An Answer to Our Quandary: The Golden Balance

Wednesday October 20, 2010

I’ve pondered our quandary, and first, let me say – no, I haven’t discovered the golden balance. (But don’t stop reading yet!)

Many of us approach this the same way. But there may be a nugget or two tucked in this post that will help you. Read on.

Here’s a little summary. First, the advice I argued with.

Trim your reader from time to time.
("It's bare bones already!")

Just push away from the computer. (Don't we all do this?)

Read but don’t comment. (I can't keep my mouth shut! I really like you and I want to talk to you!)

Here’s some advice that sounded good to me.

Use the time you can count on (while Dad takes over, for instance), and supplement that with stolen moments when the family is otherwise occupied.

As a mom, I spend lots of time saying, “What can I do while they’re here, while they’re studying, while they’re playing and still be present? And what will draw my attention away from them?”

Alas, the computer draws my attention away. But I can fold laundry and match socks in the same room while they play. When they were little, I’d take a project into the bathroom where I’d sit while they played in the tub till they were wrinkled little prunes. I’d make some progress on it. All that to say, if you do what you can while they’re up and about, it’s off your plate when they’re occupied. Then you can visit, read, and comment.

One of you is so disciplined! It’s great. Faith sets a number of blogs to visit (3) at a time, and she sticks to it. Like most of us, she does more when she can, like the weekends.

Then there were some words that inspired me, touched me.

Live simply, live purposefully.

So true – we can’t just let life happen to us. (I have a whole chapter in my book about that called Intentional Parenting.) To live purposefully, you have to identify your purpose – you have to know why you’re doing what. You have to place value on your activities and your time. And the “live simply” part? It’s funny – about once a year I tell my husband that if I turn up missing, just look in Amish country. All I want to do is get away, unplug, enjoy nature, bake, and contemplate. I’m all for simplifying but, again, that requires purposeful, intentional action on my part.

Do what you can do.
Michelle has a new “no comment” policy, so I’m guessing she probably feels less obliged to go visit. That’s an intentional and purposeful decision on her part.

And doesn’t this just warm your heart?
“Love hearing from you. You’re always under grace and if I don’t hear from you for weeks, I’ll never take it personally.”

Having heard all of that, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to keep on doing my best, squeezing things in as I can. But I’m going to try to be a bit more intentional, purposeful about my time. I may even set a number of blogs to visit each day.

This won’t keep me from missing you on those busy days, busy weeks. And I will miss you. It’s funny – I don’t feel obliged to come see you. I want to!

So I’ll do what I can. You all are like the pen pals I had as a kid. My goal was to have one in every one of the 50 states. I felt like I had friends everywhere!

It’s all about balance. And we each have to find our own, don’t we?

What do you plan to do?


Heidi @ Decor & More said...

All good advice, Laura! During my week I set a time limit to read/comment/blog. I catch up on the weekends, if the schedule allows. Otherwise, I would do this all day long. And love it. :)

Melissa said...

I only follow blogs that I love and I only read the posts that have titles that jump off the page at me. I just wrote about my weird "system" recently, but I still have days where I feel like I may have spent to much time on the computer.

Victoria said...

I wish you luck in figuring out how to manage it all. Mine has stayed small and it works for me, so I have no idea how I'd handle something like yours.
Oh, and I'd rather hear from you every few weeks and know your heart was in it than hear from you every day knowing it wasn't. If you push too hard reading everyone all the time it'll start feeling like an obligation and the fun will go out of it. So don't worry so much about us... We understand!

alicia said...

This was great! I have decided that if I miss a day (or 5) of blog reading, its okay. I don't NEED to play catch up. Because here's the real clincher- my life will go on and so will the person who's blog I missed. Oddly, none of our lives revolves around me leaving my piddly two cents in someone's day.
Not that it isn't a brightener, because lets face it, it is. But I don't ever want anyone to feel obligated to stop by. And I have faith that when God gives me something to say- that is Him, not me, He'll make sure it gets read by those He knows needed it that day.

Corinne Cunningham said...

It does feel like pen pals :) Love that...

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