I Love Your Blog

I almost quit blogging this fall.  There’s not one simple reason, but many, which, at times, I can’t make sense of myself.   For one thing, I knew that after I relocated back in August, I’d face an enormous shift in how I’d need to use my energy and time.

View From 9th Street

I’d need to create space to explore my new territory, its people, and its opportunities, endeavors that I realized would be impossible to accomplish while spending the same amount of time in front of my laptop. There is also a lot that’s gone on and that continues to go on that I can’t blog about.  It’s hard for me to sit on my hands and *not* tell you guys stuff.  I get personal here. Yet, I’ve learned the “hard way” and more than once, that there is a fine line between getting personal and oversharing, especially oversharing in a way that affects others around me.  Kiran echoed my thoughts precisely, when in her most recent post, she said, “Sometimes, writing with boundaries is so hard to do that I just opt not to write at all.”

Ultimately, I decided not to quit but to slow down. I resolved to give up any expectations that I’d keep a regular blogging schedule and instead write when I felt like it.  I’ve also slowed down on my reading.  There are many of you who may have been used to my visiting your blog every time you published, and now, maybe I make an appearance once a week?  If that?  It feels awkward for me to not be there for you as much as I used to be.  But it’s a necessary change, at least for now.

Much of my blog reading has occurred in stolen moments, over coffee when I first wake up, while preparing dinner, waiting for the afternoon school bus.

This morning, during one of those small windows of time, I caught Elaine’s Old School Blogging post in which I was featured.

Her description of me made me a little teary.  I mean, really, people, how does your heart not break open in two when a gal like Elaine says such lovely things about you?

It also reminded me why I opted to jump into the blogging world to begin with.   Maybe I can’t do it as often, or as articulately as I used to, but reading about my blog through someone’s else’s eyes reaffirmed my mission.

Elaine, thanks for reminding me why I’m in this space.  And thank you for giving me a great reason to spread some of the good stuff that I’ve been reading the past few weeks.

In staying with the Old School Blogging theme, I’m going to talk about five blogs that I love.  First, I have to say that my original list for this post had more than 20 blogs on it that I wanted to feature.  To make the choice of five easy, I’ve narrowed it down to five which have published posts in the past few weeks that have made me scream, “Hell yes!” while reading them.

1)       Kirsten at Auer Life is boss in my book.  She and her family relocated to Canada several years ago with only a few boxes of personal belongings and started over.  She recently left her day job and started her own business.  Right there, she’s two for two on being a woman after my own heart.   Here is her awesome take on parenting.  This post says everything I need to know on being a good mom.

2)      The amazingly talented Michelle at Callias Corner fell off the grid for a while, and I could not have been happier when I got an email notification that she published a new post.  As someone who spends considerable time on social media, I face a lot of noise, and this post says it all on why it’s important to reduce the noise, or at the least, not let the noise impact us in negative ways.

3)      Speaking of noise, was your Facebook feed one big snark fest the past few weeks thanks to what’s going on with our Federal government? Hey, I’m not here to make a political commentary, but I will say that if I saw you snarking about politics, there’s a good chance I deleted your posts from my feed.  There’s a good chance if you snark about anything at all, I’ve already deleted you from my feed.  Thankfully, beyond all of the snide comments, there was Andrea, over at Be Quoted, who instead of snarking, gave a well-informed, articulate break down on what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  She gave facts and numbers that helped me understand the act better, devoid of any snark, and in the poised and intelligent manner that I’ve come to expect from this exceptional young woman.

4)      You all know how I feel about meditation.  I can’t stay sane without it.  My girl Maribel at Food 4 Thought NYC breaks down step by step how the body reacts to stressors and how meditation can help combat your body’s reactions to them.  One of the eye opening facts in her post:  The body cannot discriminate between “big” stressors or “little” stressors, and basically, you have the same biochemical reactions to both.  That’s life altering knowledge as far as I’m concerned.

5)      Nicole at Work in Sweats Mama put out a huge dose of inspiration earlier this week with Less is More: A Manifesto, which to me, was a girl power powwow about feeling beautiful from the inside out. For Nicole, she’s experienced this through running.  I have also experienced this through running. If you don’t run, this post will inspire you to go find something that will make you feel just as kick ass as training for a marathon.  Don’t miss it.

