Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Blogging Verdict

Wow. You all should be totally "peaced out" by now, if you read my last post and followed the farewell instructions... That was like almost a week of peacing. You've probably never felt better. In fact - I may have changed your life!

I should get into blogging funks more often.

Actually, this last week has been a rather interesting experiment. You know how when you get sick you can't remember what it feels like to be well? Am I the only one who's noticed this? Or pregnant. You're about eight and a half months pregnant, and you really, truly, can NOT remember what it feels like to not be pregnant?

That's how I was feeling about blogging.

As many of you know, I didn't have internet access in my house until July. Of this year. Shocking, I know. Amazingly, however, we had managed to get by just fine with out it. Emailing me information wasn't always the smartest idea - especially if it was urgent - but otherwise, I (we) were pretty normal.

I really didn't know anything about blogs, except that Annie had one. I would occasionally read hers at my mother's, laugh, and wish I had a google account so I could rat her out on stuff, but that was about it.

Then came that fateful day, when I decided to go big, spend the dough, and get hooked up.

Within the week I was blogging.

At first, I thought that like Annie, I was supposed to blog every day. That lasted about one week. Then I regained my sanity, remembered my children, and toned it down to once every two or three days. I was still only reading a few blogs of close friends and family though, so my blogging world was very small.

Enter mormon mommy blogs.

Can we say total takeover? All of the sudden there were countless cool/funny/witty blogs out there, and not only was I finding them, they were finding me!! I comment, they comment, we comment - before you know it, I have some hysterical blog-friends from all over the place.

And I love to write. What could be better than having something to say (even if it's actually nothing but senseless drivel), putting it into words, and having all these people relate/validate/commiserate with you? Especially if you can occasionally make someone smile. To me, that's the greatest.

And in the faculty room, I can say cool things like "Yeah, I have a blogging friend who lives in Poland. She could probably find that recipe for you."

But then, there was the rest of the story. Like the part where you get on the blog to "check your comments" and enter the phenomenon of blog-time-warp. You know, the one where you SWEAR it's only been a half hour blog-time-warp time, but in the real world it's been two hours?

And there's the hungry/neglected/learning-to-fend-for-themselves children (because Mom is stuck in blog-time-warp and thinks it's only been two minutes since you asked for that sandwich). When they started pointing out my computer time, and making certain accusations (that I will not name, and which many of you have probably heard in your own houses anyway) I decided to take a little control of my blog-life.

Like a responsible adult, I imposed computer time constraints on myself, and have been pretty good at sticking to them - but still. Blogging took things over so fast and furiously, I felt like I was pregnant again. Pregnant with a blog post. I just couldn't remember what it was like to not have one rolling around inside me, waiting - demanding even - to be let out into the wonderful world of Blog.

And then there's the matter of my book. Yes, I am finally coming clean - before the blog, I was taking my creative energies out on a novel. It was coming along nicely before the blog. Now it's more like an orphan... kind of like my actual children...

So anyway, I began to have that feeling. That "what was my life like before the blog?" feeling. I really couldn't remember. Did I get more done? Was I a better mom? If I just stopped would life go back to normal, or would I miss blogging and feel a hole in my soul with out it?

Enter Blogging Funk.

I was at odds with the blog. There was no karma there. I could think of nothing to say, because I wasn't sure if I should keep saying something. So I stopped. For almost a week. The results? (I'm sure I have you on the edge of your seats...)

At first, it was like a big sigh of relief. The pressure (inflicted on myself, by myself) was lifted. I wasn't writing, so no one was commenting, so I didn't have to go look and see what they might have said, so I wasn't also going to see what else they said, and what everyone else said about that. Whew. I had fleeting thoughts about how people might abandon me if I went a week with out contributing, but I recklessly pushed these aside. (We'll see how that one turned out now, won't we?). After all, as of Wednesday... Thursday... EVEN Friday, I wasn't sure if I'd be blogging again anyway.

Then Saturday afternoon I looked around at my house.

Destroyed. Just. Like. Usual.

And I hadn't blogged for DAYS.

I smiled. I "Hmphed". I felt a little giddy.

It wasn't the blog after all! It was just me! I'm just a rotten keeper-up-with-the-messes-everyone-is-making-around-me kind of mom! I know I shouldn't feel so excited about this (I'm sure my husband wouldn't), but the verdict finally came in - blogging is okay!

I can blog.

Just not always three/four times a week.

And that's okay. (Right? You'll still love me???)

*Sigh* I feel much better. Now if they'd only let us access Blogger from work...


Laura said...

Oh, you SO need a new job if you can't get blogger at work. Like you're actually expected to work all day and never ever go to blogger? What world do they live in?
Glad you're back. Super fun, all this blogging stuff that I'm WAY too addicted to. I could never go so long without the computer. Blogging is my booze. (Maybe I shouldn't type that with a smile on my face?)

*MARY* said...

I definitely noticed your blogging absence. Just the other day I was thinking hey, I haven't had a jingle from Jen in a while, I wonder what's up.
I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I think, what if I just deleted my blog and never looked back. I'd probably get a lot more done and become a better person. Thanks for doing the experiment for me so I don't have to.

Jen said...

Yeah Laura, can you see how long I made it before checking my comments? Maybe we should start a B.A. group.

That could just mean so many things...

Mary - That's what I'm here for - experiments no one else wants to try. Just let me know what you'd like me to go for next.

