Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Balance

I title this "Balance" because it is something I have been lacking these past few months. My life seems to have gone way off "Balance". Blogging is the only thing that has changed or caused the changes, the off-balance. I can't bring myself to completely give up blogging. I have found many good things to come of it. Many new friends, Nerm, Jill, Jessica, Paula, Tracy, Melissa, Barbara and so many other frequent commenters (forgive me if I did not mention your name, it's late! And I am not linking...you know who you are!) Christine and I have gotten much closer through this new common interest. I have really enjoyed having my "Petition Thursday" where I am able to pray for specific petitions many of you have. I have loved sharing my love of our beautiful Catholic faith and many of the blessings of it. Kitty, Marie and KellyAnn I will continue to pray for you, you all have special places in my heart.



I have not shared though, how since starting blogging in February, my kids have gotten way out of hand, with manners and attitudes. I really think this is directly from me being on the computer too much, too late. Every free moment in the day, instead of swooping up the kids and doing something together, I run to the computer to "check" in on everyone. I catch myself being disappointed when my husband comes home early, knowing he will need to use the computer. Now isn't that terrible? I should be very excited when he comes home early. I used to be before starting blogging. I can't wait til he goes to bed, so I can get on the computer. I'm embarrassed to even type it. That's not being a good wife, a loving wife. The wife that God wants me to be.



I have noticed along with the good, has also come bad. Temptations to be on the computer, way too much. Temptations to be on the computer when "real" people are right here in my own home being ignored, getting in the way, bothering me, because of my selfish want to read about other people and their lives.



Laundry has each week piled up. Not the usual pile up, I mean PILE up. To the point where I have to wash or we will not have certain clothing articles that we need. Supper has been made with haste and not care and love. Let's just say it has not been very good. My family deserves better than that. Oh, I have done what I have to do, but not out of love, done because I have to do it. I'd rather do it because I love than just do it so I can get on the computer and read blogs and comment everywhere I go. So I can hurry and get a post in. To fill my own pride. Pride, that's another thing that has happened. I knew there would be that temptation to be full of pride when starting. (Margaret has posted about this a few times) Pride of liking the nice comments, actually living for them. Constantly checking for them.



I need to say to any readers out there who think my life is perfect, I am not all that!!! I am not perfect, my life is not perfect. I have daily struggles and temptations. I lose my patience and I spend way too much time on the computer. My late nights (it has become normal for me to go to bed around 2am, since blogging) have made me tired and less than patient with my children. I don't want to be less than anything to them or to my husband.



That Satan sure creeps up on people. On me. I will not let him win though. Since Saturday I have only been on the computer for a few minutes at a time, to mainly check emails. I catch myself thinking about the way it used to be, when I used to only look at a few blogs per day. I need it to get back to that. Now, I use Google reader and I have comments sent to my email (although, they don't all go there) and it helps, ALOT, but I need to change things. I still need to be on less.



I talked with my priest during Confession, he said to use blogging as a penitence, a sacrifice. To set and limit my times, to do it less. He explained that "penitence" and "sacrifice" are good things, or we are giving up good things by doing this. He explained it's not "conversion", which would be giving up something bad. He recognized the good in the blog world, which, I guess validated my feelings that I DO love it. But not more than my family.




SO, I will be posting less. I will be commenting less. I will be reading less. I will not be looking up every link everywhere. I have already started this, since Friday. Haven't even noticed, I bet! I HAVE noticed though, that I am available for my children. I am available if they need me to play a game, or color with them, or just play hand games like "Say, Say, Oh Playmate". We had time today to read a stack of books, instead of just one each. They loved it, I loved it. I felt like the mom that God wants me to be today. I started laundry for the week and only had the usual pile up. I also washed sheets and have our supper menus planned out for the next 2 weeks. And I was available to discipline them for talking back or disobeying or just for not being nice.


Dear Lord, thank you for showing me what needs to change to get my life back in balance. Thank you for all my wonderful readers and blog friends. Please bless them in a special way.
Lord, I am nothing, You are everything. Lord, show me the way. Lord, Make Me A Saint. Amen.

