Last week our little family went out on a few errands. We took a box of books to the bookstore to sell and they purchased everything I brought except the Christian books. So I called the Christian bookstore that buys books to make sure they were accepting books that day. They were so we drove the short distance and realized when we arrived that they had totally changed their store since we were last there. When we went inside I thought that it must be a relatively new remodel since everything looked so nice. So we asked.
It had been five years.
Five years, people.
This sums up my life so completely in so many ways.
Seven years ago we moved to Cute Little Town and in the eighteen months that followed, our life turned upside down. I have never felt like I have been able to get a grip on life since then. I get glimpses and brief stretches where I feel like things are on a more even keel and then it all goes.
And then I turned fifty last year. And my little girl, the baby I asked God for for nine years, turned ten. And now eleven.
And life feels like it is racing by more quickly than I can grasp it.
When we were at the Christian bookstore, it brought back a flood of emotions and memories. Memories of attending Christian writers conferences. Memories of submitting articles to magazines and seeing them published. Memories of one-on-one meetings with real national editors who told me I have a gift and I need to use it rather than spending it on busy work that other people can do.
And I ask myself – where did all that go?
Why did God allow my life to be so
derailed moved in other directions?
Did I abandon the dream? Did God move me in other directions?
Right now I can’t even tell you with certainty which it is. I just looked around the bookstore and wondered what I was doing with my life. Wondering if I have lost my way or if I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
Maybe it is the online company I keep or maybe it is that I instinctively look for people like myself online. But I’m not the only one in the midst of feeling like there has to be more to this writing life than this rat race that has become The Business of Blogging.
Like Alison wrote last week in her post Existential Crisis and then Feeling for Change, I want to write. And read. Oh, I so understand. The Business of Blogging can be mind-numbing and soul sucking. It truly can be when we allow others to dictate the directions we take.
And yet The Business of Blogging is necessary for my life.
Like Sue wrote in her decision to take an extended break and live real life in Hitting the Pause Button, sometimes we need downtime which is why I haven’t blogged much the past few weeks. I was allowing myself to do other things.
Since quitting Facebook last month, my life has taken on a different flow. My mindset has changed. My interactions with my family have changed. My homemaking has changed. I know some of you reading these constant references to quitting Facebook must think I’m crazy to discuss it so much, but it really did have that much of an impact on me.
Facebook creates this false sense of urgency all the time.
All. The. Time.
This false sense of urgency about everything. Causes. Work. Blogging. Friendships. Politics. Being informed. Cultural trends. Remaining competitive. Health problems. The state of the Church. Not missing out. All of it.
Today David mentioned something that happened in the political realm that was a continuation of something else and I had no idea what he was talking about.
And I was glad.
I was oblivious. And I’m fine with that.
We were not designed to know everything happening in every part of the country (let alone the world) every day. We truly are not.
We are not designed to carry the weight of the world and all our friends day in and day out.
(As an aside, I’ve lost at least five pounds since leaving Facebook. I attribute it to more and better sleep and less stress spikes from being on Facebook.)
I started the year with my Getting Rid of 1000 Things challenge and it’s not going to be difficult. I keep disposing of thing in an effort to focus my life. Getting rid of things to remove distractions so I can hopefully hear why God has put this restlessness in me and what He’s trying to move me toward. I’ve been through this enough times in my life to recognize that something is afoot. These overwhelming periods of restlessness are usually an indication that change is coming.
(I’ll be honest. I’m really praying for positive change and not hardship change. Sometimes I am tempted to regret praying over twenty-five years ago that God would make me a patient person. Truly.)
But I’m excited about projects I’m working on. The biggest challenge is knowing what to do first because I want to do all the exciting things right now. LOL!
I’m working on my blogging to do list for the summer. I’m refreshed and excited. Yes, I’ve even managed to become excited about The Business of Blogging again because I was able to step back and make decisions for myself. Like Alison said in her post:
Today I am going to sit with pen and notebook in hand and try to visualise what I need the site to be in order to feel authentic again. In order to be just profitable enough. In order to revert back to the sanctuary it used to be before it seemed to need a village to run it. I am going to look at all the marketing I am currently drowning in and see if there is a better way to reach those I want to talk to. Those who would consider themselves blessed by a life less ordinary. To evaluate the services I currently offer and re-think them to be better for all of us.
I feel very much the same way. There is so much I want to do here for my readers. So many ideas I have for helping people. I want those decisions to be driven by what is authentic and not what blogging gurus are peddling.
So I’m freshly embracing my cozy life of freedom. And I’m thankful for it.