Of Sunflowers & Simplicity: I’m Taking A Break From Blogging

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

~ French proverb

• • •

My word of the year is SIMPLIFY so I’m going to do just that.

After a lousy summer filled with rude selfish people, extreme heat + humidity, and the specter of the Delta variant, I’m exhausted.

I’m more than ready for a few weeks, perhaps a month, of rest and rejuvenation.

I want to make like a cheerful sunflower, focusing on positivity and good vibes as I turn to follow the sun.

Thus as part of my way to rekindle my joie de vivre, I’m going to simplify my life by taking a break from blogging.

I’m allowed to do that, my blog, my rules. 

I hope to be back to the blogosphere in October; in the mean time, please stay safe everyone.

And play nice, ok?

• • •

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Not Monkeying Around: A Shocking Admission + 7 Links For Your Edification

Hello Gentle Readers and Kind Lurkers,

While I usually have a story to tell or some research to share here on this blog, that’s not going to happen this week.

You see, I’m tired of writing, don’t feel like doing it this week. Shocking, I know. Perhaps the rigors of blogging have finally gotten to me, assuming I believe that blogging has rigors.

Maybe yes, maybe no?

So instead of my usual weekly flapdoodle & twaddle I’ll share 7 links that I stumbled over in my reading. The links are about a variety of things, interesting things.  

Click on whichever ones you like, then chit-chat with me in the comments below.

Enjoy! 

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• Here is the PORTENT IDEA GENERATOR that “lets you create catchy titles for your next blog post, podcast, or video.”  You want to do that, right?  It’s fun.

• Here is THE WINE COLOR CHART. It’s cool. My favorite wines are Pale Yellow and Medium Ruby with a nod to Medium Garnet. You, too, can find out what your wine color palette looks like.

• Here is the ARE YOU A CONTROL FREAK? QUIZ. My results described me as “you can live and let live” meaning I’m not a control freak. This is one step above the bottom category of control freak tendencies, a category described as “are you being honest?”  

• Here is a drawing that shows the THE CIRCLES OF FRIENDSHIP. It’s intriguing, but according to it, the number of people I should know seems unrealistic, rather high. Decide for yourself.

• Here is the HOW STRONG IS YOUR MIND’S EYE APHANTASIA QUIZ.  Aphantasia is the inability to visualize objects in your mind. Not to brag but I have what they call perfect vision meaning I do not have Aphantasia. “You’re a naturally creative person with a very vivid imagination.” You betcha.

• Here is the OUTDOORSYNESS SCALE that provides you with a way to gage your own level of affinity for being outdoors. I am somewhere between “indoor cat” and “likes nature.”

• Here is an article about FRYING AN EGG ON THE SIDEWALK. I won’t spoil the how-to and what if of the process, but I will say it’s a fascinating read. Something to know, especially if you’re muttering about the summer heat.

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A Simply Questionable Post: Answering Four Questions, Acknowledging One Reality

THE ANSWERING FOUR QUESTIONS PART

We’re on staycation again this week, busy morphing a guest bedroom into a reading/yoga room. More on that later. In the meantime here is something I found when I read THIS POST by Martha at Seaside Simplicity. Because of her I know about the Tuesday 4 questions and this week the 4 questions are about blogging.

1.  Tell us about your blog.  When did you start blogging?

I started my first blog in 2004. My intentions were good, but our computer was unreliable and our internet connection was dodgy, resulting in an arbitrary posting schedule. Still, I stuck with it.
 
2.  What prompted you to begin blogging?

Pure curiosity to see if I could do it.
 
3.  What was your first blog about and why did you choose that subject/title?

My first blog was called sweetlyPAZZO. I don’t remember much of what I wrote about but the title came from my point of view. I was much sweeter back then and I thought that ‘pazzo’ [which means crazy in Italian] was a cool word so I used it in the title of the blog.
 
4.  How has your blog changed over time, and has it done for you what you hoped it would do in the first place?

Like many longtime bloggers I’ve had a few different blogs. For me this has made sense because I’ve wanted to try different approaches to blogging, different points of view, different platforms. Over the years blogging has helped keep my brain clicking by satisfiying my curiosity, so it has done what I hoped it’d do for me in the first place.

THE ACKNOWLEDGING ONE REALITY PART

I sometimes say that irony is my closest friend. In this case I’m referring to how difficult it has been for me, an accomplished blogger, to write this cute little post. It has been anything but fun; in fact it’s been hell.

