#AtoZChallenge | Reflections Post. Carving out time for the things we love.

Last year was all about connections, and this year it was about making time for the things that nourish me and bring joy into my life.

I’ve always loved this quote:

Earth Art

It is one of the reasons I love crafting and working on art projects. It adds beauty to my world. It also fills up my soul with happiness. My theme this year of craft projects for my home accomplished both for me.

This has been a busy few months to the point where I had to take a step back. I burnt out with some family projects that were becoming all consuming leaving me with little free time. After two straight months without a break, I was overwhelmed and exhausted.

While the blogging challenge is also time intensive, the energy I spend on my crafts, writing my posts, and visiting other blogs was the one area I wasn’t willing to give up. Creativity and passion are sustaining forces and I think it is critical that we make space for them in our lives. When life becomes too busy, they are often the first to go. I made it a priority although did ultimately have to let go of a few things along the way.

Click on any picture to jump to a slide show with hyperlinks to my A to Z Challenge Posts associated with each image.

While I successfully completed the A to Z, and did a mini-reflections in my final Z post, My Zine Goes Digital to Showcase My Crafty April, the final half was harder to keep up with and I was not able to visit as many new bloggers as I would have liked. I did visit and comment every day on many blogs but I had hoped to connect with even more bloggers from the challenge this year. Fortunately, the road trip will give me a second chance to connect.

I also had set an additional challenge for myself around social media and attempted to post Instagram Stories for each of my blogs. I made it about half way through on that extra challenge but given the intensity of the month had to cut something. While it made me sad, I am also in the middle of my One Little Word® project and this month’s prompt was to let something go so that gave me the encouragement I needed to make some hard choices. While I didn’t make it the full month, I did enough story posts where I feel more comfortable with that feature and will definitely use it again in the future so I feel like I still achieved the ultimate goal of learning a new skill.

The biggest thing that stands out to me this year was that I felt like I was virtually visiting with old friends. This is my fifth year doing the blogging challenge and there are bloggers that I have been connecting with the entire time and it feels wonderful to check in and see how they’re doing during the challenge. While I hope to be better about doing that throughout the year too, the intensity and connection of April is still unique and it made me especially happy this year.

At a time when there was too much on my plate, checking in with my fellow bloggers each night helped keep me grounded.

Please be sure to check out my craft zine as I highlighted some of the fellow bloggers that I connected with during the challenge. I think it’s important that we support one another and wanted to be sure to give a shout out to all the other bloggers working hard to share their stories and passions.

Passion is a good thing.

WIM Signature

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32 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Reflections Post. Carving out time for the things we love.

  1. Trudy says:

    I love that quote!!!

    I didn’t get to as many new blogs as I hoped to this year, either. I always think, “Next year I’ll do better” but that hasn’t been the case.

    I felt honored to see one of my comments shared in your Zine! Thank you!

    Like

  2. Lisa says:

    What a nice way to remind us of all your A to Z posts, with the circles. Then, to have them click to a slideshow! Great! I enjoyed your A to Zs.

    Like

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      Thank you! I like seeing all the craft images together in the gallery. By the time we got to Z, even I had a hard time remember all the crafts I had done so it’s nice to see them all together.

      Like

  3. Gail M Baugniet says:

    Just reading about all of your projects is making me tired! Not sure how you keep up. Thank you for all your colorful posts in April, especially the ones featuring butterflies. And thanks for visiting to read my reflections.

    Like

  4. Arti Jain says:

    I ‘d say ditto to “The biggest thing that stands out to me this year was that I felt like I was virtually visiting with old friends.”
    I guess this year of lockdowns and sequestering made these virtual visits even more special.
    I loved all your posts Karen. And this well laid out Reflection post is no exception.
    ‘Passion is a good thing.’ indeed and so are these wonderful connections:)
    Have a wonderful summer.
    Here’s my reflection post: https://artismoments.blogspot.com/2021/05/reflection-post-for-atozchallenge-2021.html

    Like

  5. Deborah Weber says:

    It was a delight following your posts. And kudos to you for giving the Instagram posting a try AND releasing it when it became too much. The challenge provides us with all kinds of opportunities to learn things, doesn’t it?

    Like

  6. Keith's Ramblings says:

    Your posts were so inspirational. Several, I’ve kept notes on and will be using myself.
    Your Zine is amazing! I’m definitely going to have a go at one, probably featuring My Friend Rosey who took a back during April! I was chuffed to bits to discover you featured one of my comments.
    Thank you for somehow finding the time to visit my place. It was much appreciated.

    Like

  7. Stu says:

    Hi
    you know me: I almost always visit the other blogs after April, although I do my darndest. This month was, like you, a bit of TOO MUCH. Keeping the creativity active was important. I spent so much time getting what I wanted out, on top of all the other creative projects I do.

    Thanks for visiting. I will be back.
    Stu
    Tale Spinning
    Reflection on Liquid Time: https://stuartnager.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/contemplation-on-liquid-time-2021-a-to-z-blogging-challenge-reflection/

    Like

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