Thursday, June 21, 2012

Let's Have a Heart to Heart.

Can we have a little chat?  Perhaps over some lemonade and cookies?

I've considered writing these thoughts up for over a year--
and today is the day where I take a brain dump. 

Let me start at the beginning.

Picture it: Sicily, 1942.
(how many times can she fit that in a post?  A lot, apparently.)
Back in the day, I was a mom with little, little kids.  We moved a lot.

 
(regard that I had only a folding table and chairs.  So sadly pathetic.)

I knew no one, I had no car, no friends, lived in teensy little apartments with little to no furniture, and most importantly,


I was BOOOOOORED.

And so, I turned to the interwebs for some adult interaction.
And it helped.  And I felt better.  Less lonely.  And then. . .

little by little, I found myself sneaking off to check my email/forums/blogs.  Have you been there, done that?

Has it ever gotten so out of hand that you found yourself kind of making your life revolve around your online time?  You're checking your email, for the hundredth time?  Checking how many likes you got on facebook?  If anyone responded?  If anyone cares?

2 or more years ago, I read an internet addiction quiz.  While some of them are waaaay out there for me, several of them described me quite well.  ("gets annoyed when disturbed during online time", check.  "Neglects household chores", check.)

Ever had your kids stop bothering to ask you questions while you're glued to the screen?


I need to tell you, that with this realization that my internet time was too high on the priorities list, plus when I seriously studied these great words of advice,


I knew I had to make massive changes.   Apparently, I am an all or nothing kind of personality.  I don't keep things in check the way I should.  Moderation isn't my strong suit.  And so forth.

I started cutting things out.  Never opened a twitter account, stoped facebooking all together, cut down on my own blogging by several times a week, moved my computer to the dungeon where I rarely visit, and I don't have a smart phone.

Do you know what it felt like at first?

It felt like everyone I ever knew was having a massive party.  And I just uninvited myself to it all.
Took me a while to get over that feeling, in fact. 

If you have a strong internet presence, and still manage to keep everything in their proper place, tell me, how do you do it?  What is your secret?

Anyhow, now-- NOW--

Now, I feel like a totally different person.  A different mommy.  I feel like I live in the now.  ("You'll never afford it!  Live in the now!")  I still struggle with my project time versus my "mommy" time, an then have to refocus and regroup,

Source: pinterest.com via Shawn on Pinterest

but it's one of the best decisions I ever made for me.

Maybe one of the reasons why I finally decided to chat about this with you, is 'cause one of the final things I hadn't minimized was my blogging time.  Not my personal blog, but the ones I follow.

Up until a few days ago, I would not be surprised if my Reader subscriptions were around the 400+ mark.  I josh not.  It was more a chore to clean it out than it was to enjoy all the blogs I thought I "should" follow, else I would miss the announcement of the end of the world or something.

And so, I cleared that puppy out.  Kept the ones I adore and really do read, and the rest were gonzo.

 

It honestly felt like it was my last step to keep things in check.

Thanks for listening, friends.

27 comments:

Suesan said...

I've been wanting to do that for awhile now. I feel too chained to stuff I don't need to be chained to. I hope I made the cut, but if not, enjoy your mommy time. It's so very precious and fleeting.

Kimbers said...

This is my first time commenting... because I'm lame. I too have the same feelings as you, only i'm much worse because I do not even blog. I just read blogs. My life has been sucked into reading blogs for the past i-don't-know-how-many years! Right now in my reader I have 281 new posts to go through. I must cut that down. Today is the day thanks to you!

julie - eab designs said...

I can so relate to this post! I have been going through the very same thought process as well and already began to make changes. Glad to hear I'm not alone in my thinking. (Loved your comment about "missing the end of the world announcement" - too funny!)

Lisa at Shine Your Light said...

I love, love, love this post, your honesty, and the online housecleaning you're doing. I don't so much love myself reflected in this description…because I am online too much. I find my eyes drifting back to my laptop when my kids are talking to me. I mean there is a LOT of talking goin' on around here, but how often do I say the years are flying by? Thank you for this reminder to focus on THE MAIN THING. You are the best.

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

wowza, 14 craft blogs to follow - - I gotta cut back!! I did a while ago, but then the number creeps up again - - off to declutter my reader - thanks for the motivation!!

