I almost lost my mind.

I must warn you this was written in one long (edited) swoop, so forgive the devil on my shoulder inserting thoughts every two seconds (via parentheses!) and do not be offended at my candor.  Speaking from the hip here friends...

It is true.  I took a break -- a challenge.  Blogging had started to become more stress than it was worth (or so I thought).  I was working long hours, for less pay than I should have been, taking too many sponsored opportunities and brand partnerships just because they were there and feeling sick to my stomach every time I opened facebook.  The solution?  Quit blogging.

Well, if that isn't throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I don't know what is.

Blogging wasn't the problem.  In fact, if you look at my long list of "complaints", you will see the culprits clear as day.

A.  long hours, little pay  (many times on sponsored posts)
B.  too many sponsored opportunites and brand partnerships (DING DING DING)
C.  FACEBOOK. facebook.  facebook. facebook. facebook. facebook. facebook. FACEBOOK.

Clearly, writing and photography were the main issues, yes?  ummmm...NO.  Writing and photos were only a problem when selling.  I was burnt out on sponsors, NOT on writing.  Of course, it took time away from it ALL to realize that.  We will get to facebook in a moment, but first let's dive into my break. I said I would start my break after Christmas.  There are always a ton of sponsored posts around the holidays and I decided after all of those obligations were complete, I would take a break.  A few things came up that were too good to pass on.  SO the break became a "winter" break of sorts -- February, maybe March.  A few more things came up, and before I knew it, no break.  I started to break out in a cold sweat everytime I thought about blogging responsibilities and started crossing out tasks in BLACK SHARPIE INSTEAD OF BLACK DRY ERASE ruining my dry erase board.  Clearly, I needed a break.  So SPRING break.  The calendar was blocked off.  No posting, NO FACEBOOK, a tiny bit of pinning, perhaps jotting down ideas on a notepad and again I must emphasize NO FACEBOOK.  Posts were scheduled out to run automatically and I was DONE.

5 days in and I am starting to lose my mind.  We tried going to the library today instead of coming right home after preschool.  Snot nosed kiddos everywhere, grumpy moms, the self check out machine is broken, so I wait with a baby on my hip and two boys pulling at my (figurative) skirts only to learn that I can't pay our fine (we always have a fine) via debit card.  The self checkout is the only place you can do that, sorry.  Get back in the car (through the rain), no books, and a child of mine decides he can no longer buckle his seat belt.  That was apparantly the straw that broke the camel's back because I was done.  D. O. N. E. done.  We finally made it home and I started writing and now I can finally breathe again.  I quit blogging so we could go on more outings like the one today.  I am now thinking going on outings everyday means driving myself slowly insane.

Who knew writing was therapy?

Perhaps I should have.  The days of being a mom with one baby have faded in my mind and I don't remember what it was like before writing.  I don't remember the dark, long days of attempting to meet friends via MOPS (shoot me now) and the mindless wiping baby bum,  clean house, empty dishwasher routine,  the learning to drink cups (pots) of coffee to fend off the tired eyelids and so on and so on.  I forgot what it was like before I had an outlet to write and I have never intentionally gone without blogging (except for actual vacations) since I had that first baby, then a second, third and fourth.  I didn't know what my life was like with four children and without blogging.

It is full, yet empty.
It is challenging, yet not stimulating.
It is ideal, but chaotic.
It is meaningful, yet meaningless.

It means everything to be able to stay home with the kids, raise them to run and relax at home in their free time and to be the one giving them a hug when they fall and a lecture when they get naughty.  Our home is full of life, laughter, fun and joy, but that is not enough for me.  OH HOW I WISH IT WAS.  I know moms that enjoy motherhood just for the sake of mothering children.  I am not one of them.  I love my children, I love our life, I love babies and cheeks and chickens and so many things about our home, but it is not enough.  It doesn't stimulate my mind one iota and the chaos attacks my very soul day in and day out.  I need an outlet and running at the gym isn't cutting it.

I need to write.

I don't need to have coffee with friend or join a MOPS group to discuss my feelings.  I don't need to gossip at the gym or carpool line.  I just need to write.  I need to write everything I am thinking and then share 5% of that with you.  I need feedback every once in awhile from readers, but most of all, I just need to write.  So I started up again.  I started writing for the sake of writing and the world got a little greener again.  I didn't publish, but I wrote.

...but what about Facebook?

I scheduled some posts and then signed off of facebook on March 15th.  I peeked a time or two, just to make sure I didn't miss anything, but then I realized people could just email me if they really needed to get in touch.  Do you know what I did not miss at all?  Everything.  I didn't miss the wives telling their husbands how much they love them (on Facebook?  really?)  I did not miss the political commentaries from the thousand experts of facebook, nor did I even miss the wheels of secret blogger groups turning and turning and turning and turning and turning.  I definitely missed opportunities, yes, but isn't that what I was trying to escape?  I didn't begin blogging to get opportunities, but they came and I had a knack for working with brands and so I took them.  I began blogging to write and somewhere along the way I lost that.  Facebook sucks the life out of blogging and (going out on a limb here) I quit.  I do not quit blogging.   No, I quit facebook.  My account will stay intact -- brands still think facebook is important (even though the reach facebook gives non-paying accounts makes any amount of followers obsolete) so I will let the account sit with its almost 3,000 "followers".  I won't use it though.  I am going to stap away from the facebook crack I was smoking for a good long year or two and keep writing.

If you need to reach me, you can email me at anestforallseasons@yahoo and until then, 
I am excited to learn blogging again, from the other side of a much-needed "break".

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Lauren Lanker said…
As always, Amy, your posts on blogging and what it's all for strike me somewhere deep. I applaud for you stepping back, for re-evaluating, for doing it your own way...and not necessarily the way "they" tell you to. I've actually contemplated going on a Facebook fast for some time now...and I think God may be using this post to nudge me in that direction even more. SO much of my time is sucked up by Facebook. And I don't think it's giving back to me like it should be considering all that time. Keep writing, girl. And keep those Facebook blinders up because I can tell it is a VERY good thing.
I took a 2 week break at Christmas and have been deeply questioning my blogging priorities since then. I'm still figuring out what's important to me and my blog (not what the blogging world says should be important). Thank you for giving me more to think about in terms of Facebook. I've never liked FB. I first started with it to "stalk" my teen daughter (her words, not mine) when she got her account. I don't enjoy FB at all. Thanks to you, Amy, I may just step away from Facebook.
Amy Renea said…
You girls. Completely make my day. I really just wrote out that post fast and truthful and was a bit scared to put it out there. I am happy if perhaps it meant encouraging you to drop something unrewarding (i.e. Facebook). Thus far, I haven't really missed it....now we will see if I can STAY away, right??
Laura said…
This may be my most favorite post of yours, ever! I am glad you're back to writing because you enjoy it. And if facebook is a bad place for you, good for you for recognizing it and walking away!



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