Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Starshine: Unplugged (and Plugged-In Again)

Hubs and I spent a long weekend in Virginia at a surprise birthday party for his mom. We had a marvelous time and the look of surprise on the birthday girl's face was proof that she was completely shocked!  YEA!!!  (I'll write a post soon about the party with pictures.)

We stayed at the home of Hub's aunt and uncle, who are some of the most kind-hearted and warm people I have ever met. I am truly blessed to have married into a family like this. Their home is in rural Virginia, where I had only one bar on my cell phone and I never checked my e-mail once! I have to say that it felt really good to "unplug" for a while.

Several times during the weekend, I found myself thinking "Oh, I can't wait to blog about this!" It really got me thinking about how much my blog has become a part of my life. (Too much, maybe?) It also raised the question of "Why do I devote so much time to my blog?"  And not just writing my blog, but also reading lots and lots of other blogs fairly religiously. Do I do it because it's a creative outlet? Am I such an approval addict that I can't live without the feedback of my comments? 

I have to admit that unplugging did help me see that I am too plugged in as far as my everyday life goes. I often get the feeling that I need to stop living my virtual life in front of my computer and go out into the fresh air and sunshine and start living my real life!

On the plane trip home, I sat next to a native Angeleno who was returning home from a family reunion. He told me about the genealogy research he does as a hobby and the importance of passing family stories down from generation to generation. I told him about my blog, and that part of the reason I am recording my thoughts and documenting my life there is because I want my life's story to be available to my children and grandchildren. I have also written a bit about my parents and grandparents.

Truth be told, there are a whole lot of reasons that I blog. 
  • It is my primary creative outlet, and it helps to keep my creative spirit alive.
  • I have found a true community of bloggers who encourage me and whose lives have become important to me. Some of my blog buddies are now dear friends--friends who have been there for me during my highest and lowest moments (my bridal shower, my wedding, and my Dad's funeral). 
  • And, yes, I'm a bit of an approval addict, and I love the feedback of comments.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have no plans at all to stop blogging (it is a big and important part of my life), but I see the need to control the time that I spend online. 

Do you find this to be an issue in your life? How do you balance it all?


J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I agree with you on all three reasons. :) Right now, I'm just so glad that my mom blogged, so we got so many family stories and things written down. So you're right, getting it there for future generations is a very good thing.

I find that I do enjoy taking time away from the blog once in awhile. It is such a time suck.

Cari said...

I'm a new blogger, so I am all about the blog! :)
I love reading your blog, and listening to your thoughts/feelings/perspective!

Dana Cheryl said...

Am I a blog addict? Let's see it's 2:17 a.m. and I'm online reading blogs... You tell me?! :)

I'm with ya girl. It's simply become a part of my life. It just occurred to me that we should use our blogs to motivate us to go out and do new things. (So we can blog about them of course.) It all goes back to the blog. LOL!

happy as a clark said...

Hey Friend...
love your realness. Uhm, I think blogging is an outlet for me but mostly a way to update my family about our little one on the way.
I think, as with most things, moderation is the key.
If it is helping you stay in touch with dear friends and loved ones...I can't see the harm. Just rely on the Lord to lead you and make sure you aren't putting it before your time with him and before time with people in real life.
Hope to see you at the BBQ next week! Love

C said...

Ohhh...I can totally relate! I am often surprised at how much blogging has become part of my life. I find myself often doing something or seeing something and thinking, "Oh! I have to remember to blog this!" or "I need a photo of that for the blog!"

P.S. I blog for the same reasons you do :)

jennie said...

I can related to all of those things. For me, it seems like the writing and the blog reading goes in streaks. At first, I tried to post very regularly, now I post as time permits and when I have something to say. Lately, that means that I've hardly posted at all. But instead of sweating it or wondering if it means that I'll lose people along the way, I'm just not worrying about it. But, also making plans and looking forward to writing again.

Deb said...

I completely agree on your points of why you blog. It is a way to be creative and there is so much support in the blogging community. I love reading everyone's blogs just as much as I love receiving comments. Sometimes I forget to leave comments and I need to remember to this more.

But, I have found it more difficult to blog lately because of time. But, when I finally get a chance to write something, I feel so releived and so "accomplished". Strange how a small blog post about what I did this past weekend can make the rest of my day seem to much more durable. I would not give it up. Just like anything else in your life that you get enjoyment from, you find a way to make time for it. So many people have so many obligations, that if something so simple as blogging gives them some sort of happiness, they will and should find a way to hold on to it.