I’m always thinking about what I’m going to write next on my blog. In fact I think about it so much that it hurts my relationship. We used to have coffee and get connected every morning, but now I wake up and bury myself in emails and work. It’s also very hard on a relationship when you work together all day long as well as live together.
It’s very rewarding to write this blog. I have way more virtual friends than real-life in-person friends. One of the biggest reasons I moved to the country this year was because my closest friends are my mom and my sister.
I worry that they are the only ones who really understand my quirky ways. The fact that I process all my upsets out loud. Truly, I will never get cancer because I can’t hold anything inside that upsets me for even 5 minutes.
The upside of this is that I rarely stay mad for any length of time. If I can say what upsets me out-loud, then it’s basically over.
The downside of this is that when I’m in the middle of being upset, I will discuss whatever it is with whoever happens to be within earshot.
Sigh. This gets me into so much trouble. And it’s probably a big reason why I don’t have a pile of friends. I think next year will be my ‘Year of Friends’. Maybe if I focus on that in addition to NOT saying whatever pops into my head, people will like that more.
Anyway, I recently received this question from Kim:
I love your blog and thought I’d seek your advice about mine. I began my blog while on a motorcycle trip in May of this year. With tremendous response and encouragement from friends, I have continued to blog about many areas of my life, including cooking, gardening, and motorcycle trips.Recently I started another blog about sewing window treatments and home decor, since I didn’t think it tied in well with the other blog.I’d love to have everything on one blog. Is that possible or even advisable? I have many interests, so how do you narrow it down? My husband and I go on extensive motorcycle trips about twice a year, so that is not enough for a stand-alone blog, nor is it my “love”.Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
Thanks Kim. Although the first thing I thought when I read your email was “She’s so lucky to have such a great group of friends”. Here is my best advice on what to do:
All the advice I have read about having multiple blogs always comes back down to the same answer:
If blogging is a hobby for you and you have no future aspirations for ever turning it into a money making machine (or something like that) then it’s completely okay to have two or more blogs.
However, if you would love to turn your hobby, passion, dream into a way to make money, then focus on what you are truly passionate about and stick to one blog.
I never made any real money until I started writing this blog, but you should also know that it takes a tremendous amount of time and commitment to do it well. I’ve written a few posts about that here and here.
To have what you want in life takes commitment. And as I wrote in this post, the definition of commitment is “”Everything I’m doing is leading towards the fulfillment of X”. And if you want to know what you’re committed to, take a look at how your life looks right now. That’s how you know.
It’s impossible to write two blogs well. The tiny percentage of bloggers who do this would definitely need to be full-time bloggers.
So chose something you are really passionate about and start blogging. It will change your life, the way it did mine. xo Maria
ps. I hope all my readers in the East are safe!
pps. Thanks for being my friend on-line xo
Maria, you inspire people. That’s what it’s all about, girl. You have many online friends that love and care about you. You have your beloved family close by and your adoring partner to share your life and your life’s work with. It is so much more than many people can even ever dream of having. You are in a phase in your life where you are growing your business. Friends will find you, follow and be with you no matter where the path leads. Best wishes, dear friend!
Complete ” ditto” for this comment.
Maria – your sweetness shows thru everyday. And every time you hold a workshop you make more friends.
I used to read a lot of blogs. When my husband starting to suggest that I was spending too much time on the computer, and during our transition to our new house, I culled out a bunch of the blogs I read. I limit the blogs I follow as well as my FB friends. About 10 each..that’s my limit. Otherwise the real people in my life don’t get my best time…..”Social networking” used to be phoning a friend, seeing and visiting with someone in person, writing a letter…with a pen! Maybe we outta get back to what the real reason behind being social is. Take a break from the computer for awhile (if all this bothers you) and see if you feel better. If not, and you really miss it, then go back to more online things. Just give it a try folks 🙂
Maria – I too have no “pause button” when it comes to what I’m thinking – I just say it. And I find that trying to make myself always second guess what I’m going to say makes me crazy! Just be yourself. It’s too bad you live very far away, or we could be buddies in real life too. At least we’d know exactly where we stand with each other 🙂
Maria, you know we’d be BFFs if it weren’t for the 2200 miles from Chicago to Vancouver! Just think of all the trips we could take to Homesense together! Ha! I think it’s wonderful you can count your mom and sister as your closest friends. You are doubly lucky. Don’t worry, you will find your balance in life. Just keep on keeping on, girl!
