Saturday night, we were a bit behind on our evening routine. The goat got milked late, the dinner was sitting out on the counter, and there were toys everywhere. I got the food put away while Tim worked on the first coat of paint on our porch, then I joined him to tackle the laundry while we sat out in the cool summer air. He painted, I folded, we talked.
10:23 pm. We came inside. I looked at the pile of dishes and made an offhand comment: “I had better just put 10 minutes in on these dishes. It will make my life better tomorrow.”
He replied, “You should read fewer blogs and more books. Too many ideas to make your life better- not enough deep thinking.”
He knows I’ve been obsessed with trying to “organize my life” better before our third baby comes. I’ve pulled out all the stops: I did the Make Over Your Mornings course from Crystal Paine, a 30-day minimalist challenge with a couple of friends, and a half-hearted attempt at this Four Weeks to a More Organized Home checklist. I’ve been trying to keep up on evening and morning routines and turn myself into a more disciplined person.
Those “ideas to make my life better” aren’t inherently wrong. They can be extremely productive and beneficial to your home. But perhaps even all those good things can take the place of other, more meaningful things? Deeper, more fulfilling ideas, more important projects- rather than the next mom blog with a brilliantly “pinnable” image of some new life hack you should try?
Blogs came up again today. Our car ride home was filled with how detrimental it is to be comparing yourself to other people. How getting caught up in what you’re not doing can seriously take away from the life in front of you that you could be living.
“That’s the problem with the type of blog that’s always talking about what the author is doing,” Tim said. “Because someone will always read it and wish that they could be doing that instead of just being content with their own life.”
Us included, of course. Am I contributing to a widespread internet epidemic?
Sigh. Why do I write about what I’m doing in my day to day life? Is it to make you look at our family and make you jealous over all the cool things we’ve got going on? Is it because I like talking about myself too much?
I hope, at best, I’m writing about all this stuff because I’m excited about it. I hope I’m writing it because it might be helpful to someone else. I hope I’m writing in honesty, sharing our discoveries, triumphs, and failures along our journey.
It probably doesn’t make much sense for someone who is hoping to turn her blog into a part-time income to tell you to read fewer blogs.
If my blog- or anyone else’s- is an encouragement, then read on. If an idea is inspiring, then give it a go. If you can relate to my struggles, or it makes you smile, or you just enjoy reading it, then please do come back.
But if my blog- or anyone else’s- is making you miss out on YOUR real life, then stop reading now, please. If it’s making you discouraged because you’re not where you would like to be yet, then close the computer or smart phone or whatever and go do something good. If it’s giving you the idea that we have a perfectly beautiful life without any problems, then please be assured that we are real humans with ugly sides. We are people who struggle much.
For goodness’s sake, I think my husband is right… I know I need to read more good books instead of one blogging idea after another. I could stand to do something real instead of surfing my phone. I’d be a little more content with my own life, a little more focused on what I need to do if I wasn’t always looking for the next clever idea from someone I’ve never met before.
I’m going to go work on putting furniture on the porch with my husband now. What will you go do?
Whatever it is, when you want to come back, I’ll likely still be here, because I still enjoy writing. And we still enjoy learning from others. And blogs and projects and ideas can still be helpful.
But let’s all remember- we mustn’t get so caught up in someone else’s online life that it takes away from our own.
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I read other homesteading blogs so that I can remind myself “I CAN get there”, “I will do that, when I am ready”. It helps to keep me excited about the future.
Awww, these are things that I’m working toward. I’ve heard few speak about contentment and it’s true, comparing and competing gets in the way of a lot of good things. I dropped out of that game several years ago.
But one of the values of you writing is that I don’t feel alone because we seem to be striving for similar things. Your voice describes my values that I’ve never verbalized because I didn’t know they were ‘a thing.’
I don’t follow the blogs with the mom, 12 children, perfect skinny and good hair, plus perfectly decorated home that is effortless and on a budget. Aint’ nobody got time for that.