Obviously being the ones who plan Food for Thought, myself and May get a bit of a heads up about the future topics. As someone who likes to plan and schedule her blog posts ahead of time, this is great for me. When May said she was taking up the suggestion offered to us of ‘Rituals’ by SwirlingFire, I instantly wondered what on earth I would have to say for that.
Of course, I could just take a week off from F4TFriday, that’s not a problem at all, but I do like a challenge, so I let my mind keep pondering the subject in the hope that something would come to me. The truth is though despite my keen interest in BDSM and the number of opportunities that offers us to engage in rituals I really don’t have many in my life.
As someone with anxiety, or at least an anxious personality, I am very wary of rituals. I worry that embracing any, or too many rituals will see me doomed to failure and thrust into a panic of ‘oh no, I didn’t do x, y or z’. As I mulled this over in mind I realised the thing I am most ritualistic about is blogging, and it confirms that my avoidance of rituals is probably a wise move.
I am borderline obsessive about my blog, and this intensifies when I am feeling at my most anxious. When I felt completely lost and felt like I was failing in terms of the goals I thought I should be achieving with my writing I fell into the idea that so long as I just kept creating it would all be fine. When people comment that they wish they could be as prolific with their content creation as I seem to be, inside I’m thinking about why I am that way and it isn’t always pretty.
Every day when I wake up coffee and blogging are the first things on the agenda. Every. Single. Day! If I’ve got a post published for a meme I head to link it up. Now with the addition of #F4TFriday in my life, I go and see any new posts added to that and then I start writing. I get up early most days, so this happens anywhere between 5am and 6am, whether I’m working, doing the school run or having a day off.
I cannot envisage a day where I get up and do not do some kind of blogging admin. As I mentioned I like to write my posts ahead of time, which is a necessity when you have it in your head that you need a post on your site every day. This means that I write every day, mostly in that morning period, if I have a day off though, all day. I will sit and I will write all day.
I amongst all that I will schedule post, take photos for posts and check out future prompts across the various memes. In amongst all those little jobs are, I suspect, lots of little rituals that I’m barely aware of because doing them is so ingrained in my approach to blogging.
In October it is three years since I started FlossDoesLife, it was sporadic at first and my commitment to it was low, so you are all forgiven for not knowing I’ve been about for that long! I only got involved in the blogging community when I joined the Smut Marathon in 2018, it was then that my blog took on a life of its own and became something I believed in rather than something I saw as a bit of fun.
Blogging is fun, but it has also become a way of life. It might not be healthy but I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe FlossDoesLife. Which is why it makes sense that people are baffled I am not trying to make money from it, or off the back of it. Right now though that can’t be my focus. Not sure why, couldn’t really give you an honest answer on that one, but as daft as it sounds I just have the feeling it’s not the thing I should be doing at this moment in time.
I’m not a religious person, I’ve dabbled in the past, but it never really stuck. They do say we all need something to believe in though and maybe that is true, and it seems for me the thing that I believe in and the thing that guides me is my blog. Which may be weird and I don’t know if it makes sense to other bloggers, but I just have a feeling that this is where I need to be and what I need to be doing and the why of it will become clear to me in due course.
Which mean the actions I commit with almost ritualistic dedication also part of a bigger plan. Does that mean they’re always easy to do? Not at all, I think for many people who are involved in any rituals on a daily basis have the days where it all feels like a struggle. Whether your rituals are to worship a recognised deity or to honour the bond of your D/s connection. Some days we all struggle even with actions that keep us grounded, on the right track or reaffirm a connection.
Why do we still commit to rituals in our lives, when sometimes they feel like a chore rather than a privilege? I can’t answer that question for anyone but myself, and I don’t know if my answer is what it should be. I engage in the rituals I do surrounding my blog, and writing because I am compelled to do so. Part of me clearly believes that in doing them I have or am granted a greater chance of success than without them.
I don’t know if my rituals are healthy, wise or effective. What I do know though is if you asked me to change them, I wouldn’t. Even though I know that in some ways they are linked to my anxiety, hell for all I know they’re entirely linked to my anxiety. I have an odd relationship with my anxiety though because it doesn’t stop me functioning and in some ways, I cannot imagine my life without it. Which I know isn’t a potentially healthy outlook, but it is honest and sometimes things are what they are.
As I reached the end of this post, I thought to myself well at least I only have this aspect of my life where rituals manifest. Then I had to let May know I would be working on the Friday when the topic of rituals comes to an end. Which means I am due to do the F4TFriday blog post and twitter admin, so perhaps I’ll need a hand or things will be late. It was then that it struck me how many rituals I have at work.
I don’t really like to talk about my day job, because it a) goes against their social media policies and b) it’s just nice to keep it private. It is a job that lends itself well to being methodical though, where cleanliness is imperative and there are lots of specifications to adhere to. I have been told by more than one colleague that I have a reputation for doing things by the book, everything I create looks the same each time I make it and I don’t deviate from my approach.
I never expected to do the job I do and I certainly didn’t expect to be good at it, but it appears I am and I think my inclination towards repeating the same steps over and over and seeing that not as mundane but as a positive reinforcement of a good outcome, is part of my success.
Again is my approach somehow linked to my anxiety? Without a shadow of a doubt yes. Am I aware of that when I’m positioning things in a specific way, as my colleagues just place things haphazardly? Also a huge yes. The truth is though I think my way is best, I think my final products look better and I think they give our customers better value for money. So I have no desire to change my working practices.
It’s largely the same with the blog, I know I could change, I know I could take a different approach and I know if I became a less anxious person that change would be a definite outcome. I am oddly attached to my processes though, they work for me in many ways and I see evidence of how they are fruitful. So despite my acknowledgement that maybe they aren’t always for the best and maybe they don’t exist for the right reasons, I just don’t want to give them up, I like my rituals and I believe in them and that I suppose means they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.