Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Life's Not Always A Picnic
I haven't been blogging as much recently, and the truth about that is that life hasn't been a picnic as of late. At home there are a lot of issues that have welled up, stressed me out and made me an all around basket case. But who wants to blog about that? Or more accurately, who wants to read about that? I have tried to keep my personal crises as veiled as I can from my blog and the workplace, no matter how hard it is. But here's the thing: when life is not a picnic, I do crave writing. In the past, I have run to this blog to be a place to distract or write or talk about other things as a way to do something, to feel better, to cleanse. And after Monday, boy do I feel better.
Rita, Deb, Amber, and Sylvia stopped by for a picnic lunch. We had fruit salad, sandwiches, cookies and bubbly (non-alcoholic). Everything was as delicious as it was beautiful. I had never met Deb or Sylvia, but we all just clicked the instant we got together. Deb gifted me with some precious sweater pumpkins. Since fall is my absolute favorite time of year (and it is right around the corner) I was thrilled. I love these creations! And Sylvia gifted me with this stunning cross bracelet. The cross couldn't have been a better choice, because lately it seems like the only thing that has been keeping me sane is my faith. The fact that this was given to me just proves that God is watching out for me, and I thank Sylvia for reminding me of that.
But the greatest gift of all was this gathering. While my lunch companions were here I completely forgot about the worries that have been plaguing me of late. Their conversations nourished me, as we discussed a lot of things I have wanted to talk about for a while. Their company nourished my soul, reminding me that everyone falls on hard times, but those who make it are those who get back up and keep going. And of course their food nourished me as well, reminding me to eat, something which I haven't been doing a lot of lately with everything on my mind.
Which brings me back to blogging. It is gatherings like this that make me glad I have a blog. Not only can I share about my experiences with these women and their respective blogs, but I also get to reflect on the experience for myself. These girls and I talked about blogging and social media a lot, and one of the questions I had was "do you think blogging will become extinct?" Obviously, we all hoped not, but with the growing popularity of Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it makes me wonder who actually wants to read the whole story, as it seems like most people just want a picture to look at or 140 words or less to read. And that makes me sad to think, because sometimes life experiences cannot be summarized so succinctly or captured with a filtered photograph. We also talked about the time it takes to be in blogland. Not only are you writing your own posts, but you are reading potentially many of others as well. I myself am guilty of being a lackluster reader lately. Keeping up with blogs and other social media forums can take up lots of time. So much so, that on the weekends I tend to step away.
To me, social media can sometimes feel like work. And maybe that's because for my job, it can be a major part of work. Some days I dont mind putting the work in, but on others it can become tedious. This post is long and I am taking great care to write it, but it is a little sad to think that more people will look at my Instagram or Facebook profile than read this. I realize now that I am working hard at diversifying all of my social platforms, to edit and choose what people will see and think. And the conclusion is that at the end of the day, blogging is the most personal of them all. It's probably no coincidence then that I first began connecting with Rita and Amber through their blogs. And I am so grateful to the publications I work with that still highlight blogs and bloggers for their contributions.
So, I don't mean to sound like I am complaining about all of the social networking around today. I use them like everybody else does. But I have decided to not use them for stories about "woe is me", (though it can be tempting) and that is a personal choice that works for me, I'm not saying that's what will work for everyone. Everyone's time is valuable. And if you stop by to read this, know that I put ample time into writing it, to share a little bit more about myself than I have been sharing elsewhere. Because blogging is where I choose to run to when life is not always a picnic, and I hope it doesn't go away. But perhaps the greatest reminder to all of us should be: when life is not a picnic, unplug and have an actual one with people whose company you enjoy.
Thank you so much Rita, Amber, Deb and Sylvia, for stopping by, connecting, talking, and letting me write this out.