December 6, 2013

Wanted: The 25th Hour

I have hinted some on the Facebook Page about my challenges of late, but I suppose it's time to come clean. It's not a big deal really, it's just I haven't been able to keep up as much as I would like to. Sadly I know that's evident from the lack of posts on the blog, the lack of traffic to the site and so many other indicators.

It all started when I returned from our family vacation in August. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. I suppose one can argue that I haven't done much for mom but she is alone, so as her only local child I have helped. I'm honest with myself and others though so I can say, that like I always do, I have simply avoided things. My home. My marriage. My work. My family. Friends. The blog. Whatever it was, it seemed it was a challenge to focus. You see, I find that when I am stressed, I withdraw.

Her illness has made me stop to consider why I am doing some things and not others. Perhaps in an odd way, it's even helped me to focus. Maybe not right away, but in a round about way.

It seems though that one of the biggest things I have been focusing on, is my children. In my effort to make their lives as normal as possible I have neglected myself and many other things.  Throwing myself into running the kids from activity to activity has given me some power over what I can accomplish. Her illness has helped me to decide which activities were more important than others. Which ones I feel a longing for. And ultimately her illness has helped me to say "no" a little more often.

I am a volunteer. I almost always say "yes" when someone asks for help. I thrive when someone needs me. All of this running though has tired me out. I feel exhausted all of the time. I fell like I have gotten very little done. It's like being in a rock and a hard place - I WANT my children to have as much as I can give, but I simply can't do all they want.

I have some great friends, family and a husband. They do help. Basically though I need to step back and reassess what's important. Why am I doing this or that? Does it help someone? Does it feed me in any way?

I rarely do for myself, but in some selfish ways I need to now even when my mom and the kids need me more. I need to keep myself physically and mentally strong for everyone, especially myself.

The blog was started as a way to learn more about social media, to help me gain experience for my clients, to gain some notoriety and to perhaps get hired by clients. It gave me all of those things and more. I have a great employer for part of the week and a little freedom the rest of the week to help others. That time gets sucked up very quickly though in helping at the kids school, being a scouter mom and leader for both Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, being a soccer mom, coaching at the Science Olympiad, helping with the school play, playing taxi or doing general mom things. Whatever it is, it doesn't leave a lot of time. And the blog is suffering some.

Again I am not complaining. I do love to give of myself and do so freely.

The blog was never meant to be a money maker. I don't have many paid ads, affiliate links or similar posts that detract from offering my readers good, clean family fun and free events. I simply like being helpful. It feeds me to be able to share. Doing so however does take a considerable amount of time. So if you see a few fewer posts, know that I am thinking about you, I just can't find a way to fit it all in. I likely am guilt ridden that I haven't posted, but I do have a few ideas for fun family activities in Ann Arbor. I'm still here, just feeling a bit thinned out right now.

Have patience though, I'm still here. And if you feel the need, visit some of the other helpful blogs in the area. We are all great resources. It seems to be a bit easier to share content to Facebook too, instead of uniquely written content, so make sure to like the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page. When mom is going through her heavy chemo in the months ahead, I will likely have many hours sitting in the hospital doing not much of anything. I expect then that writing will take more of a priority.

Wishing you all a blessed and happy holiday season, no matter which holiday you celebrate.

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