Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging

Pretty blurry striped colors make for a lovely image* at the top of this post, my last one for 2019.

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I LISTENED TO THE LATEST Hurry Slowly podcast from Jocelyn K. Glei.

In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3.  In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.

I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now.  And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.

It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such.  It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.

Always the why.

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY #OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.

Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.

However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.

On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.

So there’s that.

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I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE month of December off from blogging and instead focus on Susannah Conway’s December Reflections Instagram prompts.

I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.

Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!

Later, kids.

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* Because someone is going to ask: I made this image by photographing a page from Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I then enhanced the photo using ‘Rainy’ in Waterlogue [here for Apple] or [here for Windows].  

I put that enhanced image into Photos on my iMac where I edited it by adding highlights and cropping it into a rectangle.  It was work-y, but turned out pretty darned cool, if’n I do say so myself.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

128 thoughts on “Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging”

  1. Thanks for posting about the December Reflections – hmmmm, I am intrigued. As the solstice approaches, I become very reflective myself. Have a wonderful break Ally, and I’m looking forward to reading more in 2020!

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I thought that the December Reflections activity on IG would be fun. I’m tired of wordiness right now, so why not snap a few pics? Happy Holidays to you, my soon to be retired friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wait. I just go here and you’re leaving?! I’m trying not to take it personally. 🙂

    Actually, I do understand the need for a break until one finds the joy in writing again. And you know you need the time to read all Holiday Humblebrag cards/ newsletters that will soon be coming your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AutumnAshbough, you’ve made me laugh out loud. Thanks. Yes, please don’t take my December disappearance personally. You’ve certainly seen through me as to why I’m bugging out– all. those. holiday. newsletters. to. read. Oy vey.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You enticed me to check out my word for the year 2019. It was “Publish”! Now that I’ve done that, maybe I should take the month off too. :-/

    Now to ponder the word for 2020. Any suggestions, oh wise woman?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marian, you really did implement your word for 2019. Congratulations on a job well done.

      I haven’t begun to think about next year yet. No suggestions here, but complete faith that we’ll come up with good ones.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dorothy, yes, you’re right, I need time to refresh. I figure the thing about personal blogging is I can make my own schedule as I go along, thus it’s time for a break. Happy Holidays to you & yours.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol, I enjoy writing this blog and interacting with readers, but I also realize that I’m allowed to wander off from here every so often. Happy Holidays to you & yours. See you next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. D’you know, I realise I never decided on my word for this year. Hmmmm … lots of stuff happened which certainly hampered any plans or intentions I may’ve had. I wonder what it might have been like if I’d had a chosen focus/path to follow. Stuff to ponder on there for sure.

    I’m totally about the “why” ever since my daughter introduced me to Simon Sinek’s TED talk on that very subject some years back. I’ll be checking out that podcast – thanks Ally.

    Enjoy your writing break & your month of IG prompts. Although both are creative, they are differently so & it will hopefully provide you with a fresh perspective & desire to return. Take good care Ms Bean & I look forward to seeing you on the flip side whenever you feel the blogging urge return 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, isn’t that interesting that you meant to pick a word, but didn’t. I don’t always choose one word for the year. This year I had good intentions and focus, but real life got in the way and slowed me down. I did some things to streamline my life, but not as many as I’d hoped I’d do.

      I don’t know about Simon Sinek but will look for him. There are so many smart + inspiring people out there now, it’s difficult to keep up with all of them.

