Monday, July 12, 2010

Hazy Days of Summer

Barbara: I’m sure you’ve all read the now ubiquitous articles on how social networking is bogging our brains down. That we need to balance all the hyper-browsing we’re doing every day with extended periods of quiet introspection. The problem is, the reason this advice is so suddenly prevalent is because every social network is touting its wisdom. And we’re getting the message over and over because we are social networking so voraciously! 

How do we keep exploring and reading and discovering the world network if there are barely enough hours in the day for our own writing and work and living??? You all seem to do it with such grace and aplomb. Take Gae over at Trying to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Words. How the hell does she write her blogs, edit and write her novels (one soon to be published), Facebook network, raise two boys, swim the ocean, love her friends as she does, read and comment on countless other blogs, oh, and work as a lawyer??? And she’s just one example of so many of you. And to make matters more challenging for me—this year has given us one of the loveliest spring/summers we’ve had in these parts for a long time. It is everything I can do not to just turn the world off and lie in my lounger and stare at the trees for endless hours. I could even call it “quiet introspection” and claim the experts told me it was imperative for my brain. 

Deb and I are new to this whole blogosphere thing, so it’s still a learning process for us. I just want to tell you how often we’ve wondered in private at the amazing world you’ve shown us, how great it is to “meet” all of you from around the world, to commune with you, and to read your own brilliant blogs. No matter how different all of our daily lives might be, it seems so many of us are somehow fundamentally connected. Like those bees in their hive, gently communing as they create their marvelous honey. It’s a wonder and a comfort. 

So how do I have my cake and eat it too? The world beckons. It entices, it cajoles, it teases. I want to eat it up and lie exhausted and sated with bits of its jus on my lips. But it’s also an endless buffet that I feel myself hesitating in front of, not knowing how to take even one bite of its feast without regretting all the bites I might miss. And then there’s the quiet that used to be so easy to take advantage of—now days, weeks, months can go by without a quiet moment to be found. How do you balance it all?! 

Deb: Funny that I should be responding to this blog at the 11th hour. Barb––God bless her––had to email and remind me that my response was due. And indeed it was. But I have been summering this last 36 hours with friends at their farm, forgetting my responsibility to the blog. It is one of the only summer breaks we will have this summer and it is still less than two days. And yet I am so up to my neck, I did not even notice I was behind. I would LOVE to have even one day of nothing and no responsibility. I am craving it like a dog with a bone that she wants to bury and then sleep on for at least 36 HOURS! So I will add to Barb’s question a resounding, "Wha????????????". How do you others do it?


  1. Hello lovely bloggie pals,
    I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your kind and heartfelt comments about our Frisker. Your thoughts are helping (I am a big believer in that) He is doing great. You would never know what he is facing. We took him to a homeopathic vet and he is eating differently and taking many Chinese medicine drugs and they are helping him. We are playing our chase game this morning. Savoring every single day!

  2. Shortly after reading your blog entry on this topic, I read this news article. (I quickly browse at least 6 news sites each morning over breakfast to get my brain going each day: 2 regional TV stations' news sites, 1 or 2 US news sites, CBC, at least 1 Brit news site, and sometimes Drudge Report.)

    Facebook More Important Than Bathroom Trips in the Morning for U.S. Women,2933,596462,00.html

    It included these peculiar tidbits:

    " One-third of young American women check Facebook before brushing their teeth or going to the bathroom in the mornings, reported Sunday."


    "One in five even said they woke up in the middle of the night to respond to wall postings, tweets and texts, while 37 percent have fallen asleep with their phones in their hands."

    Hopefully, none of us will ever go this far into the technological abyss! :)

    P.S. Deb - Since 2004, we have buried 1. our beloved, smart, loyal, elderly cat Binkie, 2. my funny, silly, bossy, big personality rabbit Geraldine, and 3. my son's leopard gecko Treecko. All died after long illnesses. That made for long, sad goodbyes. I am thinking of your family several times a day. If you feel sudden, unexplained sensations of warm snuggliness, it's me sending you hugs.

  3. Okay Rigel I have to plead guilty on this one. I have become that person who checks through the night if I can't sleep and who checks before I put the kettle on. I cannot do it before I use the washroom however and in a few years, those gals won't be able to either. And Rigel, I am feeling those warm snugs, thank you. xo

  4. I only blog, and don't fb or tweet because I'm reluctant to give more time to the internet. I guess I just try to do one the best I can, while leaving plenty of room for my other writing too. And writing blog posts well ahead of time and lining them up in Scheduler is a great help too.

