Tuesday, March 20, 2012

blogging vs. living

IMG_7676My my my! Life just keeps on going here and the things I need to post about are piling up so fast I don’t know if I’ll ever get to them! (Just like I never got to posting Christmas this year?!? Or Charlie’s Birthday?  Or Jeff’s big 40th? Yikes!)

I keep wondering why I’m feeling so far behind on this blog and then I step back to realize that life is just happening all the time here.  Every page seems to be a happening page.  The adventures and drama and changes and challenges and growth that need to be recorded pile up every single day.  I barely have enough energy to do all we are doing, let alone absorb it, take pictures of it and blog about it.   I’d just ditch the blog and just live presently, except that I know that recording things here will help us make this experience part of the fabric of who we are as a family.  I often worry that I’m putting all this energy into this experience for my kids and they’re so young that they’ll forget most of it.  But, I’ve been told my lots of friends who are seasoned and have had more experience than me that if I help my kids process what they’re experiencing and if I record things well (pictures, journals, blog) then this grand adventure will become a part of them, a part of us.  And I really want that.

But I don’t want to spend all my time blogging.  And I don’t want to spend any time worrying about not blogging.

So, how do you balance recording vs. living?   How much should I worry about keeping a record or taking a picture.  Sometimes I think that I don’t really validate an experience unless it is recorded somehow. 

Does something have to be recorded to be valid?  If I don’t take a picture of something does it happen?  What is the value in it if I don’t remember it?  If I’m spending so much time recording is the experience valid?  Am I living it?  Am I present?

Is there an intrinsic value in just living a moment presently? Feeling it, absorbing it, embracing it ….even if you forget it the next week or month or year?

Does recording experiences help us see them as more meaningful?  Does it draw us back and give us perspective?

Does writing about and sharing what you experience help you live more deliberately?

These are the questions swirling around in my head as I run in the forest in the morning and as I fold laundry and think about how I want to sleep more than I want to blog. 

I’m not sure exactly what the answer is, but I’m pretty sure it’s different for everyone, and I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with finding that every tricky balance.  Live, record, live more.  Record less, live more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Meanwhile, I’m going to try to take advantage of Jeff’s week away and slap up at least some thoughts and pictures of our pilling up happening pages.




  1. This is a great blog. Always the questions in my mind.

    All I can add is that my memories of my life before I started blogging are somehow more crisp. I think when one records too much, it can freeze experiences in written labels and they can lose their enzymatic quality. They become defined by the moment they are written about. The same goes with photos.... I have many experiences that are framed by the photos that were taken. My whole memory of the event or moment in time revolves around those photos.
    (I have a whole diatribe I could go into here... and it makes me glad that I do because this is a large part of what a degree in anthropology gave me... but I don't think you would be glad with having to read my diatribe on memories and histories... so I'm going to switch gears:)

    So, don't feel too guilty about not recording everything, except that WE all are dying to hear about it all. I think for your kids, one of the best things you could do is to take a bagillion photos and then spend the time you would spend blogging looking at the photos with them and talking about the experiences. It will help them to reflect on what has happened and it will forge good strong memories while it is all fresh in their mind. Also, when you are "living", draw attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and the weather. These are all strong triggers for kids memories, especially smells.

    Then just post 20+ photos a week on the blog and we can all guess at what you have been doing.

    Jonah will probably mention that he keeps a journal on his phone's calendar and has been for 10 years now, and he prefers that for many manly reasons.

    Miss you guys!!! Keep blogging for us... but I understand your dilemma and will forgive eventually...


  2. I live more fully because of my blog. Living so far away from my family, I want them to see my children in the everyday moments. Suddenly the everyday moments are not just passing me by because I take time to take pictures and describe them. It helps to find joy in the little things, and laugh about frustrating circumstances. While some moments go un-recorded, I find that I forget far too easily and the moments I record are saved forever. But then, I'm not having once-in-a-lifetime experiences like you are. And that is different.

  3. I say this with a heavy heart, becuase I LOVE reading about all your experiences--what a fabulous adventure you are having EVERY DAY!--but it's okay to blog less.

    Although I have experimented around it, I have found such peace with LOOOONG monthly blogposts, and never moreso than when things are busy. Three sentences and a picture can crystalize a wonderful adventure very nearly as well as an entire post and twenty pictures. But the thing I love the most is that even though you lose a bit of the freshness, after a couple of weeks it seems so much clearer what the MOST IMPORTANT things in each experience were. What might have been a whole post really does seem to fit into a couple of well-worded sentences. I always remind myself that I don't want anymore posts/pictures than I can print and fit into one book for each of my kids when they head off to college. I figure they might need some room to pack their clothes or something.

    Aja, you are so wise--I didn't realize you studied anthropology! I would love to hear your diatribe some day!

  4. Amen to everything. It's a delicate balance that's for sure.

  5. Saydi - been meaning to respond to you wonderful question for a long time now. But l've had to pull back from blog reading a bit over the last couple weeks (as well as commenting), just short on time trying to live and figure out a new plan for my boys, etc. But I echo your wrestle, understand it so well. I think you are doing it just right. Taking each day as it comes and doing what feels right. I might get lonesome for your blog when you haven't posted in a while, but I know your busy living and I know you'll be back when you can. You aren't beholden to anyone. So don't ever feel pressure.

    But I agree with Erin, I too live more fully (in a way) because I blog. It helps me sift through experiences, remember the good, the funny, and the life truths I am realizing along the way. It's an outlet I need to stay creative and connected to other people. Writing helps me process things, receive revelation, stay in tune. And yet, sometimes I want to just forget it's there and live quietly.

    I am becoming a firm believer,however, that starting each day aligned with God and trying to listen as we move more organically (and slower) through the day, we will find time for what he needs us to do - whatever that is. And I believe what he needs us to do can change a bit from day to day. I love you Saydi. Love your good heart, your striving to do what is right, and your honest reflections. Your blog has kept us connected, and I'm so grateful. I love and trust you. Always will.

  6. As a fellow blogger, I have to say that "I loved your thoughts on this subject!" I feel the same way, and it is often a though I have, but finding a happy balance, I am sure, will be different for everyone...



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