Do you ever feel like your identity is made up of an overwhelming array of numbers?
I have 45 followers on my blog, 4707 total views, an average of 80 views per post, and a total of 186 comments.
I have 408 friends on Facebook. 116 likes on my Tickle & Hide page. 30 of my friends like my page. Likes are down 2 from last month and I have 700 less news feed impressions but 500 more active monthly users (I don't even know what that means!?)
On Etsy, I have 150 people who either like my store or an item. I've had 4500 views. 26 sold orders.
I've had 422 views of my Flickr photostream. That's the only numbers Flickr will give me, but if I pay $24.95 a year, they promise:
- Be enthralled by graphs and charts!
- Learn which of your photos are popular today, this week, or over all time
- Discover where your visitors are coming from
- See how they found you
- Thrill at a helpful breakdown of your photos
Thankfully, my scales still don't work (you can read that story here) so I have no idea how much I weigh!)
After my last blog post, a recipe and fun photos for Christmas decorations, I set the lap top open on the couch and continued on my way, looking after the kids, hanging out the washing. Every so often, as I'm in the habit of doing, I'd walk past and hit 'refresh' on my stats page to watch the views come in.
But this time, even three hours later, there was nothing. No one was clicking on my link. No one was interested.
I actually discovered later that my stats counter has gone on an early holiday. But it still bothered me that I couldn't measure the response to my post. I checked Facebook. People weren't commenting, weren't liking, reposting.
I took a little while (I'm ashamed to admit) to realise that I don't want to be doing what I do for your approval. I don't want to spend my day informing myself of my personal worth with the selection of numbers available. And so, instead, I went and had a picnic on the lawn with the kids. (Tully, who was told he could choose one thing from the fridge to bring out to share with us, very excitedly emptied a whole bag of shredded cheese onto a plate and presented it to us proudly. It was just too cute and funny to refuse, so we had shredded cheese, carrots and mandarins for lunch.)
I wrote here about my disappointment last month at not being chosen as a finalist for Stitched in Color's Autumn sewing competition. While outside, munching on cheese, I remembered that I wanted my creations to be an expression of me, not what raises the numbers, or gets chosen.
Then, yesterday morning while drinking my coffee, I was scanning through my blog reader and saw my name. I doubled back. I had been chosen as a finalist in the next round of the Celebrate Color comp! I kept reading. I have TWO items chosen! I couldn't believe it! I quickly posted on Facebook to tell everyone to vote for me. Then I went back to check out the competition. One finalist, who had made a beautiful autumn quilt, had over 500 followers on her blog. And she had already written a blog post asking people to vote for her. Another had over 1000. Why did they need to ask for votes? They have blog sponsors, don't they get free fabric all the time? (The prize includes loads of beautiful fabric) I could feel that ugly, black creeping feeling I get when I start to compare, start to feel ripped off. Added to that was my frustration that I couldn't even see how many people were coming to look at my blog as a result of the announcement!
I couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was driving home from my place and her car broke down. It was another break down after a long expensive string of them over the last 12 months. She went home, made herself a cuppa, went outside, and accidently locked herself out of the house. She called a friend. During the conversation, she said to her friend, "I'm think I'm going to have to just spend the afternoon chilling out on the green grass."
"Just think!" her friend replied, laughing "You are on the green grass!"
It is not on the other side.
So I wanted to write this post to share my experience of the last few days, let you know my exciting news, being chosen as a finalist, let you know where you can vote, if you want to, (HERE!) and then close the laptop and build a train track with Tully. Then this afternoon, my friend Rossi is coming over to sew with me. We've decided to order pizza for dinner and then stay up into the night to create up a storm for my up coming market.
Yep. The grass is pretty green on this side.