{at this moment: finding balance...}

i've been thinking a lot about so many of us feeling out of sorts and off balance, myself included.  i've been thinking about growing pains. i was looking back and remembering when i first started this little blog. i would do endless research, read anything i could get my hands on, and venture out to get inspired, all for the sake of the blog (that hasn't changed). i would then create my posts during my daughter's nap times and while my son was at school. as a sahm, discovering this new creative outlet was a godsend for me…i was so excited to have it. still am, and it was all very manageable. then readers started trickling in and a community started forming, and my excitement and passion for this outlet was taken to a whole new level! i wanted to connect with every single person who took the time to comment. i then wanted to visit a commenter's blog to make an even better connection. then, along came twitter and i wanted to connect with people on that platform, as well. i'm beginning to realize that as a blog grows, connecting with every single person gets more and more difficult. all we can do is try our best.

what started out as a one-woman project, quickly began to take on a life of its own (and this blog isn't even big). it required more and more time. my two kids have now entered a phase in their life where they can play quite nicely together, allowing me to create posts during both nap time/school time and sibling play time. then, once family dinner and the dishes are done, i'm back on the computer until very late at night either finishing a post or tending to this amazing community.

note: this is not a woe-is-me post or a letter of complaint. i wouldn't have it any other way right now. i love what's happening and growing here. i love what's happening and growing for my fellow bloggers. i read somewhere recently that when you're pursuing your passion, there is no balance. (i wish i would have written down the source! anyone?) you just prioritize the best you can, and listen to your heart when it needs nurturing. this is a post to say to anyone struggling with balance right now, i hear you. i feel you. you're understood. you're in good company. 

let's do this: let's do what we need to do to take care of ourselves. let's take time away and come back when we're ready, and let's not feel guilty for doing so. let's talk about these things on our blogs (or to our friends) and let's support each other. we are all in this together. (i will also try to heed my own advice.)
here is another thing i would like to propose (so inspired by this post), let's give ourselves a break and get silly more often. when was the last time you laughed so hard you couldn't breath…all you could do was clap your hands? this is what i'm getting at…go get some of this hysteria this weekend. find some silly and have a great weekend everyone! [tony robbins has officially left the building.]

in addition, i leave you with some things i was loving this week: 

source: this post was inspired by carousel, still plus life, and such small steps (i like how erin thinks)

22 Send Me Your Thoughts:

  1. Such an amazing post! I feel like that sometimes, because I work a full time job, run my etsy shop and blog. And I love doing the last two, haha! My blog definitely suffers the most, I think. It's not really where I'd like to be. I need more time to brainstorm. But, I agree it's great to have this kind of outlet.

    It's very hard to respond to everyone's comments and you probably get way more than I do. It's a whole other job itself. But, you seem to be doing great. Just slow down a little if you're feeling burnt out because I love reading your wonderful blog and want you to stick around! :-)

  2. I hear you! It is really difficult to nurture relationships and given them the time they deserve. I am also struggling to keep up and currently have 100 unread rss feeds.

    Although now god damn wordpress have decided to make it very very difficult for people to comment on wordpress.com blogs, I am getting almost zero comments so that's lightened the load somewhat but made me very sad indeed.

    We definitely need to give each other a break, not take it personally if we don't hear from someone for a few days. As long as we know they're out there listening that should be enough.

    Have a lovely weekend T x

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  4. Thanks for the link and the sweet words- juggling this blog/social media world can be hard and time consuming- it's so nice to just unplug and have "old-fashioned" fun sometimes- hope you get a chance for it this weekend!

  5. I was so alone when I started out (we all were) and I think when we finally started finding each other and created this little community we got so feverishly caught up in maintaining it that it might have sucked the joy out of it. And it should never feel like a chore! I carve out time in my day to tend to you all, and I appreciate it when you can each do the same. But in no way will I be offended if you lapse a few days or weeks. No one started their blogs with the expectations of having tons and tons of followers, we did it because we genuinely loved what we were writing about and enjoyed having a creative outlet. I don't want any of us to lose sight of that. If at any time this feels like a chore or maintaining relationships through commenting becomes a hassle...take a step back and pause. Remember your initial passion for blogging and how it felt, and how much it thrived even without any input from any of the amazing fellow bloggers we might have now. We didn't start blogging for the sake of comments, at least I didn't. You're right, Theresa, it definitely has taken on a life of its own and it's something I've become more and more aware of recently with my own blog. Boyfriend jokes that I have two part-time jobs now, since I end up doing a lot of blog maintenance (posting, researching posts, commenting on other blogs) at work. It sort of shed some light on how bad I've been about balancing it recently.

