Running on Empty

Running on Empty

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier ~ Roy E. Disney

RUNNING ON EMPTY

Have you ever found yourself in a place where a time-out has to be called…a moment when you recognize things are getting out of hand? Only it’s not the unruly kids, a recalcitrant spouse or an unreasonably demanding boss that is in need of a gut check, but the person you find yourself staring at in the mirror day after day;  you. 

I reached that special place several weeks ago and in a moment it seems everything stopped.  The normal pleasures I received from simple things seemed to vanish and I found myself wondering about my own values and what I felt was actually important in my life. Looking back over the year I can see now that much of it had to do with where I began to place my value.

Running on Empty Blogging and social media began to trump everything. I told myself at the time that it was necessary to get a good start during my first year of blogging, to establish myself and build a foundation. Yes, all these things are important, but not at the cost of everything else. I pushed myself day and night to put out content (which I enjoyed doing, don’t get me wrong) at the expense of the relationships going on right around me. I lost touch with others and myself in the process. I couldn’t stop; it was almost an addiction.  

One day in November I abruptly turned off my computer and walked away.  I came to the realization that things were getting out of hand and I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore. The stress far outweighed any pleasure I received in working on my blog.

Running on Empty It was time to make the hard decision. Could I continue Pure Grace Farms and not allow it to become the central focus of my life? I pondered the question for several weeks and honestly was not sure of a decision until just a few days ago. I had to take a hard look at myself and what I was missing to have become so totally dependent on this little old blog to retain a sense of self-worth.

 The things I discovered are mine and God’s alone and something I will continue to work on. In the process I recognized that I love the connection to the world and the friends I have made through my humble little blog and it is not an all or nothing proposition I am faced with. One day at a time, one post at a time is all that is expected. 

I am excited again to get blogging…that is enough.

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Comments

  1. says

    I can so relate to you here. I took the month of December off and it helped tremendously. I love this: “One day at a time, one post at a time is all that is expected.” Blogging balance is a struggle I’ve had ever since the day I wrote my first post. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. says

    Shari, I have truly missed your influence HOWEVER I agree that a few posts a week is probably ‘healthy’ for all of us versus the constant run to have whatever the other bloggers are doing. Thank you so very much for your post today and sharing so much of your personal story. It is wonderful and eye-opening for all of us. Bless you and we can all follow your remarkable example. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  3. says

    I think you used the right word, Shari, “addiction”, although I hadn’t thought of it in those terms. You do start getting a high from having (or trying to have) the best picture, the most viewed post, the most pinned post, the most Fans on Facebook. And, also like addiction, it’s never enough- no matter how many Fans or views you have, you want more, more, MORE!! What has always disturbed me was that none of it is particularly REAL….it’s all this weird little worker bee activity going on in this weird little beehive world, with all the little bee dances we do….basically for EACH OTHER. :)

    One Saturday last April, I was having So. Much. Fun. I had three projects for posts going on at the same time. I was sewing, and baking, and staging photographs, just as busy as a little bee. My husband would drop by whatever I was doing and have a short conversation with me now and then…. I’d look up and smile and get back to work- “Ok, honey, I’ll be there in a minute!” :) He’d smile and go do something else, and I’d never quite get around to him. During the afternoon, he asked me to come and sit and watch the baseball game with him a couple of times, and I said, “OK, be right there- let me get these pictures finished while I have some daylight left!” :) Sound familiar? :)

    I found him dead the next morning. How important were those stupid projects then? Don’t you think I wish I had that Saturday back? Would I be baking and sewing and photographing to the exclusion of everything else…..everything that actually matters? Now- do not get me wrong. My husband and I had a wonderful relationship, and we spent plenty of quality time together and were very close. He was extremely proud of me and the work I was doing. :) I have worked through (probably most) of the guilt and regret of That Saturday…..but how wonderful would it have been not to have had THAT to work through on top of the overwhelming pain of losing him so suddenly? I’m not writing this for anyone to (try) to say something to make me feel better. I’m OK, and like you said, it’s between God and me and He’s helped me work through (most) of it. There’s still a pang now and then, but part of my pain will ease if I can help someone else pay a little more attention to their family/loved ones/real people instead of this stuff. :)

    The thing about that, though, is that we all have a built-in protective denial system. You know those Facebook posts about “Live Every Day as if it Were Your Last”? Here’s the thing: WE CAN’T. We can’t sustain that kind of raw intensity, that kind of staring into our our mortality kind of existence. It’s too painful. So we settle back down into our comfy place, where nothing’s going to change very much, and no one’s ever going to die. Well, yes, someone’s going to die, but a LONG time from now, and we certainly don’t have to worry about it now! :) Truth. You can’t help it, it’s just the human condition.