Maria, You are not the only person to find it difficult to make friends in this increasingly disconnected age. That’s not to say there is no hope. Coffee “dates” are always a good place to start 🙂 I wish you luck finding some nice people out there who you can feel comfortable being your true “outspoken” self around.
p.s. I may be your latest convert to Nougat Caesarstone. Finding your posts on that subject really clarified my thinking on the direction I want to go in. I’d already had the white cabinets and white subway tile piece but I was really struggling over the countertop choice. Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures. I’m so anxious to see more images.
I think we’re blessed it we have even 2 people in our lives we can call true friends. Double the blessing if it’s your family.
I am lucky to have you as a friend online and in real life! Now if only I got to see you more often. xoxo!!
PS – My web guy got a good laugh out of his photo showing up with my email subscriptions!!!! Thank you!
Here’s to a great “Year of Friends” for both of us! Cheers!! 🙂
I would say to Kim, have one blog about all your passions and do it well, since your first blog already covers a range of topics. I will read about almost anything if it is well written.
Yes, blogging takes a toll on home life if you let it. You just have to set boundaries to create a win/win situation. I count on my cyberfirends for entertainment, support, and information, and I don’t feel guilty for spending a specific amount of time online. The friends I’ve made online are as important as some of my close-by, “3-D” friends, family, and neighbors. Being on the computer allows me to connect with way more family and friends than I could in person or by phone.
Maria, I count you on my list of friends because I appreciate all of yourself you give. Thank you.
This topic really hit home, because I find myself always thinking that I don’t have enough real friends. I count myself lucky to have 2 best friends, though they live in different cities. To be able to find even that many people who truly understand you is no small miracle. I am highly emotional and feel I need to tell people how I’m feeling as well—and this makes most acquaintances feel overwhelmed I’m sure.
Thank you for sharing your expertise and a bit about yourself.
I know you must be very busy as it is. I think, I have posted a questions here and there on your posts and I have never gotten a response from you.
Great to know that you take the time to take your followers/readers comments into account and blog about it.
You inspire many of us who have just started bloggin, I also believe that passion and purpose is very important in anything we do.
Again, thank you for sharing!
It’s hard for the people (us) who wear our hearts on our sleeves – all our emotions right there in the open. I’ve been told also that I don’t have a pause button but I guess that’s the Artist in me – very expressive, but at what cost right?
The subject of friends is a touchy one. I’ve found that friends were made early on in life and everyone else is just an acquaintance. Like you, I have many amazing cyber friends which is a different type of friendship but still valued.
Do what makes you happy Maria. Your blog is so very inspiring to so many people. Even some of my clients here in NC love your blog!
Thanks for showing us the softer, personal side of Maria. You have many friends here! XOXO
I agree with Louise – “we are lucky if we have even 2 true friends in our life”. So very true. This is one thing I found out the hard way can go downhill very quickly and as anyone who has suffered the end of a once great friendship knows, it’s a very painful process. I am very careful now on making the differentiation between calling someone a ‘friend’ and an ‘acquaintance’.
Maria, I am always excited to see your daily blog appear in my inbox. The reason? I know it will be thought-provoking. I don’t agree with you on some things, (like granite countertops!) but you have opened up a whole new world of color awareness for me and for lots of other people. I’ve learned things from you that have made my life richer. Thank you so much.
When I think of you I think, “my friend, Maria” (even though I haven’t seen you in 16,17 years…) That friend thing can feel so unsettling when you are an expressive emotional person.
I recently have been reminded how few friends I really have due to some dramatic life changes and it’s been a challenge to keep thoughts of myself in the positive because of it. The speed and busyness of life challenges friendships and relationships.
You know that saying about elephants and their memories and that they never forget…they even remember where their ancestors have died years and years later and will cry when stumbling upon the burial site…amazing. I sometimes feel I’m like an elephant, I remember people and how much I like them even when I don’t see them or interact with them regularly but they don’t always remember me the same way if I’m not in their lives on a regular basis.
I too have learned (like some of your readers) not all people I love can be my friends.
You are inspirational and a wonderful teacher! Whether or not you have this blog you will always be “friend” in my mind:) Thank you!
This is good advice about blogging, Maria. To make money, it should be treated as a business venture, not a hobby. You are also the third person I’ve read this month saying that blogging has had a negative effect on their relationship – all for the same reason. It takes so much time and attention.
I agree with the other commentators that having a couple true friends is a blessing.
I too have no pause button and for years said exactly what I felt at the moment. It took me many more years to realize that I would rather be happy than right! I had no priority for my discontent either – I went from zero to ten in seconds about minor annoyances as well as bigger issues. When I realized that anger stuck with me even though I thought I let it go, I was not as happy as I thought. Today, I would rather be happy than right and other people don’t have to see my point of view, or change theirs, nor do I have to share my point of view on every issue. Only the ones that are truly important to me morally and ethically. It changed my life.