    Thank you for the nice moment of reflection with this post, and for articulating what I'd wager to guess we're all feeling in some way. Have a sweet weekend, T. xoxo

  6. Hi everyone and thanks! You know, I must have rewrote and edited this post 10 or more times. For some reason, this post was my hardest one to write to date. I wanted to convey just the right tone. I didn't want to sound too whiny, or preachy, or, worse, disingenuous (because sometimes I don't even follow my own advice). I didn't want the post to be about me so much as about some fellow bloggers that were recently struggling. I fear in all my editing, this post got really watered down. Oh well, lesson learned. Go with your gut, and your first draft. ;)

  7. Really, really beautiful and moving post, T. Thank you so much for writing it. I always think you do such a good job not just as striking balance but at acknowledging it.

    I feel like we have such a wonderful and supportive community that I don't need to have your comment there everyday to know that. Much as I love knowing you're around, I really *do* know you're around no matter what. All of you.

    I always go back to what Holly said about letting the blog be the outlet for living your best life. When it doesn't feel that way, recalibrate. And you'll love The Happiness Project. I might need a re-read!

  8. @MICHELLE - Work, blog, and an etsy shop - You are amazing! Hopefully one day soon your personal business will get large enough so you can stop the job. Wouldn't that be nice? With all that you have on your plate, thanks for coming here on the regular.

    @ANNIE - I really loved your comment on Chi's post. I think it really did sum up how we feel and should feel moving forward. Thanks, Bird! And, your comment above is another nice reminder.
    What is up with WP comments?! If its any consolation, I had the same problem on another WP site. Hope the issue is resolved very soon.

    @ERIN - The tagline for your blog - Navigating the Home/Work Balance - really does sum up what we are all struggling with. I forgot to mention that this post was also another inspiration: http://suchsmallsteps.com/2012/02/24/how-long-can-you-carry-it/. Thank you for your inspiring words.

    @ERIN - I knew you would understand exactly what I was getting at even though my post got so watered down. Thanks for adding your thoughts...It helped to round out what I was trying to say.
    Oddly enough (or maybe not odd at all), none of it has become a chore yet. I really do enjoy every aspect of blogging. I agree, let's make sure we listen ourselves before it ever gets to that point.

  9. Amen, sister! My blog isn't even that big and I feel guilty that I don't post more often, FB, tweet, comment, etc...especially because I'm a SAHM. And the funny thing is that when others don't post that often, I have no issue with that. Crazy how that guilt thing works.

    So cheers to your proclamation! I'm totally taking it to heart. :)

    (And thank you for the link love, too!)

  10. perfectly said theresa! i've been feeling the same as you lately. not necessarily unmotivated, but wondering if the blog is worth as much time and effort as i put into it. but when i look back at the end of the week, my blog is probably what kept me (relatively) sane!

    so happy to have met you and everyone else in the blogging community and it's so great to know that there is never any pressure (other than what we put on ourselves) to create something magical everyday. planning on relaxing, staying OFF the computer and enjoying the rainy weekend. hope you do the same :)


  11. Oh Theresa! This strikes such a chord with me today, of all days! I got so lost in posting on my blog and reading all the blogs I follow, commenting, tweeting, blah, blah, that I haven't done my 'real' work yet (and by 'real' work I mean the job that pays me money, ha!) So clearly, I'm having trouble balancing things here.

    My willingness to connect and show my support and learn more and read more and share more - it's just growing and growing and I do feel like it's getting a bit out of control.

    I think we must each figure out our own way to deal with this issue, each person is different, each of our lives are set up differently and the solutions will be equally unique. But it is so nice to know there are others who feel the same and we can support each other and share our feelings and strategies.

    This is just what I needed today. Thank you :)

  12. Hey guys. I 'm shattered as I've had 2 full on weeks.

    I don't know. I don't quite feel like all of you. I think it might be because I pace myself. When I first started blogging I committed to 2-3 times a week and I think it's about twice a week I blog. For me it's about quality versus quantity so I spent a lot of time on each post and couldn't really afford to do any more than that.

    I don't read hundreds of blogs and so don't feel overwhelmed. For me, I found a balance ( for now ) and if that should change I will re-assess. Of course, all of you blogging daily is challenging, also for me as I comment daily. Btw Annie, I'm sorry, I know you post on Saturday but I'just about manage the 5 days with you guys so am unlikely to visit:)

    Anyhow, hope everyone will find their own way and I think it's important and vital to keep communication going about this and for everyone to be able to express themselves.

    Have a good w/end T.

  13. hi t, it's the weekend. gotta go relax! joy and blessings and lots of kiddie hugs to you!

