why being “a lifestyle expert” is stupid

I’m having a moment.

It’s one of those moments for me where it’s me, this laptop, a glass of wine and thoughts. So many thoughts. On this post I’ll be a real blogger – the O.G. kind (that’s original gangsta’ for those of you who don’t know.) The type of blogger who writes about their thoughts, or life happenings rather than dish out outfit pictures or home inspiration images that may leave you feeling less than.

Here’s the thing. None of us are immune to feeling like our life is a mess or less than. Me especially. When you blog and call it a “lifestyle blog” the expectation is sky high. Martha Stewart sky high. And you can see how it wound up for Martha – prison. Just throwing that out there. I get called “a lifestyle expert” which, pardon my French, is complete bulls&!t.

Truth? I’m struggling with whether I want to blog. And if I do continue, what I want from it. I go through this every six months or so. Blogging takes time. Like, real legit time. I work at this at least 30 hours a week. It takes money to pay for photographers, money for software programs to handle Search Engine Optimization, programs to help me edit and on and on it goes. It’s a time sucker, which I’m good with as long as it brings me fulfillment.

I’m a competitive person (can you tell? ha.) So sometimes the line gets blurred between fulfillment and darn it I must do this blog thing well or die trying. Healthy? Not so much.

My stomach is in knots and I feel nauseous. I actually take medication for anxiety. If you coax me enough in my comments I may actually share more about my issues with stress. I am an awful sleeper and have to work really hard to keep myself from losing it out of want to do better, be better, do more, give more, and then collapse because I didn’t do any of it as well as I expect of myself.

Sometimes I feel it’s all a sham. Sometimes I feel like “why?” for who am I doing all of this for? My neighborhood? My kids? My husband? For the internet? For companies? For who? I feel like I’m doing it for everyone, and not well.

If you feel like this, know you’re not alone.

Last week I took two days to organize my closets after giving a tour of my home to a friend. Why? Because the second I opened every closet you had to jump back because every one was stuffed so full it came spilling out. Why? Because I was so busy being a “lifestyle expert” that I had no time actually have a lifestyle.

That same week God entered and gave me more reason to hit “pause” on blogging for a nanosecond.

I hired a new interior designer recently. Her name is Abby (she’s fabulous and if you live in Atlanta you need to look her up.) When she came over last week she brought with her this book. I picked it up and have read over 1/4 of it and ever since have had so many thoughts go through my head. It’s a book all A-Type personalities should have. Maybe even on audiobook as we sit in traffic trying not to cry over what we didn’t get done, or rock ourselves to sleep at night thinking of where we failed that day.

I love this book. It’s eye opening, it’s soul searching and it’s calming all at once. I read it at 5am the other day for five minutes just to calm myself so that I could go back to sleep for 30 more minutes.

Today my son’s had their last baseball game, my daughter quietly enjoyed a book and I threw a dear friend a baby shower. It was a beautiful day. But guess what happened to me when it was over? I had a moment of “Shoot. I didn’t put any of this on Instagram.” Which then lead me to “I haven’t written back all these amazing people who comment on my photos” and on and on went the spiral of anxiety.

What good is fulfillment of a blog if it leaves you feeling less than?

Here’s the kicker. My sister texted me asking if I had sent my nephew his birthday present. I hadn’t. I felt awful. I’ve been so damn busy being “a lifestyle expert” that I didn’t even send my sweet nephew a birthday gift.

So guys. I have no pretty ending to this post other than to say – we all struggle to keep up. We all struggle to be better than we are. And when we do better, we compare and think it’s not enough. Not only that but so much of the “noise” can make us lose sight of actually living.

Tonight I’m going to post this blog, take ten deep breaths (likely into a paper bag) and remember that living slowly and conciously may not come easy to me. But taking every small step I can, even if it’s not posting an Instagram picture which seems stupid to you but important to me, is a step in the right direction.

Baby steps. My goal is to put my focus on actually have a lifestyle I can genuinely claim as my own. And maybe even say I’m an expert at. Because after all, mastering your own anxiety, own life, own happiness, own goals is truly one of the hardest thing a person can ever do. And working towards achieving that will earn you the title of “Lifestyle Expert.”

Goodnight, dear friends. Thank you, as always, for reading. Now buy this book. You won’t regret it 🙂

 

Like this rant? You’ll love reading about my journey through depression. It’s a super uplifting one, hahah!

