Here I am. I did not intend to put myself into this situation but somehow I have managed to put myself into it: I have not published a blogpost in (GASP!) 4 months! So now, I have to write the mandatory “Sorry-readers-I-have-been-so-busy-and-now-im-bringing-my-blog-back” post. The truth is it is not for lack of ideas or content or initiative that have created this situation for me. I just haven’t figured out a way to put down into words why I haven’t posted until now.
I thought this would be a 2 week hiatus. I thought I would quit Freezerburns quietly and without major fanfare (aside form the occasional troll or diehard frozen food master fan that can’t seem to deal with the fact that someone would willingly just “abandon his fans”). Yeah, the trolls and the diehards were in fact, ever-present. Still, to this day, I get emails and comments. But the quitting without major fanfare didn’t quite go as expected.
Then, I thought I would finish a successful 3rd 24-Hour Telethon for the Food Bank, give myself a couple of weeks to recuperate and then come back guns blazing! The successful telethon part happened. The coming back guns blazing didn’t it.
The truth is I have tons of ideas of what to do next. Many of my closest friends heard all about it. I had show concepts, monetization strategies, and niche-markets to tap into. I told people I would have a new show pilot up before the end of 2014. And yet days of delay turned into weeks of delay. And weeks turned into months. And this did not lead to self-doubt. It led to self-awareness.
Over these last 4 months I have realized that creating content had become so ingrained in my self-identity that I was addicted to it. That addiction served me well for many years because it meant I put in hours every day cranking out more content. I wasn’t addicted to reviewing foods, I was addicted to publishing more videos. I wasn’t addicted to publishing blogposts, I was addicted to sharing my blogposts on social networks.
I was frequently asked, “How do you crank out so many videos? Don’t you ever sleep?” I lived for those questions. It was not the oxygen I needed to live, it was the drug I needed to excel.
But then I jumped off the hamster wheel and realized I didn’t want to jump back on to another one. Because as I stopped to catch my breath, I realized I enjoyed taking another one. And another. And another. And I honestly don’t know if I will ever jump back on that wheel.
I am posting this post now because lately I have been fielding questions about what my annual Valentine’s Day video will be for my wife. The answer is, there isn’t a video this year.
Oh, I shot one. And believe me, it’s epic. But you will never see it. I realized that every year for 5 years I was one-upping myself for the wrong reasons. I enjoyed the response it got. And while my wife enjoyed them, it was not her praise I was seeking. And that’s the wrong reason to publish a video for my wife for Valentine’s Day. So this year I have been working on a special gift that is for her only.
So what’s next for this blog? I will occasionally use this blog as a place to document my thoughts and highlight some important issues around the hunger problem we have in our area. And when inspiration hits for a new show or fundraiser or book or podcast, I will jump back in.
That day may never come and I’m ok with that.
These days I find enjoyment in the together time I have with my kids after school and the time to just sit and talk with my wife after that. I find enjoyment in eating without scrutinizing. Putting on PJs right when I get home from work instead of keeping myself camera-ready for after the kids go to bed. I’m sitting on the couch more. And working out more. I’m reading more books instead of comment threads. I’m learning about random things instead of positioning it as a piece of content to write about. I’m taking photographs and videos to look at, not to use as b-roll.
There are a lot of people that talk about living your passion. I used to think that the hard part of that statement was the identification of your “passion”. I believe that the hard part is actually “living”.
My concern for legacy is not in what other people remember me doing. It’s what my family remembers me being. I am taking that “fire to create” that I still possess and investing it back into what’s most important. So, in a way I am sort of saying “goodbye for now” to my public content creator self.
Thanks for sticking around. Maybe I’ll see ya later.