So there you have it.  I love these blogs – and many more for that matter.  And I love this space, even if I’m not in it quite as much as I used to be.  There’s a quote I borrowed from Justine when my blog turned a year old back in February, that’s worth repeating:  “Without all of you, the spoken and unspoken witnesses, the words are just electrons.  You are the ones who make the words live…”

So thank you for helping to make my words live.  It means the world to me.

xo

 


Comments

I Love Your Blog — 86 Comments

  1. I’m absolutely speechless and floored – you picked me as one of your favourites!
    Thanks so much Ilene, I’m so glad we connected. You know I love you and your blog and I’m so excited about your new journey.
    I’m glad you decided to stay with blogging – we don’t always have to make huge changes (of course sometimes we do) – there are times when slowing down a bit is good enough.
    Much love to you, my friend! xoxo
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted…Fancy FriendshipMy Profile

    • You are so sweet to say that. I love that many of us have that unique take on life and I love learning from you and everyone else I read, by reading about life through your lens. It’s a gift to read and it’s a gift to have others read mine. I’m glad I’m still here.

  2. I love this. I’m glad that you’re not quitting. Your voice needs to be out there but I totally get it and I think I’m in the same boat. I thought about quitting. And while I haven’t, I’ve definitely scaled back on how much I’m out there on social media and commenting. I still try to read but I find that I don’t always comment now. I’ve become a lurker. Keep writing please even if it’s once in a while. That would make me happy.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: MomentsMy Profile

    • I’m glad you’re still here too. I can see why a lot of people step away around that 2 year mark. It’s a milestone for many reasons. And I’ve become a lurker too! I totally get that!

  3. While I don’t get to read blogs as often as I like (or should), I was just thinking about you and your blog this morning wondering if you posted recently and I missed it. I can understand the pressure of writing and then the other pressure of not writing (when you may want to and really can’t) but I’m glad that you have not entirely withdrawn from this space. I’ve just gotten to know you and I’d be sad if you were absent.

    Sending strength to you for whatever you may be tackling right now but know you have support (even if it may be virtual).

    Whenever you publish, it would be welcomed reading for me.
    Melissa Burton recently posted…The Fitness Classes of FitSocial + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Melissa, you are so kind my friend. So very kind. I’ve taken the pressure off myself and it feels better. I think if I can stick around for the passion I have for this versus the “have to,” it’s better for everyone – my readers and myself. Thanks for the support. Hugs my friend!

  4. Hooray for having the courage to slow down! I think we can get addicted to the comments, to making the rounds, to the twitter conversations, etc., and wonder if we’ll drop off everyone’s radar faster than a kid can sneak a cookie before dinner if we do step back.
    Glad you are making a life in your new home, and prayers your way for everything to work out! xo
    Kim recently posted…The Myth of Talent: How a mistaken belief is holding you backMy Profile

  5. Ilene, I’m so glad you’re not quitting. Even if you only write once a month, it will be worth the wait and I’ll read your post as soon as it pops up! Your writing is AMAZING, but it’s more than that. It’s you! You’re AMAZING! And thanks for the shout-out! I’m so glad my post resonated with you and appreciate the love!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Friday Favorites: Running EditionMy Profile

    • Your post was pure inspiration. It was one of those posts that I could have wall papered my room with – and I don’t even think that’s the first time I’ve said that to you! Thanks for being part of my posse in this world. People like you make it hard to want to leave.

  6. I’m so glad you didn’t quit blogging! I would have missed your voice so much. I’m an oversharer myself of epic proportions. There is, and if you ask in your FB feed, you should be able to find it from a friend, a way to turn all political posts into pictures of kittens if you use Chrome. I’m not sure how you would block snark. I can be a hugely grumbly bitch myself, which is entirely different. My innate cynicism makes me question everything and in my most skeptical voice.
    Jester Queen recently posted…Letting GoMy Profile

    • I love your innate cynicism! Please never stop with that! So long as you don’t get snarky about politics, we’re good! Now I have to go find how I can get those kittens in my feed…

  7. I’m so glad you’re staying and continuing to share your gift with us! I understand how it can be overwhelming and frustrating and I commend you for taking it down a notch and making it work for you. I love so many of the blogs you mentioned – especially Be Quoted and my girl Nicole who works in her sweats mama!!
    Allie recently posted…The Mother of All Books – ReviewedMy Profile

    • Thanks, Allie. I love this space. I just need to renovate a little bit – and become more of a minimalist – kind of hard for me but doable! And seriously, I had about 20 blogs on my list the morning I write this. so hard to whittle it down to 5. So. Hard.

