Thursday, September 19, 2013

Without All the Pomp and Circumstance

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I returned to blogging at the beginning of July, and by return I mean I more or less renewed my efforts to figure all this out. I was dead set against the whole empire that is Twitter mostly because I just didn't get it. I tend to ramble, so how was I going to communicate with the world in 140 characters or less? And what the hell is the point of a #hashtag?! I still find tweets somewhat obnoxiously hard to read, but I have finally figured out how essential it is to connect with people beyond just the friends and family bubble, and I love my bubble, but it's important to be social. I've met some pretty determined, hilarious, extremely kind, and smart people in a few months and done a helluva lot of research. Every time I figured out how to add a "pretty" social media button to my blog, or finished a post I'm particularly proud of, has been a tiny victory. I actually like Twitter now and I've learned that blogging is a lot of work and I'm completely in love with it....


I originally wanted to blog  to share all of the DIY crafts I'm constantly working on. I get a lot of questions about how I do them, so I started to photograph the steps I was taking, and eventually that led to The Patchwork Paisley. However, I am starting to feel a bit burnt out. It's not easy to maintain and support the new blogging friendships I've made, promote my blog, and write posts worth promoting, plus I tend to overdo it. I'm resisting the urge right now to click over to PicMonkey and bedazzle one of my pictures or create a fancy title so far,  (if you see some frills on the finished piece, PicMonkey won.) Sometimes after hours of blogging, and we all know that doesn't mean just hitting the keyboard- we're talking Google searches, networking, html fixing, self-teaching and complete immersion in blog land with no bread crumbs to find your way back out, and complete loss of time, space or the goal you had set for the day. I feel like a reluctant, long time smoker: bloodshot eyes, achy, frustrated, guilty, threatening to give it up, but always coming back to it with an insatiable need-and this week has been tough. I've finally hit a wall. Picture me throwing down the virtual paintbrush, then looking over and seeing heavenly light shining on a pen and paper. Nothing else. No markers, or crayons, fancy paper or glitter.

 <Cue inner dialogue>

What's wrong with keeping  it simple sometimes? Not everything you post has to look pretty. You might actually have made a few e-friends who want to read what you have to say and not just be dazzled by all the #eyecandy.

So I had an epiphany. It dawned on me that it might actually help to just get my thoughts out. I have always been able to sort my thoughts best in writing. You would think my artwork would do that, but I think I just realized myself how much I've always enjoyed it. I have 5 diaries full, cover to cover, from 5th or 6th grade, all the way up until a few years ago. I has been a while since I just wrote. I often hear bloggers say they started their site to answer the call to write. My reaction to that is always, "wow that's great." It's kind of like my need to create. But wait a minute- I really like writing, or I used to, and right now I feel like I'm reconnecting with an old friend. One of those friends that's always there, that you can pick right back up where you left off with- no resentment or awkwardness. Those are the best kinds of friends. Easy, relaxing and no need for all the pomp and circumstance.

So tonight I retreated to my favorite spot in the house, my attic studio after declaring some Mommy Time while the hubby wrangles the girls. This is the spot I used to spend hours or entire days in just making stuff. It's cozy and messy and I'm surrounded by color and art supplies, listening to the Mumford and Sons station on Pandora. I pause it every once in a while to make sure my 3 year old isn't yelling for me, or the baby isn't crying, after all I'm not on an island, (oh to be on an island) but for the most part I am secluded in my little nook. My goal? Just write. Vent. Try to finish a post in less than 3 days.
My little attic hideaway/nook/mom-cave/heaven

Did I mention it has been a rough week?
Violet started preschool on her 3rd birthday. She posed for pictures, walked through the school doors as happy as can be, waved over her shoulder and was gone. She would only be there until lunch and I was anxiously looking forward to hearing how her day went. Well, her first day wasn't the best, and she was all sniffly when I picked her up. Every day since has been an increasingly bigger struggle in the morning. I feel horrible allowing someone to half-drag her (as nicely as possible) into the school building while I turn around and walk away from my heart, my cute little blue-eyed, cherub-faced heart that is hurting because she wants her Mommy. I have cried, thrown things and essentially pitched my own mini fit after leaving her. I pacify myself with an iced coffee, some blogging time (if the baby allows) and try not to think about her ------->

Luckily, it has gotten a bit better. Apparently, Violet and I have dealt with the transition in similar ways. While I have my coffee and laptop, she calms down with some circle time and play time. A bit of distraction and both of us are all smiles when pick-up time comes. I knew it could be tough, but I did not anticipate the sheer amount of emotion that is spent between the hours of 8 and 12 every day. It is exhausting. Mentally and even physically (hence the current Mommy time out and this vent rambling post.) I have gone back and forth a thousand times trying to decide if this is the right time for her or the right fit. Is she too young? Are the kids being nice to her? Do the teachers realize what an adorable, funny, bright, empathetic, sweetheart of a child she is? Is she communicating effectively? Does she know how much I love her?

I have restrained myself from sending the teacher a million notes, emails or phone calls. It is SO strange as a teacher myself being on the parent side.It's a whole new perspective that I don't think I can adequately describe just yet What I do know is that I am learning here too and it is plain to see that the intense reality is: when raising children...some things will never be simple.




21 comments:

  1. yes. just yes. I think that's been happening to me this week of just trying to get it all done and then realizing last week I can't get it all done. Prioritize and sometimes just take a week to organize and get it together. Step by step. And blogging - just the writing part of it - seriously SAVED my life when I became a mom... even when no one (but my mom) was reading it. :)

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    1. I really am glad to reconnect with my love of writing. I really have to remember not to get lost in all of this and come back to think post as a reminder! I'm glad more people are reading what you have to say. I love the way you write. Your humor and whit are both contagious and so fun to read.

