When a Labor of Love Becomes Just a Labor

As April draws to a close, I can’t help but think… here we are in the fourth month of the year, and I have blogged exactly one time. What happened? Or rather I should ask, what continues to happen, because this is a repeated incident if my previous false starts at blogging are any indication.

It took a few days, but the answer finally came to me: After talking with a friend about her failed attempts at keeping a journal, I realized I was taking a similar approach to blogging—with much the same results. I felt I had to adhere to a set of rules, and these arbitrary self-imposed restrictions made what should be a relaxing, enjoyable hobby feel like work. I was trying to make my blog into something it’s not, from which I got no joy in sustaining.

Look, I am insanely proud of the fact that Alexis and I became debt free. It was not an easy path for us to go down, and I love to share the story of how we did. Make no mistake, we made sacrifices and decisions that few people we know are willing to make. However, we would be foolish not to recognize the insane privilege we enjoy. Both of us had minimal debt, no children, and extremely well-paying jobs. Neither of us had to take a second job to pay off our debt, and we really didn’t even have to change our lifestyle that much to do so either. The sacrifices we made were nothing compared to how some people live normally. We essentially quit buying frivolous shit, didn’t travel for a year, and went out less. We also ate rice and beans… A lot. Some of the changes we made have even carried over into our post-debt lives! I still don’t have a data plan on my phone. Yes, you heard me right. I have an iPhone, and unless I have a WiFi connection, I don’t have the internet. Yet here I am, still walking around and breathing.

Do you know how many people live in real poverty? Even right here in the US, there are people without access to basic necessities like food and shelter. People for whom getting out of debt means real sacrifice and difficult choices, like whether to pay rent this month or put food on the table. My heart breaks for those people, and sharing my story feels disingenuous when compared with their very real struggles. Not to mention the fact that millennial bloggers who share such sage wisdom about finance as to quit buying Starbucks are a dime a dozen now. I still love to read their blogs, but I get no enjoyment from the task of writing such a blog myself. Besides, these days I am more interested in learning how to start a business, find secondary streams of income, and invest more of my money (thus, reducing my taxable income) than anything.

Instead, I am going to simply write about whatever suits my fancy at the moment. Whatever makes me happy. Sometimes that might mean financial posts, sometimes politics, but mostly I think it means getting back to my roots of exploring and sharing my experiences with books, music, art, and nature. We’ll see how this goes.

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