11.15.2013

Balance

^^Our littlest stud in his Sunday best^^

Many of my efforts lately have been focused on achieving balance.

I feel like I have made great strides towards balance in my personal life over the last few months.  I feel like my little boys are getting enough attention, the house is clean enough, and most importantly, my main squeeze, Bron, is feeling the love.  On top of all that, I'm also able to spend a few hours each week exercising and dabbling in my favorite hobbies.  It's a Christmas miracle!

I think balance is meant to be one of life's great challenges.  I've accepted that I simply cannot do it all, and give all 100%.  But I do feel that I am enough.  There is always room for improvement, but my marriage is a happy one and I'm in a good place... for now.  (Things just seem to change so fast!) 

Every morning I choose four or five things from my never ending to-do list to accomplish and call it a good day, even if all five things aren't technically checked off by the time I crawl into bed.  For me, it's about keeping a loose routine and prioritizing.  Items number four and five can usually wait until tomorrow if need be. 

And since there will always be work to do, I figure there is always time to play too.  Babies don't keep.  Jed won't always beg, "Play with me, Mom!  .....  Ride da hor(se) with me, Mom!"  I know I'll miss that innocent little voice.  I'm already dreading the day he heads off to first grade, gone from 7AM till 4PM, and feeling like I barely got to see him.

So that's my simple life in a nutshell.  I'm just trying to make the most of every day.

^^Try keeping your balance in these suave cowboy boots!  To someone as short as Levi, the heel must feel at least five inches tall.^^
But now, let's talk about balance in social media for a minute, shall we?

Social media is wonderful.  It's addicting.  And it's downright dumb.  I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  My feelings are bipolar, really.

Does social media ever feel like a popularity contest to you?  Your self worth based on how many "likes" or "comments" you get on a particular post?  Or even how many "followers" you have?  It's utterly ridiculous! 

And even though I know it is utterly ridiculous, I still feel myself getting caught up in the awful clutches of this social media popularity contest.  Yes, I want to be heard and my opinions validated by others, but just exactly who are those other people?  Do I know them personally?  If I do, do we talk on the phone or see each other in person weekly or even monthly?  And why do I feel obligated to "like" or comment on other peoples' profiles so often?

Honestly, it's the real-life flesh and blood relationships that I value most.  Those are the relationships that make me feel the most whole--a valued person--not just another face with some words attached underneath.  (Though I do realize that some real relationships can start with emails!  There are actually a few bloggers out there I'd love to meet face to face one day.)

So I've been taking strides to distance myself from social media a bit.  It's ironic that being so "connected" actually makes me feel isolated sometimes!  Social media is also often a fruitless time hog anyway.  So I've cleaned up the list of blogs I follow.  I took Facebook off my phone and I try not to check my phone every time I pass it in the kitchen.  I've become notorious for leaving my phone behind in the house or the car when I take the boys outside to play or visit a neighbor.  And contrary to what this blog may lead you to believe, I do not pick up my dslr every single day. 

Not every moment needs to be documented.  Not every thought in my head needs to be posted.

Which leads me to some thoughts about this here blog.  I've thought long and hard about why I blog and for whom I write.  I write with my friend, Anna, and other friends from New York in mind.  I write thinking that my dad and mom and other family members will read this.  I write in hopes that other mothers much like me might be able to relate a little bit.  But first and foremost, I write this blog for me.  This blog is a creative outlet for me.  I enjoy writing and I enjoy photography.  A blog is a wonderful combination of the two.  But this blog is also our family journal.  I had a second 350 page volume of this blog printed and I cannot wait to see it.  These memories with the people I love most all documented and bound together means the world to me.  I hope it means something to them too.  And so, as tempting as it might be to cater to a larger audience in order to gain more "followers" (I probably wouldn't be successful anyway), I have made the decision to stay true to the original purpose of this blog.  It's crazy I even doubted myself in the first place!

Balance.  Balance.  Balance.  Too much of one thing, not enough of another.  It's a tough thing and I sometimes struggle with it.  I've fallen off the proverbial horse--and I'll continue to fall off over and over--but you bet I'll get up again every single time.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing!! I've been feeling out of balance and you've given me some ideas on how to get my life back in balance before it gets thrown for a loop in 6 months. If I can have balance now, maybe the it won't be so hard after the baby comes. You are always such an inspiration!! Thanks again.

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  2. I completely agree Jessie! Social media can be a wonderful thing! That way for the people who I don't talk on a regular basis (like us) can still keep in touch with each other. But I also see the downside of it. I know I check facebook way too much already and I don't even have a smart phone! It is one of the reasons why I have not gotten a smart phone is that I don't want to feel "too connected".

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  3. Love this post for so many reasons!! Great perspective and purpose - this community can get so superficial at times, and I'm really trying to remember why I do it in the first place!

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  4. Levi's outfit is so cute - I love his little boots! I am glad you keep the blog because I get to see pictures of you guys and hear about what you're doing! Not as good as being neighbors, but it will have to do! :-) Have a fabulous weekend!! Anna

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  5. I'm right there with you! I feel like lately (a big part is probably this pregnancy) if I don't really try and focus on balance, I get so out of whack so fast. And I've had to really try and limit/reevaluate my social media use. It's tough to make it all fit! One day maybe I'll get the hang of it all... :)
    Ps Levi in those boots is too die for, SO cute!

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  6. What happened to my little baby grandson??? He looks all grown up, but ohhh so handsome. Love his curls & his boots of course.

