Blog Archives

Moving Forward and Moving On

I almost quit blogging this week.

I know, I know. It makes no sense. Especially when I wax poetic about how amazing blogging is and how much I luuuuurve it.

I do still lurve it, but I’ll admit that blogging comes with a little more baggage these days. For one, even though my days are mostly free to do what I like, I’m still a sick person who needs to spend a lot of time resting in bed. Even doing something like typing at a laptop requires energy I don’t have. When I do have energy, I don’t always want to use it all on my computer.

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There’s also the chemo brain thing. My cognitive function is not what it used to be thanks to a combination of the whole cancer trauma and the heavy drugs I’m on. My family says they can’t tell I’m struggling, but I am. I only retain about half the information I’m told, and relaying my own information feels like a never-ending search for the right words in my mental dictionary. This translates into blogging as well. There are a lot of things I want to say, but feel like I’m not saying them how I want to. I’m not sure if my points are coming across the right way, or if I’m being as entertaining as I’d like to be. It’s frustrating.

Most of all however, blogging is overwhelming. Not always in a good way. Before I had no problem with being so public about my life because there was nothing I felt I really needed to protect. But dealing with an illness under a microscope is hard. I’m handling my situation the best way I know how, but being so vulnerable in front of so many people can be trying. I find I crave a lot more privacy now. Being sick can change a lot things.

After coming to the realization this week that it was time I started moving forward with cancer being a part of my life, I thought it might be a good idea to reevaluate where my blog falls into my new life. I already had a post written out in my head about taking an indefinite break. But I decided to sit on it and wait for the emotions to pass. Sure enough, I’ve come through to the other side and realized I was needlessly panicking about some things. I spent part of the day yesterday talking about my blog and realized how big a part it plays in my life. Even if I’m going through a rough patch, I can’t just give it up.

With that said, if I am expected to continue moving forward, I think it only makes sense to have this blog move forward with me. I can’t tell you what that will or won’t include, but I thought it would be nice to at least address it. It’s always nice to keep others “in the know” about these sorts of things. I haven’t really put a whole lot of deep thought into exactly how the content of my blog will change and I think I’d prefer to keep the door open on this one.

I do know I will be blogging less. I don’t want to put a number on it because I don’t want to set up any expectations or stress on myself. I always loved the once-a-day format as a blog reader, but my life and blogging style just no longer suit it.

I can’t promise I will always reply to e-mails and comments in a timely manner, or at all. I know that sounds awful, but I need to be real about it. I lovelovelove getting feedback, but a big part of being overwhelmed is feeling like I have a duty to respond to feedback when all I want to do is take my pills and take a nap. Blogging is not my job, so I need to stop treating it like it is. The only thing I am responsible for now is healing, and some days that includes stepping away from my inbox!

I love my little space on the internet, the opportunities it has given me, and the people I’ve met through it. I’m not ready to throw it all away yet. But the times are a certainly changin’. And really, it’s probably about time.

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Chemo #8 today. That means only four treatments left after this! Hallelujah!!

What’s In A Blog

Things this blog is not:

Vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free.

I know I have a lot of readers who are the above things. A lot of the food I feature on here falls under that category. But on the whole, my body loves wheat and meat, and so does my blog :)

A workout diary.

I used to take the time to type out the specifics of all my workouts. I know a lot of people really liked this because they could steal them. But I hated the monotony of typing them up every day. I also really don’t like the idea of others out there comparing themselves to me and what I do in the gym. Just because I like doing an hour on the treadmill doesn’t mean you have to.

A blog about blogging.

I really want to write about things that appeal to everyone and not just those who are in the blogging bubble. While the interaction from this blog is for the most part with other bloggers, I recognize that the majority of my readers are regular folk who are not slaves to wordpress.

Everything I do at all hours of the day.

My blog is not a reflection of what I do every single day. 90% of my life does not get blogged about. Sometimes I make really good meals and don’t blog about them. Sometimes I go out to eat and don’t feel like bringing my camera. Sometimes I lay in bed all day watching Dexter. Sometimes, I get really drunk and have to maintain what little dignity I have left and not display it all over the internet.

A vlog.

I get a lot of requests for video posts. Mostly for exercise demonstrations. I know I write a lot about fitness, but I am a writer. Not a fitness model. I like doing vlogs from time to time, but for the most part they are not my forte. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really awkward in real life. I much rather stick to what I’m good at :)

A place for free stuff.

I don’t do a lot of giveaways. This is so when I do one, it actually means something. It’s rare I host a company-sponsored giveaway unless it’s a product I really love. Most of the giveaways are bought with my own money, and shipped using my own funds.

Fancy.

Straight up – I’m broke. Like, more broke than I was in university. I can barely afford groceries let alone things like walnut oil or coconut flour. I used to be a slave to trying out new ingredients, but I’ve since realized that the best food is sometimes made with old-school, simple and cheap ingredients.

