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Love it or leave it

Words to live by.

I was the only mom in my daughter’s grade school who did not push her kid to play sports.  I encouraged her to try them, but promised her she could quit if she found she didn’t love it after three tries.

She tried basketball, soccer and volleyball and she hated them all.

The outcry from her coaches and fellow parents was deafening. I was chastised for encouraging my child to be a quitter.  I was told it would haunt her all the rest of her days. I didn’t budge.

My philosophy was that playing sports was her free time. School provided plenty of structure in her days (often times, too much) and her deluge of homework was an unyielding extension of that structure.

The last thing my child needed was something else she had to do every week that she wasn’t thrilled about. Not on my watch.

I wanted to teach her that she could try new things without having to suffer a consequence of being forced to stick with it if she didn’t enjoy it.

I am happy to report that my baby girl grew up to be a beautiful young woman who is successful, well adjusted (most days) and a working (thank you God!) professional. She loves trying new things and does so with great frequency. She sticks with those she likes and abandons the rest with no regret. I am a proud and happy mom. But more importantly, she is a proud and happy adult.

I practice what I preach. Can you see where this is going?

I said I would give it a shot at writing a blog a day for 31 days. The writing is no problem. The liking it is.

I love my blog. I love the people on the other side of it. I love putting out (get your mind out of the gutter) a weekly blog but I’ve hated blogging every day.

Unless I am getting paid for it, (I’ll listen to all offers)I began to wonder why I wasn’t observing the same rule of thumb I gave to my daughter.

I then had a conversation with my fabulous website administrator who told me that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by writing a blog every day unless I was committed to keeping it up at that pace. Um, … no. He explained in detail how it will negatively affect my SEO standing in the long run as Google favors consistency in blog posts. Hey, Google! My middle name is consistency!

Trusting Adrian (that’s my administrator’s name) is easy. He built my entire website and keeps it running like a finely tuned machine. He is also wicked smart and rocks at what he does. I’m serious, the young man is brilliant and why I didn’t speak to him before beginning this quest is something I’m sure I will punish myself for later.

The last few days I have felt a little bit like that person who is trying to quit smoking; jittery, obsessed and determined. Okay, fine, I may have been a little on the bitchy side. I said maybe.

So here’s what I’m thinking. Let’s get together a couple of times a week, swap ideas, opinions, insults and compliments. This everyday stuff is like having a relative you love come visit every day. Pretty soon you’re both sick of each other.

Take the weekend off. Do fun and interesting things or spend a couple of days in your bathrobe (in my house we call them wellness days) and we’ll meet back here next week.

Have I got a doozie (not a real word) of story for you!


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sue cove - Tammy I have loved seeing your blog…you have such wonderful things to write about.
You remind me of me when my kids tried sports..lets see chris broke his arm, alison cracked a tooth and lowell always cried.
They are alive and well and making their own way. None really ever played sports.
I am so proud of all of them!
Tammy you are just the best. Thanks and have a great robe weekend! a large hug. S.

Kris Henderson - I love being committed to a worthy cause myself. My husband, my job, my friends, my kids….the list goes on and on, but I too wondered about the BIGNESS of blogging every day. Hence the reason I didn’t take the challenge (or commitment). I think your Adrian is a wise man. One should only do what they love – and you are, just not every day. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. See you next week!

Jeff Davidson - Tammy,

I was not very good at sports growing up and I was always fought over when picking teams for football, basseball or basketball. Not to be on the team, but rather, who doesn’t have to have him on their team.

I found something that I loved and took to like a fish to water or a bird to air, and that was horsebackriding. Excelling at something you love and enjoy is a great way to build self confidence and self esteem. it really helped me.

I always felt that if I had had children, they would try all kinds of things and have a variety of experiences. If they did not like it they would have to pursue it, just don’t be afraid of it because of lack of knowledge. Just don’t do it because you don’t enjoy it.

You did the “right” thing in my mind.

Enjoy the “bathrobe thing” but take it off one in awhile just for fun. You just might find that you like doing that!!??

You are my Erma Bombeck.
Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson - Third paragraph correction –
“they would NOT have to pursue it”

Sorry!
Jeff Davidson

Kellie - BRAVO my blogging DIVA! I love it when we know who we are…..

Tammy - Sue thanks for the encouraging words! You’re awesome. I shall be thinking of you as I cuddle up in my pink fuzzy robe this weekend. Good thoughts! Thanks for being here.

Tammy - Jeff, your story sounds a lot like mine, only I never found that special sport that spoke to me. I’ve stopped looking. I love doing my needlepoint and my reading, gee, that makes me sound so boring! We are of the same mind; time is a gift, best not to waste it doing stuff you don’t have to do that you don’t like anyway! Thanks, Jeff, for calling me your Erma Bombeck. That is awesome and so are you! Thanks for your post!
ps- I figured out what you meant but it’s good to get your correction so that it wasn’t an assumption.

Tammy - Kellie, you got that right! Hope to see you here next week. Thanks for posting.

Lee Lefton - Tammy,

Here’s what I think. Blog when you want and not when you don’t. Write for you first. SEO be damned.

Contrary to what all of those “in the know” say, there are no hard and fast rules. Except the ones you make for yourself. And those are always subject to change.

If you’re writing to build a following and get work, you don’t need to. You will get work whether you write or not. Whether you write every day. Twice a week. Once a week. Twice a month. None of it really matters.

For as long as we’ve known each other –what, almost thirty years — you have always landed on your feet. Come up smelling like a rose. Been a leader to people who have always followed and will continue to do so.

It’s just who you are.

Deal with it.

Tammy - Well, Lee, this might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. And deal with it I shall. But not before I give thanks for friends like you. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could only perceive ourselves to be the very real person that we are? A work in progress. Much love and respect going your way, my friend.

Kesha Brown - Tammy girl, you are hilarious (re: …I love putting out (get your mind out of the gutter…)) LOL

I feel you though. I had originally committed to 6 days a week but now down to 5 days a week. It is a huge time consumer and with a full time job, web design business, and 2 blogs and all the social properties that go along with it (yes, I fit the Jamaican stereotype with 10 jobs!), it gets hard to keep up!

Continue to do you and bring us great content a couple of times a week 😉

~Kesha

Suerae Stein - Woo Hoo Tammy! Good for you! I love how you write and would hate for you to hate it. I too am struggling with this every day blogging, and believe that I will be cutting back as well. I kind of feel like you just gave me permission – thank you! 🙂

Tammy - Suerae, You got my permission girl! Actually, Adrian gave us all permission. God bless him! I have no problem with deadlines and commitments, I truly don’t. But when you are doing something for pleasure, to build a base, to build a platform, and it’s your spare time….I mean really!? Stress I’ve got in many other places of my life. I don’t need it or want it in my blog. That is my “special place” with my “special people”. That’s all there is to it. Let me know how it goes for ya. As always, Suerae, thanks for being here.

Tammy - Kesha, I’m exhausted reading all that you do every day. My take is blogging should be a labor of love, not a labor. Yes, we are all working on building a following and taking it to the next level but we don’t have to bash our brains out doing it. Nothing makes our writing more stale or hostile than a stale and hostile writer. You can quote me on that. I admire your Jamaican stereotype efforts…you go girl!! I’ll be reading.

Jenny - whew! I have been traveling with Mr. Karl and thought I would miss soooo many blogs. I just like it whenever you write since I get a chance to think and smile.

Tammy - Jenny, it’s always easy to play catch-up on blogs. I fed the fish while you were gone (hey, somebody had to do it). Hope the travels were awesome. Welcome home and thanks for posting, Missy!

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