You may be wondering, Where did she go? What did she do for a whole month?
One idea behind taking a break from blogging was to spend some time with my family this summer - it's been so busy that I felt I had been neglecting them some. I also intended to organize my life and my blogging efforts a bit in order to free up more time on an ongoing basis. I wanted to knock a few things off of the To Do list that have been nagging at me, and I wanted to rest.
The rest was necessary not only because I'm a mom (enough said, I presume), but also because I have not been feeling well - for years, but the situation continues to decline. I wish I was brave enough to go into detail on that point. I wish I could share something of that journey with all of you, because I know that you would offer your support and that support would be very healing. I tried - I wrote a draft of this post that included those details. I guess I'm just not ready.
I took this break because I needed to give some serious thought to priorities of wants and needs. There are a lot of 'have tos' and 'shoulds' in my life. My family and my health are the top priorities. Truly, if they are not looked after, nothing else much matters. Thus, I have been wondering if I 'need' to give up blogging altogether. It's difficult to manage the time commitment required to keep my blogs running at a reasonable pace. While I have been managing reasonably well, it's not just housekeeping and the laundry that are suffering anymore. My body keeps telling me, in not so subtle ways, that I need to make some choices. Frustrating as it is to me, I can not have it all. Not just now anyway.
Blogging is certainly not a priority. I'm not earning a living from it, though it most definitely is work. The world won't come to a screeching halt if suddenly there is one less mommy-slash-book blogger in it. In my most dour moments this past month I wondered if anyone would even notice if I just stopped writing. But then I yanked myself out of my dramatic, needy funk and started to seriously consider my options.
Blogging is not a should or a have to, but it is fun. I want to write, and if wants are not satisfied my health suffers too. I enjoy connecting through my blog with family, friends and fellow bloggers who share many of my struggles and joys. And this place is a part of me now.
Still the question remains, How do I manage my time? There are things I am 'supposed' to be doing right now, yet here I am, well past time to do those things and still get the sleep that I need, writing this post. I don't want the more vital things to suffer, but I also don't want to give up blogging.
I expect that my blogs will experience some changes over the next while, but, despite a month of reflection, I don't yet know what that will look like. I may blog less frequently. I may blog less energetically. Perhaps my blogs will move in an entirely new direction.
I realize that I'm probably rambling by now, but the anti-perfectionist in me (however minature she may be) is going to let it slide. I could worry also that I am being too somber, particularly given my personal commitment to creating an uplifting internet presence, but I know, and was reminded recently by a wonderful fellow blogger, that it is hard to appreciate the beauty of life without reference to its hardships.
Life is beautiful. Personally, I have much to be thankful for. Yes, life is challenging right now, but I have plenty of hope and plenty of resources. No, this blog is not a priority, but it brings me joy. I have some work to do to fit it into my life, rather than the other way around. While I didn't manage to figure it all out while on hiatus, I did resolve to be kind to myself and to try to let go a little, let the blog evolve how it will, write when I have something to say, attend to life's priorities and its many other joys when I don't.
It's nice to be home. After a month of having guests, it's almost too quiet around here, a little of the warmth has gone from the place. I suppose it is coming on fall. Time to light the fire and settle in with a good book and a hot cup of tea. To your health!
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I'm linking up this post with another good blogging friend, Rach of Life With Baby Donut, because if all of these revelations don't qualify as life lessons, I don't know what does!
I'm also linking up with Things I Can't Say for the first time, since, well... I'm sort of pouring my heart out here for the first time. Okay, maybe I chickened out a little shy of pouring my entire heart out, but it was an effort. Baby steps!