Gratitude: Day 1 | What Made Me Smile Today

What made you smile today….

Today is the first of November. I love the first of November. The day after Halloween is a hugely exciting day for me. What, you may ask, is so special about the 306th day of the year 2016? For me that answer can be summed up in 2 little words.

Christmas. Music.

Gratitude: Day 1 | What Made Me Smile Today

The Halloween season for me is always built up more in my head than in reality. I always get bizarrely excited for it, the costumes, the parties, the seasonal appreciation of all things spooky. Then the day comes, and I don’t do anything. I don’t remember the last time I actually celebrated Halloween in any way. I suppose you could say this is true for most, if not all, holidays. The excitement is usually more in my head but with Christmas it’s different.

I honestly cannot remember what it felt like the last time I was really, truly in the Christmas spirit. I can tell you the year was 2007, but I don’t remember it. I only remember the year because I know 2008 was the first year I remember the feeling missing, and I remember that I had taken note of it at the time. But with Christmas there’s always the hope of the spark of Christmas magic coming back. There are moments when I can feel it, just on the edges. Almost like, I’m in a bubble and the magic of the season is swarming, thickly around me, but it just can’t touch me. I’m aware of it’s presence but I can’t feel it. Every year there is the hope that this is the year, this time the bubble will pop and I will be flooded with the magic of Christmas once again.

I know, this sounds depressing, but honestly, it is exactly that depressing (lol). Just kidding, I mean, yeah it’s depressing to go year after year hoping this time it will be different, but in some ways the memories are almost just as good. I remember the joy of being a child. I remember family. I remember snow days, and coco, and baking cookies with my mom. There were so many moments that stand out in my mind as possibly the happiest time of my life, and almost all of them involve the holidays.

Yesterday, after leaving work, I came home and watched Hocus Pocus (actually, I watched twice to make up for the fact that I hadn’t watched it at all this month leading up to Halloween). I went to sleep in a remarkably good mood, and when I woke up….

CHRISTMAS MUSIC!

Christmas music makes me happy. I can’t start it before Halloween, believe me I’ve tried, but once we hit November I’m golden. I love the classics, another connection to happy times. Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Patsy and Elmo, these are my happy sounds for the next 60 or so days (yeah, I listen to Christmas music until New Year’s, don’t judge me). Starting it up this morning on my commute set the tone for one of the best days I’ve had at work in months. I smiled the whole day, I laughed, I joked with co-workers, and I started to dream and hope for the moment my Christmas spirit of old would return. Maybe this year.

Reboot. Hitting a Hard Reset on My Blog, and (not) Finding My Niche

Since starting this blog I have scrolled through hundreds of blogs and articles on how to make your blog a success. I’ve installed all the right plug-ins, I’ve followed all the SEO specifications, I’ve created all the social media accounts, and I’ve made sure all my posts met the “standards” of a good, quality blog.

I hate all of it.

It’s not me. I’ve been struggling to “find my niche” (like I’m supposed to, so I can find my target audience, and up my readership, blah, blah). I know it’s obvious that I’m a lifestyle blogger, but even then I’m supposed to fit into a neat little sub-category, and I just don’t. Apparently, I’m supposed to have something of value to offer, a lesson to teach, or legit material product to offer, but I don’t.

Reboot | Hitting a Hard Reset on My Blog, and (not) Finding My Niche | misshapenjourney.com

See, the thing is, I don’t have clue what I’m doing. Not just with blogging but with life in general. I’ve spent the last decade working towards one goal. I always just assumed that if I worked hard, and stayed focused on the target with enough time and patience I would get what I wanted from life. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? That’s not how it worked.

In the last 18 months I’ve completely changed focus, or more like lost focus, but that doesn’t sound right. Actually, neither really sound right. I haven’t changed focus because I didn’t replace the old focus with something new or different. I didn’t lose focus because it wasn’t an accident, I didn’t just lose direction or get side tracked. I deliberately stopped working towards a specific goal and I have no idea where I’m going from here.

So, now I’m a blogger who has apparently broken the cardinal rule of blogging, I have nothing to offer my readers. Well, you know, aside from my wit and overwhelming charm. Now the question is, why should you read me?

And the answer is…I have no idea.

I would read me, I definitely recommend me, but if you are looking for me to offer you life changing advice, or great tips and pointers on saving money, budgeting, traveling, parenting or even crafting, you are on the wrong blog. That’s not to say that any or all of the above won’t make a guest appearance now or then, it’s very likely they might (except parenting, I don’t do that), but none of that will be the main focus of what I write. I don’t yet have a focus, and I’m not altogether sure that I ever will.

For now, in an effort to be honest with myself and my blog, I’m starting over. I deactivated my SEO plugin, I’ve removed the offending posts (which was all of them) and I’m starting from scratch. My goal for the moment is to just be honest, not try to meet any specific standards, just write authentically and “find my voice”. 

I’m a work in progress, and therefore, so is my blog. These are uncharted waters for me. All I can do is take it a day at a time and a blog at a time, and hope for the best.

Wish me luck.