Blogging Stress – Expectations vs. Reality

 

I love to blog.  It’s my creative outlet, it’s a hobby and I love it.  AND blogging stresses me out sometimes.  Let’s read that again.

“Blogging: I love doing it…it stresses me out.”

Get it?  Makes sense, right?  Right.  Wrong.  Why do I love it, if it causes stress?  Or, why do I get stressed, if I love doing it?  People who know me personally, also know that I am not the person who thrives when stressed out.  On the contrary.  I’m a “difficult” person to be around when stressed.  (I chose to put that nicely.)

Cooking, trying out new recipes, capturing the food in a picture, writing about it and sharing it with the world, is a wonderful experience.  I love sharing things that I am enthusiastic about, attempting to spark that same enthusiasm among the people around me.  And yet, I recently discovered that the blogging (in particular writing about food), is the cause of some (mild) stress.

And it all boils down to: Expectations.

The other day, my friend Amy came over for a play date with her 2 daughters.  The plan: the kids would play, tiring themselves out to then later take a long beautiful nap so we, mamas, would have a few hours for ourselves.  And while they played, Amy and I would catch up.  We would have lunch together, allowing the kids to play a bit longer, and then Amy and the girls would return home.  The little ones had a great time, Amy and I enjoyed a slice of cake and something to drink while we chatted and filled each other in on the news in our mutual lives.  And then lunch time came around.

And that’s when it hit me:

Not only was the cake store bought (thank you Trader Joe’s), but for lunch I wasn’t cooking anything (from scratch)!  I had hot dogs for the kids.  On buns.  With ketchup.  And mustard.  Amy had brought a fruit salad and I (subconsciously) decided that I had let her (and the kids) down.  Here I am, writing about food, posting delicious recipes with beautiful, mouthwatering photos and what do I serve the kids for lunch?  Hot dogs.  HOT DOGS!!!  Seriously?  I couldn’t have gone a little further than that and made something a bit more nutritious?  Don’t mind I did my groceries for the week and cleaned half of the house, all before their arrival at 10am.  I felt like I had let her down and couldn’t stop apologizing.

On Monday evening: same thing.  David was out and wasn’t going to be home for dinner. After a busy day I decided I wasn’t going to cook, but was going to do the unthinkable (for someone who is opposed to microwaving food): the boys and I were going to have the Trader Joe’s Mac ‘n Cheese (which, by the way, for frozen Mac ‘n Cheese is REALLY good!!).  And there is the knock on the door.  My neighbor Adam stops by to pick up some of the blueberry muffins I had made and had offered to share with him.  Kai is delighted with the visit and manages to draw Adam into the backyard where the guy ends up pushing both boys on the swing.  Dinner time arrives, Adam doesn’t have any plans, so I invite him to stay for dinner.  My mind starts racing as I am desperately trying to figure out what on earth to serve him.  After all, I can’t just serve him Mac ‘n Cheese, right?!  Cocktail is whipped up, in the hopes to make the lack of home cooking a little bit less noticeable and salad is tossed together.  I think it was the home made dressing that saved that one.  Thank heavens I had made Lavender Crème Brûlée, so we do leave dinner at a high note, yet still feeling slightly awkward for the microwaved “entree”.

The bottom line is: here I am, with a semi-food blog, feeling guilty when I don’t serve some sort of success story on a plate to every single soul who enters my house.  And where does the guilt come from?  Me.  Certainly not from anyone else, other than me, myself and I.

Now that’s enlightening: Expectations vs. Reality

Neither Amy, nor Adam walked in the door expecting a 5-course meal, served with perfection.  They came to hang out and catch up.  Now, the kids on the other side, were devastated with the hot dogs.  How could I not have tailored lunch to their highly refined taste buds?  Shame on me.  Not really.  They loved the hot dogs.  What I think people expect isn’t necessarily reality.  And what I think people expect, causes stress, discomfort and guilt.  So, I have decided not to think anymore.

But seriously, who am I to know what others think?  What others expect?  Not my place.  Don’t assume, you’re wrong most of the time anyways.  Clearly communicate.  So, on that note, let me be clear:

To all my friends who come over to visit: I love you all dearly.  I love to cook as well.  However, when you come over, I prefer talking with you and spending time with you over cooking away in the kitchen.  When you come over often enough, you will certainly receive some yummy cooking, but sometimes, I just love to serve hot dogs or microwaved Mac ‘n Cheese.  Just so you know.

 

Until the next time,

Savor food, savor family, savor life.
- Marieke, aka HRH Mommy

 

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Published on: June 6, 2012 | Tags: , , , ,

4 Responses to Blogging Stress – Expectations vs. Reality

  1. Shaun B. says:

    Boy are you a better person than I. Feeling guilt over not serving a 5-course meal on non-special occasions is not in my DNA. But like you, I do believe that cocktails are a good distraction. I shall, however, try that Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese.

    • Marieke says:

      Just so you know, I did NOT get paid by TJ’s to write that ;-) Add a bit freshly ground black pepper and (for a Microwave meal) it ain’t bad.

  2. Pamela S says:

    Hee hee–even when feeling guilty and blogging about TJ’s food instead of your own, you throw in the pepper part for making the Mac N Cheese taste better. You crack me up. A true foodie at work! I promise not to expect a 5 course meal the next time we’re over. And please probably expect hot dogs at my house…but only because Taylor won’t eat Mac N Cheese…

    • Marieke says:

      I sooo felt the need to apologize to you the other day too, but I had already written this piece and had decided I didn’t have to. Man it was difficult!! Thanks for confirming your (lack of) expectations though. Pfew, relief.

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