  8. Glad you didn’t quit – but totally get it! One of the reasons I have avoided social media was/is the time suck. I want to write when I feel like it bcs I want to write. I may not get the followers, or the commenters but I get my writing. It’s a balance. Same thing with commenting – i read more than I comment in stolen moments. It’s one big constant balance – that is different for all. But I love your blog and I’m glad you are still around however much you can manage:)

    • It’s such a toggle. To read and to comment out of love versus a “have to.” But doing it out of love feels much better, even if that means less.

    • So glad I didn’t quit either. It’s tough to get to all of the blogs we love – especially the longer I’m in this and meet so many fascinating new people all the time. A scale back was needed. But not a complete stoppage.

  9. I feel like a giddy school girl. When I saw your tweet I thought “Please let me be in her top 5.” LOL, I’m such a dork, but you really just made my Friday. It’s been a rough go and my husband is about to be furloughed due to this damn shut down, so this really made my day!
    Michelle recently posted…Reduce the Noise { #Iheartfaces }My Profile

    • Ugh. I am so sorry for your husband and your family about the furlough. That just stinks. I am glad I could bring a little bit of light to a tough day with my post. You are one of those gems in my blog world that I met in the most random way possible – over a green smoothie challenge of all things! And as you know, I have just loved watching you nurture your talent and grow your business and grow your beautiful soul along with it. xo

  10. I love your blog and your words and I am so glad that you decided not to quit. I will be here to read whenever you post. Slowing down is good and necessary sometimes.
    I love all the bloggy love – those people that we seem to know, even though we may have never met.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted…Never Did I EverMy Profile

    • I love the bloggy love too! In a way it’s like a virtual family. I’ve lived the ins and outs of life with many of these gals for almost two years. I’d be sad to leave that. I’m glad I’ve found the compromise I need to make this work.

  11. It’s definitely a challenge sometimes to keep up with blogging (and reading all those wonderful blogs out there!) You have gone through a huge shift in your life, and it’s quite understandable that you aren’t writing as much. It’s definitely a tricky balance between sharing your life and not oversharing. We’ll be here for you when you do post!
    Bev recently posted…Five things I pledge to do in the next weekMy Profile

    • Thanks, Bev. I guess there is no one size fits all for blogging. And changing the way I do this won’t take me out of this world entirely. But it will give me some breathing room – and allow me to keep what I absolutely love about it. It’s a win.

    • Nicole and Andrea rock – as do the others – as do all of you! I had to do a wicked game of eenie meenie miney mo to get this down the 5! And thank you for your kind words. I’m glad I’m sticking around.

  12. I feel like I have seen this sentiment shared among several bloggers lately. Many of us who started blogging around the same time have started thinking about hanging it up. Me included. There is this pressure to post, post, post. I think your outlook and strategy is healthy. Hope you are well, and I’ll look forward to following your posts. I read them all – sometimes I just don’t have time to comment. 😉
    Kerry recently posted…The Classic White Shirt: A Wardrobe Staple in Any Working Girl’s ClosetMy Profile

    • Kerry, I too have become a “lurker” as Christine put it! I devour the posts but don’t always have the time to comment or am about to and get distracted. I think there is what I’m going to call “the two year itch” in blogging. I’m about 20 months in right now. This is not my first “existential blogging crisis” and definitely not the last, but I’ve asked myself a lot of “why’s” and in the end, like you said, I’ll stick with it, but by my rules and not someone else’s. Let’s hear it for dodging the pressure!

  13. Wonderful things can happen from listening to your mind/body and putting priority where it’s due. That said, if I hadn’t development a friendship with you off-blogging, I’d be more disappointed! I’m so selfish that I want all my favorites to write and visit all the time! So bad! Anyway, hugs to you. Your posts will always be welcome in my blog reader. I’ll leave the light on!
    Tamara recently posted…Celebrating The Little Things In Life.My Profile

    • You’re not selfish. You’re a friend who would have missed me. And that’s honest and sweet and real. And I feel lucky in the sense with you that if I hung up this URL tomorrow, we’d still go on. And even if I got tired of blogging, I still very much owe this beautiful friendship to it.

