I like rearranging and reorganizing rooms and even drawers in my home. I’ll try different hair colors at each appointment with my stylist (I should be bald by 50), and my face is always in a book (or Google) trying to learn something new. If I had the chance to pick up and move tomorrow, I probably would. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the things in my life; it’s just that I’m insane. I’m not content just being, which has it’s advantages, but it certainly comes at a price. Mostly, my husband’s sanity.
I often wonder if I’ll ever be that elderly lady on her front porch rocking in a white, wooden chair, satisfied smile on her wrinkled face. Sigh.
Despite being drawn to a crazy state of flux, there have been two constants in my life that, regardless of struggles or circumstance, I have remained 1000% committed to: people and writing. That’s why blogging is so appealing to me; I’m writing when and how I want, and meeting some amazing people along the way. I’m as loyal as I can be to the blogs I love (I’ve been MIA lately–I’ll be back, I promise!), and I’ve been fortunate enough to have that loyalty reciprocated. I’m in awe over the influence and sense of community I’ve come to know through blogging, and that’s part of the reason I wanted to attend the SITS Girls Bloggy Bootcamp.
A brief side note: I was worried about the conference because I think I suck at networking. I can’t fake it, ya know? I felt anxious at the prospect of handing out my business cards. Hell, I felt anxious making the damn things! Like, who am I?! Who wants my card?!
My worries were soon squashed with travel pals like Christine & Janene and Amanda by my side, and the fact that Keurig and Mirrasou signed on as sponsors didn’t hurt. Free coffee and wine?! Thank you kindly.
I chatted with the other ladies. Listened to a few presentations. Learned some new things. And then Tiffany Romero commanded the room and my heart by sharing something my husband has been trying to tell me for a few months now: Calm the hell down already. Okay, so Tiffany didn’t say it exactly like that, but her point? Sometimes we have to close the laptop and focus on life.
Don’t get me wrong, my family isn’t neglected, but if you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you understand how quickly it can consume you. And if you’re really into it, it can become a full-time job. And if you already have a full-time job (parenting certainly falls into this category), then you’re pulling out your hair to keep up. And only showering every other day.
Another brief side note: I sat next to a retired army officer on the flight home and he told me a story about how when he was stationed in Germany, his wife bought a laptop so they could keep in touch. When he came home, they continued their relationship via technology; he had to email her from another room to communicate with her. Raise your hand if that sounds eerily familiar…P.S. God obviously put this man next to me for a reason.
The conference offered tips and take-aways, and featured ridiculously awesome speakers like Robin O’Bryant. <— I’m adding ya’ll to my western Pennsylvania dialect because of her. I was surrounded by talented, lovely women (and one adorable baby I couldn’t take my eyes off of #LonelyUterus), and invaluable opportunities and information. There was also free coffee and wine. Have I mentioned that? Of all the lessons to be learned and content to process, Tiffany and the retired army officer’s message was what I circled and highlighted and drew stars around in my notes.
If I didn’t have the people in my life, I wouldn’t have a blog at all.
Some of the ladies were making plans to attend their next conference, and others left with a clearer vision of their end goals. I was not among them. All I wanted to do was get home into my man’s arms and wipe my kids’ noses and squeeze in a nap because good LAWD I’m not 21 any more. Bloggy Bootcamp was an invaluable experience for me because it gave me something that I was lacking but desperately needed: perspective.
I have no friggin’ clue what I want from this blog. I’ve no idea where it will take me, if anywhere. I don’t know what my purpose or my “niche” is. But today, I’m ignoring the ginormous list of unread posts on my Bloglovin’ feed (sorry, pals), and focusing on my living and breathing constant. If I do end up in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere, I’ll want someone beside me.
Special shout-out to Meredith for sharing her funny on Friday while I traveled. I appreciate you, friend!
Welcome back. Well said. Side note: Keurig needs to sponsor coffee at my office.
Thanks, Vernette! It was a great trip and an awesome experience, but I’m definitely glad to be back with my Keurig on my counter and my kiddos in my arms!
Glad to hear you had a great time! That is such the truth about living your life! The upside to this is a constant source of blog material. The downside to this is finding the time to blog!! I have to learn to find the balance!
Balance–exactly. When you find it, can you send it my way? 😉
Sounds like a great bootcamp! It had to be a good sign when you saw coffee + wine. 🙂
Meredith @ The Girl Next Door Drinks and Swears says
I feel exactly the same way! I’ve recently decided to “calm the hell down” myself. I had let blogging and all that comes with it consume me, and while I love, love, love writing and communicating with other bloggers, my obsession was quickly spiraling out of control. I’ve also recently learned that they don’t shut down the internet if I go a day without logging on. I know, right?!
