"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pondering August

You guys rock. I was so nervous posting myself, and with my Farrah hair no less, and there you were holding me still. Thank you, truly :).

So today I am pondering my blog break last week. Honestly, it was wonderful. And it wasn't because I stopped writing for a few days or because blogging turned into some chore. No, I still love to write and post pictures and read other blogs. I believe the joy came from unplugging from this screen and moving away from this machine that consumes much of my time and energy.

I have never been a big TV watcher. I love movies yes, but there is something different about the small screen--TV or computer. I know it physically drains me, and when I get away from it, I feel like I can breathe better, and my world opens up wider. Does that make sense?

I have known how this small screen can affect me for a long while, but I never expected to become so attached to blogs and blogging that I would be spending this much time in front of the computer. Three hours can pass easily and before I know it, I've lost time, I've lost breadth and depth into what I know my world to be--outside, engaged with the environment and my children. I could blame blogging, but I know that's not it. As I said, I love to write, photograph and engage with other blogs, and now Pinterest (thank goodness for the mobile version). But put that together with all my other passions and I suddenly am busier than ever, and never doing one of my favorite things-- nothing.

So herein, lies my dilemma. Along with considering my thoughts on passion's price, I am contemplating how I can still blog and engage in the blog community without getting sucked in by this machine?  I am paying attention these days to where my time goes. How long am I on this computer and how long am I actually writing, surfing or commenting. What is my true purpose out here? Is it to create something big or is it pure creative self expression? Is it a daily need or something that can be split fairly among my other passions, and of course without neglecting my family. Commenting, connecting and finding inspiration has become such an integral part of being out here in this space, too, and how much of that can I give up? Lots to think about and I am sharing it with you to keep it real.

And as if by pure kismet or serendipity, this weekend I learned about the August Break, from Monica. It's a month long blog break hosted by Susannah Conway, where bloggers pledge to post lightly for a month with a photo a day. Words are optional but the idea is to keep it light giving bloggers and readers a small break. Susannah has a Flickr group and a blog roll linky so you can see all the other bloggers participating, along with their daily photos.

I decided to use this August break to ponder how to organize my time, my passions, my responsibilities, as well as enjoy the rest of the summer with my children. I'll still be posting Joy Pockets with This Moment on Fridays because I love them so. I'll still stop by your blogs and comment when I can as I think of you all as my blog family :).

If you care to join in for August break then I'll see you there, too.
much love to you
xx oo

Icad#36, more here


  1. As always, what a timely and well thought-out post. I love this supportive community but like you my time feels like it is slipping through my fingers. So to keep it short, I'm in! I'm going to get my button now!
    Thanks for sharing this idea!

  2. I struggle with the same dilemmas. I struggle with the sense of obligation that seems to come from blogging, the commenting, etc. I'd rather comment on the blogs I love, the ones that strike a chord, strike a fancy, inspire something in me but I also hate the thought of making anyone feel less than - make sense? I did a bit of the August Break last year and have already signed up for it this year - so glad you'll be joining the fun!

  3. Your post and link couldn't have come at a better time. I find myself sitting here and then wow...it's hours later and I have a full day of work still ahead of me. A little break and some refocusing is really needed here. xx

  4. I've been thinking about this as well as I find myself with headaches from the screen and stiff neck & shoulders from the slouching I do as I read. I noticed the Autumn break and wondered if I could do it. I do like chatting. But since I'll have 5 days computer-free at the end of the month, it might just inspire me to go for it. Blessings to you!!

  5. Wow, timely. I have been jam packed with lots of family and real time events this month. And yes, my blog was the first thing to slip. I missed blogging, but enjoyed being in the moment too. I am really tempted to do this August break with you. p.s. And I love the new haircut!!

  6. Oh yes. I've been pondering that a lot. I get drained by this little machine and it can become overwhelming. I've been wondering about finding that balance. I love visiting and commenting but it does become quite a time consumer. I'm going to check out that link! xo

  7. Yes! This post resonates with me. I have small windows of time and I often wonder whether I use them as I should. The doing nothing option is really recharging for me and one I need to take more often.
    Enjoy your quiet time MJ.
    I think I'll be treading a little lighter blogwise for the rest of the Summer too :)

  8. Oh and it resonates with me too...I need to spend more time away from the computer too as these moments with my son will soon be gone and I have to treasure them. Happy you too are doing the August Break and look forward to seeing you there. Thank you for making us all think.

  9. I resonate with you completely MJ, and for a fellow unschooler, I understand that your time needs to be focused very much on your children, and not only that- just experiencing planet earth and what it is to be a human being.
    Blog land is a product of modern life, and can suck you in good and proper, I quit facebook last year, and set up a profile to go with my blog, but I am hardly ever on it, and some weeks I feel completely disenchanted by blogging. I think a break would be good, and refreshing. I hope you do contiue though, because I don't feel so alone on the path I have chosen. Peace be with you. Rest. xxx Jo

  10. nothing is one of my favorite things to! great post!