There has been nothing simple about it.

The WordPress Block Editor has thwarted me at every turn, often blocking me from editing my words in a block so that I had to rewrite what I’d written again… and again… and again. Also there are some links in this post, but the system has inexplicably taken away the blue color from the links so you, kids, cannot see them anymore.

I guess you’re just supposed to know they’re there.

Whilst I’d like to say I’m filled with righteous indignation and the fervor that comes from knowing that there’s something wrong going on and you’re going to stop it, I’m too tired to do so. WordPress is slowly stealing the fun from personal blogging. I don’t know why, but I know this to be true.

Goodbye 2020: A Sunset Delightful + A Secret Disclosed

A trippy sunset in late autumn. Doesn’t it remind you of tie-dye?

~ • ~

Would you like to know a secret? One that has to do with my word of the year, simplify, and with the plans I made in the beginning of 2020?

Well here it is: On the first day of spring I was planning to go on an extended hiatus from this blog.

Yes, I was all set to say *hasta la vista* to this blog and take spring + summer off, living simply as it were. Then I was going to come back to the blogosphere in the fall, with more bounce in my pounce.

With a new sense of purpose and direction.

A whole new me.

BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

Instead, as you may remember, the country shut down the week before my intended *see ‘ya later* meaning that Z-D began working from home [8 months now!] and I realized that personal blogging was going to be a good thing to do in the upcoming months.

Something positive to do.

Something normal and reassuring.

So, stating the obvious here, I kept this blog going and have continued to show up with my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, interspersed with helpful hints [I guess], and augmented with a modicum of snark.

Because I can.

And because I wanted to.

However, 2020 has exhausted me both mentally and spiritually. I will not lie.

And because I sense this upcoming holiday season is going to be stressful, zapping my energy in new ways while testing my patience with ill-mannered people, I’ve decided to call it a year, a few weeks early.

Thus I’m out of here until 2021, intending to return with a new word of the year and with a renewed sense of focus. Or maybe it’ll be the *same old same old* word and the *same old same old* focus. I don’t know yet for sure. Who’s to say?

I just know I’m tired, in need of a break from writing.

Stay safe, everyone. Please be here when I get back.

~ • ~

When Holiday and Pandemic Stress Collide via Psychology Today

How to fight ‘Covid fatigue’ as America heads for a deadly winter via The Guardian

Do you have coronavirus ‘caution fatigue’? via Fox News

What To Say To People Who Say You’re Being ‘Too Safe’ Amid COVID-19 via HuffPost

COVID-19 is not tired of us, says WHO chief via Yahoo! News

~ ~ • ~ ~

Good Morning To Everyone Except WordPress, My Frenemy

Et tu, Brute? 🤓

Entirely against my wishes in one of the most difficult years of my life, WordPress, my now former friend, has stabbed me in the back by stealing my favorite classic editor. This is no way for a friend to act.

Here’s the dealio. One week after sending me the annual renewal bill for this personal blog, WordPress has dumped their new unwanted editing system on my account. They call it the block editor; I think of it as the blockhead system.

I don’t want this new editor, nor do I need this change. I’m already living in a daily state of confusion and angst without this added burden in my life. This begs the question: would a true friend make my life more difficult during a pandemic? Just so they could get their jollies at my expense?

I’d say ‘NO.’ However as of yesterday I’m being forced to learn a new way to write + edit my blog posts, showing me how little I mean to WordPress. Not that I’m surprised, mind you. I know I am, we all are, pawns in WordPress’s game.

BUT it does bring home the fact that social media companies, all of them, do not have our best interests at heart. They manipulate us into communicating in ways that primarily serve their purposes, not our own.

Will I continue to write a blog in a system that makes more work for me? Truthfully, I dunno. I don’t have to keep a blog, I do it for fun– and let me clue you in, learning a new editing system is the opposite of fun for me.

I’ve no doubt that I can learn how to use this blockhead editor, but I resent having to do so this year because, as we all have learned in 2020, life is too short and precious for stressful sh!t that detracts from living happy and healthy.

Not cool, WordPress. Not cool. 🤨

[At this point I’d like to add an image to this post but I don’t know how to do so. That sentence makes me sad… sadder, I suppose. Also, I have some posts written ahead but I don’t know how to publish them now that I’m in block editor hell.]