Holy hell. We’re the same person!
I am pretty bad at networking- I MEAN to comment on blogs I love and then at the end of the day it hasn’t happened and all of a sudden my inbox has like 197 unread posts and I’ve forgotten entirely about twitter and all the witty things I thought of during the day and all the funny crap my kid did turns to a blurry blur of words and stuff and I end up going to bed. Sigh.
And I don’t blog/post/tweet on weekends because, well, I’m busy having a weekend. It belongs to my kids and I just hope against hope and aging brain cells that I will remember even a fraction of what went on to write about.
But it’s all good…
Oh Christie, it’s so HARD!!!!! I’m in the same boat; I have a trillion blogs to read and when I read them, but I want to comment, but I just caaaaaaaaan’t. Waaa! I’m whining now. I’m done.
Yes! All of this sounds so familiar. I’ve had to make rules for myself because if I had it my way, I’d be at the computer writing for hours b/c I love it so much. But I love the other parts of my life as well, and we all need to LIVE–and the commenter above had it right: Living fully gives us tons of blog fodder! Did you read Dani Ryan’s post on her love-hate relationship with her blog? It’s at http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com. It was great and resonated with tons of people!
I did read Dani’s post, Shay, and she and I have actually commiserated together because AHHHH! Just AHHHH! Love it, hate it, want it, but AHHHHH!
How’s that for coherent? 😉
Dani Ryan says
Love. Love. Love. You know I’ve been struggling with this for a while. And today, when I had 48 unread blog posts on my bloglovin’ feed, I marked 80% of them as “read”. I feel badly about it, but, like you, I want someone sitting next to me on that porch swing. 🙂
Reason #234234 I wish you lived closer; we could sit on a porch swing and bitch about this together! 😉
Amanda Mushro says
I learned so much this weekend but I also learned that I need to do it all on my time. I also hatd too much fun with you as my sidekick. Xoxo
I’m going to pretend that says you “had” fun and not “hated fun” with me 😉 Lovely sharing a bed with you!!
Tiffany Romero says
This thrills me. I’m like you girl- constantly hatching new plans to live in Hawaii, drive a RV cross country, etc. I’ve really learned a lot this past year and am so glad I had the opportunity to share it.
Thanks for taking the time to write about your experience.
Ummm…you read my blog. I’m cheesin’ it like a third grader that just won the spelling bee. Wow. I’m a huge dork on so many levels right now.
It really was great, Tiffany! Thanks again 🙂
Kristen Daikas says
I love this. I know I’m wasting some valuable time and I’ve made a better effort this year to stop working so much. Moving my office out of the house helped some but now I do Bloggy stuff at night. The “twisted” only thing I have going for me is that my girls are hitting the point that they hang out in their rooms all the time. Sad Face. Sigh. Be with yours because its true.. Time is short no matter how long the day may seem 🙂
Definitely! The days are long, but the years short.
Thanks for reading, Kristen!
The Sadder But Wiser Girl says
Another cure for constant time online spent networking is to develop a herniated disc in your neck. That kills most of your mojo for sitting in front of a computer big time. Bleh. Of course that could be the drugs talking…
I’m glad you had a good time though. Who are you again?
NOOOOOOOOOOO! I’ve got to catch up on my reading to see what happened to you!
Chris Carter says
Oh how I wish I could have been there to meet you Stephanie!!! I LOVE love LOVE your new and fresh perspective.. because I GET THAT! This awesome world can suck us out of our real life world and leave it dry and depleted. Thank you soooo much for sharing and I do hope I can drink some coffee and wine with YOU at a conference someday. Oh I dare to dream… 🙂
Chris, you’re absolutely right about getting sucked into this world of blogging, but…I have a secret, come closer…sometimes I like it better than the people or events in my “real” life! Hahahaha!
I’m game for some coffee or wine with you. Set it up! 😉
I am desperate to go to a blogging conference, but since I probably won’t do that this year, I’ll just read about yours!
I am not one to need many changes in my life, but I think that personality trait, combined with my lack of vision and focus, is detrimental to my blog and my future plans.
Congratulations on your new sponsors!
I wish I would’ve known! I would’ve given you a heads up about Bloggy Bootcamp–how awesome would that have been to go together?!
