Attaining Balance (Guest Post by Waste AM!)

Joddle is a blogger and podcaster from London. Her personal aim is to reduce consumption and to waste less.

In blog mode!

I launched wasteAM around a year ago. Writing articles and learning how to blog in general – that is, driving visitors to the blog – was instrumental in giving me a sense of personal achievement when I was otherwise encountering trying circumstances. After university and good, relevant work experience, I couldn’t get a paid job anywhere, and adjusting my expectations, from being a ‘winner’ to a ‘reject’ was a slow, difficult process.

But as I said, blogging helped me to feel good about myself again. Even as a child I would publish my own work in homemade books. I think now there’s something in my psyche that enjoys producing content. I am fairly prolific; having published over 90 articles about waste in general, recycling, waste policy, and consumerism since the blog’s inception.

Blogging about waste and consumerism has also been a learning curve. I’ve moved further towards the frugal end of the spectrum, I’ve stopped consuming meat at home, and I’ve radically altered my shopping habits to make progress towards a plastic free lifestyle. Although I hadn’t given population and global dependence on oil much consideration before my waste-blogging journey, I am now deeply concerned about resource scarcity will play out in the future.

Yet my absorption in the blog, and accompanying reordering of personal priorities came at a price. My total fixation with waste and blogging put a strain on my relationship with my boyfriend. I found I didn’t want to go out as much as I used to. My online life had eclipsed my real life, and in many respects it was more rewarding. I would turn down opportunities to do things in the real world, and blog instead. I would tell my boyfriend I’ll just be five more minutes, and then spend fifty minutes doing something for the blog. I’d be on the blog the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.

My relationship recently came to an abrupt, unexpected end. Although not cited as a contributing factor, my blogging compulsion / obsession / drive (?) was surely hard to live with. And with hindsight, I can see I had been neglectful of the relationship for some months. In the end there were three people in the relationship – him, the blog, and me.

Dealing with the break up is hard but it is also an opportunity to take stock of what I have and what I want for the future. In the immediate aftermath, while reeling from the shock of it all, the blog seemed pointless. I looked at myself from afar – an internet, waste-obsessed hermit – and through the gloom my obsessional online pursuits loomed before me in hideous absurdity.

I’m now looking at myself with a kinder self-regarding eye. While it may be unconventional and eccentric, caring about wastefulness drives me to want less and to share my words with others. As our environmental concerns are niche, we are compelled to find an outlet to share stories and experience online. I don’t think I choose to opt out of real life for virtual life; I was in the throes of a creative spurt where I derive great fulfilment from producing content.

I cannot stop caring about wastefulness: it has enmeshed itself with my identity. To minimize consumption of material goods at all junctures is now a core belief and I don’t think I can undo that, nor would wish to. I can accept myself for who I am – someone with an obsessive tendency to order ideas and opinions into words, driven by the belief that too much is wasted, and not enough valued.

And at the same time, I can strive to achieve greater balance for the future. To make an effort to nurture and grow my real-life relationships, in addition to online communities gathered around shared beliefs.

(A special thank you to Joddle for posting for me while I’m out of town and for sharing such a deep personal lesson. It touched my heart and made me reevaluate everything. Thank you Joddle for your honesty and insight. May your heart heal.)

13 responses to “Attaining Balance (Guest Post by Waste AM!)

  1. Blogging can be very absorbing I’ve found. It was causing some friction between my wife and I but mostly because she didn’t understand what I was doing. Now she has a better idea of what I’m doing and I try to balance more of my idea for activities directed toward her. There’s got to be some give and take as well as acceptance of whatever activity one is engaged in.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Blogging help me to feel good about myslef, too. But at one point I lost it and I had to stop for sometime. As Jennifer said… “it’s all about the balance”. It’s great that you are so good in what you do and that it fulfill you. Many people earn money just by blogging and that’s cool. Some peole that I know of were offered to write articles just because somebody read their blog and really liked their style and what they were talking about in their blogs. That’s really awesome that these days we all can “go public”. Some people do it better that another but we all have the chance to try.

