Friday, April 22, 2011

Disconnecting to Connect

As a wife and full-time working mother of two I often feel there are not enough hours in my day to meet the needs of my nuclear family, let alone tend to my roles of daughter, step-daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. I have let relationships fall by the wayside on several occasions and later lived to regret it. And yet, the thought of taking precious time away from my children (of which there is little to go around already) is not something I will even allow myself to entertain. So many times I have told myself that this is just a season in my life, that my children will grow up and not need me as much, that when I am older and they are grown I will have more time for myself and other relationships. But at what expense?

 We are all concerned with the daily grind, as my dad calls it. The appointments and chores, the planning and executing, the calendars and reminders. However, it is relationships that make life. All that other stuff is just what we do in between. Unfortunately, so many of us spend so much time focusing on the in between that we lose sight of our true purpose. We attempt to organize and micromanage our lives instead of cultivating our relationships. We spend more and more time updating our Facebook statuses than talking with those we love. In very many ways, I feel we are losing our humanity, the thing that makes us alive and connects us to our natural world.

I started this blog on a whim. I had blogged before, when I first started Grad school. Back then I did it more to release stress and empty my mind of all the sociological concepts I was learning. It became a sounding board of ideas of sorts. I wrote blogs about the application of sociological theory to real life circumstances. I riled against in justices. I questioned love, marriage, children, death, and my purpose here on Earth. Eventually, my graduate work became my focus and I fizzled out on blogging.

I finished the M.A. eventually which freed me up to write again, but by then I was consumed by the Facebook phenomena. I was connecting with friends and family I had not heard from in a long time and I was busy catching up and staying current. I began posting statuses throughout the day…not the meaningless “I’m eating breakfast now” statuses, but little bits about my family or my day I felt were a little more unique. The more I posted the more I realized that I missed writing and soon that little status box didn’t seem quite big enough to fit all of the thoughts running through my head.

Then several months ago, my friend Danielle started her own blog Mama and the Music Man (go check it out…it’s awesome!). I was hooked on day one and began to anxiously await her next post. Then one day, I noticed her blog roll and began clicking away, and hit the jackpot! I discovered there is a whole blog universe out there of Moms, just like me, who are raising kids, laughing, living, and loving, and trying to embrace the simple pleasures. I knew right away I had to join in! At first I wasn’t sure I could find anything to write about. What could I possibly have to say? But over the past few months of writing and reading I have learned to look at my life differently, and I have learned that when we pause to reflect on the everyday, we find many things worth mentioning and many images worth capturing.

This weekend I plan to seriously downsize my Facebook account. I have decided that, at this stage in my life, the quality of my relationships is more important than the number of friends on my friend list. I will continue to use Facebook to keep in touch with special friends and family who are spread out all over the globe, but I will no longer be limiting myself to the 400 characters or less status box. Starting this blog has helped me realize that I have things to say. It is my hope that this blog will allow me to make connections with others who want to listen.

1 comment :

  1. Wow! I am so flattered that I inspired you! Glad you're enjoying blogging again. I deleted FB and haven't missed it for a second. Blogging is way more fun and personal.