Blogging and the Pursuit of Happiness

 Has anyone noticed the tumble weeds blowing around Denver Sews? 


Well, for those that have been wondering we’ve had a few things come up. For one Kitty, who really was the whip cracker of the group, she kept us all on task and kept us moving forward. Kitty had family and friends to tend to and I think the joy of blogging and sewing kind of ran out for the time being. For Jamie work this time of year amps up for her and Lynn had a daughter going off to Japan and family and work obligations.  But, she’s posted the first post in a long time!

As for myself, my spouse lost his job, my mother-in-law was evicted from her apartment and had to move into what is essentially our porch and, she has Alzheimer’s which makes the whole thing like a crazy real life Beckett play. Plus, I write up to 5 blog posts/newsletters a week on sewing for work. Even if I had the time the desire has just not been there.

However, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about blogging. I wonder why I do it. It certainly isn’t for the money. I’m sure as heck not getting famous for it and it’s rather labor intensive with all the photos and the prepping and the writing. Least intensive is the actual sewing!

For me I’ve always had a diary. My dad was a diarist. He faithfully kept a journal for 30 years.  I started my first diary when I was 10. It’s very funny to read one’s thoughts at 10, I was surprised to see my use of quotation marks and was a budding cinephile.

May 6: Today I didn’t do much. I was planning on running away but I backed out. But, I might tomorrow. We watched “Cabaret” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (Good).

October 8: I can’t believe it! Nothing has happened today except I made pudding.

Blogging and the pursuit of happiness

I have multiple journals lying around, one for sewing, one for deep thoughts, another one for random things. One I’ve filled the entire book up. It was a very sad part of my life. I almost want to burn it, what’s in it brings me a lot of sadness when I read over it.

One I kept at work a couple of years ago and recorded my ‘work’ thoughts. It is not pretty, but damn funny. I have pretty note pads that I jot things down in.  I especially like the composition style books. This one is my sewing journal and even though I blog about my sewing adventures, there’s a lot that goes into this book. It’s almost full.

Diary This one is sort of like a photo journal and I cut out pictures of things that are important to me or that I would like to have in my life. I carefully cut out words or phrases that are inspiring and glue them on the pages. It’s a low-tech Pinterest board.  It’s funny, but almost everything in this book has come true or come into my life. Pretty amazing that! I wonder if the same could be said of a Pinterest board.
Diary If I didn’t blog, I would still write.

But, the one thing that blogging brings to me that writing in a private journal does not is this unrelenting competitiveness and with that a kind of weird pissy feeling. I see these bloggers with their perfect artsy photos and their upbeat selves smiling in their lovely made whatevers.  They’re 20 and have no kids and have time to do it all right. Or worse, they have 5 kids and a job and still manage to do it all and it looks so effortless. Then I get judgmental and the pissy feeling comes and I don’t feel good for secretively hating on ‘em.  It’s my own insecurities flaring up absolutely.

Regardless it has me questioning why I still blog or even want to if it’s such a pain in the ass and brings up such negative feelings.

I love the two way communication that blogging offers. I enjoy connecting with others who love to sew no matter the platform or medium. Blogging has built up my confidence. I’m getting more confident in my sewing skills. I’m more comfortable seeing my face on the internet. I’ve never liked taking photos of myself and here I am posting my old mug everywhere or at least the potential. And, any writing is good writing for me whatever the form. I recently said that I think I’ll have a blog tell I die. Even if I just post once a month, I think I’ll always be blogging as long as I remember why I like to blog and keep those black dogs of comparison away.


stack of journals


  1. Yes Jilly, I did notice and missed the blog posts because I love reading them.
    But far be it from me to “complain”. You see, I was in the same situation with my mother who lived with me for the past few years — I started the blog only two years ago and managed to keep a schedule. But when push came to shove, the blog schedule had to go. My mom passed away this year on March 1, not even hanging around to meet her brand new grandson-in-law (my daughter’s husband), as well as a brand new great-grandson (my niece’s baby).
    So, my blogging is on hold – even though I haven’t burnt out yet – I have a couple of drafts which will be finished when the time comes.
    In the grand scheme of things, a sewing blog is kinda way down. Unless it’s someone’s livelihood.
    Take heart because I for one, did miss your blog posts. If I’m not writing, doesn’t mean I don’t read, or indulge in my social media habit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, what a hard time for you. When things like this happen it really does cause one to reflect on what’s important. I think I was doing the blog for other reasons but with so much going on I realize 1) more important things take precedent 2) I still like to write and will continue but on my schedule.
      It sounds like you are going thru some sad times but with new ones around I hope they ease any heartache.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill you’ve done a lot for our group. Maybe a rest for a season is in order. You are our motivator! I think if the blogs stopped for a season, to recoup for a later date is a healthy idea.

    Maybe there are other new members that would like to carry the torch for a while..


    • That’s a good idea too. I think Lynne hit it on the head with just do it for fun, I’m not sure why I take things so seriously, like everything has to be some high grandiose thing. Just let it be what it is a great place to communicate. But, hey if anyone wants to contribute come on in!


  3. I admit, I’d noticed the silence, as I especially enjoy DSC’s blogs and in particular, Jamie’s posts on the Burda mags which haven’t appeared for a while. But that’s life, we are all trying to do 10 things at once these days with as many different people. Please continue to ‘bother’, because all of your posts are interesting and inspiring (and often so humorous), whether regular or intermittent. 😀


  4. My two weeks (only) of caring for my grandmother when she had Alzheimer’s were the most difficult time of my life and later, when I went to study Beckett, I recognized in his writing the circular hopelessness of it all. I’ve not heard anyone else make the comparison.

