THE BLOG: COMING TO AN END

Seeking Purpose

This past week I’ve been working on a new blog post about life without an air conditioner. Ours broke and needed to be completely replaced, and we went two months without. Needless to say, I had a lot to say about the whole experience.

However, last night, when I finished my rough draft and was starting to work on editing pictures, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Not because I was incapable. Not because what I had to say wasn’t important. But because I just wasn’t filled with any sense of joy or accomplishment from working on it…or any blog post for that matter.

For the past few months I’ve been questioning whether or not I should continue blogging. Basically, I’ve just been feeling like there’s a cloud over my head and a weight on my shoulders anytime I have to work on it. The weeks where I don’t have to blog feel really good, and the weeks where I do have to blog feel really awful.

As a new mom, I just want to savor this precious and fleeting time with my baby boy. But instead of savoring all of these moments, it feels like I’m just squandering them away. And for what purpose? Sure, I’ve accomplished a few blog posts since he’s been born. But what does that matter? Blogging shouldn’t put me in a bad mood…yet, recently it almost always does. I’ve definitely been overextending myself.

Not to mention, I’ve been looking forward to being a stay-at-home mom for a long time, and yet here I am…a stay-at-home mom devaluing the experience by overextending myself by working on a blog. All of which, I might add, is self-imposed. I don’t blog to make money. I don’t blog to satisfy the needs of anyone else. Instead, I blog because…because I started a blog? Hm.

Sunk Cost

Last night, when I just couldn’t bring myself to finishing my blog post, I finally told Damon how I was feeling and what I was thinking. Then I asked him what he thought I should do. He asked me: “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” And I said, “Not blogging.” (Right off the bat, great sign I should keep blogging, right? Ha!) Then he asked, “Is blogging getting you closer to where you want to be in five years, goal-wise?” And I thought about it, and said, “No.”

Because it’s not! (Gasp!) Blogging is not, and hardly ever was, a goal of mine. More on that in a second…

Damon continued our discussion by asking if I’d ever heard of the term, “sunk cost.” To which I replied, “Nope.” So we talked about it, and then I did some reading on the topic. And pretty much the whole time I was reading, I was just amazed how much it related to my blog problem.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, sunk cost is:

“The idea that a company is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do.” (Check, check, and check!)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I’ve blogged for as long as I have. I think I’ve put myself out there both personally and professionally. I’ve also made a lot of memories, used and developed a lot of skills, and made a lot of beautiful work because of it. And I’m proud of myself for having done so, because it’s definitely been a step in the right direction. But still – no more, I’m calling it for what it is…sunk cost.

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Back to the topic of goals…I started my blog, because I wanted to have a space to make my own. A space to pursue my personal and professional interests – art, design, and writing. The blogosphere just happened to be the best space for that, and once I figured that out, I wanted to to see if I could do it. 1) Could I design a website? 2) Could I manage my time wisely? and 3) Could I create content? These were my main personal goals.

As for my blog, the goals were: “to inspire and empower myself and other timid creatives to: 1) THINK creatively, 2) CREATE expressively, and 3) EXPRESS confidently.”

And guess what, I’m happy to say that after 13 months of blogging, and 45 blog posts later…I feel like I’ve met all of those goals! I know, I know…creating new blog related goals is always an option. I could restructure the blog, try to monetize the blog, etc. But why? I’m just not interested anymore.

Blogging is no longer getting me anywhere I want to go – personally, or professionally. In fact, it feels like it’s distracting me not only from my child and husband, but also from other areas I’m interested in pursuing. (There just aren’t enough hours in a day! And as I’m learning more and more each day, time is valuable. Why spend it on something I no longer have any desire to pursue?)

The only thing that’s been holding me back from leaving the blogosphere is fear that I might regret it and sadness that I’ll be leaving behind something that I’ve invested so much of myself and my time and energy into. Sound familiar? Sunk cost!

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I recently gave advice to someone else that exploring is a good thing, and that trying to force something to work out isn’t a good idea. And I think that’s really funny, because I just read somewhere that usually we give better advice to others than we do to ourselves. So, here I am, needing to be reminded exactly that – to just explore and enjoy the journey.

Like I’ve said, I’m choosing to view this experience as a sunk cost. It was a valuable and worthwhile endeavor. It was successful, and I am proud of what I accomplished. But most of all, I’m proud to say I’m doing what’s best for me…

Just like my reasoning behind leaving my personal social media accounts, I’m choosing to be happy, to spend my time wisely, and to focus my energy on the things that matter most in life:

My own well-being.
My amazing husband.
My oh-so adorable son.
And my WONDERFUL life.

I’m keeping it simple! I’m not making any plans other than to be the best person, wife, and stay-at-home mom that I can be. Likewise, at this time, I’m not declaring any professional endeavors that I’m interested in pursuing. I’m just going to take my time, explore my interests, and see where they take me. Maybe nowhere, maybe somewhere, or maybe right back here – who knows! I don’t, and it feels really refreshing and exciting, because I feel like I’ve always hung on for dear life to having plans or making plans. But not this time…this time it’s different. I’m different.

Letting Go & Moving On

In case you’re wanting to see where my new journey (or lack there of) takes me, don’t fret! I’d like to think that eventually, with more time and insight, I’ll be able to create something even more beautiful, meaningful and satisfying to back my brand – Hope Simmons Design. Therefore, I plan to continue using my business account on Instagram to post on a semi-regular basis about life, motherhood, and my artistic endeavors. So, if you’d like to follow along, and you haven’t already…you can find me @hopesimmonsdesign on Instagram.

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Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone for following along on my blogging journey! I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read my blog posts and view my art and design work. It truly means so much to me that you took the time out of your own lives to get to know me better both as a person and as a professional.

And I must say, I already feel better and think this might be one of the best decisions I’ll ever make. No regrets, no setbacks – just a new mom / young graphic designer trying to figure it all out. And what an interesting and worthwhile undertaking the HSD blog has been!

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