      You said it about how IG creativity is different than blogging creativity. I need a break from writing the words and am looking forward to snapping the pics. Have a great December. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I will certainly miss you! I’ve found that streamlining only works on those things over which we have control. Otherwise, life (and home owning) tend to be chaotic and full of surprises. 🙂 I hope you enjoy your reflective December! It will be a big month for me with both my girls home for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, you make a good point about how streamlining only works is certain areas of life. Maybe it wasn’t a great word to choose? Oh well, I’ll carry on just fine. Enjoy your Christmas with the girls.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, you said it! I’m not obligated to produce a certain number of posts per week or else I’ll get my pay docked. My blog, my rules… and right now I rule that I take a month off! Will look forward to catching up in January.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always thought the winter solstice was to take a break from things and turn inward, relaxing and reading in a nice, warm and cozy house. Alas, my Decembers are always pretty frantic with all the music performances. It’s too bad it all has to be compacted into a short period of time. And sorry, but I will be ones of those sending out a Christmas letter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, you make a great point. This is the time of year when being cozy at home is the goal. I look forward to your Christmas newsletter. You don’t seem to know how to humblebrag in yours. Whatever is wrong with you? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad I’ll get to continue to see you on Instagram. I have participated in Susannah Conway’s December Reflections for the last few years now and it is very fun. I usually include a blog post with the pictures but not always. She has some thought provoking prompts. You are doing well with your word of the year. I haven’t “danced” nearly as much as I’d have liked. I need to start searching for my word for next year. Have a most wonderful Christmas, Ally (and ZD).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, it’s because of you that I know about Susannah Conway. I looked at the December prompts and thought I can do this. You’re right, some of them are thought provoking while others look like silly fun. Happy Holidays to you and yours. See you next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A break from thiings is always good for gaining some perspective so good on you and I hope the time away from blogging is beneficial in whatever way you need it to be.

    My favourite line on your post is “…half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.” I can relate. And I love your image. Thanks for explaining how you did it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Master of Something Yet, I do feel like I need some perspective on many small things in my life. Nothing large and disconcerting, just little bits of irritations that I need to address. Like the aforementioned heaps of indecision. 🙄

      Glad you liked the image. It was a process, but one I’d do again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally – have a restful but productive respite from the blog and enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer. For me it will be quieter than most folks, but I am fine with that. I have posted more than usual the last few weeks in an effort to clear out all my Fall photos and ideas, of which I had many. I still have some photos from long treks to use during the Winter months, but I am going to step away more myself thru the Winter to get some reading and a few other pursuits done after Thanksgiving; I seriously need to declutter my house, but will likely wait until retirement to do that – it will be a big endeavor. I bought a few books and hope to get back into reading again. Once an avid reader, I have put reading on the back burner for a long time and just need to step away from the screen and get immersed in the pages of a book once again. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. linda, I feel the same way as you do about getting back to reading. Over the last few years I find that I’m reader fewer books. Part of it is the time I spend blogging, of course– so I’m reading, just not formal literature. Have a good holiday season and I’ll see you next year!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Timely post, Ally. I’m in the midst of a KonMari-style purge of stuff, stuff, and more stuff. I got two of her books from the library and it has inspired me to ferret out life’s detritus and kick it to the curb (or, when possible, donate it to Goodwill).

    My path to a “clutter free” and “streamlined” life began circa 1997 when I read Simplify Your Life ~ one step at a time The Way teaches you The Way . . . as the path unfolds before you.

    Enjoy the Season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nancy, it’s a difficult balance between knowing what to keep and what to donate/destroy. I know of both of the books you talk about but have not read them. I started down the less clutter path after reading Let Go Of Clutter by Harriett Schechter. It was published almost 20 years ago but I hang onto the book about her principles. Every decade seems to have its own decluttering star, now that I think about it. And what does that say about our society as a whole? 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ll miss your fun posts with all the lively banter they produce. But breaks are necessary and changing up the outlet is sure to enrich everything you do (if not exactly streamlining).

