Clearly, I needed a break. I didn’t know it would turn into a week-long break, but there ya have it. Over that week I had lots of time to think, I had a few sleepless nights, and ok – I had a breakdown or two. A week later and I think I’m ready to pull up my big girl panties and do this thing.
I’m not certain it’s worth getting into all the dirty details behind what had me in such a funk last week. Putting that kind of stuff on the Forever Internet probably isn’t such a good idea, and that’s never been the tone of this blog. I’ve always tried to keep this space a positive one, but while I want it to be positive, I don’t want it to be fake. It’s a fine line – positive vs. too sugary sweet and real vs. omg, quit your complaining, already. Isn’t it? I struggle with that balance sometimes, here a little bit, but mostly elsewhere, on other blogs.
I think we can just call last week an intense case of Internet Burn-Out with a giant spoonful of too many life to-dos plopped on top. It was a big ol’ sloppy mess that I just couldn’t make sense of.
I am certain of one thing though:
You guys are really awesome. I read every single one of your comments and messages and I’m working on replying to every last one. You are true friends who gave me a hug when I needed one and I appreciate the time you took to write such thoughtful, supportive comments. I’m officially dusting off my laptop today and hoping to make this week a much better one here at Camp Freckle.
A lot of you expressed feeling this same way about the internet and blogging (whether you’re a blogger or a regular reader of blogs) and some of you specifically requested a follow-up post of sorts, wondering what exactly I did to get myself over the hump. I can’t say I’m officially over any kind of hump, but I know that if I don’t just get moving, well… I’ll still be stuck.
So aside the from the obvious, which was to close my laptop and take a much needed break from all things internet-land, here’s what I did:
I thought a lot about the time I spend online: What is worth my time, what makes me feel good? What makes me feel kind of awful, what I can totally do without reading ever again?
So I dumped my reader almost entirely. It now consists of 8 blogs. Blogs that I love. Blogs that make me happy, make me laugh, make me proud. Blogs with great design and original content that I can sink my teeth into. Blogs that I can relate to, blogs that inspire me and make me think and blogs that I leave feeling generally good. You know what happens when you dump 95% of your reader? Two things. First, you spend a whole lot less time reading blogs. SAY WHAAAAAAAT? You get your time back! You’re not stuck on the computer loading blog after blog! Some of which, let’s be honest, don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy. Some of them make you feel like kinda lousy about yourself. Whether you leave feeling annoyed or defeated, you’re definitely not leaving feeling good about yourself. I asked myself why I was hanging onto daily reads that made me do the world’s biggest eye roll after reading them? Some sort of habit? Obligation? I don’t know. THE INTERNET IS WEIRD.
(As an aside, if reading this blog makes you feel anything but good, please, For The Love of Pete, pull it from your reader! Take a break from me. I would never, and I mean NEVER, want to be the source of a giant eye roll for you)
Thanks, Oprah. That’s good stuff.
The second thing that happens when you dump 95% of your reader and only keep those that you love is: you load your reader and it’s like Christmas! It’s a real treat! You can’t wait to see and read and most importantly, leave a comment. All of a sudden you have time to leave a comment, because you don’t have 97 other blogs to drive by quickly, and maybe you leave the same “Wow, how pretty!” comment in a chorus of wow! how pretty comments and maybe you don’t leave a comment at all, but you almost certainly leave with that old familiar feeling. Defeated, depressed and annoyed because the hundred other blogs you’re reading make life look so darn lovely. And you’re not sure why but YOU never have time to DIY that lampshade-journal-vacation video-handmade dress-reupholster that couch-come up with 14 different ways to make icing-applique that thing on your kid’s shirt-generally look like everything is roses and wonderful type of situation. Maybe it’s because you’re reading about everyone else doing this stuff instead of just doing it yourself? But when you have only a handful of blogs in your reader? You WANT to comment, you WANT to be a part of that community because these are the blogs that you love. What a relief.
This also probably means that you’ve lifted that weight off yourself. You know, that weight of holding yourself up to all that you see when you log in and load up all the beautiful, wonderful, perfect and delicious. And holding yourself up to all of that, when it’s coming at you faster than lightening and it never stops? It can be exhausting. Downright exhausting. My friend Andrea said it pretty well:
“… sometimes I am so profoundly inspired by everyone and everything around me and then sometimes it just makes me feel horrible, completely inadequate and 100 times worse. I’ve been working on a post for a while called ‘the internet never stops and sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing here’. it’s a big mess of thoughts right now but it addresses this very issue– the unending, deafening noise of the internet. it can be the best thing in the world. or the absolute worst.”
The unending, deafening noise of the internet. THAT. Holy crap.
Which brings me to my next move: TWITTER. Good grief, twitter. Believe me, I’ve had some fun on twitter. 14 thousand tweets worth of fun. But I hit a point where all that twitter noise just needed to be silenced. It’s a bit much, right? I didn’t have a whole lot to say last week, but there was this:
I also tidied my twitter. That sounds kinda dirty, huh? Whooooops! In an effort to quiet things down, I went through that cringe-worthy process of un-following people. Sorry, Leo DiCap and a handful of others, it had to be done. No harm meant.
The beauty is, you can always re-follow people. And it’s not personal, and you don’t have to feel awful about it. You’re not doing it to hurt anyone’s feelings. You’re doing it to make yourself feel better and quiet the chatter a bit before you lose your ever lovin’ mind. And while you’re on a roll? Facebook. And that is all I will say about that.
So the good news is this: while I wasn’t spending time on the internet reading blogs and shouting and being shouted at on twitter, I was outside. I was laughing with my kids. I was talking to my chickens. I went on a date with my husband. I cooked and read and relaxed. And I didn’t blog about any of it. And I was perfectly ok with that.
I leave you with this, because it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever come across on the internet. Which, by the way can be full of wonderful, amazing, beautiful, funny and delicious things, don’t get me wrong.
Let’s do this, guys. Let’s make this week a good one.
Thanks for reading.