I’ve got to fess up. I’m in burnout mode. My posting here on Melanie In The Middle has been sporadic at best lately. Not the way I like to do things. Usually writing is a joy. Sharing my thoughts and experiences with you usually makes me happy. I’m not even entirely sure what the issue is. Part of it definitely has to do with the holiday prep and actual meal execution that has rendered me useless ever since.
Another part of it is keeping up with the Joneses. But I’m jumping way ahead of myself. Let me tell you about this past weekend and then I’ll move onto deeper thoughts…
This past weekend I competed in a cookie baking competition called The Cookie Takedown. Basically I had to bake 150 of some type of cookie which would be judged against a dozen or so other competitors. And it sounded like so much fun when I signed up. But little did I know how exhausted I would be the weekend after Thanksgiving. Certainly not up to baking 150 cookies. That’s a lot of cookies.
But I said I’d do it, so I got to baking. Usually when I enter these types of things I go all out. I study what ingredients are trending and I develop my recipe to be a serious contender. This time I just didn’t have the energy to do that. So instead I picked a very Pinterest popular recipe I shared on A Beautiful Bite, Espresso Snaps. Not trendy, but a big hit with the people who’ve made them.
As I packaged the cookies up for the trek to Boston, I told my family not to expect a win. The cookie recipe wasn’t trendy enough to guarantee a victory. But I liked the idea of being part of the bake-off. Sometimes just being a part of something is enough of a win.
And the experience was pretty nifty. It was held in the most unlikely of places. A metal band club in Cambridge. And while Metallica was blaring overhead, people milled around in the dark room sampling cookies while drinking milk or spiked egg nog.
And as strange as that sounds, it sort of worked. Funky, sweet and edgy. Just what you’d expect from a cookie competition in Cambridge.
As predicted, I didn’t win. I didn’t even place in the top three. And that is totally fine. You can’t win them all. My kids were sort of shocked that I didn’t win and even more incredulous that I didn’t even place.
And what I told them was that you just can’t be the best all of the time. It’s just not possible. Sometimes it’s ok to fail. To be not as good as the next guy. Which leads me to what I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Keeping up with the Joneses…
Blogging is tough work. I know it seems like a simple thing to do. Jotting down your thoughts and opinions. Slapping up some Pinterest worthy pictures here and there.
Well, let me tell you, it’s exhausting. There are tons of great blogs out there to read. Beautiful blogs loaded with inspirational thoughts. Pictures of perfectly dressed kids. Wisdom on parenting/relationships/life.
A lot of competition for your eyeballs.
Us bloggers are keenly aware of that. That we need to offer you something to keep you coming back for more.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not quite enough. That I’m not interesting enough. That my kids aren’t perfect looking enough. (note the crumbs on Leela’s face above) That my writing isn’t good enough. That I’m not young/thin/perfect/smart enough. And I could go on and on. Self doubt is a persistent enemy.
But I know in my heart of hearts all of that doesn’t really matter.
I’m me. I may not like the hippest music (I get criticized on that one often). I might not write the most inspiring posts. My punctuation and writing style sort of sucks. And lately I’m not feeling all that inspired to say anything at all.
But you know what? That’s ok. Sometimes I’m not enough to satisfy everyone’s needs. And as much as I’d like to change me to make others happy, it isn’t really possible.
So I’m starting to look at this blog the way I looked at that cookie competition. I’m not in it to win it. I’m never going to be The Pioneer Woman or Bakerella or Dooce or The Bloggess. I’m just not able to compete with that at this point in my life. Or maybe even ever. And some people would consider that a total fail.
But you know what? I’m ok with that fail. I don’t need to win, but I sure like being a part of the game. And for me, that has to be enough.