  14. Well said, Theresa! I've been feeling a bit off balance lately too and can relate to all you're saying. You're doing a wonderful job running a new blog, and I really admire how you're balancing your time with the family. Keep up the great work! You got a fan here. :)

  15. @LAUREN - I think you always do such a great job at striking the right balance between being personal and inspirational. I think if you write from the heart, you can never go wrong...Then the self editing and consciousness melts away. Yes, when you're not living your best life, recalibrate...Nicely said.

    @KATIE - Yea, in Blogging 101, no one ever explained the growing pains part. The guilt and struggle part. :) Oh well, we'll just keep marching on, and now we can all do it together with support.

    @MARIT - It seems we are always and forever questioning ourselves. I suppose its better to reflect than not.
    That sounds like a great weekend plan! You have inspired me to follow suit.

    @HOLLY - I agree, each of us in our own way will figure all this out. In our process, we can share our progress and hopefully it will be helpful to someone. Happy that these words were able to help you today. That, in itself, makes the post worth it.

    @TINA - See this is where I think I went wrong. I never sat down and really thought about what I could realistically handle. I kind of just jumped in. Truth be told, I have considered switching to a three day blog schedule to see if it would help (and to see how it would affect the quality of my posts). The critic in me of course thinks this is taking a step back after posting every day. But, you know, one step back to take two steps forward is never a bad idea.

    @NOREEN - Thanks, N! Have a great weekend. Hope you get lots of running and relaxing done.

  16. Beautiful post T. Love that you have written what a lot of us have been feeling. nurture relationships and given them the time they deserve. I'm also struggling to keep up, at times i just need to devote more hours to my family. Thanks for the honesty, and "when you're not living your best life, recalibrate..." so perfectly said. Happy weekend my love xxx

  17. I second, third, fourth, and fifth what you and everyone else is saying but as young bloggers in the game I think we will find our way...eventually : )

  18. Hi Theresa,

    A really lovely post, your words had me reflecting and it's especially poignant given this is the first time I've connected with you with words, so thank you for welcoming me :-)

    It is difficult to strike a balance with all things in life, but it's also important to do more of the things we love. Big kudos to you for blogging every day, but if you do reduce this, what's the worst that can happen?

    Meeting new friends online is such a fabulous way of getting to know everyone, but I do wonder if this is at the expense of our existing, what I'll call physical friends? It's tough making time for dates with our loved ones in life too, which adds to the dilemma.

    I hope you've had a great weekend Theresa with your family and friends. Me? I've met a load of new ones and I had a laugh doing it x

  19. Theresa-
    We really need to have a face to face meet up again to discuss all of this. Lets try and get with Jennifer and get together soon. I can come to LB. Teri

  20. T, I honestly do NOT know how you do it..ALL! Kids, blog, life, dishes (hehe), husband. But I think this post and your thoughts on it just go to show to there is right way to fit it all in. And we all just do the best we can everyday. I think as women, we are called/pulled to do/be so many things in any given day that the time that we do have to ourselves we want to really do something that we love and are passionate about..like being a part of this great online community! And having our gadgets with us every hour of the day, it's really tempting to just pull out the iphone and check the status of FB, Tweets, and blog.

    I honestly do not know how you post everyday (I love it, that you do) but at the same time I think you should "challenge" yourself to post 3 days a week, like you mentioned in one of your comments. I think it might help you regain some of the balance you are seeking, minus the guilt!

    I know it sounds kinda weird, but I set aside time on either a Sat/Sun afternoon to write and put together all my posts for the week and spend my weekdays planning for the following week and commenting on others blogs...this is what just works for me.

    I'm ranting now, but thank you for writing about this!

  21. Great advice ... 'get silly' .. I luv it! I am grateful that I laugh many times throughout the day thanks to my hubby (we keep each other cracking up through fun, exciting, and even sad times). I have been thinking how I have neglected blogging since my company is #1 then blogging #2 (of course fam comes before all), but I admit that actually taking a break from managing aspect of work and reading/responding to blogs is FUN ... so energizing seeing so many wonderful and creative people. I actually took a step back from postign my own blog (ok, it was only 2 weekends, but still .. TWO weekends) and it was restful :) So, u have the perfect motto for this week .... GET SILLY!

  22. Theresa thanks for writing this post! I can see myself in it..Sometimes I feel a bit guilty when I can't find the time to check out and comment on the blogs I enjoy reading everyday but slowly have come to accept that I just can't do it everyday when other parts of my life take over and need to be nurtured too. I haven't found the right balance yet but hope to eventually find it...

    On the other hand I get silly all the time :) For instance I like to dance with my shopping cart when they put on fun music at our supermarket. My husband is embarrassed and walks a couple of steps behind me but I just can't stand still if I hear music I love...


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