My summer in the real world

I have come to the end of a grand experiment. Well, maybe “grand” is too big a word…but it was, for me, fairly ambitious, anyway.

I knew that I would have a limited amount of free time during the summer months – kid home from school, family events to attend, paid work to keep up with. I assumed I’d end up blogging at least every once in a while, but then a funny thing happened: I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t even log in to WordPress for a good couple of months. Today is the first day I’ve checked in around here since sometime in June, and that was a conscious decision.

As this summer progressed, I decided to see how it would go if I just cut out the online stuff, including my blog, as much as possible. I didn’t mess with Twitter, email (unless it was work-related or something important) or WordPress, and I spent a decreased amount of time online in general. Kept up with the news, of course, but that’s about it.

While all this internet goodness was being forced into the background, I really didn’t have any problem filling the time up with other things. We had a lot of positive family time, with trips to the beach, poolside gatherings with friends and neighbors, some birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate, and more than a few days of doing not all that much – just relaxing and enjoying our time together.

There were also some more unpleasant things to focus on, as my uncle (who is also my godfather and one my closest family members) had a heart attack – something which was unexpected and sudden, and which sent him into bypass surgery  (thankfully, it seems to have been successful). Other members of my family have had health issues as well, and it has jolted yours truly into a period of focus on my own health. Long-overdue doctor appointments are being scheduled, diets and exercise habits are being re-examined, and more time is being spent on learning how to manage stress. My daily routine now involves both more physical exertion and more guided relaxation than it did before summer began.

My kid went back to school this morning, and I am now going to adjust my weekday schedule from being kid-centered to adding back in a lot of other stuff that got pushed to the back burner while she was home. However, I think blogging might be one of those things that remains on the back burner.

I have missed both writing and reading on WordPress this summer, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. But when I checked in this morning, and looked at the email account I use just for WordPress and my blogging buddies, there were nearly 10,000 unread emails. TEN THOUSAND! In 2 months! It sort of dawned on me how much time I would have been spending following all that information on a daily basis, if I hadn’t taken that hiatus over the summer. Y’all know how long it takes to put together a halfway decent post, and then you can spend hours just clickety-clickin’ away as all the blog writers you like start adding posts of their own. It gets to the point where you just spend far more time on it than you’d like to, and when that happens, other stuff that needs your attention in the real world is inevitably going to get squeezed out. And I have too many real world concerns that I can’t blow off right now.

I do still have work to do for a company that gave me a project to handle, and that will eat up the biggest chunk of my daily hours right there. I have new fitness and relaxation activities that I need to keep up with. I also hope to be increasingly involved with election stuff on a local basis, since the Congressional candidate I’m supporting and President Obama both have campaign offices set up not too far from where I live, and both are asking for help between now and November. I am also volunteering at my daughter’s school, something I hadn’t done in a big way last year, but will probably be busier with this time around. And I have family members who are not in the best of health and could use some occasional assistance, so I will likely be taking on some of those responsibilities when I can.

Long story short…I know that some folks around here have checked in on my blog, left comments, or have emailed me, over the summer. I apologize for not being around to reply. And I also appreciate that anyone out there was interested in what I was writing, and was wondering when I’d be back with new blog posts. I truly do appreciate that. But to be honest, y’all are carrying on just fine without me. I’ve seen, just from a quick glance at my inbox, that most of you have had plenty to say about the crazy summer we’ve had (Chick-Fil-A, shootings in temples and movie theatres, hidden tax returns, and, oh yeah what the hell do you mean by “legitimate rape”, you douchebag??). The blogosphere has clearly survived and thrived without me, and it will continue to do so.

If I feel a burning desire to write about something, and I just CANNOT control it any longer, I will leave the door open for the possibility of future posts. But I did want to drop a note here to inform those of you who’ve actually tuned in over the summer that I am not planning anything regular here anytime soon. I will still read up on what y’all write when I can, and comment to let you know I was visiting. 🙂 But I have got a lot of stuff on my plate at the moment, and I’m actually kinda glad about it. I want to do a good job and be at my best for the people and causes I care about the most, and if that means I have to trade that for the time I was spending online, that’s just fine and dandy with me. To anyone and everyone who I have had the pleasure to “meet” here on WordPress, thanks for sharing your words and thoughts. I’ve enjoyed it a great deal. I’m sure I’ll be back to see y’all again sometime. Keep on keepin’ on, y’all, take care of yourselves, and don’t let the idiots get away with anything while I’m gone! 🙂

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10 thoughts on “My summer in the real world

    • Aww, nothing to worry about, but thanks for the concern. I just needed to re-prioritize, and I think the blog was eating up a lot of my time and effort for a while there. As much as I enjoyed it I need to step away from the keyboard for a bit! Like they say in the Budweiser ads, “Know when to say when.” 😉

  1. I was also concerned. My prayers for you and yours as to your health issues.
    Good advice to blog not because you HAVE to but because you want too.
    It’d how I deal with my stress.
    I limit myself to 3 hours a day to catch up on the news. If I see something interesting, I c&p it to a notebook, add a few thoughts and toss it out there.
    Let others think for themselves (or not) over things I find interesting.
    I’ve come to view it as my morning Rant and Rave.
    I am happy for you that you have a ‘lot on your plate’. That is the ‘real’ World and one we all need to stay anchored in.
    By all accounts, you are very well anchored.
    Spend some time with us when and if you can because we do miss you.
    But really spend time with family and work because they need you.
    And you them no doubt.
    Balance.

    • Thank you, and believe me, I miss the folks around here too. I learned a lot from reading other perspectives and thoughts, and I feel that’s a valuable thing. But the key word, as you pointed out, is “balance”. I would like to make blogging a regular part of my life again, but only after I do find a way to balance it with the ever-shifting demands and opportunities I am finding elsewhere in my “real” life. Easier said than done, I realize, but I remain hopeful! I appreciate the kind words and the reblog – see you when I check in next time. 🙂

  2. I’ve missed you here, but I totally get why you’re taking a break. Election season coming up, though. This is a great place to rant and rave if you feel the need!

  3. Welcome back. You spent your time in the right places. We missed you, but family and friends are where it is at. Well done. I am glad your Godfather is OK. Take care, find a good blog balance. We will keep stopping by to see what’s up.

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