AKA How to Kill A Blog Using Everyday Life Things You Have Around the House
*Tap, tap, tap.* Is this thing on? Hello? Is anyone still there?
I never actively planned to go into semi-retirement from the blog community. I guess the short story is life got busy and I was tired of hearing my own words. A busy week turned into a few busier weeks and before I had crossed off another thing on my To Do list, four months had passed and I hadn’t written a single post. And you know what, although it was touch and go for a little while back in May, the world did not end.
It’s too soon to write the obligatory back-to-school essay on “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” but it’s a perfect time to tell you what I learned while I took a little break from my life inside the computer.
1. Moderation is not my forte.
I remember the year my brother got a Game Boy for Christmas. When he finally gave me a turn to play with it, I played Tetris for four hours in a row. When I closed my eyes, all I could see were those little shapes falling and even now, just thinking about it, I can hear the theme music. I have a tendency to lean toward extremes and without limits, I can become very unbalanced very quickly.
At times, my computer life has taken on a life on its own. When I don’t set boundaries, the computer can become a big black hole that sucks the life and time right out of me. A big part of being a grownup is learning to tell yourself no. Sometimes I need to even say no to good things if they are a hindrance to even better things, like time with my family or time to take care of other responsibilities.
2. I don’t always have to follow “the rules.”
It’s hard for a first-born rule follower like myself not to do what I am “supposed” to do. I know what I should do to have a good blog. I’ve read articles on how often you should post, how long your posts should be, how to interact with readers, etc. But this blog is not my day job. Like I said a few minutes ago, the world kept going even when I didn’t post every day. Other people’s blogs didn’t die when I stopped reading or leaving comments.
3. Sometimes being “present in the present” means I have to unplug for awhile.
During the time my dad was sick and since he died, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be an active participant in my own life. A couple of nights ago, we were having a little family time together and in the midst of our conversation we realized that we may only have eight more summers together as a family before my oldest goes away to college. And even those years aren’t guaranteed. In order to be intentional with that time, I have to be available..
4. That said, I’ve also missed my friends who live in my computer.
I’m not sorry that I’ve taken time away, but I have missed the connection I’ve always felt here with you all. Some of you are friends I’ve never had the opportunity to meet in person, but you are still very dear to me. Some of you are real-life friends who live far away and this blog has made you feel closer. I’ve missed you all. I don’t like not knowing what’s been going on with all of you and I haven’t had much of a chance to read all of your blogs to find out your latest happenings.
5. I’ve also missed having a place to put all my words.
Just because I haven’t been posting here on ye olde blogge doesn’t mean that I haven’t been writing. I write every day of my life…. in my head. But the stuff that doesn’t get out of my head never seems to leave my brain. It just bounces around until it starts bumping into other thoughts and, well, it’s very crowded up there when I don’t put the words for the thoughts in a safe place. When I used to blog regularly, I found that writing out my thoughts sometimes helped me give order to them. My thoughts haven’t been very orderly lately.
For awhile I wondered if it was dangerous to keep spouting off thought and ideas in black and white as if I knew what I was talking about. In the past I’ve read some of my blog posts that were written from a place of raw emotion and I’ve wondered if maybe I should have let some of them cook a little longer. Or maybe left some things unsaid. But I also love the conversation that evolved from many of those raw thoughts. So many of you have helped me fill in some of the blanks and changed my question marks to exclamation points or even just an ellipsis… (I do love a good ellipsis.)
So I think I’ll be back here more often than I have been. I don’t think I’ll post every day, but I’ll just make up my own blog rules as I go.
One of the reasons I came out of semi-retirement this week, is that I have the opportunity to interview my author friend Marla Taviano (one of my friends who lives in my computer) about a project she’s been working on this summer. Come back on Thursday and there may be something in it for you!