Tuesday, March 04, 2008

An announcement from this sister over here on the left coast...

This could really be life altering for some of you, I'm sure, so don't be shocked. I'm quitting. Not smoking, or living, or that job I don't have. I mean I'm going to stop blogging for a while. Maybe a month or six, and then I'll likely come running back with a million things with which to spout about. That's not to say the BLOG goes down, because my sister, the more erudite one, isn't putting her voice on hold. But for right now I just need to stop. Since I'm sure you're dying to know why, so I've got a few reasons for you.

First of all, and this reason probably gives away my age more than anything, I'm still a little weirded out not knowing who in my real life is reading my junk. I *love* that people I don't or can't keep in touch with via email or phone (or that stamp-envelope thing that no one does anymore), but it's still odd when I don't know they're there and it turns out I'm talking to them. A comment from time to time letting me know who's out there would help, but I think I'm just not used to the anonymous-but-not-really thing. (Side note: Thanks to those of you who *do* comment, and this is not a guilt trip to those of you who don't, it's just an observation.) I guess I sometimes want a real dialogue about stuff, which is fine, but this is not the venue for that, I'm learning. It'd be one thing if I was truly an anonymous blogger and no one in my real life knew who I was, but then that would take out some of the fun of it anyway. Obviously I'm no MySpacing-social-networking-with-people-across-the-globe chick. It's a good thing I wasn't born 20 yrs after I was (and right now my mother is agreeing with me more than any of you). I don't think I'd make it as a teenager today for a variety of reasons but this internet thing is one of them.

Second, I feel like my posts have become, as my sister would say (although she hasn't because unlike me, she's too polite), a bit of a one-note wonder. I don't really like that super-opinionated side of myself and for some reason it seems like what I resort to when I'm in posting mode. So basically it's exposing the yuckiest side of myself for a bunch of people I know (maybe, or maybe not)... not a good combination. I know I'll never be this good as a writer (for example), but it'd be nice to feel like I was a little more than a sarcastic griper.

Thirdly, I'm trying a little experiment with myself. I'm limiting *my* screen time. I've decided to cut way back on the time I spend in front of a cursor. Initially I thought I'd try a living offline altogether, but I've quickly realized how close-to-impossible that is in today's world. It's hard to bank, look up directions, find a recipe, research whatever medical issue comes your way, etc without internet access. But being in front of a screen puts me into such a trance that I completely ignore whatever's happening around me, which this morning involved paper, glue sticks and the kitchen wall. Had I not been reading the headlines online, I kinda sorta think I could have nipped that in the bud. It's not that this blog itself takes up so much time that my kids are out foraging for berries for dinner, just that it's hard for me to have enough downtime to do this, and sleep and do all the things I'd like to do.

That's the crux of it really, I have a lot that I want to do and when I get online I end up spending more hours goofing off than finishing a project would have taken. For example, I would love to have a few more photos in albums, even though I'm not nearly as crafty as this girl. I want to learn how to sew, even though I'll likely never make quilts as lovely as she does. But as it is, I just am not organized enough to get it all done in the 24 hours my globe spins in.

I often end up leaving sleep out of my life when there's more I want to do. If my choices were to sleep or stay up late watching something online or reading about some oddball on wikipedia, you can bet there'd be a blue glow in the house. And the thing is, although I don't *think* I need much sleep, the fact that I almost cried at my son's preschool conference (which was far from negative, traumatic, surprising or sad) is telling me otherwise. And the fact that I was so short with him for not getting on his seat belt in a right-now kind of way this morning tells me that too. And the fact that I wanted to scream at the woman working in a store I went into recently because (if you can believe this horrifying story) she asked me if she could help me when I had only just entered the store a nanosecond prior. (That does really annoy me, but still. It's like I could feel my blood pressure rising instantaneously.)