  5. This shortness of time thing is a biggie for me. I've been struggling with it for years, even though I only work an 18-hour week from my home office so you'd think I have all the time in the world. I must have been super-stressed when I worked full-time away from the house.
    I'm trying really hard to get my priorities straight and then support them: the Five Tibetan Rites daily, a one-mile walk in the morning, and a sit-down-do-nothing-watch-the-birds-through-the-window-with-my-tea time every afternoon -- I figure if I can make sure to take time for these most important things, the rest of it will fall into place.
    However, after the first trip to the bathroom this morning, I'm here instead of going for that walk. I am not disciplined at all.
    Also, does anyone else notice how long it takes to wash your face in the morning, or to dry your hands after washing them? I swear, these little things take forever!!
    And good news about Frisker!

  6. I'm a student currently in that blissful state known as summer break! However, instead of being on break I'm living/working/going to classes in the small town where I go to school. All of my friends have gone home so I relish my blog time as I meet new friends! I love to sit down at the computer with a mug of coffee in the morning, and tea at night, to see how everyone's doing, as bookends to my day. Now when school starts out again, who knows what will happen :D

    Deb, that's wonderful about Frisker!! I was home on a mini-vacation this week and spent it snuggling and cuddling my dog every moment I could. He always knows when I'm packing to go back to school, and tries to climb in my duffel bag to go with me...getting dog hair all over my newly cleaned clothes...aarrgh. But we have to love 'em :)

  7. Wow, you make me sound great on paper.

    Ok, well, on whatever this is: on screen.

    The truth is, I am lucky to have a husband who earns the bulk of our income and only counts on me for the entertainment portion of our income (we haven't been entertained or entertaining much these past few years while I let my mediation practice wane in favor of my writing...) and I have plenty of free time. More than most. And I waste way too much of it. The thruth is also that I am a do'er (doer?) and not a talker, and I either put up or shut up. Or at least try my best to. And I have learned in my 40's that without our friends - and especially our girlfriends - we are really nothing and alone.

    Thanks for the shout out. I'll try to live up to half the portrait you painted. :)

    xo Gae

  8. I facebook,and twitter,and sometimes I myspace(by not that often). When I am not working or not with my family than I am ususally on the internet.I always have time to blog. I make sure of it. Ruth is right on this on, It is a way to make friends and relax. Even when I am in school I will be sure to post and blog. When I am blog it makes me forget about my day,and I love it.

    PS:I am glad that Frisker is feeling better. I have a dog that just wants to follow me around everywhere. She even follows me out to my car and will sit beside me at the dinner table until I feed her.(she is so spoiled). Like I said I am glad that Frisker is feeling much better I hope and wish him the best of luck and wishes

  9. It sounds like most of you have a kind of routine -- which makes sense. Except that I started a similar routine as Ruth, and then the coffee/tea breaks started getting longer and longer and...Pretty soon, I'm not doing any "stuff"! And, Rigel, I just read that story too -- crazy, huh?!

    But I will try and practice routine and discipline (thanks, Kate!).

    And don't listen to Gae -- she's way MORE than I painted her. (well, listen to her about the friends and doer stuff, 'cause that's gold.)

  10. I think that's what I need as well. A routine -- funny I think that's what Jack's been telling me too. I think I'll let him think I'm finally listening. Don't tell him okay. I should have plenty of time. Because of a heart condition I'm home all the time. But between trying to garden when it's not raining and trying to build on our house, or at least put walls on the inside. I run out of time. Barbara, Deb with the others help maybe we can get this routine thing down.

  11. Mostly I neglect my family and COMPLETELY I neglect any housework and social life that isn't online... erm... possibly not the best example.

    I need to budget my time on VISITING bloggs... it takes away from time I REALLY ought to be working because I get sucked in.

    I tend to write my blogs in the evening, scheduled for next a.m. I publicize blogs before work (along with checking facebook and twitter). Write LATER at night from the tub... evenings (around blog time) and weekends are for typing what I've written...

    I think Elizabeth Spann Craig is a really good person to look to for how she does it all because she does it all WELL. Granted, she doesn't have a day job, but her kids are smaller than mine, so she has plenty of work to do. (I think maybe she doesn't sleep)

  12. TJL, I'm trying to follow Hart's lead and not be so preoccupied by the housework. Although, still covet the real-live social life!

    Will check out Elizabeth Spann Craig.

  13. Fricking neverending housework! Oy.
    My mom asked me once how much time I'd be willing to put into housework in a day, outside of cooking and cleaning the kitchen. I lied and said a half-hour, when the truth would have been "none."

    She said (she'd heard this somewhere): Divide the number of rooms in your house into 30 minutes, then spend that amount of time in each room. Use a timer.

    You'd be surprised how much you can get done in just a few minutes in each room, how soon you're feeling on top of the housework, and how much less pressure, guilt and frustration there is when you haven't left it all for the weekend.

    - Miss Know-It-All (sorry!)


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