  14. I’m glad you decided to stay, Ilene. I haven’t been thinking about quitting, but I have been thinking about cutting back from posting – just from 3 to 2 days, but that makes a difference. The candle is lit at both ends and I don’t want it to burn out. Thanks for making me feel that it’s okay to do that.
    Dana recently posted…A Deranged Ask Away FridayMy Profile

    • The cut back from 3 posts to 2 makes a huge difference! I was at 2 for a while and it felt much more relaxed. And it’s totally OK. So much better to change the pace than to burn out. I’d hate to see you do that!

  15. GAH!!! I’m *so* glad you decided to just slow down and not quit! That would have broken my heart!! It does take so much time and energy to get acquainted with a new place and get in a rhythm. You’ve got to be out in the world and meeting people and finding your way. It doesn’t mesh well with spending hours at the computer.
    I know what you mean about sharing vs oversharing. Absolutely.

    Just know we love you, Ilene…write once a week… or once a month…or whenever…we will be here just waiting to hear from you. –Lisa

    • Sharing versus over sharing is so hard! I want to tell you guys everything! And thanks for your support sweet friend. It means the world to me. xo

  16. I’m glad you didn’t quit, selfishly because I love reading your words, and for you because with so much change I would hope blogging would provide a “constant” for you. I hope you are able to get from your writing what you give to others and that is comfort and laughter at whatever pace is reasonable for you now. Just don’t go to my pace…that would be ridiculous. :-)
    Stephanie recently posted…The Pumpkin Hater’s Pumpkin SoupMy Profile

    • You know Steph, you definitely have a point about blogging being a constant for me. When I do get to write on my blog, it feels like I’m going back to an old friend. There’s a lot of comfort for me here. And a lot of people who are important to me. Balancing old. Balancing new. It’s ever changing.

    • Scaling back was necessary – and perhaps what will keep me here for the long haul. Slow and steady. And yes, you have no idea how much your words meant to me. xo

    • And I love keeping up with you too. All of the amazing women I’ve found in this space are definitely one of the reasons why I can’t walk away. You included.

  17. I’ve been cutting back on blogging a lot and I don’t get nearly enough time to read my favorites anymore. But we still try and you have highlighted why even being in this space a little bit is still worth it. XOXO
    Denise recently posted…Trying Paleo AgainMy Profile

    • I’m cool with being an occasional blogger. I think this will ebb and flow for me a lot in the next few months. But both are OK. And I’m glad you’re still around too – even if if it’s less often.

  18. Like you, I’ve been a less frequent traveler here these days. But to know that we can come back when we need to, and that the community is here … that’s a priceless gift. And reading your blog through someone else’s eyes? Hearing my words through your voice? Gave me chills. I hope you can realize just how much you mean to all of us, too, through the words we’ve adapted from you.
    Justine recently posted…Seduction, and Roasted Sweet Potato, Squash, and Pear SoupMy Profile

    • Your comment left me speechless. But that’s not unusual for you. Your words always get to me. And I am so grateful you are part of that community I can come back to.

  19. I love reading all of these precious comments filled with total loyalty, love and support!! You deserve that. It’s your light, my friend. Your light. Keep sharing it, when you can- only when you can. YOU, my friend are a gift to many. XOXOXO
    Chris Carter recently posted…Moms On The InternetMy Profile

    • I love your posts. Even more so now that I had the pleasure of putting a face to a name at BlogHer. You rock it every time, lady – in that “hell yes” kind of way!

  20. Oh, I am so, so happy you remembered why you started this. Because your writing is beautiful and I wouldn’t like to see you stop. Keep it true, keep it authentic, keep it you and if you have to slow down it will still be powerful. Sometimes those who talk the least are the ones that have the most to say. xo
    Allison recently posted…New Around Here?My Profile

    • Every time I remind myself why I started this, I want to stay. I loved Michelle’s post about reducing the noise, because when I can do that, I always remember why I’m here. And I love what you say about sometimes those who talk the least are the ones who have the most to say. Just love.

  21. Life has ebbs and flows and if we work against it we’ll be unhappy.It’s best when you work with it and if that means not posting as much then I say good for you. I’ll still be here when you post. I’m not going anywhere as long as you aren’t.