16 comments:

  1. I did notice, and I suspected the reason. I have been giving a lot of thought to this as well. I think I have managed to divide my time in a way that works for our family. I get up at 5 am, make my coffee, and read blogs and emails. I turn the computer off when I'm done, usually 5:45 - just about the time when everyone else gets up. I don't get on it again until the kids go to bed - unless we need to check something related to our lessons. It's hard to give up doing something you enjoy, which is why it's a sacrifice. I'll be praying that you continue to have the balance you are seeking.

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  2. I have so many thoughts I could share, but I would end up writing a book and then I would really be taking time away from your family by having you read it all! ;)

    I think blogging life takes some 'fine tuning.' That's why I've changed things so many times. At this point I am blogging on a password protected private blog. This help stop me from the temptation of reading every blog in the world because it means that when I comment, they can't go check my blog so there is no reciprocal relationship...you know what I mean? I have had to force myself to limit my blog friends to a small handful. It would be fantastic to know everyone and 'meet' a lot of people, but as you know...family comes first.
    I've also changed the tone of my blog a lot since I started three years ago. I used to express my deep thoughts and opinions much more. But, that took more time and it also checked me out mentally sometimes. I would be thinking too much about what great blog entries my thoughts would make! So, now I report more on what we are doing. Within that I still share thoughts and stories, etc. You know...you read my blog! :) I also feel very dedicated to my blog now that we live overseas. I know that the grandparents depend on updates and photos daily of their precious grandkids. When I keep that in mind I know that it's not all just a social thing for me.
    Anyway, blogging is a weird thing. You've probably noticed changes in other blogs around the blogosphere. Some have stopped all together...lots of breaks...some blocking comments on all posts...some blocking it on certain entries. It's different for everyone. You figure out what works for you. And we'll just enjoy reading whatever you feel like writing!

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  3. The blessing in blogging is just that: it has an on/off switch. Our children and families do not. WE do need balance. I pray that you get your balance (peace) back.

    I have only just begun blogging and because I have read many bloggers blogs on "I have to take a break, step back, stop this altogether . . . " I had to do a little soul-searching as well.

    I'm not a brilliant writer or techno savy at all, and, that has saved me from getting into blogging to the point I'm drowning. However, I can see and sense it could get out of hand - I could see disconnecting from "real" life to this one. I'm not getting a lot of traffic and that is fine by me (I don't live for the comments so I'm pleased when I get them - in a balanced way). Besides, I home school kids that constantly "need" me. I haven't time to get sucked in too much.

    Anyway, I feel your pain. Letting go is a good thing. But, don't totally disappear. I have loved reading what you do share.

    God bless you, Mary Keep you and Jesus love you,
    JOT/Sarah

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  4. Jaime,
    I just wanted to thank you for remembering me in your prayers. I really need them. I am beginning to feel discouraged that because of my age (42 in August) and the recent diagnosis of endometriosis that I am even able to get pregnant. Another month came and went and well, I feel so disapointed again. I almost feel like giving up. We've been trying and praying for a year now and no success.

    I really enjoy visiting your blog, but I understand why you must cut down on your time here. I hope you will continue to keep in touch with me. I will pray for you and your family.

    May God Bless you.

    Love,
    Maria In Mass

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  5. I just happened to click on your blog by chance through the "Catholic Mothers Online" directory. I have also started a blog this past February and have found I struggle with the exact same issues. My daughter also has a blog, so all of a sudden we seem to be a computer crazy household. I sat them all down yesterday and set some time limits for the summer so that we don't end up wasting away the beautiful weather on the computer. Now I just have to reign in my own usage! Thanks for the timely post.

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  6. To tell the truth, Jamie, I feel overwhelmed when I open Google reader and see that you (and most others) already have six (or more) posts that I need to catch up on! I end up spending an evening catching up on 73 posts from my favorite blogs instead of

    a) writing my own post
    b) feeling like I can take the time to comment
    c) reading a good book
    d) praying
    e) meeting up with a friend
    f) going for a walk

    etc.

    So, just know that for those who use google reader or something similar, that we will be reading when you DO post and that it doesn't have to be every day!

    Anyway, please know that I and others totally understand and that most bloggers go through this cycle of addiction. I too will pray that you find balance - that's the key - because I believe that blogging is too good of a thing to give up altogether!

    Hope we can all discuss this on Friday at the "Fireside Chat"!

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  7. I love you, Jamie, and I understand.

    Enough said.

