I've been thinking a bit lately about where the line is that separates the amount of outside inspiration that supports and enhances your family/home/real life and the amount that detracts from it.
I'm thinking the answer is fairly fluid, something that shifts and changes depending on what our life is like at the time, and not in fact a definitive line.
As it stands, I have craft books, bookmarked links and pages torn from magazines enough to keep me busy for the next couple of decades. No doubt it is fun to carry on looking for and acquiring ideas that inspire, but as with anything, there lies the possibility of too much of a good thing.
Writing in this space has been wonderful. I feel motivated to write often and have noticed that in anticipation of doing so, I am at times persuaded (by myself) to go about my day more mindfully. In a way that I'd feel good writing about. (Of course, being human and all, that's not always the case... not at all. But for me this space is more about reflecting on the positive than stewing on the negative. Be sure, there is dirty laundry, and plenty of it. I just choose not to air it out here) Very much like the way keeping a food journal generally helps steer us towards healthier food choices. A bit of accountability, I suppose. Recording our days and marking the passage of time in a way that feels like I am honoring it a bit more than were I not taking the time to reflect, pause, photograph.
Writing in this space drives me to want to reach out and connect with others doing just the same. A really, truly great thing, I do believe. We build community, gain support, motivate and encourage.
And so, on a small scale, reach out I do and reach out I will continue to do. Naturally, reaching out like that makes it (way too) easy to further reach out and look and click on links until I can't even remember where I started. And suddenly 2 hours have passed. Precious hours after Claire has gone to sleep, before she wakes however many times she will that night, when I should perhaps be tending to myself in other ways. Tea? Reading? Yoga? Games/movies/chatting with the man I love...... Sometimes I am starkly aware of the time I've spent seeking inspiration in far off places instead of living in my world and enjoying what is right here.
And oh my gosh, it's the right here that really matters- as we all know.
For the most part of course, right here doesn't really need to be enhanced or inspired by the outside world at all. Right here is pretty damn beautiful just as it is. And where there is room for improvement, well, that will most likely be tended to best by focusing on what's right in front of me instead of on how I can make a fabulous stenciled wall hanging or the most impressive dinner ever or how I can do a better job cleaning my home naturally or more lovingly parenting my child or what books I should be reading or, or, or......
I am definitely not saying that I don't need an escape from time to time because of course I do. I think we all do. This "I'm going to spend my life with this person and together we will raise this other little person and we will spend a large amount of our time together trying to do great things and acting fair and nice and kind" thing can be tough. Tricky to navigate, for sure. I absolutely believe that we all, each and every one of us, need time for ourselves as often as we can get it, to just. be. ourselves. Whatever that looks like for us. We need to have the time and space and freedom to nourish our own goals and dreams and desires, including, and perhaps most especially, the ones that do not tie in directly with our family life.
What I am saying is that I feel the need to reevaluate the time I spend online. Especially the time not spent writing, corresponding, or looking up some pertinent information.
I'm not alone in these feelings, I know. I'm sure most bloggers (most people for that matter) and certainly the ones who are also mothers, must feel the same sense of conflict from time to time. We write about our lives with our families, about what we do to make the time together meaningful and inspiring, where we find inspiration, what we hope for the future, etc..... but then we often get caught up looking and searching and clicking and linking for larger chunks of time than we want or plan to. Could make us feel a tad bit contradictory. Does me.
But so anyway...... where is that line?
Is it all about setting limits for yourself? I think for me, that may be the answer.
I won't be writing any less. In fact, I'd like to write more. Write more, spend some (perhaps self-alotted amount of) time leisurely looking and oohing and ahhing at what's out there that inspires me.
And then promptly turning off the computer and reminding myself what is truly to-the-bone important to me, and dive into that world instead.
Into that very real and very right here right now world.