I am up to my ears in laundry, I still have to run out to Costco, I'm supposed to fit a run in at some point today (somehow I feel like that's not going to happen), we are supposed to be pulling out of the driveway tomorrow morning at 9 for a week at Nags Head with my family, and I am absolutely not going to leave a messy house.
So why am I blogging, especially when everything else is so busy? I've asked myself this question a lot, actually. [Because I'm a vain, prideful human being, and I worry about silly things like whether I am conforming to the voyeuristic self-exhibitionism that seems to be so prevalent in our culture]. Am I showing off? Neglecting a million other things that I could be doing? Do non-mothers see my blog and assume its because I "have too much time on my hands"?
After a few months of going back and forth on the problem of blogging, I just realized I don't want to be one of those people who have philosophical scruples about using social media in general. It's downright irritating. They complain on Facebook about how awful it is to have a Facebook, much less a "Timeline" (gasp), and have all these great reasons why our many social media outlets are beneath them.
To me, its just like the Amish people who had philosophical problems with modern air-conditioning; apparently, it keeps you off your porch and away from being neighborly, so you should just pretend it hasn't been invented and keep your windows open all summer. I'm sorry - I'm not that stubborn. And I am much more concerned with keeping my superiority complex in check. Hah.
Yes, blogs can be unhealthy. Facebook can be unhealthy. But so can talking on the phone, exercising, watching television, eating, etc. Anything done without moderation and for a selfish reason can become unhealthy and will eventually have consequences on your self and your relationships. (I guess A/C can be unhealthy, although I like to keep a safe distance from my sweet and insufferably nosy old lady neighbor. Rachel Lynde has nothing on her. )
If something amoral has become wrong or unhealthy, I think its usually a symptom of a deeper problem rather than being the problem itself. For me, at least.
For instance, whenever I have caught myself spending too much time on Facebook or my iPhone, I realized that the problem was I needed to be more "present" to the daily duties and joys of my life. When I'm really busy, really excited and attuned to whatever I'm doing, I never even think twice about Facebook or Pinterest or Words with Friends.
We all need little "fasts" to help purge us of unhealthiness; one of my friends, rather than deleting her whole Facebook account, just deleted the app from her phone, to make it less accessible for awhile. I think this is brilliant!
So! This is the conclusion that I came up with about blogging: At the end of the day, a blog is just an amoral means to an end. Whatever the end is determines how "good" or "not good" it is for you to blog. If the "end" of this blog were to make my life seem perfect to other people, or to get attention, it absolutely would be unhealthy.
I'm not a scrapbooker. I hate arts and crafts of all kinds, I can't stand making messes, and I am totally disorganized. So my blog is the easiest way for me to make a "scrapbook" without also making a giant mess.
As a stay at home mom who is committed to saving money for my hardworking husband by doing everything myself, including cleaning, yardwork, cooking everything from scratch so that we can afford to eat clean, unprocessed food, blogging is one way in which I make myself stop for 15 or 20 minutes just to take a breath and make sure I'm not letting life slip by me too fast. (Which every mom will tell you can happen without you even noticing).
If my blog were taking too much time away from my baby and my husband, I would shut it down. But I'm a fast writer, and its been a really fruitful mental exercise for me (usually during naptime). It makes me reflect on the lessons I'm learning at this ever-changing stage in life, and consciously immortalize the memories that fade all too quickly.
My family is all going to the beach together tomorrow for the first time in years. I'm so happy about this, because we are a beach family to the core. I was born in Oviedo, FL, and I am proud to say we were those Floridians who actually went to the beach regularly.
At least once or twice a month, we'd pack a huge cooler with watermelon, Capri-Sun, and footlong subs from Publix, and drive out to New Smyrna or Playalinda for the day in our big blue Suburban.
I have such fond memories of counting how many gators we saw peaking out of the brackish marshes and lakes on either side of the highway... fighting with my annoying, sand-covered brothers in the Very Back Seat... sitting under the boardwalk for 20 minutes when a huge lightning storm appeared out of nowhere... running along the big white beaches and exploring all of the tide pools...
I hope my children grow up with as many poignant, simple, timeless memories.
I recently saw the movie "The Tree of Life". What struck me most were the fleeting, beautiful images that the child in the film grew up with. The characters obviously lived in meager simplicity, but there were so many shots of walking on polished wood floors, breeze coming in the open windows through clean thin white curtains, playing under huge old oak trees... Just a lot of stirring moments.
While I am fully aware that it's a movie, not real life, it is compelling to think of the "moments" in Will's life right now. Of course, it's not in my control what moments impress him and what moments flash by unnoticed.
I think I love Instagram because that is what your "grid" does - it mirrors back to you all the simple little moments that make up your life.
I collected a few "moments" of the past weekend from my Instagram. They're minimally edited, and when I look at them, definitely reflective of our quiet life.
I hope this is something of what Will sees:
Say prayers for our safe travels! Follow me on Instagram - beingopen - if you want to enjoy some happy beach pics this week!
P.S.: due to the recent surge in readers,
working through my snotty philosophical problems with the idea of blogging,
some exciting opportunities for writing articles that have arisen
and the desire to generate more,
the encouragement of all of your lovely comments and feedback,
the support of my husband,
and the inimitable talent of Bobbi, of the blog "Today I'm Bobbi"
my simple blog is getting a design makeover!
Hopefully it will be a little more professional looking, and easier to read, follow and comment.
I'm so excited to see how it turns out. Stay tuned!
Labels: balance, beach, blogging, Florida, healthy, instagram, memories, moments, something true, summer, the tree of life, writing