I feel like me, you, and Tracy (Momical) are on the same page in terms of loving the blogging, but don’t know what to do next. We should form a support group. Seriously.
Mama G says
I text and Facebook message Mr G. Me upstairs. Him downstairs. The acoustics in the house are terrible, so if I shout him to bring me coffee or wine he can’t hear me. That would never do.
Hahaha! That would work for me if my husband ever had his phone charged or if he would make a FB page already. He refuses. I think he’s part Amish.
Christine and Janene are the best aren’t they?
I loved every second of Bloggy Boot Camp. I was overwhelmed with information so now I’m finally going through my notes and setting up an attack plan for my site (getting off blogger and onto wordpress being the first).
I’m sure I will have tons of questions for you in the upcoming months. Thank you for being so sweet. It makes it easier to envision my end game when I know I have other fabulously talented and super friendly bloggers surrounding me.
I was definitely overwhelmed and I did kinda expect the “Mean Girls” scenario that you mentioned in your post, but we were pleasantly surprised!
Practical Mama says
I’ve attended a blog conference just this past weekend as well. All the info was quite overwhelming. When you work full-time + kids + husband + home, a blog at the top of that is not an equation for the sane. I am not even talking about “me time”. But it is an addiction for some unexplainable reason. At least for me. Maybe because I work out of home and I need this channel to connect with people and share. Sometimes, I push myself to fulfill my commitment to daily blogging, as if I am getting awarded for my dedication. Sometimes, I just let it go and take breaks, which is heaven. Then I miss it and I come back. 🙂
Practical Mama, we’re basically the same person! I work from home, too, and what you said about WHY we blog is absolutely spot on! Good luck finding your balance and if you have any tips, let a girl know!!
Thanks for reading, lady!
I agree with you. One of my take aways from the weekend is spend time with your family. We have nothing to write about if we aren’t living life. Also, it’s all about perspective and balance. I want to live life to the fullest, and at the end of the day know I have done my best for those in my life that I care about and love. I love reading and writing, but living life is the greatest joy to be had in this world.
Amen, Rebekah! Amen!
Mom Rants and Comfy Pants says
How can it be that this is exactly WHAT I needed to hear and when? My Hubs is working double shifts so I can be home with my son who graduates 8th grade tomorrow. And all I can think about is “I don’t have a post for tomorrow” or “Why aren’t my Facebook likes moving up faster?” It’s pure insanity how I let this take over. And eventually, the writing would suffer. Steph, I couldn’t wait for you to get back and tell me what you learned. This isn’t what I expected, but exactly what I needed. By the way, I will gladly HOST the next conference to get in on some free coffee and wine action!
Marissa @ Where I Need to Be says
Love your perspective on the conference! The best thing about it is that there was a takeaway for everyone! I’m with you about why you’re drawing to blogging: being able to write “how and when you want.” Spot on!
It’s so different from writing for another source; we’re edited to death! Our blogs are our freedom!
Oh, how I loved our weekend in Charlotte! And everything Tiffany said was like, “Wow.” When you work, you work. when you’re a mom, you’re a mom.” Now THAT got my attention, along with the other 14 pages of notes on the awesome conference content and all of the great networking and coffee and wine!
Ilene!!! I took a load of notes, too! I felt like I was in college again and I loved it 🙂
Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. says
I’m so glad you went! I am going to BlogHer this summer, and I am simultaneously terrified and thrilled. Yes, I know how all-consuming blogging can be. I am still desperately searching for a) some balance and b) some idea of why exactly I am doing this and what I hope to gain.
Also, loved the #LonelyUterus (me too, me too!) and also, yes, I want your card! Where’dja get those beauties? I need to make some before the conference, so I can better whore myself around.
Ooooh!! I can’t wait to hear how BlogHer goes for you!! I couldn’t afford it this year, but I’m saving my lunch money for the future 😉 I got my cards on VistaPrint because they were suuuuper cheap, but my fave cards seemed to come from Moo.com. Very creative!
Finally! I get a free moment to swing by your fabulous blog! I loved reading about your weekend at the conference. You amaze me! I don’t know how you juggle it all, Steph???
But, the thing that stuck out most was the last line in this post, “If I do end up in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere, I’ll want someone beside me.” I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I joke about buying a home in the desert when we grow old. We envision ourselves sitting in rocking chairs warming our bones.
Have a great weekend my girl! And, don’t forget to do something special just for you! 🙂
Awww!! I’ll be by your rocker!! Happy long Memorial Day weekend to you 🙂