Ugh, Blogging Burnout

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Oh my gosh, you guys. For the past seven or so years, I’ve been able to keep up this blogging business, writing posts up and uploading pictures, and it’s been, more or less, fine. Some of my friends have asked “how do you do it?!!” and I was all, “oh, I don’t know, I just do it.”

Now I no longer know how to do it.

We were away for about ten days, visiting my parents and then some cousins in Wisconsin who we hadn’t seen since our wedding (it was a GREAT trip and my husband and I both asked ourselves why we didn’t make that trip sooner, seriously). Preparing for the trip and now decompressing from the trip is no joke. No joke, I tell you.

Now I’m sitting cross-legged on my couch, spooning cold leftover quinoa and black bean (and cilantro!) salad from a chilly Corningware dish, feeling the pull of blogging barely edge out over the pull of all the other things that are beckoning. Like the mountain of Shabbos dishes. And laundry (ten-day trip, remember?), and the various projects that need attending to, like unpacking, or figuring out where the fall clothes are, or hanging pictures on the walls of our new house, or going through my email inbox, or the many forms my childrens’ school has sent for the upcoming school year.

Perhaps I’ve reached the tipping point of my domestic duties versus my creative wants. And the somewhat embarrassing reality is that I feel a need in my blogging to only write Very Important or Popular Posts, ones that touch on Truth and will ideally be shared a bazillion times on various social media sites. I used to just blog to stay in touch with friends and family, to keep them appraised of what’s going on in my life as I moved about the country.

Sometime along the way, I became enamored with this idea of reaching as many people as possible. I suppose it’s my competitive nature kicking in, seeing the blogging word evolve, and feeling like I need to be at the top, the best, the most viral posts, to get Freshly Pressed etc. But I never got there, and so I feel this little twinge of, I don’t know, frustration? Boredom? Something like that.

Again, it’s a little embarrassing.

I also feel that with the extremely limited amount of free time I have (Again, free being very relative. I should really be doing other things right now and will likely regret this in the morning), I feel like I should be writing articles for sites that, you know, pay money (though not much money, but, whatever, it’s still payment), or maybe doing something musical.

It seems that I’ve lost my connection with why I’m blogging while also finding that I need to devote more time to running my house in a way that is more satisfying and effective. I find it unlikely to be a coincidence.

So, whatever. This post is not earth-shattering in its content, and I used a ton of slopping writing and I rambled and well, that’s just gonna have to be okay with me. Because to do a whole post in the way that I would like to do it, with linkies and pictures and all the trappings is just beyond my capabilities at this point! Alas! This may be the end of an era! Or maybe not. I don’t know.

But I do know that Yom Tov is coming, and there’s a ton to do to prepare for that. I do have some Quick Thoughts for Elul up on my Facebook page, if you want to check those out.

And now, it is late and I must sleep.

Of Interest – August

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Remember how excited I was that all my kids were in camp? And my assumption that I would be able to do the All The Things with all the free time that stretched out expansively before me?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I seem to have underestimated how much time taking care of four children and a house in a new (old) city requires. Especially when my really adorable, wonderful, delicious baby essentially stopped sleeping for more than three or four hours at a time. Teething, j’accuse!!

That’s right, it’s been a lot of survival mode, and the energy I do have has been dedicated to keeping my house from sliding into entropy, to making sure I have actual dinners to feed my family (more or less. I do count noodles and cheese as a completely valid dinner option), to treading water with the laundry situation, and to enjoying and relaxing with my children as they play in the yard after an enjoyable day at camp.

It’s been really great, actually. I get a lot of satisfaction out of domestic work, which is something I plan to write about when my time is not entirely consumed by domestic work. Whether there’s legitimately no time for creative ventures or I’m just not prioritizing it is up for debate, but I’m fairly certain that until my sleep deprivation situation gets a little less extreme, my priorities are solid. Especially since it took me from early morning until mid-afternoon to make this post.

If I’m soooo busy with my life stuff, what has brought me to all of you today? Besides missing you, OBVIOUSLY.

This!

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The Up Side to Losing my Temper at My Kids

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I love motherhood. I do. But the biggest challenge, I find, is not losing my cool. It is not easy to stay calm in the face of little screaming, whining people. Cute little people who are pulling on my skirt and asking a trillion questions, repeatedly, incessantly.

Whenever I would lose my temper, I would berate myself for it. I had read enough parenting articles, books, attended enough parenting classes to have internalized the horrible side effects of getting angry at my kids.

So not only would I get angry, but then I would feel despondent immediately afterwards. Fun!

I wrote about how I dealt with those difficult emotions, and how, even though I’m not finished with my work to minimize my anger, I can see a silver lining to losing my temper. It’s up over at Kveller today, so go read it and let me know what you think!

anger's silver linings

Why I Love Restrictions

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Yesterday I saw an advertisement for a vacation to Tasmania. It extolled the beauty of the land’s rugged landscape as well as the friendliness and easygoing disposition of the local population.

When I read about far-flung places, I image what it would take for us to go there. The logistics of traveling with four small children notwithstanding, just thinking about if it would be a possibility. How tricky would it be to eat there? Would there be any anti-Semitism which would necessitate being very incognito?

Going through this mental checklist caused me a moment of angst. For a moment, a too long moment, I felt frustrated. I wished that I could just pick up and go visit anywhere in the world that I wanted to without having to worry about kashrus or Jewish safety issues.

I’m very happy with my life and with the choices I’ve made. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t have twinges of not exactly regret, but a second cousin to that emotion. After the feeling of frustration at the restrictions I’ve brought upon myself mellowed, I thought about the trade off.

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Of Interest – June

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GUYS!!! My kids are in camp. For the first time since we moved to Cleveland, I have a significant stretch of time where there is this thing called, wait, I can’t quite remember, oh yeah. QUIET.

Though, as much as I may kvetch about how it’s been challenging to do things like go grocery shopping, or hear myself think, I have really enjoyed these past few months with my kids. I’ll probably write about it. Now that I have the time to write.

Today’s post is your monthly collection of things I’ve found around the internet that you may or may not be interested in. It’s a short one this month. Feel free to link to interesting things you’ve seen down in the comments!  Continue reading

Do I Really Want Facebook to Just Be Pictures of Babies and Food?

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Last week I saw a Facebook post which got me all emotional in a defensive way, and, after some (not enough) reflection, I commented, even though I was aware that my opinion might not be well-received. I rationalized my decision to comment by telling myself that if we only comment on posts that we agree with, we miss out on the chance for dialogue, and, importantly, on the chance to connect with others whose views diverge from our own.

In theory, that’s great. In practice, I ended up feeling a lot of regret for wading into a discussion where I felt like I came off sounding like a backwards, insensitive person. I don’t feel like I expressed my views very clearly, and I don’t feel like I was heard. In short, I’ve felt very uneasy about it since it happened. I feel like I was inadvertently offensive, and that feels horrible. The one silver lining is that I did learn something from the interaction, I did grow from it. So it’s not like it was worthless, but it was painful.

In the aftermath of that contentious interaction, I began to miss the days where Facebook was simply friends sharing pictures and moments from their lives. When it was a just nice way to connect with my friends who lived too far for me to have coffee with. Before politics and news filled so much of my feed. Continue reading

Rosh Chodesh Video Series

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I know, it’s a little unexpected to have another post from me since I just posted yesterday, but hopefully it’s a pleasant surprise. Right? Right. Right?

In any case, I’ve been asked to do some more videos, and I had an idea to do a short video each Rosh Chodesh. Here’s the first one, where I muse about how what we put in is what comes out. Yeah, maybe just watch the video to see what I’m talking about.