    So I guess all we can strive for is some kind of a balance. When ANYTHING gets out of balance, it’s not going to be healthy, and it’s not going to end well. Blogging, drinking, shopping, eating, this comment (lol)…..anything can be overdone.

    Thank you for a really good read about a very important subject. Can you tell it was thought-provoking to me? :)
    Joy @ Yesterfood recently posted…Treasure Box Tuesday 53My Profile

    • says

      Wow, just wow. Thank you for baring your soul today…that took courage. Such a merry go round we ride on in this life. It’s could to look things squarely in the face and call them for what they are now and again. A good reminder. Thank you.

    • says

      Joy,

      I am trying to write a comment as tear flow from my eyes. You are so right. Thank you for the bottom of my heart for sharing. You are so encouraging to me.
      I pray that God will bless you always!
      Diane Roark

  4. says

    I can totally relate! I have taken a step back from blogging (posting once or twice a week instead of 5 or 6, sometimes 7 days). I have some health issues going on right now and I realized that although I love blogging, it can become an addiction and that isn’t the best thing for me at this time. I am focusing on my health first this year, followed by my family and then my blog. I’m so glad I’ve discovered you through Let’s Get Real and I’m looking forward to seeing more from you this year – at your own pace, of course : )
    Jen recently posted…Game Day Bites – Meatless Buffalo 2 WaysMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Jen. I am beginning to see that this is a common problem among bloggers. I think my good friend Linda has it right when she says (paraphrased with extreme license) “blog for the love of it and forget all the rest”. The reality is…making a real living at this is not gonna happen. This knowledge has freed me, in a sense, to let go of the striving and just enjoy. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Take care of you.

  5. says

    Welcome back Shari! Happy that after your time to reflect you decided to come back. You’ve been missed! When I decided to start my blog I had a lot of help from a seasoned blogger. Jess over at Four Generations One Roof is a friend that lives in my town that I have known for years. One of the many words of advice she had for me is to be careful in the first year not to go too crazy. It’s easy to get Blogger Burnout. I try to keep that in mind but sometimes it can be difficult.
    Nicole@Family Table Treasures recently posted…Barbecue Pulled PorkMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Nicole. Your kind words are encouraging. Lucky you to have had a seasoned blogger with such great advice. I am so bull headed I most likely would have tramped ahead anyway. I do look forward to a kinder, gentler year. :)

  6. says

    Shari,

    I truly feel your pain. Blogging takes so much time. I struggle with blogging and doing social media to the point of being torn between family and my blog. I miss out of spending time with my family. Most of the time they are talking to me and I hear them but I truly cannot remember anything they told me. They get frustrated with me because I was reading a social media post, writing a posts, etc.

    I had many problems with my blog in December. After having an optimization test done on my blog, I had so many issues to fix. But most of them could not be fixed without changing my blog design. It needed to be updated. I decided to go for it again. Hopefully, it will be ready this week along with a new blog I am starting. I know I am crazy, but I promised my husband and family that God and family come first. I will be cutting by my posts to only once maybe twice a week plus a hop on Recipes for our Daily Bread. I will only be posting once a week to my new travel blog. I still have 3 teenagers at home. I need to enjoy the rest of the time they have here. My oldest son Casey will be graduating from high school this year. I cry every time I think about it.
    I hope you find your balance because I truly understand how blogging and social media can take over and control your life. We have all missed you!!! Many, many blessings! Diane Roark

  7. says

    Been on that same horse, lately. One of the things I’ve discovered is the fact that I tend to get caught in the trap set by those ‘experts’ with the little lists for how to ‘keep your blog out there and loaded with readers.’ I reached a moment where I asked myself (yeah… I needed the lecture), “So, when did you decide it was okay for someone else to tell you what your expectations are to be, for your life and whatever you choose to share with others?”

    My answer… “Hey, wait a minute. I’m over the age of 50, and I can do as I darn well please!” 😉
    Teresa Schoellkopf recently posted…Pulling Everybody’s Hair!My Profile

  8. Mary Carroll says

    One thing for sure, you have learned there is not harm in a little bit of everything. You were missed. Love the personal touch to your blogging. Don’t worry, you don’t have to devote every moment of every day here on this thread. Just a receipt here and a little knowledge there always will find its nest with those that have followed you. Good Luck – Keep it simple.

  9. kathleen sampson says

    Shari, so glad that you were able to come to some resolution that keeps you walking the path in the Light! Each of us face these challenges, yet not many are so brave as to share their experiences with others. We may head in one direction for so many good reasons and ultimately discover that we walked away from the path we were asked to take. God bless you and keep you. May your compass always keep you moving toward your goal!

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