    I feel the same as you about blogging – and wonder if I should take drugs to keep up with the relentless positivity of it all! – but you will find the best readers appreciate honesty.

    Best wishes, Marianna


  5. Thanks for such an honest post. It’s true that blogging is the first casualty when times are tough. I, for one, have been missing the Denver Sews posts, so I do hope you continue (but only if / when you wish!) Wishing you the best for the future!


    • Thanks Steely. And, the blog should be the first to go in tough times, we can always come back to it. It’s not like we’re saving lives here! 😉


  6. Hi Jill, I’m sorry to hear about your current life struggles, but I appreciate you being willing to share your life, the joys AND the sorrows. One thing I’ve taken to heart is to never compare how someone else’s life looks on the outside with how my life looks on the inside. That’s helped me a lot. Thankfully the only constant is change and I’m wishing you changes for the better! Kitty


  7. Jill,

    Give yourself a break. Blogging should be low stress and fun to do. I enjoy your posts, but not at the expense of your sanity.



  8. You are such a dear! Do not forget that what we see coming from others does not represent ALL facets of their lives. So refreshing for you to share your struggles with writing, blogging, and family. This sharing is something many do not do and it is the real part of our lives. Thanks for all you do!


  9. I’ve learned that a blog can be a scrapbook instead of a deadline, so now I don’t worry when life gets in the way. We’ll still be here to read your posts whenever you’re ready. Sending love and prayers to you and all your family!


  10. Hi, Jilly,

    I was touched by your candor and honesty, and I can really relate to what you are experiencing. My father lived with me for a few years after being disabled in an accident. As he developed dementia and became increasingly helpless, it reached the point where I could not provide adequate care for him. He now lives in the VA nursing home about ninety minutes by car and ferry from where I live. Because of the ferry schedule, it pretty generally takes five hours for a 45 minute visit with him, which is a long as he can handle. I can only imagine the level of stress you are under with your mother-in-law. I hope you find an appropriate and sustainable living arrangement for her soon.

    Sewing should be fun; blogging about sewing should feel like a conversation with friends about sewing, which can counteract the solitariness of sewing. I have to guard against black thoughts when I’m sewing; I turn on music or the tv to distract myself from the sadness that creeps in when I spend too much time alone with my thoughts. I think a hiatus is a good idea, and I would also discard the expectation that all members have to post a certain number of posts at specified intervals.

    I hope your current difficulties are resolved soon so that you can feel more relaxed and happy.

    Paula in Seattle


  11. As for me, the blogging became more work than fun. When you constantly ask yourself what should I sew next so that I can meet the next blog deadline, you lose your sense of spontaneity and your freedom, frankly. I love the venue to showcase interesting new patterns, gadgets, how-to’s, etc, but to keep up with this week in and week out is difficult. I find it amazing that others can do it with seeming ease and without turning it into just work. For now, I’m back to sewing spontaneously. And if I do something that I think is blog-worthy, then maybe I’ll write it up if it’s not too time consuming. And kudos to Jill and the others: life is life and we have numerous other things that shape our lives besides sewing. Managing a family, a job, and an ill mother-in-law is no easy task. Sewing is just one thing we do and we want to keep it fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Lynn, sounds like you made a straight-up project out of it. I sense some Type-A in you 🙂 I think the people who it doesn’t seem like work (and who can string words together into english sentences) do their thing spontaneously, and then they blog about it. Passion should come first, then the documentation I think. Otherwise why not pursue creative writing, right? 🙂

      I agree w/ another response up there ^^^

      It’s totally one-sided for me right now. I’m a shameless voyeur. Not even sewing, and not even shopping for fabric You guys remind me that I enjoyed tinkering w/ sewing one day seeming long ago, when I had a brain and energy. I get fired up a little bit when anyone does post, and think about sewing for a bit. So even if it’s spartan, keep it up guys! For my own selfish reasons lol!

      (ps I found the roof leak that goes thru the ducts between the walls, into the bottom floor – pretty sure it’s been there in some form for YEARS and it’s a gusher now. Guaranteed I have a toxic moldy environment, which is why I’ve completely disappeared. Now that I’m hot on the trail, and if my luck turns, I’ll be back!)


  12. I love your blogs and the blogs of others on the site, and look forward to them. It’s a kind of connection for me even though it’s often one-sided. I journal so I understand your pile of books (my friend has the responsibility of deleting my journal from my computer if something ever happens to me – fairly certain no one should read most of it). Keep it up, it brightens our day when we see a message from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Keep up the inspiring words. Myself and others get great joy from all your hard efforts. We just need to express our appreciation for it more and support each other. I think that’s what I enjoy most about sewing, that it brings us together and we can share out triumphs and difficulties.
    As for your poor mother-in-law. My family has a senior placement business and my brother would be glad to help you find the right place for her with her Alzheimer’s. There’s no charge to you for the help. He gets a referral fee from the homes. Please let me know if you’d like his help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have called out sooner for help. She is now safely in a hospital and will soon be in a nursing home facility. If there ever is a next time, (which I hope there isn’t) I think a placement center/help is the way to go. It’s crazy all the red tape that you have to go through now. Thanks for the encouraging words. ,<3

      Liked by 1 person

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