Monday, December 20, 2004

Is it really Christmas?

The photos are recent shots that I took of the trees surrounding my apartment and proof that fall does exist in sunny Los Angeles. However, it occurs in its own time frame. I don't think these trees realize that Christmas is merely five days away. The trees up the street have no leaves. I think the memo missed my place though. I am in no way ready for Christmas either. I still have some shopping to do and I haven't sent out any cards yet. I say "yet" because I am still holding out hope that I can get them done before I hop on the plane to Texas this Thursday.

My back is feeling better this morning. Yeah! My face is a bit blotchy but doesn't burn. Yeah! And, my hair? Well, I'll know better how I like it once I'm able to wash it on Wednesday but so far I think I like it. Yeah! It's going to be a great week. So, I hope. It's going to be awful busy though. But, it's good. I like busy. I may sing a different tune after today though. I have a ton of stuff to do at work and here at home. I keep trying to make a mental list and stop myself so I don't feel overwhelmed by it all.

The time away from my computer has been really good for me.  A learning process. It has helped me to see just how much I've allowed the journaling thing to consume my time. Yet, I look at the last several months and I have made half the entries that I made the same time last year. In doing so, I realized I let everything get out of whack. When I began my journal, I did it as a replacement to a paper journal. It's meant to be a record of my life and a place to be creative.  But, I've gotten away from that. Yet, it's consuming my time. But, it hasn't been my journal as much as my obsessive need to read everyone else's entries. I have had it in my mind that I need to read every single entry that someone writes and leave comments on them all. My list of journals has grown too long to realistically achieve that but as my list grew, I just kept reorganizing things to try and accomplish that. If someone pimped someone I wouldn't even follow the link because the thought of having yet another journal to read overwhelmed me. I felt like I had too many journals to read as it was and it wouldn't be fair to add another. I began feeling resentful of those who found the time to make multiple entries in one day or frustrated at those who had more than one journal. Were they expecting me to visit them all? I felt guilty for getting behind on journals and not visiting some for such long periods of time. I became concerned with how interesting my entries were to others and not the opportunity to express myself that I had originally intended my journal to be. I realized that my apartment is in a constant state of disarray, that I haven't hiked or taken my bike for a ride at all this past year. I haven't done any of my arts and crafts, or sewed, or even finished painting my desk. I became more concerned with how many hits my counter had in a day then how many friends and family members I was able to connect with through phone calls and emails.

Since I couldn't sit at my computer for extended periods of time, I began doing other things like organizing my closets and my art supplies. I began getting excited about all things artsy. I mean really excited. It feels good to be getting things organized and in their place. It feels good to be doing other things. That's when I realized I had allowed things to get out of balance. I need to let it go. I decided to delete my counter from my journal. I've been thinking about it for a while now but didn't want to do it because it has the start date of the journal. But then I realized since I've created links for my archives, the date thingy doesn't really matter. I've decided that I don't really need to read every single entry that someone writes. After all, I don't expect people to read every single one of mine. I decided it's time to bring balance back in my life. I should have known better. It's my nature to take things to the extreme, to become obsessive. I think this is the first time though that I really saw that it is my nature. But, that's a good thing. Because seeing a problem is half the battle.

I think the theme for me in the coming year will be "Balance." As I was going through things, I came across the book, "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Brethnach. I read it back in 1997. It was really inspirational and helpful back then. I'm thinking of reading it this year again and using it as a springboard for some of my journaling. In my craziness, I actually thought of creating a separate journal just for those entries because I didn't want to limit my writing to just those. But, I stopped myself because it's my journal to do with as I please and another journal would just mean another thing to pull at my time. :::::deep breath:::::: Balance will come.

19 comments:

sistercdr said...

Robbie!!!! I am so proud of you.  The community aspect of journalling can be overwhelming, and that hit counter is definitely one of the most addictive aspects of journalling.  It's an ego feed for me. I admit it.  You know how important balance is for me -- largely because I know my life is out of balance.  I find it more and more one of the essential issues.

sunflowerkat321 said...

You are not alone in this experience where the journal took over real life.  I think many of us were swept up with enthusiasm early on...to the point of obsession.  I know I have excused myself from frequent entries and from reading every entry I'm alerted to.  There's no other way.  

hunybea4him said...

Yes I find myself deleting more alerts than reading them these days.. who can keep up!  Especialy over the weekend when I am mostly away fromthe puter, that seems to be when the bulk of entries are made lol.

I read here and there and ofcourse check out my links list.  We all need balance lol and it is hard for me.. but babies steps.

Much Love,
Mary

stephweiss said...

The problem with balance is that just about the time you have it all figured out, something falls off one side, or falls onto the other. I'm also pretty sure that people who are perfectly balanced become bored in short order. A little balance is good for the blood pressure, but if you never fall into the net, the tightrope becomes a humdrum experience instead of an exhilerating accomplishment.

alphawoman1 said...

I'm reading Wild Succulent Women ort Succulent Wild Women...either way, its like Simple Abundance older wilder sister!  Hope you find that balance.  

lisbnjvi said...