    Have a wonderful holiday season – see you when you get back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, thank you. I like writing here, but I feel a need to lighten up on the writing and just be for a month. Happy Holidays to you and I look forward to catching up when I return next year.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. A great nugget of wisdom, Ally. I especially like the “why.” This word continues to appear in my radar. I will check out the Instagram prompts. Your image is creative, artistic and fun. Thanks for sharing your process. I look forward to reading more Ally, in 2020, transformative and/or screwup. They are both welcome in my home:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Erica/Erika, you’re too kind. I’m finding that I’m more interested in the “why” of things lately. “What” is going on is okay, but I like getting to the “why” of things. I added the details about how I made that image in case someone else wanted to goof around; it’s amazing what you can do with apps and such. I’m looking forward to 2020 and promise to share both my successes and failures. Have a great December!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi ally… the IG challenge sounds fun and I am a big advocate of Blog breaks – especially when done like this one – it feels natural – and right.
    And you left us some links to click thru if we come back missing ya we can click one or a few (and the podcast sounds interesting)
    – when I think of a pause (fast or break) from anything I think of the word threshold.
    We reset the absolute threshold by pulling back and going to zero. Then when we get back into “It” there can be a myriad of Good fruits – and usually freshness is one of them and new perspective –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yvette, I like your way of describing why I’ll be taking this break. I figure that this is a personal blog so I need to do what makes sense to me in the moment. And at this moment I’m shifting from be wordy to being picture-y. Have a great December and I’ll catch up with you then.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I did check out the prompt list for the IG monthly challenge and it looks really good – I might join in too – ((only because now that I know about batching I can likely do an every day thing – sometimes the every day creating does not work for me – so I might tackle them in chunks) – keep you posted and thanks for sharing the link to it – and more important – hope you enjoy it

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll do this December challenge my own way, too. I won’t be around on Wednesdays because I just won’t. I figure that we each adapt any challenge to our own sensibilities and that is ok. I’ll look for your pics.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. The image did turn out really well. I likey. I also like Wreck This Journal(s).
    Knowing your own motivation is good. So is evaluating your progress and calibrating yourself accordingly. Good for you, Ally Bean!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I listened to the link you recommended for the podcast Hurry Slowly. “Letting go; what matters now.” “What is enough, personally.”

    I have listened to Hurry Slowly before, back in June 2019.

    Well wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Focus and the attempt – the effort – that’s what counts.
    Her and Now is becoming more and more important – especially with all the noise and chaos and instability flooding around everywhere.
    I’m probably going to take a blogging break shortly – screens are a wall blocking off life sometimes ( even if blogging with friends) . There’s so much out there right now.
    The Instagram thing looks interesting
    Have fun! Enjoy it all. Hasta later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, I agree about too much chaos and noise in our worlds, whether they be virtual or real. I’m not exactly sure where this break will take me, but it is fun to live life for a few weeks sans blog. Have a great December.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I got caught up in NaNo this year–trying to whittle a 117K novel to 90K and I managed to get it down to 97K which I still consider a success –but man did it wipe me out. I couldn’t blog or keep up with my peeps as much as I wanted to, which led me to some of the same kind of self-reflection. Why do I do XYZ? Is what I’m getting out of it truly beneficial or do I need to tweak things? Things like that.

    I know for sure that I don’t want to go through the motions when it comes to engagement on social media. I want to create meaning, and I want to add value. If I’m just kind of bringing in more noise without really saying anything, then I’m off track.

    I think taking a month off, esp. at this time of year is such a great idea. I wish you lots of peace, harmony, and feel-good moments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I think you did great with your novel whittle-ization. Good for you. I can understand how that’d be an all-consuming project.

      You hit on a relevant point when you say you don’t want to go through the motions on social media and add more noise. I get that and it is, as you’ve guessed, part of the reason that I’m taking this time off. I plan to return here sometime in January, if I manage to survive all the December frivolity and unpredictable weather. Happy holidays to you & yours.

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  18. I’m late to the party, I’m glad you’ve found what matters most to you! And if I didn’t know better I’d say you were writing to (or as me) me – I should’ve taken the month off too! 😉 PS – I’m still enjoying your Instagram moments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley, 2019 was a weird year for everyone, I think. I like writing this blog, but I know I can benefit from some space from it. It’s not too late for you to give yourself the rest of the year off! Thanks for looking in on my IG challenge photos. It’s been fun so far.

      Liked by 1 person

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