If you’re a regular reader of The Grown Up Gap Year you may (or may not) have noticed that it’s been particularly quiet recently on the topic of gap years, sabbaticals and micro adventures. And the reason for that is…
Real life got in the way.
Yes, nothing more exciting to add. No big announcements to make. I simply had to get on with the job of being a grown up, so blogging had to take a back seat for a while.
There’s been a few changes in the grown up gap year household lately. The biggest one being that Mr A and I moved house. Even though we essentially only moved around the corner I can’t believe how much upheaval it caused! There seemed to be weeks of playing Tetris with packed boxes at our old flat and we still haven’t got to the bottom of the unpacking after three weeks in our new place! But nevertheless it’s all been very exciting for us because, as much as we love travelling, we also love to come home and now that we’ve bought our dream house it will make getting on that plane back a little easier!
Last year I also got a promotion at work (hoorah!) which means that I’m suddenly much busier, especially with international travel and in the last few months I’ve been to Canada, Barbados, South Africa and Uganda. While this has all been absolutely brilliant and I’m totally loving the new role, it does mean other things have inevitably been pushed to the back burner, including this blog and actually, what I’ve come to realise, is that’s ok.
I initially gave myself December off, because the month included two international trips for me, one for Mr A and packing up the house (how do we own so much stuff??) along with the general frivolities of the season.
But suddenly before I knew it, December had turned into January and the panic set in. All at once it became a bit like being at school, when you could see the end of the summer holidays getting closer and closer and yet you just couldn’t force yourself to finish the homework you’d been set. Writing that returning blog post began to feel like a chore, and one that I could easily put off.
However, after feeling guilty about it for quite a while I suddenly stopped and asked myself why? This isn’t my job. I don’t earn any money from it. It’s supposed to be a hobby, something I enjoy doing, rather than something I have to force myself to do.
So do you know what I did? I took January off as well and it felt great. I got to hang out with Mr A in the evening instead of instantly coming home and putting my computer on, I got to spend time with my parents who were visiting and to catch up with friends after work without feeling guilty that I should be home writing. And slowly but surely over the past couple of weeks blog posts started to write themselves in my head and I knew I was ready to come back to it.
I’ve talked before about how it’s sometimes so easy in the blogging world to compare yourself to other bloggers and worry that you’re not producing enough content or going on enough trips, without stopping to remind yourself that you’re not even comparing like for like. When you work full time and blog as a hobby sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’ll never be able to produce as much as a full time blogger because that’s their job. The Little Backpacker wrote a brilliant post the other day about why she blogs but doesn’t intend to ever do it full-time and it totally resonated with me.
I love my job. I don’t intend to give it up, so why do I beat myself up over my blog? So I took a break from blogging, who cares? I’m back now with lots of ideas for posts and trips to look forward to.
By the way, I totally take my hat off to all of the full-time workers who also manage to blog regularly. But for me the past couple of months have been a good reminder that sometimes in the life of a grown up gapper, being a grown up has to come first.
I’d love to hear from you about this. How do you balance blogging with other aspects of your life?