That is probably the biggest reason. I want to see if I can stay off the computer for 23 and 1/2 out of the day's 24 hours and if I am a happier, less exhausted person at least in part because of that cutback. I will check my email but only for essentials so that I don't end up with 4.5 billion offers for pharmaceuticals in after a week of not loggin in. But I won't surf the net aimlessly, I won't be checking all my favorite blogs religiously, I won't look at airfares to places I've never been just for the why-not of it. I'll be as offline as I can be, just to see if my mood lightens and my patience with my dependents increases.

I am particularly looking forward to extra sleep, I know I need it. But I'm also interested to find out if I actually *can* stay away from the computer, or if there's a level of addiction involved here. And if staying away makes me a more tolerable person to be around (not tolerant, tolerable, I said). Oh, and one more thing, in case the emotional volitility of a few paragraphs ago didn't give it away, I'm pregnant. One more reason to get more sleep.

So keep checking in because prrrof will continue to enlighted the masses (right, prrrof?!). We're a fortunate species that that isn't left up to me to do. Although it would be one more reason for me to keep quiet a lot longer!


Blogger swissmiss said...

You probably won't even see this comment since you have already started on your new and better way of living, but I do have a lot of understanding for the things you mentioned. I have become aware that I waste a LOT of time on the computer, doing the same sort of things like you do. I feel better if I don't spend too much time staring at the screen. I love to keep up to date with people that I don't have an opportunity to see but once every five years or so, but find myself glued to the thing, desperate to get my fix of their lives like a soap opera fan longs for the next episode. The word verification on this was enjhy and that is what I hope you do, enjhy your newfound freedom away from the screen.

3:45 AM  
Blogger prrrof said...

I, like many of the reader(s) of our blog, will miss your witty presence. I simply can't write as much, as well, or as laugh-out-loud-funny as you do.

*However*, I too understand the decision. It's amazing how many evenings we can spend far too much time clicking the "stumble upon" button (not tried this yet? ohhh, totally addicting), or clicking through to friends-of-friends-of-friends blogs. Or, like I did last night, filling up a shopping bag at Coldwatercreek.com and then deciding that the shipping charges were too high.

Sigh. Selfishly, though, it'll be a paler place in blogland this month. I hope you find a way to return, in a voice that feels right.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will MISS your blogging, but I totally hear you! Right now I'm supposed to either be painting or cleaning house, yet I've done neither...I've spent the last 45 min. on line needlessly, knowing that I already have to leave the house again in 45 minutes to begin an activity filled afternoon....leaving the stuff I NEEDED to get done undone!!! Also, congrats on your pregnancy!!!!! Hope to see you at conv.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what I've started doing to help the addiction? I actually (choke, gasp, wheeze) turn off my computer when I'm done with it, so it makes me not nearly as likely to sit down with it when I walk by....because I'm too impatient to wait for it to boot up!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I so admire you for taking a conviction and doing something about it. I have a similar conviction yet have not found the right balance. We're wondering about this new computer frontier and what it will mean for our family... will we raise children who think that what you do in your free time is check email and read about other people's lives? I totally agree with swiss miss about it being like a soap opera fix, very addicting, because we do care. And yet like you point out, what about things like hobbies and other things that actually require patience and growth? Even reading... Sometimes I tell myself its like reading a magazine or a newspaper, and yet its an unending one isn't it? Like I said, we're still looking for the right balance in our house. Maybe I'll CALL you and see how yours is working. :)

And MANY congrats to you guys on your new tummy!! What a lucky kid to have a mommy like you.

1:09 PM  
Blogger jay are said...

you threw in the "I'm pregnant" way at the bottom??!! And buried 'neath everything else!!!! What a trickster. Anyway, I like everyone else know exactly what you mean about the computer addiction. I'm not ready to make the step you are (my schooling is online, banking, etc.) but I'm the biggest online waster of time that I know. And with spring and summer around the corner, who wants to be stuck in front of a computer anyway!!

Good luck! We'll definitely miss you. I always thoroughly look forward to your perspective and I think you're a great writer.

Hope to see you soon....congrats on the baby :)

8:36 PM  
Blogger emmi said...