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

I did that last year. it was hard, esp when I run into one of the bloggers I no longer read, but worth it! The number has crept up and it's time to do it again- thanks for the reminder (and still reading me ;) Add the NEXT button to your toobar, it saves TONS more time! and I was serious about that cake offer in the last post, maybe I should ask for your help with re-molding my living room instead of friendship for payment- NO PRESSURE :)

Kimbo West said...

so i just happened to notice my name is on the list--honored--truly. i bow down to you. (bow down to the queen of filth) i mean--not you...just quoting.

and i love your post. as i sit here on the computer i just noticed that the tv is on the spanish channel. i might zone out a bit. i WOULD not want to take the quiz. I was really nervous that you were saying you were quitting...
and i then i really would call you the queen of slime....BOOOOO BOOOOOOO BOOOOOOO!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I hear ya loud and clear.

Maureen said...

Mandi,

Good for you!

Maureen

Lori said...

I don't facebook, I have twitter only so I can Pinterest. Pinterest is mindless and you don't have to reply to comments, click and done! I try to stay around 100 in my blogroll... you made the cut again and again. I heart you. Plus you make me laugh.

COTTAG3 said...

It's like cleaning out the closet, de-cluttering. I did that not too long ago. I've also given up the need to feel like I have to post all the time, comment on every single post of every single blog I do follow and respond to every single comment left on my blog. It feels good.
I feel lighter. I'm glad you did it too. Would you really want to know if the world was coming to an end? I don't. I just want to enjoy things into oblivion :)

YankeeBelle said...

This is exactly how I felt about t.v. So 2 years ago me and the cowboy took it out. Sold the humongo flat screen. Used the time to finish my bachelors degree and teach myself how to use power tools. Yes...cleaning out and cutting beck is empowering. As I was reading your post Mandi I was afraid it was going to End With you saying you were shutting down your blot...I am so relieved YOU didntbecause I only follow three religeously and yours is one of them. I still crack up at your blog banner. Thank you for all the chuckles.!

Connie @ Measured by the Heart said...

I was worried you were gonna say you quit blogging too. So glad you didn't. I have to tell you, when you first started leaving comments on my blog I felt like I had made it. Mandi Tremayne knows who I am!! You totally made my blogging life lol.

Connie @ Measured by the Heart said...

I was worried you were gonna say you quit blogging too. So glad you didn't. I have to tell you, when you first started leaving comments on my blog I felt like I had made it. Mandi Tremayne knows who I am!! You totally made my blogging life lol.

leangel said...

Thank you so much for this post! And thanks for not giving up your blogging! I love your honesty, it's truly refreshing.

I’ve noticed this problem has escalated for me in recent months. I’m a twitter addict. It consumes most of my time and until recently I defended it but I’ve started to be bothered by the feelings of inadequacy or disappointment I have when something I post isn’t responded to, retweeted or applauded. It’s like my yardstick for success or even daily dose of confidence is measured by online snippets, mostly from people I’ve never met in real life. I neglect my own blog to spend too much time devouring the blogs on my google reader. I look at the perfect pictures and berate myself that I’m not as competent, my cakes aren’t good enough, my DIY projects aren’t as accomplished, etc.

I want to try every single thing I see so I bookmark, save, print, email and then what do I actually DO. Nothing, zip, zilch. I sit at my desk in work and daydream about projects that never happen. I spend all evening on my ipad or iphone and lament that fact that I have no time to do anything when in reality I’m spending all my time watching and not living. I have also noticed an insanely frightening propensity to need all information processed and presented to me in tiny soundbites. If it’s not 140 characters or an instantly loaded small article or 1 picture with a funny comment don’t even bother showing it to me! I was already impatient but the instant online world has made that patience stretch even thinner. I used to enjoy lengthy novels, seated by a window with no sound but the turning of the pages. Now I download free ebooks by the bucketload and consume them in a rush to get to the next one as soon as possible.

I have been consumed by the interwebz and I only hope I can find my way back. I’ve started to take small steps. I force myself to put the phone down while I watch movies with the wife or while I’m eating with my family (although my mum can be as bad as me and we often sit on our phones over dinner together) I need to remind myself that I have a beautiful wife and family and that I do not need validation of my skills, sense of humour or beauty from the online world. The only opinion that really matters is my own, if I do my best then that’s all anyone can ever want, trying to attain the perfect life that many people online present to the world is impossible because no one is perfect and that’s the beauty in this world.