Your blog is the first thing I look for when I go to my e-mail. I LOVE your advice on choosing paint colors and everything else, too. I also so enjoy your openness. I would much rather have a few true friends who I can say anything to than a scad of friends who I sort of watch what I say. Yes, saying what upsets you to whoever is there, just might get you in trouble. What about your cell phone and phoning your mom and/or sister?
Thank you sooooooo much for your blog and being so dedicated to it. Your blog has changed the way I select paint for my house, and the result is a delightful home.
Your the best!
Maria. I was just thinking about how generous you were to me when I was writing my blog. You linked my post about color on your blog which gave me new traffic. I thought that was so unselfish for a big time blogger to do and it made me want to do the same for new bloggers. I have the same issue with making and keeping friends so I can’t give any good advice. I do like your idea of The Year of Friends.
where do we go to read your blog?
I can’t imagine not ever meeting you!! If you never blogged, I would have never blogged! I have met some of my favorite people through my blog- so thankful for them because they encourage me, cheer for me and are happy for my events in my real life. More than my ‘real’ friends. My online friends seem to understand me better!
I have been on the receiving end of someone who said whatever was on her mind. It wasn’t fun. She felt better expressing herself though. If we consider how our words might affect the other person it helps us decide whether or not to say them. Sometimes, yes and sometimes maybe not so much.
There is a difference in being honest WHEN SOMEONE ASKS, versus throwing out unsolicited opinions. Trust me, as a mother in law I try very hard to put that into practice. Also, I think we all struggle with using our words appropriately. Words are very powerful. Hey, the important thing is that we are open to learn, right?
Your blog is great and your talent obvious! I think being honest is particularly needed in your profession.
Maria, your post spoke volumes to me. I too have lots of people in my life but true bff’s are hard to find. I do know how much I enjoy your blog. It’s a friend in my in box! Not sure what the answer is, but if your ever in Burnaby and want to meet for coffee or scope out the furniture in Gastown, South Gran , or Armoury district let me know! In the meantime enjoy your mom and sis. the best friends you will ever have!
Maria, Me too! I spent the first years of my life keeping it all in, this half I can not be silent about things that bother me. Like you, I get over it quickly. Talking it all over, the good and the not so good. Being understood is the most important thing. All the undertones of our life can be seen when we know the why. I hope you will count me as one of your blogger friends! I don’t comment often but I am a loyal reader, and fan! Your pal, Kathie
I have to laugh every time you talk about processing out loud and believing you’ll never get cancer. I feel the same way! I never realized I processed out loud until years ago I had a boss who commented about it. She said that at first she thought I lacked self-confidence, then realized that I was just processing everything through, and that I was okay after I figured it out. It’s just that 99% of the people hide their thoughts and feelings so it makes them seem like they have it all together. Here’s for transparency!!!
Gosh Maria, you’ve touched upon a subject which seldom comes up, yet so important to quality of life. My closest friends have moved away over the years and I miss them. It is not so simple to find those with like interests, and often they already have their circle. But I am grateful for the few constant friends nearby that are in my life. My guess is that blogs and forums fill a need for many in the digital age that we’re in.
I am completely with you on the ‘pause button’ thing (or lack thereof) – you learn over the years when to hit it!
As usual, you make everyone think about different things,not just about color,kitchens,etc Quit being so hard on yourself, friends ebb & flow, I have had great friends for over 40 years, and have made 2 new ones that I treasure as much after investing the time and energy into it,because that is what it takes to have new people in your life,your first priority should be to your partner,making sure your still connecting and having fun together,it’s easy to take people for granted when they are just there,anyone else should just be a bonus, the girl scout song sure had it right when I was 10, Make new friends,but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold!
Hey Maria, I too spend endless hours on the computer and have had to take time out to reflect on what really matters in life. Although you need to be dedicated in order to make your own business succeed – afterall it’s all on you! – you also need to be disciplined when it comes to knowing when things can wait. Currently my one child is struggling a bit in school so I need to seriously put the brakes on in getting carried away with every social media site and focus on helping my son with his school work. I am now limiting my blog posts to once a week (although it has now nearly been 2 weeks, eek!) I would not hold it against you if you wrote one less blog post a week to spend that much needed time with your other half in the morning to reflect, chat and have coffee. Balance is key and we have to remind ourselves – Are we working to live or living to work?