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  8. I really enjoyed reading this. You are not alone. In fact I am sure more bloggers have these same thoughts than we all realize. I too do not want to quit all blogging (writing, reading, commenting) completely. There is so much good. Thankfully the past months have been so incredibly busy just in the dailiness of life and four children that I have so little time or brain cells to write anything coherent. Still I have to stop the reading. Google reader has helped immensely. If I find something I really want to read later, I open that blog in a new tab and save it for later. Most of the time I scroll through most very quickly and read very few. I think if it were not blogging it would be something else I would struggle with. I am so interested to hear any more thoughts you have on the topic and I pray it goes well. Blessings,
    Celeste

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  9. Can relate to a lot of this but a thought also occured to me.

    Yes, adore the ones before you but realize the HUGE impact you have made on others in the blogsphere. There's something to the idea that the deceiver would rather you go away too....and not spread your love and Catholicism.

    Just something to ponder. I am so grateful to have met you and will emailing soon to get that preistly prayer book out to you.

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  10. Hi Jamie- Bless your heart as we say here in the south. I understand in a bittersweet way about your decision to cut back on your blog time. I love what you share about your faith and feel such a connection with you. But you are right to focus more on your kids and family. They grow up and are gone so quickly-I know! I will keep you in my prayers and will still check back on you alot. Love, Nerm

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  11. Jamie, your post expresses exactly what draws my interest in starting a blog & exactly why I don't think I should start a blog! While I sincerely enjoy reading your posts about our faith and feast days, I do understand your need to limit your online presence. I look forward to Friday and seeing you 'in person.'

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  12. HI Jamie,
    Praying for balance and Peace to come to you once again. Like JMJ stated, you have done so much good by spreading the Faith in your blog - just not at the expense of spreading yourself too thin.
    I will pray for your discernment, as I know how heavily this is weighing on your mind and heart.
    Let's have a fantastic time this weekend at the Conference and give your soul a little refreshment! Suzie and I can't wait to see you and Margaret too!
    Love and prayers,
    Sarah

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  13. Yes, the devil is in the computer, but so is God. Keeping the computer Godly takes a lot of work -- yes, penance. But your head is on straight, Jamie, and you can make it happen. I find that if I "give myself" some time on as a reward for doing my work, I get much more accomplished. And if one of the kids needs something, I walk away immediately. That's the great thing about the computer -- it's always waiting when you come back -- even hours later!

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  14. Yep, same for me. I spend way to much time whenever I start something new on the computer. It's always been that way. I come from a family of computer nerds.

    I can spend hours upon hours... until my daughter came to me the other day and said - mommy, you've been on the computer all day! I come in here and tune out the rest of the world around me. I am sure I can find better meditation than this, but I really enjoy it.

    I just try to stay away from the office all together if I can. (That's why it's a disaster in here!)

    When I blog, I write as if it were my personal journal and whomever wants to read it can, but I don't expect anyone to read it. It does however make me happy to see that some people do, like you! Makes me feel special. I spend all day being mommy, it's nice to come here and just be me in my own state of mind.

    Well, hope the fireside chats tonight were good - you'll have to tell me all about it. I'll be at the conference tomorrow.

    God be with you!
    Melissa

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  15. Hi Jamie,

    I admire your honesty! It helps to hear that others struggle with this too.(that I am not the only one) I had many days where getting to the computer to start on a post was the only thing on my mind. It is good for me though because I don't get out much and I get starved for other adult attention.

    A few things happened in my life that caused my thoughts to be consumed by other things like, sadness of a miscarriage, severe pain from a tooth/bone infection, loss/tragedy of a family member, family illness.....so on etc. When all these came about, blogging was the last thing on my mind. It did cause me to reflect. I noticed that there can be too much of even a good thing. It is wonderful to be able to spread our zeal for the love of our Lord, homeschooling, family..etc But, I too notice, that if I skip my alone pray time to read/post a blog, then I am beginning to open the door to sin. (for me anyway)

    I love your blog...and the Lord does use you as a faithful servent, keep blogging but just practice moderation. Something I have to work on also! I will pray for you and for all of us who struggle with moderation.

    May God Bless you.

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  16. Hi Jamie,

    I can relate. I try to just have fun with this. I still don't know how to do so much.

    I think your blog is great. So many people like your blog. But it is a balance.

    I am glad I know you personally and get to see you in real life!

    Looks like the conference was fun!

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