I thought I had a balance but I really don’t. I think there can be a place for both and I’m not giving up the invaluable friendships I have made. The contact and camaraderie I have found in the online worlds I am part of has been a lifeline for me at times but I need to remember that it isn’t the whole of my world. I guess I need to live in the moment and not try to have everything at once.

Sorry for venting here but your post has been a wake up call for me.

Leah Ketchum said...

Thank you for this post, I was starting to wonder if I was alone. I have a very addictive personality, it is super easy for me to latch onto something and ignore everything else. About a year ago I asked my husband for help, I couldn't step away all by myself, but I wanted to be a better mother for my kids. We set up an account for me on my own computer that had limited times that I was allowed on. It really helped me step away. I also unfollowed all the blogs I read (sorry) so that the temptation wasn't there. The only blogs I kept reading were the ones I could remember off the top of my head, which kept it down to just a couple.
After all that hard work, I did something really dumb... I got a tablet. It has made my internet time skyrocket again, and I know I need to work on it. I am determined to get it under control again, and I know I justify it right now by saying "hubs is out of town and I'm super sick, so what else can I do?" I'm gonna have to change that.
Anyways, thanks for the reminder, and here's hoping I can cut back a bunch!

Jen said...

You just summed up my feelings with exactness! That's why my posts are pretty much non-existent now days. I think about all the awesome things that have happened that I haven't posted about, like my stepdaughter's wedding in December, my stepson's upcoming wedding in August and the biggest news of all....we recently found out that Chelsea's expecting and we're going to be the youngest grandparents on earth! ;) Exciting stuff for sure, and lots to write about. I just decided that I needed to keep other things in better order and that I'll blog as I have time to instead of letting other things go so I can blog. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post. It was just what I needed to hear to make me quit feeling guilty about not posting.

p.s. how are the window boxes doing? I'm dying to see how they've filled out!!! Maybe I should just come pay you a visit and see for myself. :)

Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

This is going to sound awful, but I do 99% of my blog reading at work because I feed the RSS in through my email. I'm so sneaky. It's pretty much the only thing that keeps me sane, but outside of that, at home it's hard to find time to keep up with the blogs I follow through blogspot.

~Jess said...

Psst....they have assistants...the big bloggers do...that's their secret. A couple of the big blogs I follow recently admit to that.

I keep very few blogs that I actually will devote time to...maybe around 30, the rest I just glance at.

Rebecca D said...

I too totally relate to your post. I respect your decision to put your actual life before your bloggy life. I too am down to 18 I read daily (when I can) myself. The fact that you always make me laugh (or at least roll my eyes) and that you always have great ideas means you are on my list!

Trina @ A Few Miner Adjustments said...

Thank you so much for this. You described me. And I am working really hard to put my computer time away when the kids are around. So thank you...I don't feel alone.

~Trina

Evelyn said...

Good for you!! I'm going to take that internet addiction quiz right now, and I swear if those kids interrupt me...seriously though, you inspire me, in more ways than one. You seem to me to be a fabulous mom, and I salute your dedication!

Lauras Crafty Life said...

So funny you posted this! I just did this before I read your post. I realized I just don't have time for all of this! I wish I did, but I want to actually have a life and not just sit in front of the computer all day. It is hard because there is so much amazing stuff out there on the web, but there are only 24 hours in a day and I like my sleep! :)

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Yeah! Good for you!

Penny said...

Thank you for this post! I too feel that I have sometimes(ALOT) given my life over to the internet.I have so much I could be doing on our place,I start out with good intentions then without even being really aware of what I am doing I find myself on the laptop or if I am out with the family I am checking stuff on the cell.I feel addicted to this machine that can entertain me so easily and I see the rest of my family doing the same.I am going to put a time limit on myself and when the time is done I am going to put the laptop away completly.I want to break this addiction!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

Chicka, I totally get you! Every time I checked my email or blog and there were comments I would say "they love me, they really love me" (What's that from?) or if they didn't comment I would be so sad so I just gave it all a rest for several weeks. I'm actually considering turning off comments altogether. My situation is a little different, I am about to be an empty nester so I have lots of time but I was depending on others to validate me and even worse felt less than if I didn't get comments. Who needs that I ask you!

Teri said...

So honest and so true. Good for you, Mandi. :)