  11. i can feel horribly drained from sitting in front of the computer, i need regular breaks (easily provided by the demands of a little one!).

    i also think that if we're loving online time but feel too zapped by it, then there needs to e a hierarchy of priorities. i gave up 'hanging out' on FB, don't really use Twitter unless i have something specific to share. and i'm ruthless now about which blogs i connect with. they must truly interest me, and that blogger must be a commenter on mine (relationship, you know? i used to be too inclusive, which may be kind-hearted, but not practical.

  12. Good luck with the break. I hope it brings you what you need, and I look forward to the sparse posts that are here, because I will know they are from your heart. I don't post unless I WANT to. Even in join alongs. This is supposed to be a saving grace for me... not a burden. Blessings!

  13. I am struggling with the same issues. I need to write to soothe my soul. I will be writing anyway, the question is what need is met by blogging. I don't want to walk away from it but my goal is no longer how many readers I have, or participating in the latest and greatest blog hop. It is my recording of the journey my family is on. If it resonates with someone, I am glad and if not, that is okay too. It keeps me focused. My girls enjoy reading it and sharing what we have been up to. I love the idea of the August break. I am going to think about that.

    I have made a conscious effort to spend less time online. First thing in the am, late at night and less time in between. I am trying to model this as I have asked my girls to use their ipods, ipads and computers less.

  14. I totally get that. I will miss you and hope your days are filled with laughter and sunshine!

  15. i'm so with you. it felt so very good and dare i say 'right' to turn off for two weeks. and then a check came in the mail from someone who wants to be a sponsor. new twist. hhhhhmmmm. begs the question, for me, where EXACTLY do i want to go with this. good luck and have fun in aug! i think you've given me the green light to 'go easy'!

  16. I totally understand MJ. I think the blog break is a fantastic idea- thanks for sharing. Summer is just tough. I look forward to seeing your pictures!

  17. august break sounds like a great idea. i think the best thing about blogging is that you can make it anything you want - you get to design it to be what you want/need it to be and to serve YOU and your passions in whatever shape they need to be. i hope you have a great august down and figure out the way to make it work for you, so it gives you energy. i really enjoy your voice and words and want to keep reading them!

  18. This is so beautifully written!

    It's scary how easily one can get sucked into the internet world, and how fast time goes by. I love the blogs I read, and the connections I have made. But, I feel terrible that I've pushed other things aside at times.

    I'm looking forward to this break. It's amazing how magical things appear before us just when we need them.

  19. so important to take you time. I think sometimes blogging can be tough and I think a blog is whatever you make it- light or heavy. picture or words. a list or a quote. Its always good to have balance :)

  20. nice idea. I'll have to think about joining the break.
    I find it is one thing to make time to write my own blog, but harder to keep up with everyone else's... only so much time in a day!


  21. MJ, one of the telling things about your blog, is how many beautiful, heartfelt comments you get, each time you share your words with us. It feels like you give us a gift, every time you write. I am so grateful for that.

    My kids asked me, "Mum, which is your favourite blog that you read?" I said, without hesitating, "I think it's Wander Wonder Discover, by MJ." The kids said, "What do you like about it?" and I replied, "Well, it's sort of dreamy…" at which point, my husband laughed lovingly. "That would make sense," he said with a smile, "That you would love something like that."

    Your blog IS dreamy, in that delicious, swoony way (especially your glorious photos! 'Specially those trees! AH, and swoon: those trees!). But it is also dreamy in the hope that you provide (and you provide SO much). And it's dreamy in a peaceful sense—where afterwards you sigh, because you have just rested somewhere beautiful. And dreamy in that refreshed feeling you get after a dream-filled sleep (when you got into an R.E.M state and totally got your batteries recharged)—because your ideas constantly refresh and inspire me.

    So, for all these reasons (and more I haven't thought to write here, but will remember the minute I post this comment!)—I am glad beyond glad that you blog. Thank you, so much.

    I also know that the energy you give out, as a gift to us, must be replenished. And balanced, so that you can give as much, and more, energy to your beautiful family, and to your own creative Self. So your August break will be dreamy because I'll know you'll be recharging your own batteries. And dreamy because I'll be (well, we ALL will be) receiving sweet postcards and love throughout. I will feel so happy for you, and so happy for me too :)

    much love!

  22. Love the new hair-do and so glad you had the courage to share your self portrait -- it is fantastic!!

    Your reflections here have obviously struck a cord with so many women bloggers. As always, you are being reflective and thoughtful and honsest -- thank you!

    And enjoy your break, I will be anxious to read what discoveries you have made along the way!

    Best to you MJ!

  23. That's exactly what I've been contemplating as well - you put it beautifully. See you in the August Break!
    Ronnie xo

  24. What a great concept. I have been wondering about the same thing lately...I so understand your "3 hour" comment...amazing.

  25. Ah, I am not alone! I'm so thankful for this post, and the comments, because I have really been feeling my deep connection with the bloggy world in the rest of my life lately and thinking on how to find a bit of balance. I'm going to give the idea of the August Break a ponder, and enjoy the photos you share during yours either way.

    I have been so very enriched by my time in these virtual spaces, most especially yours and a few others, and I love what writing does for my mind and my soul. It's really a challenge to work out the perfect amount of time for these things, and how to use that time. So much to think about!


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw