#throwbackTuesday

Greetings! Kind of in the mood for a #throwback Tuesday (why wait for Thursday, right?!) My world has been in the review stage recently — doing some introspection and future dreaming. Admittedly, feeling at a loss and trying to catch up.

Therefore, this post will be short and sweet. I’ve linked a bunch of previous posts, in hopes that you will review, along with me, some of the muses I have had in the past and maybe prompt you to suggest some follow ups. If you are new to the blog — welcome to the adventure! I welcome your feedback and want to partner with you in your faith journey as I muse about mine.

In case you were wondering, I group my blog posts into a few categories:

  • travel
  • things to do
  • technology/blog
  • pets/kids
  • inspiration
  • education
  • crafting
  • book reviews

Obviously, I don’t nail all of them regularly, but these are roughly what I write about. These are my life. I welcome you to share it.

Need a Niche?

Lost Socks… and How to Love Them

The Green Debate

They Say Elephants never Forget

Choices

One Woman’s Mid-Life Crisis

Well. It happened. Officially. The children have scattered in various directions screaming and ducking out of the way. The hubby is cowering with mouth a gape, unsure of what to say or do next. The world as we know it will never be the same: I have hit my mid-life crisis. Oh, you would never know it to look at me. Okay, I have filled out around the middle, have lots more grey hairs and a few more wrinkles, but people have already seen those changes and are used to them. And it’s not the biological clock that has stopped, either. The batteries are wearing down and it’s getting slower, but the hands still move in a perpetual motion. I am afraid to say it — But — It’s my mind. My brain has synapse overload; the old noggin has shorted out and fired neurons that should not be fired. I have hit the point in my life where

*sziwip* POP *sparks * and fizzle —

and then a wisp of smoke.

Toast.

I have come to the point where I am wondering: What happens next? Where do I go from here? What is to be had for the rest of my poor, pathetic life? This is the last week of school. The kids will be done for the summer and we will be flitting from place to place, soaking up the sun and enjoying time off. I have some things planned, and we are always busy. No, it’s not the day to day things I am talking about… there are always lots of those to do. It’s the big questions: What am I here for? What does God have planned for me next? Who? What? Where? Can I have chickens? You know, important stuff.

Tonight we watched our middle son walk across the platform at grade 8 graduation. Middle of the road. The geeky stage between elementary school and high school. His suit jacket was a bit too loose and his dress shoes just a bit too tight. His classmates a mix of blossoming adolescents … none quite there… yet. The valedictorian speech was full of hope and promise…of journeys made and travels still to come. Oh, what little you know in junior high! And now? Me in the middle of life. Caught between aging kids and aging parents. Careers established but you can’t retire just yet. Dreams have been sought after — only to find that reality bites.

I’m even having trouble with mittonmusings. I have been reviewing “YouTubers” and popular “vloggers”… should I start videos?! Our life isn’t sensational enough… and yet so many videos go viral and are deemed “successful” simply by documenting their cats sleeping… or dogs eating broccoli. I look at top google searches and try and understand algorithms and analytics… and what’s up with advertising?! Should I be aiming at being the next top influencer for 2020? Shall I do “unboxings”? Of what?! Muscle ache creams? My monthly subscriptions of granny square crochet shawl patterns? (Which wouldn’t be bad, actually…who wants to sponsor me?). Oh no, my friends, Blogging is not for the faint of heart.

(Photos by superrgb and curology via unsplash)

Am I the only one who wants to sell everything I own and move to the country to raise chickens?! Am I the only one who is considering a purple streak in my hair to just be wild and crazy? (oh poor introvert me… to indulge in such revelries…) Sometimes I wish I had a bit more gumption, a bit more chutzpah, a bit more throw it to the wind and see where it takes me. But alas, I too, will have to simply climb the next rung in life’s ladder. Fold the next load of dirty laundry and paint the deck this summer just like everyone else.

Photo by Aaron Burden, unsplash

I used to laugh at King David, the writer of the Psalms. He always seemed a bit “up and down” shall we say? One psalm is full of praise, worship and green pastures…. the next is woe to me, Oh Lord, please smite my enemies. Such drama. Or maybe David was simply having a mid-life crisis, too! I think this is why so many turn to the Psalms when we hit those bumps in life… misery loves company. We are comforted by the fact that David, the messed up guy who often let his emotions get the better of him, was still considered the man after God’s own heart. The creator of the world, created mid-life too. He welcomes our questions — even the big ones. He sees the future even when we feel like ours is pointless. I’m still praying that He will give me a little boost in the right direction and re-connect my fried brain. I’ll keep you posted on it. And maybe, just maybe, show off that YouTube video of me in the beauty salon getting that streak of purple in my hair.