Nice to know I was missed, by the way:)

Tana said...

You were missed but not enough to force you to stay up at all times of the night to think of witty things to say. Just let the rest of us stalk after everything you say!

LisAway said...

We'll never abandon you, Jen! Plus, we have you on our Readers, so we'll always know, and be happy as soon as you post anything. Even if you decide it can't be as often as previously.

I love EVER SINGLE WORD of this post. All of them. About the forgetting what it's like to be healthy as well as not pregnant. About the thinking it was a half an hour ago they asked for the sandwich. About having a blogging friend in Poland, although that one's not really fair, as I would LOVE to have a blogging friend in Poland, but don't know any.

Why does it never get old to read people's reflections and impressions about blogging? Especially in posts as well put together as this one.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I have you on my reader lady, and I was excited to see you pop up on top with a new post. Because you are such a good writer and always worth a visit.

I totally know what you're saying about blogging. It really is addictive and time consuming. I'm one of those who can only do it 2 or 3x a week. But it's so fun, and uplifting, I've stopped feeling guilty about it:-)

Future Former Fat Chick said...

Aren't the self-imposed internet breaks wonderful! Sometimes, it's just nice to not be connected all the time.

Of course, my house is still a mess too. And mostly because I'm not a good housekeeper. I didn't get that gene. Hey, I can cook at least.

Heidi said...

Yeah, I've been wondering too if my life has been taken over by blogging...I haven't written in my journal, I haven't worked on a story in so long. Actually, though, my house is cleaner than it has been in ages, which is odd seeing as how I'm on bedrest. I guess my mother is a far better housekeeper than I am (and she only comes a couple times a week.)

Anonymous said...

I've missed you, too! And I've been missed...I also took a week off, and actually accomplished much, but boy, was I grouchy!! Without my blogging outlet, I'm just not the same person!!

We need to write. It's more than journaling. It's connecting. And Venting, and invigorating, and exercising our brains. I've always kept a creative writing journal as my own personal therapy (and someday, I might get brave enough to actually publish something), but this blogging is instant satisfaction. I don't have to worry about anybody rejecting my thoughts and opinions.

So welcome back. Get blogging!! And let's get a limerick contest going again!! (It's funny how I think in limericks now...all because of you!)

Machen Family said...

Jen, I've actually been contimplating ending my blog. Really! I was talking to my sister about it yesterday and was planning on deleting the account today when I read your post. You're making me think twice about it. You just echoed everything I was feeling!!! So I'll give it another day...and I'll see how I feel about erasing it tomorrow. Thanks for the post!

Kimberly said...

I'm taking time off at Christmas. Just to prove that I can. Totally get everything you've written about here. And so glad blogging wasn't the culprit!

If I don't blog I just find other things to do. Write, read, cross-stitch and crochet while watching movies. Blogging at least is interactive...right?

Claire said...

I don't ever blog til night time when all the babies are in bed. I've tried doing it when they're under my feet, but it just doesn't work..

Kids and blog don't mix. And don't make me choose.

Melissa Bastow said...

The part where you said, "It was just me" I busted up laughing - - because that's me too!!!!

And I just want to add that I think blogging has actually made me a happier person....seeing as I never leave my house unless it's to run one of the kids somewhere, so I have no actual friends. Ok, one. Or maybe three, but I hardly ever see them. And I've realized that it's good to have friends. (Even if they only blog a couple times a week.)

Stephanie said...

Good because I don't check blogs daily and then I get on yours and I have to read like 3 and you write a lot...which is good because you are a good writer, but I also like to see pics. Even if you could throw in a random picture, it would be great. I'd feel like I'm reading a picture book, or maybe a chapter book with a few pictures in it. Love your blog and Annie's blog and Kelly's blogs though. :)

Annie Valentine said...

Alas, I too have felt the heavy sweep of blog drug invade my mind, fog my senses, and make simple tasks like driving the car while in Blog Mind Frame dangerous on occasion.

And yet I persist. Because writing is my life blood, my outlet, my future fortune.

My rule? Two loads of laundry minimum. As soon as I'm further behind than that, I shut it down until my life regains cleanliness, symmetry, and some semblance of balance.

Kristin said...

Blog, blob, blah, blah, blah have a lot in common,
none of which is you or your blog.
so as long as you remember that, keep spilling it out. Sometimes we do have to back out of something for perspective. But hey, it brings pleasure without calories or exertion. can it be that wrong? blog, bologna, blathering, BLEEP

Alison Wonderland said...

Congrats on just being a crappy housekeeper!

And I have to say, blogging access from work is a must.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

OMGosh! You're back! And you so perfectly nailed the whole blogging time warp. I stand all amazed.

I'm so glad you're over the hump. I can't wait to get there myself. I just don't know when or how because my head is still in the blog fog.

I missed you.

And I sent your prize today but I couldn't remember your last name so I just sent it to Jen's Jingle. I hope Elma is a small town and everyone reads your blog. ;)

Pat said...

Wow great post. And I can't beleive someone would even consider deleting their blog, would that be just like abortion. I feel like my blog is a child, and someday it is my favorite one, but don't tell my real life children. :)

Susan said...

I love this post. Just found you through shelle at blokthoughts... just started blogging about 3 months ago and I can totally relate to you and the absolute need for constraints... thanks for the laughs, and also congrats on finally having a beautiful little girl...your post on seeing a mom and daughter walking at school was so real. I love happy endings.