I am obsessing. This has recently become my new hobby. It is not very productive. In fact I can point to ZERO things that have been accomplished by my obsessing. I can, however, gesture nonchalantly at the 4 hampers full of laundry that need folding, the sink full of dishes, and the 2 1/2 bathrooms that need cleaning (again), and a myriad of other things that are piling up around me as I obsess over things that I have no control over.
So what has me all distracted and discombobulated? Several different things.
First, there is this whole freelance job. I am loving it, don't get me wrong -- I am enjoying learning about the law a little bit and it has been great having a job that involves writing and an actual paycheck. I send completed work via email as I finish it and invoice every Friday. I have not heard from my "boss" since last Friday morning. I have sent an invoice and 10 completed assignments since then (3 on Friday and 7 more on Monday). It is Tuesday afternoon. So I sit here, with no new assignments, wondering if I did something wrong. I know that they recently lost an office assistant and keep telling myself logically that they are very busy and she just hasn't had time to get back with me. But then I wonder if it was the invoice. We had agreed that rather than a nickle a word or something like that, I would do the assignments based on a per page price. It is a scale that increases by $10 every half a page and we originally thought that we'd never have anything more than 2 or 2 1/2 pages. One of the blogs that she had me write for their site ended up being 4 pages long. I charged it on the invoice following the scale we had agreed on, but it was a lot. It should not matter. She asked for a blog on a certain subject and I wrote it and it took more than 2,000 words. And it is good. But because we had never discussed anything that long, I am all nervous. I feel like I should email her and ask if everything is okay, and then I think "Suck it up. You're an adult so quit acting like some whiny middle-schooler that needs affirmation that everything is okay or constant accolades about how well she's doing." I was assigned a new project that involves rewriting a bunch of content already on their website, but I cannot start on it until she approves the sample I sent her. So I don't have anything new to work on to keep me distracted. I have had constant work since mid-January and now it feels weird to NOT be writing. So I keep hitting "Send/Receive All" on my email. Sigh. Still nothing. When she responds is beyond my control.
Then there is an issue on Facebook. See, they went public last year and from what I can tell, all that really means is that it now sucks for all of us using it. My Facebook page for my blog has almost 3,500 fans, but only 5-10% of my fans get to see what I post because Facebook really wants us to pay to promote our posts. Now, if I were Wal-mart or some other business who was using Facebook to promote my business, I would totally understand paying to post. But I am not a business. I am a blogger. No one pays me to blog. I don't sell anything. I don't make any money from having a humor page on Facebook, I just do it for fun. And 3,500 people have said "Hey, we like your sense of humor. We want to see what you have to say." Facecrook has decided that I need to pay if I want more than 200 of them to see a post. Even if I were to pay to promote a post (which I won't) what that would mean is that a bunch of people who DIDN'T say they wanted to see my stuff would also see it. Facebook would use some confusing algorithm to determine who's feed to put it in. I don't want to spam people. I just want MY fans to see my posts. Facebook is beyond my control.
Related to the Facebook thing, is the contest thing. Last year, I was in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funniest Mom Blogs contest and I placed #16. I felt really good about the recognition and the company that I was in (even if the top 10 or so had THOUSANDS more votes than me). This year, however, the competition is very stiff. I am currently #49. Most of the top 30 or so blogs have more than 25,000 followers on their Facebook pages, and some have more than 50,000. If Facebook shares their plea for votes with 10% of their page, and 10% do it, then they have 500 votes per day. If I do the same, I have 35 votes. I cannot compete. I follow some of those blogs and they are good. But that is them and I am me. I WANT to be that popular, but I don't want to not be me. I want my blog to be honest about who I am, and right now it is. I don't cuss (at least not much or often), I don't blog about sex, I share real world stuff that happens in my life in the same way I would tell my mom or my friends about it. If people like my blog then great, and if they don't....oh well. I cannot change who I am to be more popular (I tried that in my teens and it did not suit me). I also do not like to beg for votes. I know that some pages do that, but "Vote for me! Me! MEEEEE!!!!" is not really my thing. So I am obsessing over the fact that my blog is not as well received. I cannot control what people like, and I cannot make people vote for me.
Finally, there is my youngest daughter. She is having trouble with stuff at school. She's in kindergarten, and cannot read yet. She is having trouble grasping reading and writing concepts. I have been worried about her most of her life because she sees the world so differently than everyone else, but I always assumed that when it came to academics, she'd be able to do everything. She really is so very smart. I thought her problems would all be social and they're not. I cannot change who she is (and I'd never want to!) and I don't know how to "speak her language" when it comes to helping her with school work. Sigh (again).
The truth is, I never obsess over the stuff that I CAN control, just the stuff that I cannot. If I could control everything the world would be a much happier place. Well, at least it would be for me. Everyone else would have to adapt.