You are doing the right thing, finding balance.  And, if I didn't have three children, I doubt I would be on here every day writing about my life and also reading other's journals.  This is my "escape" for now, it's the only "Me" time I get.  But, I used to be like you, where I would have to read everyone's journal and comment and if I didn't put an entry in every single day, my day would feel incomplete.  Now though, if I go a few days without reading, I just delete the older journal alerts and start "fresh" with the new date.  I found this is much better.  The whole key is to not let one thing overtake your life, as you found out.  Balance, balance, balance.  :)
Hugs and love, Lisa

barebytes said...

Breathe Robbie, and may balance always find you strong and moving forweard. Hugs Lanny

judithheartsong said...

balance is a good thing. I know that you are my friend whether you get by my journal or not. Be happy, fulfilled, and complete. You are loved, judi

babyshark28 said...

ahhh. I enjoyed this entry, I went through this a few months ago though I never documented the progress, I just stopped writing in it for a week or a few days at a time.  and that's when it hit me that I enjoyed the journaling much more when I took it at a natural pace, letting things just flow.  the guilt of not going to other journals and trying to keep up with old ones subsided some.  It was nice.
glad your achieving balance in your life, it uber important!
love that photo layout!!

ryanagi said...

Don't worry Robbie. You have to do what is best for you. You are the only one who has gone back and read my entire journal, cover to cover so to speak and I REALLY appreciate that. But I know how time consuming that level of dedication is. I have slowly whittled down my list of regularly read journals. I'd be here all day, every day if I kept going like I was. I don't post as often as I had been either. You are right. Balance is key.

readmereadyou said...

Love the photos. Happy you are feeling better and totally understand what you mean about journaling. You shouldn't feel you have to read everyone that reads you. I read about 10 journals a day. I can't do more. When I do, I don't have a real life. I can't read multiple entries a day and I only write one to three times a week now. I feel obligated this week to write at least one more by Wednesday because I'm featured again this week but then I'm taking a long holiday vacation from journal land and just be in real life for a while.

Angela

ladydriversammie said...

I know exactly what you mean about getting obsessed with journals.  I do the same thing, but I'm learning to let it go some.  I mostly put everyone on alerts and listen to them on AOL by Phone at night.  My cell minutes are free then and I have hands-free and plenty of time when I'm driving so that works out well.  As for comments I just try to stop in often enough to let everyone know I'm still here.

Thanks for all the great comments you left at Movin' On the other day.  I think you're right not to worry over leaving them less often.  I'm sure everyone is coming to understand that it's just too stressful to stay on top of a gazillion journals.  I know I figured it out pretty quickly and I count myself lucky when I get comments and don't fret when people are too busy to leave them.

Hope you have a great holiday.  :)

Sammie

linus131999 said...

hey robbie l ong time no talk to mainly cuz of me... im glad to see ur ok and i wanna wish u the bestest happiest merriest christmas ever....

mlraminiak said...

I was "away from the computer" over the weekend, and I have about thirty "new journal entry alerts" that I haven't dealt with.  AND, I can see I'm not going to have time to get to them, either.  SOOOO...  I'm going to my filing cabinet right now to delete them. I'll just start from scratch with entries from today forward.  I'm sure no one will die without my witty comments!  Lisa  :-]

ksgal3133 said...

I'm glad your back is feeling better. I'm sure your hair looks great :)
I don't journal as often as I had been doing but that's okay...we all are busy and journaling should be fun anyway.

Gretchen
http://livinginsavannah.blogspot.com/

coy1234787 said...

    The trees are looking quite fall like, that's more than we can say here in Sunny South Florida. I'm sorry you've been suffering for so long with your back, I had a struggle a few months back with a pinched nerve in my neck and sitting at the computer was almost impossible for about a month.
    I read the Simple Abundance book back then too as well as her Something More Book, I refer back to them all of the time when I'm writing or just thinking. All of my books are like treasured friends that are comforting to revisit often.

                               *** Coy ***

slowmotionlife said...

The trees are beautiful... :)

What part of Texas are you visiting?  We're supposed to have possible "wintery mix" on Christmas eve - can you believe it?  If it snows, I'm going to FREAK.  That hasn't happened since I was in high school!  Glad to hear your back is feeling better.  And taking time away from the computer can be both a blessing and a curse.. it's good to get some distance and take some time for yourself, but it can also make it more difficult to go back to journaling as you did before.  Good luck on finding that balance!  I'm still trying to find it myself.  :(

snkwarren said...

Obsessive, you???? heeheehee.... Let me know if you decide to read the book.   I have had it in my hand more times than I care to count, yet I have not read a page. Maybe I'll read with you.  

I am typing this on Dec. 28th.  You are now on vacation in Texas, just a state away!  Hope you have a wonderful visit, from what I read, you are really making the most of your time there.  Enjoy and Happy, balanced, New Year to you!!!!!
Kristi

lamove04 said...

...as I sit here trying to get to all the journals I visit on a semi-regular basis and feeling compulsive about it!  

Good luck with the "Balance" goal, sounds like a great thing to aim for... I DID enjoy getting 15 comments from you at once, but if it's messing with your life and your back, I suppose I can live with fewer!  

love ya and hope you're enjoying your trip, Krobbie!  --Albert