After weeks of ridiculously intense blogging, I am finally finished with completing all of the half-finished blog articles that were cluttering up my account. Almost, that is. There are a few still sticking around, but I find myself wanting to wait on those (they're the most difficult articles, so naturally I have left them till last).
I actually still have tons to write. I want to share pictures and adventures from Reformation Day, update you all on our unemployment situation (especially now that we've passed the year mark), post my unit study of Britain (it's almost finished!), and express opinions - valid or no - on a variety of subjects!
However, right now I feel the need for a bit of a break - from blogging and from Facebook.
Lately, I've felt... scattered. Unable to think clearly, and perhaps not as serene emotionally as I'd like to be. I've learned that that almost always means that I need to severely back off from internet time. Running up against all of the issues, arguments, controversies, etc., that one finds on the internet is very stressful, and though I try to minimize exposure for my own sanity, sometimes I just need to take a break - a complete one. So over the next couple of days, I am hoping to back off of blogging, blog-reading, and Facebook, and focus more on prayer, Bible study, and keeping my mind more intensely on my home and my family (which is where it needs to be anyway!).
I'm also hoping to do some improvement in several areas of my life that need improvement: regular cleaning and organizing, enforcing a chore system (I am soooo bad on that last one), and also keeping up with email. Not only am I a dreadful email correspondent right now, but my turn-around time is horrible. I am forever running across "urgent prayer request" emails that were several weeks old before I got to them. In other words, the person is either dead or better before I remember to pray for his situation! My goal is to spend 20 minutes a day answering and filing email, but I'm not doing it - I've been getting distracted with Facebook and blogging instead. I need to improve in that area.
I'll still be around - I do want to share some pictures, and I'm also going to share my experiences and thoughts on the article I linked to earlier today - The Cause and Cure of Morning Sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It has been very exciting to watch this cure work for a friend, and I have also experienced some (indirect) success with it, so I'm really excited to share about that. Watch for both of those over this coming week. (Before I write my own post I will be posting a long list of comments on the original post itself, so watch for that - and please come over yourselves to that site to join the comment threads there!)
But on the whole, I'm hoping to lay low on blogging for a bit while I gather myself back together - and hopefully I won't drive myself absolutely crazy with mental blogging and the biting back the impatience to get back to writing (I tend to do a lot of both of those!).
While I take a break, I will be spending a good time pondering this article by Cindy over at "Get Along Home," one of my favorite blogs (if you don't read it already, you should!). In writing about how honest we are willing to be in telling truths while blogging, she really nailed me:
"I will not try to manipulate you (as I’ve seen many homeschool bloggers do) by reiterating ad nauseum in every hard-hitting blog post that I write how I think it is perfectly ok for you to ignore what I say, or that I’m sure that what you’re doing is right “for your family,” so please don’t be mad at me for believing some things. *sniff*"Oh, no. She got me. I must admit that I do this. I may have serious truths to express, but I also want to be liked. And I do not like receiving bucketloads of internet hate-mail. Thus, I usually (1) avoid hard topics completely as a rule of thumb, or (2) soft-peddle them as: "Choice X is the choice we're making, but it may not be right for you, and that's okay, etc. etc. etc." (I'm not talking about any choice in particular, but just TRUTH in general.) I just can't stand conflict, and I don't deal with it well - so I avoid it.
But how does that combine with the need to speak and proclaim truth boldly?
Some of you ladies deal with conflict beautifully (yes, I'm talking to YOU, you-bloggers-who-know-who-you-are). I do not. I am simply eaten alive by it, mentally and emotionally. But I also don't want to be guilty of concealing or avoiding truth-telling.
Something to ponder, for sure. (Feel free to chime in, dear friends!)
I will also be working on several other projects over the coming couple of weeks. The first is starting a new unit study - China! I had fully intended for us to stay on England through the end of this term, but I experienced a sudden lull in my flow of ideas at the same time that our 7yo said, "I'm tired of England! Can we do China now?"
(Before you are impressed with our eldest's desire to study Asian cultures, I should mention that his desire stems almost entirely from his goal of having me make homemade Panda Express Orange Chicken more often!)
But the timing was perfect! So we are now tying up loose ends while I begin planning our next country study. It won't be nearly as long, or as ridiculously complicated, as our study of England was, because - much as I hate to admit to favoritism - England is my favorite country in the world, and I could spend the rest of my life studying it. Any other country will be a much shorter and more prosaic study! However, I expect that it will be fun (and filled with Orange Chicken!). I'll publish my England unit study as soon as I finish updating it, and I hope it will be of use to you!
Another thing I'll be working on is planning for the holiday season. Until Sunday, all of my energy and free time is going to planning a baby shower, but after that my mind will be free to enjoy the holiday season and plan accordingly. I have three goals: (1) to have fun - which is harder than one thinks during December!, (2) to spend very little money (always good when you have no money to spend!), and (3) to avoid the awful Merry Christmas Madness, also known as the holiday burnout that results from trying to do too much. Can I do it? I sure hope so! It's going to be a busy holiday season, but I want it to be a fun one, and one that doesn't leave me begging for January to please hurry up and get here so that the holidays can be over.
We'll see! I'm going to do my best, and I'm going to start now - or rather, Monday.
And now I am off to do what I should be doing - taking a shower, putting the children to bed, filing homeschool paperwork, planning a baby shower, and taking care of the million-and-one things that I have to do before bed.
I'll be around, and I'll be rejoining you fully soon!
Much love to you all, dear readers.