    I loved Andrea’s post! It was so helpful (especially for someone who doesn’t really follow the news like me).

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Carla recently posted…Real Into Reads No. 29: The Blogging EditionMy Profile

    • It’s so true – that when we go against that flow, it’s such a struggle. And Andrea’s post was so informative. It cut through a lot of fat and presented us with the facts. She’s good at that!

  22. You are beautiful. I am snarky at times, and therefore am probably removed from your feeds. I love you anyway.

    Having taken four kids and suitcases to South America, and doing it in reverse two years later (quite unexpectedly, with less than 48 hours notice) I can say this with authority: The spaces are filled in quickly with whatever is supposed to be there. It helped me not worry about losing ‘things’. Not to be mistaken with my love of things going away. I still fill my spaces with things I find uplifting and wonderful. But if I had to walk out of my house tomorrow with just my purse, I would be totally fine about it. There are more things out there to be found. It’s a powerful knowledge to carry as we go through this life.

    I wish you could share everything with us, but I understand about the line. I do the same thing, very often, as Kiran. I just don’t write because it feels so inauthentic to sort of half-share things.
    tammigirl recently posted…Wadsworth Blue-Sky Drive In MoviesMy Profile

    • I love the comments you leave me – every time – but this may be one of my favorites ever for many reasons. You are so wise. And grounded. My spaces are filled right now – but you are so spot on in that if those spaces were to go away tomorrow, blogging, other things I’m invested in, I could walk away with my purse and be OK. If that doesn’t put everything in perspective!

    • I think it feel weird at first, right? And then we get used to the new pace. And it becomes the new pace that we’re used to. I’m glad you’re still here, though Tricia. I think slow and steady are necessary at time and a much better alternative to burn out!

  23. Glad you opted to stick around. I enjoy reading your blog. You actually echoed my exact sentiment in posting when you feel like, reading and commenting less frequently. I’ll be here looking forward to reading when you decide to post. I’m off to check out some of the posts you mentioned.
    Hope recently posted…Blogging Awards…fun or foeMy Profile

    • Thank you Hope. I think I sometimes forget this can be on my terms – and should be on my terms – especially having the freedom of being a non-monetized blog. That way, it’s still in the “passion” category versus the “have to” and that makes all the difference.

  24. Oh boy, do I know what you’re going through. I’ve had this on and off again relationship with my blog that leaves me feeling nostalgic for the days when it was so easy to just sit and write. I’ve also been thinking deeply about your point of oversharing. I keep saying I want to take this blogging thing to the next level (whatever or wherever that is) but I’m also very aware of the image of myself that I’m putting out there. You have to question yourself when you find that you’re writing about fear, AGAIN, and whether or not it’s worth it to put that out there for people to read.
    Ilene, your blog and your writing is always a source of inspiration to me not only because of your talent, but because you pull out these emotions that I don’t dare express out of those same fears and insecurities I write about so often. You question yourself openly, and in turn, you inspire me to question myself. I’m glad to see that you’re sticking around and I hope to continue seeing your updates in my feed. Thanks for sharing my meditation post, but mostly thanks for being a part of my blog world. Do what you need to do to get yourself where you want to be, and the rest of us will be here cheering you along. :-)

  25. I am so very happy we are a part of each other’s world. You teach me and open my eyes to so much, and I am glad I have done the same for you. It’s part of why I stick around – that “hell yes” I feel when I’m reading a post that speaks to my heart or teaches me something I didn’t know. You’re such a special young woman. Keep at it. Keep at it all. xo

  26. After blogging for almost a year now, I totally understand the adjustment. I think we can be hard on ourselves initially when having to make a change but it’s so necessary depending on what’s going on in life. I think when people come out and say, Hey I’m taking a break or scaling back as opposed to just disappearing, everyone is understandable. These are true bonds and I for one get worried when a blogger just disappears without a word about what’s going on.
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…Doctors Who Listen: A Triple Negative Ductal Carcinoma StoryMy Profile

    • I agree. When someone who I’ve been reading on a regular basis disappears, I get worried! And the scaling back feels right…for now. I am lucky that blogging is one of those things I can go back to and step back from as needed. There aren’t many things in life where we have that kind of flexibility.

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