Commonly when we talk about the paranormal, we use phrases like 'I life and breathe' the paranormal. In a lot of ways it is true. We spend a lot of our days interacting in social media groups talking about the paranormal. We may read articles or books to further our knowledge. While we may only be at an investigation for a few hours, there are the hours of preparation and the hours of review afterwards to take into consideration. A lot of us would love to be able to do the paranormal thing as a business or a full time job, the reality is that there are only a few who are lucky enough to do so. This is no easy feat either. There is a lot of years of hard work, determination and not making any money to get it off the ground. Like any small business, it doesn't happen overnight, especially in a competitive field like the paranormal. This means that for most of us, the paranormal is essentially a hobby. It means that it is something that we do outside of working our jobs, taking care of our families and everything else we have to do in life. It is something that we make time for because we love it. Unfortunately though, sometimes real life gets in the way. It is frustrating, but I think it is important for us to acknowledge this. Social media paints a fake picture sometimes and people may feel alone or isolated and maybe even feel like they don't or can't do enough, but I promise you, this happens to all of us at some point!
Our families will always come first. Whether you do the paranormal as a hobby or a business, family will and should always come first. Maybe you have an investigation planned and there is a family emergency. Kids get sick, babysitters fall through and you can't change a person's birthday. Pets can get ill, friends may be in need and you yourself can get sick. I know for myself, I am the mum of two young boys in primary school. I can't just drop everything to go on impromptu investigations. I am very lucky to have an amazing support system between my mum and my husband to take care of the kids so I can go out and investigate, but I also can't be away every weekend either. It also means that if I wanted to travel either interstate or overseas, I would have to make sure they were taken of. Do you think my kids would allow me to go on a trip and leave them at home? No way! I would have to bring them and try and plan any sort of investigating around that. It suddenly becomes a very stressful and expensive trip and it is just easier not to go. My youngest Jesse is particularly clingy. I have had my fair share of health issues and hospital stays and he is very protective of me. He just wants to be with me all the time. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I just need a break. An investigation is sometimes just the medicine I need. I will pack my bag and I am all ready to go. I kiss everyone good bye and I am off. I wish it were the simple. As soon as I start getting ready, Jesse will start asking me where I am going. When he realises I am going out, he starts getting upset. When it is time for me to go, he will start crying and hangs onto my leg. I have to get his Dad to distract him. He stands at the door while I am pulling out of the driveway crying and waving and saying 'Mummy don't go'. It breaks my heart. As much as I need the break to do what I love, it does put me in a somber mood. I know that about 2 minutes after I am gone he is fine and his Dad usually sends me a picture to show me he is happy and playing but that damage is done. There is nothing like that Mummy guilt! As much as I love investigating, I also love sitting on the couch with some popcorn and watching a movie under the blanket with all my boys. It can be really hard to leave that sometimes!
Paranormal investigating is pretty expensive. There is venue hire or buying a ticket to a tour, petrol and then there is the equipment. Some pieces of equipment are several hundred dollars. To fund our hobbies and well eat, we need to work. Most of us have jobs that we have to work outside of our interests in the paranormal. Shift work means that sometimes we have to work on weekends and we aren't able to investigate. Full time work can mean that we want to spend the weekends sleeping instead of staying up all night. Traveling for work means that we might miss important events. Depending on the type of work that you do, this could also impact your work with the paranormal. I know for myself, I am an IT technician. I spend the majority of my day on a computer. You can imagine that often the last thing I want to do when I get home is be on a computer all night. This effects blogging, research and even evidence review. If I have had a big day at work, honestly all I want to do is sit and relax (after I do all the housework and put the kids to bed). I don't really want to sit and read complex paranormal papers for a couple of hours. On the other side of things, people that have managed to turn the paranormal into some sort of business, they can't switch off from the paranormal when they have had a bad day. This is what brings in their pay cheque. If they don't want to go out on a Saturday night because it is too cold or they have something else to goto, they can't just cancel if they don't feel like it, because people are relying on them. This too can take a toll on a person.
On social media, we are always posting photos of us smiling while we are at a location or in front of the computer doing research or our evidence review We don't really talk about the struggles and challenges we face just trying to be present in the paranormal field. Don't feel like you need to be out there every single weekend investigating. Don't feel that you have to be on the computer every night researching or reviewing evidence. Don't force yourself to do it if your heart is not in it. When you start doing that, your work in the paranormal starts to become an obligation and it will feel like 'work'. The passion starts to fade away and this is when people can start becoming bitter. We all know people who have lost their passion. It happens! We can get burnt out. There is no shame in saying that you don't want to go out on an investigation and stay home instead. Taking a month or two or even longer off doesn't make you any less of an investigator. Some people prefer to just research and participate in things at home rather than going out and investigating. You need to do what works for you and your personal situation.
Whatever stage of life we are at, real life often prevents us from doing everything that we want to do. It is extremely frustrating, but hey that's life! I have so much that I wish I could do. I have so many ideas in my head and honestly I have about 4 projects outside of this blog I am working on. I am impatient and I want them all to happen now. The reality is that I am struggling to find the time to dedicate to them to actually get them done. My real life responsibilities such as work and my family only allow me so much time at the end of the day. I have to choose to balance that time wisely. My children are growing up at a rate so fast that I don't know where time has gone. Before I know it, they will be out there investigating with me! My time in the paranormal has really changed over the last few years. I used to feel like I had to be out investigating every single weekend and I was. Now I am out once to twice a month. I spend time doing my research and my blog after they goto bed, but only if I have the strength to do so and I am in the frame of mind to do so. I know I am my own worst critic and I wish I could do more, but I can't. When I force myself, I get overwhelmed and I get anxiety and I feel like maybe I have failed because I couldn't get it all done. If you are frustrated and wish you could do more you are not alone. If you are upset you aren't out investigating because you are sick or just too tired it is ok! If you have to work all weekend and you can't goto a special paranormal event you were looking forward to, it sucks but it happens. Real life is going to get in the way. It is inevitable. Enjoy what you can, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to do too much. The paranormal isn't going anywhere! Pace yourself or you may risk losing your passion! It is such an exciting field and it is a field of ups and downs. There will be days when you are so excited and you can't get enough, and there will be days where you don't want to think about it. It doesn't mean that you don't love it. Don't let anyone tell you how you should be doing things. Do it your way.
Just remember, you are not alone!
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