Things this blog is:

Recipes. Of all kinds.

Sometimes I make them up. For the most part, they’re recipes I’ve stumbled upon elsewhere that I want to share. Sometimes they’re healthy, other times they’re just a fun treat. Cooking is my hobby and I have no limits to it.

Restaurants.

One of my favourite things to do is read restaurant reviews online. The best ones are those that are written in a way even those halfway around the world will still enjoy. I know a lot of you will never get to visit the restaurants I experience in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean reading about them can’t still be fun :)

Informative.

From the beginning, I wanted to teach people something. I love doing this with my Fitness Friday posts. But hell, even just sharing a new way of eating marshmallow fluff is good enough.

Entertaining.

Because time spent away from work and family should be spent valuably. And I hope reading this blog is worth that time spent.

Always changing. Just like me.

Sometimes I’m really wordy and I want to type up a nice story. Other days I just want to ramble. Some days I have 50 pictures I want to show you. This blog is never the same thing two days in a row, and I do that on purpose.

I recently just passed my two-year blogging anniversary. That’s two years of writing a blog post every single day. It got me thinking about what my blog has become and where I’d like it to go. I honestly can’t tell you what the future has in store for my little piece of the internet. But this is where it is today.

I’ve never been one of those people who hopes to turn my blog into a full-time job. It has always been a labour of love. I would still blog my heart out if no one read. I would (and almost do) write it for free. However, my one wish for my blog as it I enter my third year doing it, is that I start to make back some of the time I put into it. Call me crazy, but I think I could make it really nice if I could quit a part-time job and put those hours into The Great Balancing Act.

Thanks for being a huge part my favourite part of every day! xoxo

500

I started blogging two years ago for many reasons. I wanted to share recipes, workouts, help girls out there just like me. At the time I was a journalism student, cranking out hundreds, no thousands, of words a day. All of it interesting content, but nothing I was really passionate about. None of it in my own voice.

I’ve been keeping journals since I learned how to write. Putting words to paper, or I suppose nowadays to screen, has always been second nature to me. I can hardly string two words together using my mouth, but my fingers apparently have a lot more to say ;)

Today marks my 500th post on The Great Balancing Act. I can’t believe I have cranked out that many. My blog is no longer just a way to channel my need to write, or a platform for me to blab about what truly interests me. It’s turned into a way for me to stay in touch and connect with those I know, and those I have yet to meet.

I’ve grown a lot in 500 posts. Aside from the life changes I’ve undergone, I’ve done a lot of growing and changing inside as well. With that, my blog has changed. Always being moulded to the life it reflects – my own.

I wrote a year in review post here, in case you’d like to know more about the sort of things I’ve gone through since starting this blog.

I went through all 500 posts and picked those I am most proud of. Ones I put some real thought into. Some tackled hard topics, all are examples of how I’ve continued to grow as a blogger. Feel free to peruse through, I hate for these to get lost in a sea of hundreds of posts!

 

You Made It! The first post on The Great Balancing Act from July 14, 2009.

Living with Anxiety I open up about my social anxiety disorder

Going With The Flow – Exercise Edition A post about being too strict with exercise

Going With The Flow – Food Edition A post about being too strict with your diet

Ups and Downs What weight loss maintenance means to me

Overcoming Gym Fears How I learned to love the gym despite my social anxiety

Learning To Love Exercise For those of you who hate working out

L-I-V-I-N How I got my life back

Going Zen My story of giving up numbers and doing what feels best

Foods That Make You Trigger An honest post about my own trigger foods

Writing Tips For Bloggers A must-read featuring all my best writing tips.

Ready, Set, Blog! My blog, in a nutshell.

 

A few of my favourites on fitness:

Reebok EasyTone The Easy Way Out?

Ripped Arms: A How-To Guide

Tips For Working Out In The Morning

Beat The New Year’s Crowd

5 Most Common Weight Lifting Mistakes

 

A couple posts that sum up the majority of the food featured on this blog:

Waffle Wednesday: An Ode To Waffles

An Ode To Oatmeal

 

And my two favourite foodie posts:

Finding My Roots: A Taste of Scotland

The Best Pancake I’ve Ever Had

 

Last but not least, my favourite post to date:

10 Ways To Live The Life You Always Wanted

 

So here’s to another 500 posts! I’ve already got my blogging game face on…

And my little blogging helper…

 

Thankyouthankyouthankyou for tuning in regularly and for the constant feedback and encouragement. This is definitely the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in. I hardly make any money off this blog, but that’s not the point. I would do it everyday regardless of money or readers, but the support I’ve received is unreal. I promise to make the next 500 my best ones yet!! ;)

 

Question of the Day: What have been some of your favourite posts on The Great Balancing Act? I’m curious!

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