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  2. this was so simplified and honest. you are right. there are times when we as bloggers, people, mothers and simple women need to just exhale and release all that has been piling up inside. no fluff no glitter (oh how i love glitter but the clean up can be a pain...lol) and simply be. i thoroughly enjoyed reading and honestly experiencing your highs and lows through this post. i can assure you that violet will be ok and so will you. it may be hard and tearful at times but it will be ok. keep making the time to go to your nook and keep venting. it is helpful. thanks so much for sharing this piece of yourself.

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    1. LOL @ glitter. It's the best, isn't it? I refuse to keep it/use it in my classroom or house for the mess reasons though. Middle schoolers + glitter = disaster.

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  3. I know, it's become so hard to keep up with blogging and trying to keep the site "pretty". Sometimes I get sucked into a social media frenzy where I feel like I need to be instagramming and tweeting and updating SOMETHING!! I just have to step away like you did and focus on something else. Sometimes, I just need a break from the blogosphere!! I love that you shared this. We all need to remember that it's hard to keep up with everything!

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    1. It really can get overwhelming. I'm glad so many people can relate though. It's nice to know we're all going through it.

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  4. What a beautiful post! You are so right about keeping it simple. It's easy to lose so many hours in blog-land! A good reminder that (at least my goal) for blogging is for me, and not for others.

    I'm sorry your little is having a rough start to preschool. :( I used to teach fifth grade and I have no clue what kind of parent I will be when the time comes for my guy to head to school! Yikes! Haha! Hang in there!

    -Andrea
    P.S. I LOVE your mom-cave!

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    1. Thanks so much Andrea! It is important to remember that for sure...I think being a teacher/parent will help in some areas, but it's definitely an adjustment already!

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  5. I loved this post, Meg! I related to it as a blogger, as a writer, and as a mama! The writing is the part of blogging I fell in love with - the carefully crafted words that share my ideas, or tips, or often just my heart. And it is so easy to get caught up in the marketing, and the design, and the social media. And when I am all wrapped up in that, it is so easy to forget that what I really want is just to share and connect with other women who might feel the same as me. To help them know they are not alone and we all struggle. I love that you found the courage to focus on the priorities.
    And preschool is so hard! I'm finding that while I thought it would be easier with my second, it is actually a little tougher since he's my baby and my mama's boy! But ti will get better - for both of you! :)
    Thanks so much for sharing yourself!

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    1. I'm so glad Beth! Somehow all the design stuff is what really spoke to me first (I guess that's not too far-fetched really) It is weird how I started blogging for one reason and will keep up with it for an entirely different one. I'm do glad I found this outlet for my creativity and expressing myself through writing, I just hope I can return to this post as a reminder that it's ok to keep it simple every so often

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  6. it is a lot, isn't it? I sometimes sit down to write and I'm so inspired BUT then all of the extra's step in and it's just so much sometimes :p

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    1. Impossible! I guest the first step is recognizing how hard it is though, and remembering that we're all going through it.

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  7. I love the writing. That's me. I really can't stand the rest - the photos, the editing, the html blah blah, the networking. It's basically one big circle jerk, honestly, and I'm not really into that part. I'm even tired of the sponsored posts. It's not my heart. I just want to sit down and write something good that really resonates with someone else. And I want to discuss it. And write some more. I don't want to be bothered with all the marketing and click bate, and what do the readers want type of forethought. Ugh, blogging.

    (Loosely translated this means I feel ya.)

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    1. LOL. So true. I'm really struggling with the two ends of the process, creative vs. the business end, but it will all settle in to place at some point I hope.

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  8. I couldn't agree more! I'm all about keeping it simple because, by golly, life is too short to try to impress and be anything but yourself. :)

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  9. I love this and can't agree more. This is second post I've read about this exact subject of blogging losing its appeal because we aren't doing it for the right reasons. Sometimes its all just too much trying to make everything pretty for everyone else...when really we should all be writing and blogging for ourselves first and foremost! Most of all I'm loving all the comments on here before mine...Lets all just stop playing this "keeping up with the jones' " game and lets get back to blogging for ourselves..right?? :-) I know for me personally thats what I enjoy reading the most!
    Sending blog love your way :-)

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    1. Seriously! Everyone is in agreement, so I say we just make the decision together and go with it, right?? Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  10. Awwww! I totally feel you on the dazzle it up mentality of every post. I honestly just don't do that. I think you just have to balance blogging. I decided I was going to just enjoy it and stop trying so hard to make money with it because that just seemed like the thing to do. Hubby has no expectancy of me to help bring in money which leaves me totally free to be the social butterfly I like to be when I can. I also write as I can. I tend to write a lot right now because I enjoy it so much. This is how I know how to keep blogging as what I love :)

    Poor Violet! You both will get used to her new normal I'm sure! :) thanks for linking up to Mommy Monday every week! You already know I love your blog!

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  11. It is hard to get it all done sometimes. I definitely have days I feel overwhelmed. I think the best thing to do is simply plan out what you can do, get it done and the rest is gravy. If you get to it, great, if not, it was extra anyway.

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  12. I can totally identify with you! I just started blogging in October and it's all I want to do! But, I get caught up in the social networking aspects and neglect the writing part, the part I really, really want to do! It's hard to focus sometimes when a million things on the web distract you.
    I've been thinking about pre-school for my son. It's a HUGE overwhelming step. One minute I want to do it and the next I don't. It sounds like your daughter is adjusting. Some kids probably just need more time to acclimate than others:)
    I look forward to reading more of your blog. Keep up the good work!

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