  3. I do regret taking things so far with blogging. If I were only to be more efficient with the whole process, no problem I could fit 2 or 3 posts into a week. But the time wasting comes in looking at stats etc. Once in a while something goes wrong and it takes ages to fix, Plus, initiallly, it all takes so long to learn. Thank you all for your support x

  4. I’m very sorry to hear about your predicament joddle.

    I am in total agreement with everyone here, saying that life is about ‘balance’ even the natural world could not exist without balance, for very long, one species would dominate another and ultimately destroy it and  in turn,  its self! without balance.  

    Whichever  endeavour one chooses, it can be very destructive sometimes to be overly obsessed about anything!; food, work, play,  >The Internet<, games, etc etc,
    Our world would not be in the state it is, if  people only, for instance; would balance their desires for luxury goods etc, with the ecosystems ability to provide for, on a finite planet.
     As I suggest, Ultimately EVERYTHING  is about balance' in my opinion,  

    We all need people that we can relate to,
     To have a happy life ultimately in the real world.. having a career is of secondary importance if you ask me.
    It doesn't make who you are.

    'Good luck with your new life in Peckham joddle.'

  5. Thanks Stephen – you are right. Moving on and starting afresh will be good. I wonder what 2012 will bring for wasteAM!

  6. ‘Waste Am’; 
    If I were you, I wouldn’t give it a great amount of thought at the moment, perhaps concentrating on the so-called ‘real world’ for a time, would be more productive, and maybe take stock, and have a bit more fun!
    Don’t  take the world to seriously for a time.
     As I also have become to appreciate from time to time! being bogged down in “waste” maybe not appropriate when one considers ones psyche, at a somewhat difficult time in their life, I also have been through rough patches, as it were. and looked back at them, and have realise that sometimes they can also have very positive side effects, which one never considers at that time, and one also needs a smidgen  of good fortune sometimes , which has also been the case with my predicament over the years,
    I also know that you take great pleasure in writing content for your blog, which also helps others of the same mindset, but perhaps at this time one should consider one’s self for a change, and not be as prolific as in the past,
     As not to jeopardise YOUR world outside of cyber space!, which is of a vasty  greater importance for now, in my opinion. But on the other hand sometimes writing your thoughts down can be of benefit to oneself also, as a diary; as sooz does in “The last biscuit”. Anyway have a nice Christmas and don’t worry so much.

  7. Pingback: Annoyed about people who don't recycle | Recycling Articles

  8. Like you, I took to blogging when I couldn’t find a job that gave me a sense of purpose and self-respect. I also became consumed with my blog, now I’m consumed with Soundcloud and making audio tracks. I keep saying I need an off line life….yet online I connect with life-minded people and get a great deal of satisfaction from creating my online contributions. What to do, eh? You have a good cause to focus on – I seem to write mostly about food – but hey, I’ve lost almost 10 kilo this year – blogging about food!

  9. – I am kasha i lives in uk and i was in a serious relationship with my ex guy for three good years.. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after than i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us.. Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to one of the spiritual diviner ( first i thought it was not going to be possible and i contacted him i was ask to come up with a little requirement,so i did what i was ask to do, after 3 days i was in my office when my ex guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a dream to me,so ever since we have been happily married with one kid my lovely baby(Ceslav)…i wish you the best of luck…

  10. Hello am Jennifer from UK i wanna thank Dr Paloma for what he has done for me at first i taught he was scam but until i just decided to follow my mind.i told him that my ex lover which i loved with all my heart left me for another all Dr Paloma did was to laugh and said he will be back to me in 3days time i taught he was lying on the 3rd day my ex called me and said he wanna see me,i was shocked then he came over to my place and started begging that he was bewitched,immediately i forgives him and now we are back and he his really madly in love with me.All thanks to Dr Paloma he indeed wonderful incise you wanna contact him here his is private mail

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