understand. You know the other thing I get behind on? Reading the emails that say “Dilovely posted….” so I didn’t realize that you had fallen off the blogging wagon, because I had fallen off the email wagon. I think it’s artificial to try to be happy for just 100 days all in a row. What if someone you really cared about had died during those 100 days and all you wanted to do was not be happy that day? Why pressure yourself? Share the joy when you’re moved to share the joy in the manner that you’re moved. It’s much more joyful that way, I think. Happy and joyful 2015, Dilovely!
    Helen recently posted..Nog for All!My Profile

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Yes! I’m not awesome at the email wagon these days either. At all. (Even so… does your blog have email subscription, by the way?) Happy and joyful 2015 to you and yours too, Helen!

  2. berty says:

    Happy New Year, Dilovely! Dilove you! (Or should I say you are Beloved?)

    I have an idea. Can readers help you with the Happy Days project? I know it’s your blog (and if I want a blog, I should write one my dam’ self), but could we post pictures of happy things that involved you? I know that during the holiday season, there were many fun Di-events with lots of pictures taken… I guess it would take the curation aspect away from you, but it could be a funsplosion of your community of readers giving back. Thoughts?

    <3 <4 <5

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Hey, that’s a cool idea! It’s true that there were many happy pics that other people took that I wish I had in my files or posts… My babies in moustaches, for instance. It’s just the logistics of the posts I’d have to figure out.

      Beloved, hee hee! You are Diloved.

  3. Mama says:

    …and also, too, plus: If you’re having a REALLY happy day, you might not have time to photograph and post!

    This artificial challenge (artificial in the sense that it has no logical basis as a thing to accomplish) reminds me of NaNoWriMo. I know the idea behind National Novel Writing Month is to force yourself to sit and write each day enough to complete a novel in 30 days, AND that November is a sort of nothin’ month in which you might as well be writing, right? But in fact November is far from a nothin’ month for me. There are at least two major meetings I have work to do for around then, plus the kinds of tasks one does to shut down the warm-weather things in a country place. So I can never find a way to sit down and write every day, thus I get behind a bit, thus I get behinder as I try to figure out how to make up the missed days, and so on into the depths. I think the best approach is probably to set up one’s own challenge and NOTE IT and COMMIT TO IT in a particular way, such as a deal with a friend who wants to do something similar, or a written vow stuck on the mirror you look in every day, or a FB post. Not that I’ve done any of these! But I’ve thought about it a lot! Does that count? Um, no.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Yes, figuring out your own challenge that works for you is key, I think. AND finding someone to whom you can be accountable, too. I find being accountable to myself is rarely enough, especially these days when I feel like I’m accountable for so many others.

      Here’s my question: how did you ever manage to write a novel when you had little kids? (I’m pretty sure you actually wrote more than one, no?) Such accomplishments should not be forgotten when one is being hard on oneself.

  4. Krista says:

    I say if the challenge or the format or the whatever doesn’t make you happy, then make it fit you (as you are doing). I did my 100 happy days as FB status updates and while some of them had photos (especially when I was on vacation), most did not. I was not enamoured of THAT “requirement” because so much of what made me happy was not photographable. Some things were moments where I didn’t have my phone (aka camera), some were not things I would post on FB (e.g., pictures of other people’s kids, my students, etc.) for privacy reasons, some were just intangibles and, quite frankly, some of my 100 days found me, late at night, wracking my brain for something, ANYTHING, that qualified as happy-making. That said, I really enjoyed the overall challenge and I hope that you do too, when you make it fit you. 🙂

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      YES, exactly. Intangibles, and non-photographable. And you want it to be worth sharing, too. I mean, there are many everyday things that make me happy in an ordinary way… but then wouldn’t I just have lots of pics of coffee and my yoga pants?

  5. OK, so I had to hunt through my settings to figure this out. Apparently, if you are logged out of WordPress, and you go to my blog, you’ll see a small “follow” button in the bottom right corner. If you click on that, you can type in your email address and you’ll get my postings via email. I imagine there may be a way to enable email following to people who are logged in, but I don’t know what it is. How did you do it?
    Helen recently posted..Nog for All!My Profile

  6. emerge says:

    I can SO relate to that rucksack. (I have so many of them!)

    And those people on that website… well, there are many things I COULD say about them. But what I WILL say is that I’m sorry if their 100 days of Happiness didn’t not make them into actually happier people, which if they were would mean they didn’t have to use their cute idea as a club to bludgeon people who didn’t do the cute idea exactly the way they wanted them to. I mean, jeez Lloyd, do they not have better things to do than complain (like I am not doing right now) about other people’s externally visible levels of social-media-based happiness? It’s a nice idea to get creative juices flowing – until it stops being nice.

    But yeah. You totally articulated what I wasn’t aware I was thinking when you said that you blog to WRITE, not to post. I think that’s what’s always bothered me about those “How to Blog Your Way to Millionairedom” things, where the emphasis is always on strategies for posting often and shoving your posts in people’s faces. That’s not necessarily what having a blog is about. And I have loved seeing your brief photo posts, and think they’re valuable as what they are, but I would hate to trade off your lovely writey personalityfilled wordy posts for a future of only frequent quick things. No judgment on people who do those and like those, but that’s what they do, not what everyone has to do.

    I also love your rainbow feather-cave. LOVE IT. Can I have my 25 minutes to make one??

    I want to join you!!

    <3 Emas

    (Elove just doesn't have the ring.)

  7. Mama says:

    Four, actually. Novels. (As well as kids.) One strategy was to hire paid help one afternoon a week for 3 hours to watch the kids while I wrote: putting out actual cash for the opportunity to write made me very focused about getting the writing done! And I did it by hand, with pencil, on paper — no Facebook or e-mail or Free Cell game to distract me. But I still sometimes wonder how I did it — I have so much less demanding my time these days and I have been working on the same book for about 3 years and am not yet finished!

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