It’s a brand new day for me. Today I established a game plan. A bonafide, distraction-free, high productivity game plan.
You see, I’m a sucker for slacking. In an effort to counteract that character flaw, I have made sure to rid my home of the most common time suck triggers – cable, junk food, and Facebook. I didn’t, however, account for the amount of time spent at my boyfriend’s place where unlimited cable (for real – all channels of insanity included) and junk food go to party. Seriously! His fridge/freezer has more convenience foods than a 7-11. Lucky for me I don’t eat meat so half of those culinary delights are out of the realm of possibility. But the other half? The other half calls to me like Sirens trying to shipwreck my diet and energy levels in turn making me a true couch potato as the cable has anticipated. I’m pretty sure the cable box and fridge are in cahoots.
Well, not today, my evil friends. Today I pulled the escape hatch and biked my way to the nearest safety zone. The Switzerland to the productive life I want and the lazy life that wants to consume me.
The library. My new home away from his home. I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to come to this aha moment but I am sure glad I did. I needed to get out. I needed a space of my own to write. I needed a distraction-free zone to unleash my brains potential. Making this single move to my new location has opened up my mind to what is really going on here – why the distractions are overwhelming my better self.
Clearing out the Cobwebs…
I have been über unproductive this past week. First I blamed it on my travels…5 days in D.C. with your 93-year-old grandmother can take a lot out of you. Then it was the weekend wedding and work. Next, I blamed it on my blog…switching Blogger to WordPress has been more difficult than I had originally intended despite my doing plenty of research beforehand. The confusion and frustration of launching my new site got me into a bad head space that left me wanting to quit and give up like never before. But, come on, man – that’s silly! No one is counting on me to perform so there should be no disappointment when I am not able to…
Why have I put pressure on myself to operate at a peak level when I am doing something I am not an expert at?
I have a friend who graciously reminds me to be kind to myself. What happened to giving myself the benefit of the doubt? A learning curve? A chance to fail before I succeed? I always knew I was a tough critic…but, when did I learn to defeat myself? Her words went through my brain as I took a step back from the edge to take a look around. I am writing for myself. I am writing to encourage others on their path to financial freedom. I am writing because I LOVE to write! Not because I HAVE to write. Breath, girl, breath. I took a minute to be kind to myself, and in that moment, I decided to give myself a break.
I mentioned before that, prior to Miss Mazuma, I ran a home improvement blog. I began said blog in December of 2010. 6 years is an eternity for the blogging world and the changes that have been made to the community since then are immeasurable.
When I started LBR everything came easily to me. I had never done it before. I didn’t beat myself up when I had to learn something for the first time – it was ALL new to me. Coding and HTML…words and phrases I had never heard before quickly became a second language. I quickly developed an online community of friends and fellow bloggers and what I didn’t understand I could ask any of them…they would help me and vice versa. It was love at first blog. But in the 3 years since I last wrote – something changed. Doubt in my abilities crept in.
Miss Mazuma is my new home and, as with every new home, there is a break in period (and coding I have to relearn). It doesn’t smell right. There are strange noises in the attic (most likely my many half-written posts bouncing around in my head). I don’t yet feel comfortable walking around naked…the neighbors might see (or maybe I’ll be too vulnerable for my new community?). When will I be comfortable letting my freak flag fly??
I realize I have to start at the beginning. There are so many factors that go into making a house a home. The structure itself is important but so is the landscaping! Curb appeal can add up to 25% value to a home – that’s HUGE! My curb appeal at Blogger was lacking. I knew that. Switching to WP was a big decision not only financially (every penny counts!) but also time wise. The switch took me a few days to achieve and getting to know WP will take even longer. The frustration almost derailed me. But I took that breath and pressed on. I know that the switch will be a positive one once I have a chance to settle in and learn the ropes. Patience takes patience. 😉
Meeting the neighbors is another huge factor. When my ex-husband and I were looking for our house, meeting the neighbor at our initial showing helped to seal the deal. Well – I was already sold as it was my dream home, but my ex needed a bit of convincing to take on a 60-year-old outdated ranch. Speaking with the neighbor, and learning first hand who we would be sharing the hood with, really helped to make that important decision. Here, in the blogging world, I am lucky that my neighbors all ROCK!! The personal finance community is extremely diverse. We have engineers (why so many??), stay at home parents/entrepreneurs, rock stars, lawyers, students, and flight attendants (me)! We come from all over the world and from every type of background. Despite all of those differences, we are all traveling the on the same road to financial independence. Some have reached their destination, some are just beginning, and many of us are somewhere in between. We may take different routes and have interesting diversions along the way but, with this community in tow, the path will be easier to navigate.
I have been “meeting” my neighbors through their own blogs for the past few years. It started with JD Roth’s Get Rich Slowly which lead me to Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant at Afford Anything, and J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy. In the past year, I have met many many more cool kids on the block and look forward to meeting everyone in person eventually (FinCon 2017??). Knowing my neighbors has made me feel more comfortable putting myself out here. Blogging about my home improvements and recipes came easy to me – but never before would I imagine to put my net worth up for the world to see. Talking about money in PUBLIC? For shame! What would the elders say?! Well, most likely nothing, as I pen this under a pseudonym they are not likely to connect me to. Miss Mazuma? What the heck does that mean? We aren’t even Jewish!
But I digress, moving into my new house has been a process. Miss Mazuma will soon become a home. I am slowly unpacking and making it cozy. The furniture has been arranged and rearranged. There is finally a few staples in the pantry and a box of wine now sits perched on top of the fridge. I am learning to navigate the hallways in the dark when I wake to pee at 2am. Things are looking up!
With my new Switzerland nearby, my productivity will hopefully soar. I feel good about my new office and can’t wait to see what comes of it. Thank you, neighbors, for hearing me out and supporting me in my journey. If you ever need a cup of sugar, mine is the house with the dog out front.