How to Network (Even if it Scares You!)

One thing I have discovered since starting mittonmusings, is that blogging is really all about connections and networking. And I am painfully bad at it! As a self proclaimed wallflower and hopeless introvert, actually talking to people is brutally tough! I smile and nod politely, in great hopes that you might talk to me initially… but heaven forbid I make the first move! Very few of “my people” would even know that I blog… except for random posts on social media.

So, I scanned a few resources to see what the experts say about networking. Why do we put ourselves out there, out of our comfort zones, to connect and make ourselves known? Sometimes it is to improve our positions… perhaps a new job or a better rank within a current job. Our eldest has just started to tackle this daunting task… and we are trying to encourage her that employers don’t come knocking at your door — you must go to them and prove that you are worthy of their hiring. Yes, I agree, it is not easy!

Other times it is to make connections. If you have a passion for art or music, you tend to gravitate towards like-minded people who share your passion. Perhaps, it is to learn more about something you are interested in. The hubby and I attended “Seedy Sunday” at Evergreen Brickworks this past weekend… the intent was to learn more about gardening (another adventure I am hoping to tackle this spring), but I ended up chatting with a fibre artist about alpaca wool. Should I mention that the hubby wandered off and got coffee at this point? But put him in a room with small talkers who love world events… and it’s me who searches out the family cat.

I’m learning. I joined two online blogging groups — and have made some connections. I have had to be vulnerable and ask for help when needed… and, by golly, it works sometimes! Part of the reasoning for this post was to convince myself that I should attend a real, live, blogging networking event. It will be good to go — but I am petrified. It’s one thing to post on Instagram — it’s another to actually be there in the flesh and tell people what you blog about. Especially, in my case.

#Jesusbloggers, or people who have faith based blogs, have created a very narrow niche for themselves. It’s controversial. It’s limiting. Many businesses and affiliates don’t want you mentioning the whole God thing. No one wants you to guest post about “religion” — stick to just the craft or product, okay? (which — actually — I am cool about — just not something I choose to do here). I’ve also found it frustrating that many faith based bloggers are a little too flowery for me. All southern belle, hugs and kumbaya. Others have a significant story to tell — a miraculous event, or traumatic experience that illustrates their faith so beautifully. People read those stories.

I’m just a regular ol’ mom who happens to love Jesus. I started the blog to learn some technology, and it has blossomed into a unique way to share my faith. Networking, like sharing the gospel, is simply telling your story. My faith happens to be a part of my story… and so I am learning to tell a story that is so much bigger than my own. It’s God’s.

The experts say there are some key tips to follow when you network:

Smile. Okay. I can do that. I am putting on my southern belle smile. Here’s your ice cold lemonade. Come sit on the porch awhile, whilst I tell ya’ll about what I been musing about lately….

Prepare. I promise to continue to post weekly. I’m committed to sharing how my faith and my everyday life continue to coincide. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t have all the answers, but if you follow along on this adventure, I will seek to shed some light on this dark world as I give you glimpses of how God continues to work in our lives… perhaps not in big , miraculous events… but in the everyday. I hope to have another online course fully prepared for launch this summer!

Challenge yourself. Alright. I am boldly going to put myself out there… I will attend the live network (and pray hard I find another Jesusblogger hidden among the wallflowers!). I’m going to follow up on some leads for guest posts and re-connect with a few others. I continue to learn more about the technical side of this blogging thing…look for my upgrades!

So, my friends, here’s where you can help! If you have just joined me, and liked this post… would you consider following along in the adventure? Click here and you’ll get a weekly email. Already a follower? Want to share a post? Click on the title of your favourite post on the blog page… that gives you the “link”…then you can copy and paste the link to an email, your favourite social media account, or your own blog! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of being the next internet sensation, but I have learned that “clicks”, “followers”, “shares” and “forwarding” is the way that the internet says your story is worth sharing. I’m hoping mine is.

Haha!! We, my new friend, have just networked!