I Stepped Off The Hamster Wheel – And I Liked It

Blimey – I haven’t blogged for nine days. NINE days! And as much as I love my blog and blogging, stepping off the hamster wheel for a while did me good.

Since I wrote my first post about Hugo in April 2014, I’ve written pretty much every day. Blogging has been my therapy, an outlet for my grief, giving me a purpose, introducing me to new friends and opportunities. In short, it has kept me going.

For a long time, I felt I could not stop with the blog. It is such an integral part of Hugo’s Legacy; the feeling that I must persist came from the sense of guilt I felt about Hugo’s early birth and his death; the sense that I must punish myself. The guilt has not completely disappeared – it will always linger – but I am now better able to give myself a bit of a break.

And, in fact, that break was enforced on me because I refused to give in to self-care. A virus came along and laid me low, and emotional torments on top of that meant I had little choice but to give writing a break.

I am moving forward. Ever finding my way through living with grief and trauma: discovering my strengths and my limitations, redefining my passions and ambitions.

I’ve been thinking for a while about where I want to take my blog and Hugo’s Legacy next, but never stopping long enough to give it any real thought. Pausing helped my ideas fall in to place. I’d been considering transferring my blog and going self-hosted for a while; the knowledge that otherwise I did not own my content had been niggling at me. Feeling inspired by my ideas – ideas that could only be fully realised with the freedom a self-hosted site offers – I just got on and did it.

I have some notes about what my own personal aims and objectives are, what I need to do to achieve them, and the role my blog can play in fulfilling them. Rough notes are enough: a direction, a focus, no need for detailed plans because who knows what might happen in life? No faffing, no over-thinking – I have just got on and done it.

The process of transferring everything over was a bit stressful at first, but mostly just time-consuming. The biggest challenge, I think, was choosing a new theme! I’ve been enjoying tinkering with it to make it truly ‘mine’, and will be writing a post about it for the benefit of anyone else considering the self-hosted plunge.

All will be revealed over the coming weeks. I know it’s mean to tease, but to give you a taster my focus will be along the lines of my new strapline: “Moving forward after trauma and loss…with passion, humour and style.”

My new direction is a magazine style blog, a resource for people who have lost a loved one, and/or suffered trauma – and anyone else who needs a bit of realistic inspiration in their life. By ‘realistic inspiration’ I mean acknowledging that we all have aims, ambitions, hopes and dreams but life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to – how can we pick ourselves up afterwards?

I’ll be looking at the things that make me happy, self-care, ways to navigate the bad days, and other things that make me, me. I want to show others that life is not always easy, but it can be meaningful and include joy.

And I want Hugo’s Legacy to spread still further.

14 Comments on I Stepped Off The Hamster Wheel – And I Liked It

  1. Steph @MisplacedBrit
    August 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s a fantastic new strapline.
    …And realistic inspiration is beautiful x
    Well done for taking the whole 9 days… A lot of us could do with scheduling stepping off the hamster wheel every now and again for some fresh perspective 🙂

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Steph, I really appreciate your support xxx

      Reply
  2. Kiran
    August 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Well done Leigh, for taking the break, making the decision, and making it happen. I can’t wait to watch Hugo’s legacy grow even further with your new direction. You’re an amazing woman lovely, keep on taking care. XX

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Kiran xxx

      Reply
  3. mummyshambles
    August 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Good for you, Leigh.
    Look forward to the future posts.
    I’m off and on the hamster wheel more times than a hamster on a caffeine trip. I know that doesn’t make sense.
    Made me laugh, your title did. Hugs X

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Haha – glad my title made you laugh – as did your comment! xxx

      Reply
  4. Tim
    August 6, 2015 at 8:01 am (2 years ago)

    I look forward to seeing how the blog evolves, Leigh. I think an occasional break every now and then is good. I make a point of switching off when we go away for our summer holiday (although I’ll have scheduled some posts and will still be floating around on Twitter because that counts as play rather than work as far as I’m concerned).Recharge the batteries, take stock – all those things that are difficult to do properly when you’re running flat out. Glad you sound the better for it!

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Tim – so true, we need time to take stock, recharge the batteries. Enjoy your holiday! x

      Reply
  5. Mummy Tries
    August 6, 2015 at 7:30 am (2 years ago)

    Congrats on going self hosted, it’s a faff as you say, but so worth doing. Absolutely love your new strapline, and the sound of a magazine type resource. You’ll help so many others who are struggling to get where you are, after being where you’ve been.

    A nasty bout of illness forced me off the hamster wheel too, crazy how that’s become the only way we take a break!! xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Renee – crazy we have to be forced to make a break isn’t it? Hope my new blog will be useful to others xxx

      Reply
  6. Mummy Writes
    August 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Flipping love this! I’m so pleased for you and glad you took a rest, even if forced. I find blogging daily a real drain and with my mind unwell I have splurges of out pouring followed by lulls. I’ve accepted that it’s OK. I really look forward to reading your future posts, you’ve already created a wealth of content to help others and I love the sound of your new concept. Keep up with the self care though lovely xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

      I feel like that at the moment, Kelly – splurges followed by lulls. It really is ok. Thank you for your support xxx

      Reply
  7. Hannah Budding Smiles
    August 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Huge well done and high five on doing your new site, it’s fab! I love your new strapline and I think you and Hugo’s legacy will keep going from strength to strength even more now than before. Love and hugs xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      August 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Hannah xxx

      Reply

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