Every week, I round up the five stories from around the internet that most resonated with me. I hope they have an impact on you, too.
1. Thank You – I Pick Up Pennies
One of the things that I like most about I Pick Up Pennies is her honesty. She doesn’t sugar coat her life to appear glossier for the internet. She talks about very real problems, as well as how she and her husband handle those problems – emotionally AND financially. It’s the best kind of blogging, I think: raw, honest, unassuming, and also humorous from time to time, because she can be funny on purpose, and that’s honest, too. In this post, she introduces us to Felicia Sullivan’s When You Can’t Be the Person the Internet Wants You to Be. We can’t always be all sparkles and sunshine all the time, because life isn’t like that for anyone, and less so for those of us who live with various degrees of depression. When hard times hit, people often want to look away. It’s not suitable for Facebook. I Pick Up Pennies offers gratitude for folks who keep a steady eye on our lives, regardless of our ups and downs.
2. When You Can’t Be the Person the Internet Wants You to Be – Love Life Eat
Well, this is the post that I Pick Up Pennies refers to in Thank You. The author of this post is going through a rough – and frightening – time. Sometimes, during those moments, friends and family abandon us because our discomfort is problematic for them. Other friends and family members don’t abandon us, but don’t know what to do for us, either. I like that this piece reminds them to do what they’re doing. Whether it’s lending a sympathetic ear or sending a funny cat video, just letting us feel crappy for as long as we need to is enough. Sullivan, the author, is having a terrible year. In the wake of personal tragedy, she’s dealing with a lot of unsettling events. It’s messy and scary and she doesn’t shy away from telling the reader just how messy and scary. She wants to get back to a better self, and she offers a couple of posts of what that means – including Imagining Your Future Projects is Holding You Back. She mentions that she wants to stop thinking and start doing, and I think that is tiny ray of hope in an otherwise dark year. Just knowing what you want for yourself is something in itself.
3. Imagining Your Future Projects is Holding You Back – Observer
After paying off student loan debt, the last thing I wanted to think about is debt. Of any kind. Yet, after reading this piece, and being introduced to the concept of “idea debt,” I am floored. I can remember just a few years ago, being instructed to imagine my future self. In my vision, I was holding a copy of my finished manuscript – a novel. Then, a few years later, I tinkered with the novel for a brief amount of time. A few years after that, I spent six months thinking about scenes and dialogue as a way to fall asleep. I’ve got other projects in various stages, but this is the one I think of as my “future project.” I do think that the time for imagining is over. The time of doing is upon me. I made it out of student loan debt. Now I’ve got to get out of idea debt.
4. How to Invest in Yourself – Jon Westenberg
This year, I wanted to learn more about investing, and this post reminded me to invest in myself. I’m a fan of making lists in general, but I also have a history with making a list of 100 dreams. Westenberg’s plan of action starts with a list of 100 things, and then you take action from there. The categories breakdown and the skills list are important components of a good plan of action, I think. I can stare at my list of things I want to do all day, but when you’ve got a big list, it can get overwhelming. This technique really does remove some of the overwhelm. He even states that you don’t have to be productive all day every day. I think that’s a trap that a lot of us get caught in. We make a little progress and if we stop to catch our breath, we think we’ve fallen behind. Not true. Just check your skills list and see what else you can work on.
5. Are Your Daily Actions Working For or Against You? – Anthony Ongaro
I LOVED this guest post on Blonde on a Budget. It is a terrific reminder that…”We are, after all, what we do every day.” Ongara talks about knowing what we want, and then taking small daily actions to get it. Want to read more books? Read X number of pages a day. Want to be a better writer? Write X number of words a day. Want to be in better shape? Walk X number of steps a day. Want to improve your finances? Save X dollars a day. It’s really that simple. I know that I get lost down various internet holes. Once 6PM rolls around, I get spectacularly lazy. By 8PM, there’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow. Yet, the next day, I can beat myself up for not getting something done. My hour of television before bed did not get my essay collection closer to completion. My decision to eat cake for dinner did not get me closer to the losing of ten pounds and strengthening of my core. My daily actions are obviously working against me, and this post was an excellent wake up call, indeed.
Did any of these posts have an impact on you? Let me know in the comments.