 

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mme P
    October 28, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    If you need to hit the pause button… for yourself and your family – then DO IT!! It’s okay! You have permission! Life has many waves and storms but your wellness, babies, husband, and precious family come first! We will still love you and will be here if you decide the timing is right! IF you are not sleeping- it’s all too much … it’s time to circle your wagons and take some time for yourself!! Reboot and refresh!

  2. Avatar
    Marley
    October 28, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Kelly- Thank you for sharing. Your blog is be-au-ti-ful! I can see you have a great “eye” for photographs and images. If you enjoy pretty images etc., why not blog with your own pictures and once in a while have your husband or a friend snap a few outfit posts. You are right, when it feels like work and isn’t organic or feels “pushed” it is time to hit pause. Ironically I am in the process of setting up a new blog and template and it is not an easy task for this right-brained creative. I started it out a love for design and home. I really need to monetize a bit to help our financial situation, but am not putting pressure on myself and will let it organically evolve. I am a SAHM to twins as well (prior teacher) and wanted to share my take on design and “using what your have” to make a beautiful home. I’ll get there, but I want to be present for my now teens who will be off to college sooner than later…yikes!!!! I am not Type A, but do have major anxiety issues as well (so do my kiddos) and probably should be on meds! It is actually paralyzing some days, so I can relate. All that to say just do what makes you happy. I am sure you can find a balance with your blog. Maybe scale it down, restructure, reorganize. Much luck to you and know you are not alone. Everyone is fighting a battle Mama! Be well xo

  3. Avatar October 28, 2017 / 11:34 pm

    I love that you are opening up about this because I feel like hear this from MANY friends and by opening up about it, you helping them to not feel so alone!

    Every moment of today’s baby shower was pure perfection and I am so greatful to have you in my life! I hope you find the balance you are looking for, I know it’s tough but enjoy the journey for what it is– even the journey of trying to find balance. It’s just a season of life. Sending all my love!

    P.S. you write so beautifully!!

  4. Avatar
    Renee W
    October 28, 2017 / 11:46 pm

    When I was about your age, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. My daughter was very young and to say that I was scared SHITLESS is an understatement!!!

    But that experience taught me very important lessons. One of which was to slow down, breathe and enjoy life.

    I’m assuming your husband makes a great deal of money with his career so it’s not imperative that you work the 30 hours of blogging. However, if you feel the need to “do something” why not volunteer at a charity of your choice?

    After I got through with my cancer ordeal, I volunteered to help ladies that had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. They were about to go through the same procedure I had done which was a relatively new procedure at that time. My general surgeon and my plastic reconstruction surgeon would try to explain the procedure to the ladies but I could explain it much better (in easy to understand non medical language.) I would give them a list of things they needed to bring that would help them immediately after surgery and in the coming weeks and months ahead. Heck, I even raised my shirt and showed them my new boobs (which by the way are magnificent ?) I was only the third lady in my area to have gone through this new procedure. One of the other two ladies had moved to another state and the other one was out of town because it was during the Christmas holidays when I had my surgery. So I wish would have had someone to talk to and I definitely wanted to see what the end result would be. I gave the ladies my phone number and told them to call me anytime if they got scared, panicked or just needed to cry.

    I would go see them before their surgery and I would visit them in the hospital. I would take them inexpensive grocery store flowers, make them baskets of goodies or bring them books that by their favorite authors or books that I thought they might enjoy.
    We would stay in touch after their procedures and we would all go to lunch together. Sadly, some of the ladies did not make it through the ordeal which made us survivors all the more grateful to be alive.

    I never got paid a dime for what I did but it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

    I hope you find what makes you happy. You are beautiful lady with amazing talents. Do not wait until a life changing event happens to change your life. Please take care of YOU ❤️

  5. Avatar October 29, 2017 / 1:59 am

    You have such a beautiful soul, my friend! I think we ALL feel this way at least sometimes. I question my blogging too. But you’re killing it and the internets would be a sad place without you. Take a break if you need one but most importantly, give yourself some grace. You deserve it.

  6. Avatar
    Jackie B
    October 29, 2017 / 6:48 am

    One of my favorite books. By far one of my favorite blogs.

    • Kelly
      Kelly
      Author
      November 6, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Thank you, my dear!!!!!

  7. Avatar
    Jen Z
    October 29, 2017 / 7:28 am

    ❤️ I think you are amazing. As is. No caveats necessary.

    • Kelly
      Kelly
      Author
      November 6, 2017 / 4:04 pm

      So sweet. Thank you, friend!

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