TObviously the posts are not going up and I’m failing at writing daily so I’ve decided to take a different approach.  Instead of committing to “making content” and writing about running a business as an expat, I’ve decided that over August I’m going to just write a post every day.  We’ll see what topics come to the surface and where my mind wanders during the exercise.  After all, the end goal of all of this is to exercise my writing skills and find my voice as a writer, not to create content.  It’d be nice if something more came from the blog but to plan and push for that, without ever having tried writing first, is putting the cart before the horse.  I  need to keep in mind that this is a creative time and doesn’t mean that I need to feel guilty about not being productive or working towards a goal.  Too often I put myself in this position where I’m only thinking about where I’d ideally like everything to be and I neglect to think about the path to get there.  Then in the end I feel bad for not achieving those goals.   It actually seems really silly when I write it down but that’s the truth of it.

Today ended up being a really nice day, despite not being overly productive.  I got a few small things off my to do list, but I still haven’t finished the training manual I need to finish for work.  When I scan my to do list it’s the only thing that makes me uncomfortable, which means it’s probably the most important thing on my plate.  I get lost when I sit down to work on it because I haven’t decided what I want it to be and what would be actually useful.  I could get super nitty gritty and  turn it into a massive thing or just keep it basic and superficial.   I know I’m just paralyzing myself with fear of getting it wrong, and I need to push through and just pump out a first draft.  Well, despite not making progress on the manual, it was Erik’s first full day back in town and it was wonderful to have him back again.  The office felt empty without him and for me, at least, it was hard to stay motivated while he was traveling.  Granted, his sending me photos of all the food and beer he was consuming in Montreal didn’t really help.  It’s easy for the grass to seem greener when you’re surrounded by cement.

We skipped morning stretches and meditation and got up late, had a slow breakfast and talked about changes.  There’s so much that needs to be improved and almost everything comes down to lifestyle.  When you live as an expat it’s so easy to keep everything temporary — why have matching plates when you might leave in a couple years and get rid of everything?  Why invest in nice furniture if you just have to haul it across the world later?  While it’s freeing to not have any material items that you value, it also becomes really frustrating when you’re building something very permanent but living in a temporary space.  We’re looking at 5 to 10 year plans for our business but won’t commit to changing the hideous wallpaper in our kitchen because we might not stay in this apartment.  And this becomes more of an issue of changing our mindset about our lifestyle.

The first post is always the trickiest.  You haven’t started with any momentum.  There’s no thread to pick up on.  And really, why should anyone be listening to you?  So to get the ball rolling I guess I should layout why I’m starting the blog and what kind of content I want to focus on.  My life revolves around Magpie, our small brewing company and 3 bars, and because of this I’m fixated on how someone learns about running a business, being an expat and how to be honest with myself about work-life balance (if it’s actually possible!).  Magpie has been open for 2.5 years now and I’m stretched thin mentally and physically weak.  I’m waking up and thinking, why do I feel so exhausted?  Is there any way to truly be more effective and not feel like I ran a marathon?  Well, the best way to figure it out is to track it, so that’s what the purpose of the blog is — a record of what works in getting my life and work back in balance so I can get back to larger life goals.