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  7. First timer on your lovely blog here! Found ya on the mom lovin blog hop! First off clever little name :). And a huge ovation on your Balance and what it's really all about. Agreed...it's crazy how quickly things change day to day. A list maker I am...and proud of it....nothing better than crossing something off it...right?! It's so easy to lose sight of things, great thoughts. And the social media tidbit...I actually feel like a stalker sometimes! The likes and stuff I get back are kinda nice...but thuis is "my place". A different outlet of captivity and fun, and newfound friends. The numbers don't mean anything, it's the new buddies and finding fun things!

    .:Marta:.

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  8. This is a great post and a topic I think every mom can relate to. It can be so hard to find the balance one needs to make sure everyone and everything is on the right track. I have always been a perfectionist and I have learned to let many things that are simply not important go. Maybe my house is not as clean as I would like it to be or my yard isn't manicured like I used to spend time doing before I was a mom. But I make sure that the time that I prioritize is with my daughter - my family. With the holidays it can be hard to find that balance. I think the first key is to recognize what means the most to us and then focus on it and not to let the little stuff get in the way. I hope you have a great weekend!

    Mama Hen

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  9. Amen to this whole post! A lot of this has been on my mind lately and you wrote it perfectly. I also agree it is so important for young moms especially to disconnect. This is a unique challenge that is presented to our generation that has never been a problem before all of this technology. I agree that time with our children passes away too quickly not to enjoy every moment. I live out here on this ranch so I don't get cell service. It was so hard at first but now I really enjoy it actually. I love blogging because it preserves memories where Facebook and other social media sites are just time suckers and gets me nowhere. Thanks for your insight, and YES I am in love with those adorable boots!

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  10. Boy do I agree with this post. I am most definitely struggling to find balance in my crazy life right now. I have found myself cutting things out as well. I have a massive list of creative blogs I follow- blogs I haven't read in weeks or months, because I really don't have the time, and they just aren't that important to me. If I had the time, I would love to look and gawk, but I have other things to focus on right now. Same with Pinterest and Facebook. I just don't make it on there as often as I used to. And I'm ok with it! Now if I could just get the rest of my life reprioritized. I guess it just takes time. I love your blog. It always reminds me of what is most important.

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  11. Love this post! I normally feel like I have pretty good balance in my life, but right now with the holidays coming up and baby #3 coming shortly thereafter, I feel like I'll never catch up. I have have come to realize that I don't need to do EVERYTHING. The baby is going to sleep in our room the first few months. So is it really imperative that the nursery be finished by the time that she gets here? Nope. So maybe I'm slowly getting back into balance.

    As far as social media, I don't think I would use it quite as much if we didn't live so far away from family and friends. Most of the FB/Instagram posts, pictures, and videos I put up are so that they can stay up with what's going on.

    Where did you get your blog printed? I've been meaning to get mine printed. I'd like to do yearly books.

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  12. Great post! Quick question- where do you have your blog printed? I'd love to do that too. :)

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  13. Teeeeeeach me your secrets! I feel like I'm really struggling with showing my main squeeze the love . I don't know why! Of course I love Eric and he is my best friend... am I still learning to balance the love of Mia and Eric? Ugh. I just feel like the way I treat Eric these days is that he should just know I love him... even if I'm short with him or I have no patience after a trying day with Mia and take it out on him? Ugh!! I don't know! I need to be better!
    And when I had Mia I was so stressed about blogging! I felt like I NEEDED to be posting because I had readers! But I finally reached the point where I was so overwhelmed with my new mom duties, and I was so exhausted that blogging was going to have to end! I was a little sad, but mostly I didn't care because I couldn't handle it! Obviously I worked my way out of that phase and I'm back into blogging buuuuut my blog is Mia, Mia, Mia. It's all about my little family and I'm not going to change it. If people don't like it then they don't have to read! And I just remind myself as I scroll through insta or read blogs is if I mostly post the good, instead of the bad and ugly? Everyone else does the same! So I haven't been too caught up in the comparing myself to other women. But I do find myself getting caught up in the popularity contest at times and that is ridiculous! I do my best to keep grounded, though.

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  14. I agree with everything you just said! Lol it's so hard to get everything done in the day-I've realized that dishes can sit out, laundry pile up a little, no time to put makeup on that day, but that's not what you're gonna remember. All you remember is the time you spent with your kid! You can't get that time back. Love what you wrote. As far as the social media-it's a big high school all over again. Everyone trying to get to the top and be the most read, heard and popular! It's just in our nature. So interesting!!

    Livingincolormom.com

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  15. Hi Jessie, I completely understand your feelings about blogging. When I first stared in 2009, I thought this blog would be about being a mom. I posted about my son, wrote about great children's crafts, blogged about obscure holidays, and sent awards to different mom bloggers while hoping I'd get an award back...It was insane. In these four short years, I've met many wonderful mom bloggers, and I'm sad to say that many have come and gone. They touch your life for a month, a year, or even several years, and then they and their blog disappear into the great abyss. It's hard to keep up with a blog and life just gets in the way.

    These days I blog for myself and for my son. I love sharing his antics with other moms, and I love learning from other moms. Balance is definitely key. I've gone from blogging three times per week to three or four times per month... I don't follow too many people and I don't have many "followers," but I'm happy to say that the few who do take the time to post to my blog, I now very much consider to be my "friends." I have to say that I'm happy to have met you in the blogging world Jessie, and you are definitely on my list of one of those moms that I'd love to meet one day in person. I think if we lived right down the road from each other, we would be great friends! Best wishes on keeping that balance both in your personal life and with social media. It sounds like you're doing a great job :)

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