When my internet was down today, I had some very similar thoughts. I really am thinking about deleting my blog from the blogosphere. One big reason is that I do not need another thing hanging over my head. I am glad your doing what you need to do.

By the way, I felt very guilty while reading the first point on your blog. I think I've read all of your posts since Em told me about your blog, yet I may have commented twice. Maybe another reason to limit my time as well.

I would love to see you and your family when you visit up north. Let Emily know, if you are up for it, and I'll beeline down to visit.

8:46 PM  
Blogger emmi said...

Oops! I forgot to say congratulations.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Shana said...

I will miss your writing on this blog, but as others have said, I totally understand why you are taking a step back. And besides, I still get to see you and actually talk to you on a somewhat regular basis! :)

12:03 PM  
Blogger emilyruth said...

oh how i adore you
& your subtle 'i'm pregnant'
love it...

i will miss you, my dear
i love everything you write & find it all highly entertaining
if it's not enriching your life
i say
kick it to the curb!

i tend to take off a few days at a time here & there from the internet
& i am always the better for it...
no one needs to know that much about shoes
or ways to sew
or how to arrange pictures & paper
we all need a break every now & again
& i will be calling this a break
because i refuse to believe that you won't be back
because i would cry
& i do that enough already..
& i'm not pregnant...

love you...
enjoy your screenless time
& your boys:)


3:35 PM  
Blogger Cari said...

I like your opinions, probably because you're very good at putting into words what I often find myself frustrated over. But I, like others, understand, and yet, like others, I regret that I cannot make the same decision. Amazing how a 6 (7? 8?) pound piece of machinery can order your life and dictate your day. I guess all there is to say is, good luck!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Shelly Howe said...

WHAAA ... You may never see this comment, but I'll miss your posts tremendously. They are funny and insightful. And, personally, I like knowing your opinion. However, I completely understand and respect your decision. I wish you the best of luck w/ your experiment. I will anxious await your return to blog-land. In the meantime, I have vowed to keep in touch more, so I will be calling you on a regular basis.

Enjoy your time away from blogging ... and Happy Pregnancy!!!

4:39 PM  
Blogger anya said...

Wow! Congratulations on the pregnancy! I like how you just slid that in at the end. I hear you on the internet thing. I too have been happy when I feel less addicted. I'm better now than I have been but worse than I should be. See ya in real life sometime!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Boone, Gina and Abigail said...

Congrats on your pregnancy. Your posts will be missed.

11:17 AM  
Blogger blogmom said...

Look at all these comments!! I wonder if you're even checking in to read them? I sorta wondered about my own addiction factor to the screen. You are making me uncomfortable here. I may have to try an experiment of my own. I have tried turning off the computer when I'm done with it--need to do it more. Let us know how it works for you.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'll miss you too! Congrats on the baby!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Marathon Momma said...

Hey wait - I just when I figured out how to reply! Just kidding, I turn off the computer during the day for the exact reasons you wrote about. Here's a book that I've been LOVING that I think you would appreciate right now: "Momfulness: Mothering with Mindfulnes, Compassion and Grace" by Denise Roy. She also wrote "My Monastery is a Minivan"

9:19 PM  
Blogger jmbmommy said...

Yea you!! I am happy for you, initiating a change and all...for growing a baby, making a space in life for yourself. Buena Suerte! See you in a few, wishing you much sleep and peace!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Bruce & Deb said...

hi - dropped in via the Howes in NYs blog ;-) we go blog traveling every few days because we have found so many friends that we have not been in touch with for years!! ;-) Just wanted to send you a note & let you know we stopped by- - Take care, Bruce & Deb (Clarke) West, Northern Michigan

10:36 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

I completely understand. It's a fine line between this world and the real, tangible one we live in . . . but I hope that you still participate, even if only as an observer, from time to time!

And you have no idea how touched I am by your compliment . . . no idea. Thank you so very, very much.

Please keep in touch.

9:31 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

ps -- I was interrupted before I could tell you CONGRATULATIONS on the baby!

9:33 PM  

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