October 25, 2013

Getting Real : Doing Less and Doing it Better


My boys have pretty sloppy handwriting, and I recently started saying, "Let's write less, but make everything that we write beautiful to look at."  Certainly, lovely handwriting hasn't manifested itself in all areas of their lives, but when they are promised less writing in exchange for beautiful writing, I usually get work of a higher caliber than when we sit down with the expectation of writing an entire page of words.

That idea of doing less and doing it better kind of sunk into my brain.  You can only tell your kids something so many times before you have to start telling yourself the same thing.  There's so much in my life that I could apply that to.  The idea grew into If I say no to the things I don't really want to do or don't really have time for, I'll have time to do what I do love and do it better!  

All of this came to me during a time when I was considering adding advertisements to my blog, which means looking at stats, which means really thinking about why I'm blogging.  For a moment I was lured to the dark side of blogging, where bloggers obsess about numbers, spend hours tweaking this and that, networking and competing.  Yuck.  What I realized when I joined the blog networks of the uber successful bloggers is that their numbers don't always represent readers.  They represent other bloggers in their network checking in when asked to boost them over some arbitrary threshold so that advertisers see a number that they like.  Again, not what I'm in this for.  

So just as I started to feel the pressure to post daily, to make Pinterest friendly images for every post, to schedule posts in advance rather than write about what I love in that moment, I realized that I could say no to all of that blogger insanity.  Does that mean saying no to a bigger blogging pay check?  Yeah, probably.  But I'm fortunate enough to be allowed to choose motherhood as my career at the moment.  I don't have to sacrifice that for career blogging.  Just because something could be someone's job doesn't mean that I can't do it just because I enjoy it.  And let me tell you, the more time I spent on this blog trying to make it what other people wanted it to be, the less I loved it.

I don't want to miss moments like these!
So the blog front is one area that I've decided to do less of what I don't love and do the blogging that I do love better (and only accept advertisers who are cool with that.  I've heard they exist).  I'm not going to spend hours as a slave to social media because I really don't enjoy it.  And I'm never going to say no to riding bikes or taking a walk so that I can type.  Nope!  It means I've turned down guest blogging offers several times this month because honestly, I just don't have time to lesson plan and cook great food and snuggle AND blog for someone else's blog these days.  Even if it would promise some numbers and somce cash in return.

I've also said no to real life, off the screen things.  We've bowed out of a couple of clubs, and done higher quality work for the clubs we are still in.  We've crammed less into each day, and savored each day a little more.  We're spending longer stretches on subjects, wallowing in them and wearing them out before we move on.  This means that we're about 2 weeks behind schedule in history, but it also means that we've fallen in love with Greek theater and know the characters in the ancient myths like we know our neighbors.  It means that we've been to the river more, that we've stayed longer, and that we've explored the heck out of the marshy land around it.  It means I'm taking a break from a weekly meeting that I've attended for years because my Sunday nights felt hurried and rushed.  I've set a return date because I do love that group, but every now and then, we need to slow down and just be where we are.  

It's been so good.  But it has meant a little discomfort of saying, "You know, I just can't commit to that right now, but thanks for thinking of me!"  I told a woman that I adore that I wouldn't guest blog for her.  I told a mom that I love that we just weren't going to be making time for her club anymore.  I also told my type-A inner schoolmarm that we weren't going to be striking quite as many things off of her checklist anymore.  She was mad and rapped my knuckles with her ruler, but she's recovered.  I think I even saw her let her hair down and smile a little during our extremely long study of Romulus and Remus yesterday, so she's getting used to things.  And honestly, my type-A inner schoolmarm is the hardest person to say no to.  

My house is cleaner, my anxieties are quieted, and my mind is clearer with fewer things on my plate.  It feels so good.  And it's what I want my kids to see is possible.  I want to do less and enjoy what I do and I want them to grow up knowing that you actually can say no thank you to activities that don't serve your spirit.  

3 comments:

  1. I agree with everything in your post! I have started to say no a lot more lately, mostly to preserve my sanity. My daughter and I have had so much fun this year, and are really enjoying the time we spend together. I keep reminding myself...simplify, simplify, simplify. :) I love your blog, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray for simplifying! What sorts of things are you and your daughter doing with your new free time? My daughter is not loving doing less, but my boys are so happy to be home more.

      Delete
  2. Good for you, Skyla :-) We all have a different journey and no path is better than another. I'll always love your blog for whatever it is, because I'm inspired by YOU. xx

    ReplyDelete

Hit me with some comments!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© At Home with Momma Skyla. Powered by