Monday, November 4, 2013

Facebook Stole Me Away From Blogging

I haven't blogged in a really, really long time.  And, I guess it comes down to this.  Facebook stole me away.  After all on Facebook I can post quick snippets of life & get quick...sometimes from people I know.  It became a way to stay connected when I felt completely isolated in my often mundane, repetitive mommy life.

I began blogging as an outlet too.  I've always enjoyed writing and I discovered that blogging was like journaling, yet with interaction with those who read what I had to say.  But blogging also took time & thought...and I didn't always get the validation I was looking for.

Ah!  There.  Can I say it?  I'm a validation addict.  And, facebook offered me that.  So, I slowly wrote less & less on my blog & more and more on my facebook page.

And, THEN I discovered something else!  I discovered yard sale groups on  Facebook.  Now this alone didn't suck me  in.  I really had no need or use for baby clothes, toys, CD's, and other odds & ends that  would  pop up on those groups for sale.  BUT, I love furniture & vintage items.  And, I discovered that I could create a group.  And I did.

Almost a year and a half ago I started a local group on Facebook for buying & selling furniture, vintage, & household (decor) items.  I thought I'd be lucky if I'd reach 50 members on that group.  After all I'd been blogging for almost 3 years and had right around 60 followers.  But, the group exploded. And, now we have over 3800 members!

So my time became consumed by this group.  As an administrator of it, I've been handling issues that arise.  I've been going to auctions & buying and then re-selling on the group....not enough to have a full-fledged business, but enough to give our family a little extra spending money.  And, we've (the group now has a team of administrators) even organized two LARGE vintage sales in our area.  The last one just took place this weekend.  And, we were able to raise money for a local ministry that means a lot to me.

And, I'm saying all this not to toot my own horn.  But, to explain where I've been and what I've been doing.  And, do you know what I realized this weekend once the vintage sale was over & I could finally sit down for a minute & think and breathe?  All of the busy-ness I had thrown myself into with the group, with the sale, everything...despite any other reasons I might give...came down to one thing, one motivation.  A need for validation.

I realized that I'd thrown myself into all this feeling like I had  something to prove.  Feeling like I needed to be more than "just" a stay at home mom.  You see I have a lot of friends who work full-time.  They travel.  They have meetings.  They have responsibilities outside the home.  And, they still have the responsibility of their home and their families.  And, I felt like I wasn't enough.  I felt like I needed to show that  I could do something important too.

And, each time we reached a milestone with group members, each time I planned an event, each time I made a little more money for our family, deep inside I thought this gave me some importance beyond my family responsibilities.  I felt like I did something that mattered. Like I mattered.

But, when some of my closest friends didn't come to the  sale on Saturday.  When they weren't there to see what I had worked so hard on.  When, I realized that they would still just think of the furniture & vintage group as a 'hobby' because they didn't SEE what I had pulled off.....well that's when it really hit me what  my motivation had been.

And, that realization kinda sucked.

On top of  this, my oldest son had  been struggling for about 3 weeks leading up to the sale.  He didn't want to go to school.  Every morning became a fight.  He  cried.  He moaned.  He whined.  And, he was obviously stressed & upset.  We talked  to him many, many times.  We couldn't figure out what was upsetting him so much.  He said nobody was  giving him a hard time at school.  He  liked his teachers.  He was doing very well in his classes.  All he could tell us is that school was boring & pointless & he didn't like spending  his entire day there.  But, the behaviors we were seeing in him didn't match this problem.  Lots of kids would  rather not be at school and think it's boring.  But, he was becoming borderline hysterical about not wanting to go.

One morning we reached the breaking point.  He hid when the bus came & refused to get on.  The bus left with his brothers & I had to drive him to school.  Once we reached school I walked him inside but he refused to go into his classroom.  We eventually needed the help of the principal to keep him there and the principal pretty much had to block his office door so my son couldn't follow me when I left.

I was so upset that morning.  What was going on with my boy?  Why was he acting like this?  I tried to think of what had changed over the  last few  weeks to trigger this in him.  The thought that I'd been pretty busy planning the vintage sale came  to mind.  But, THAT couldn't be it, could  it?  But when my mother-in-law said something similar to me that day....that she  knew how important the sale  was to me, but that maybe  my son was picking up on my stress & was feeling like he needed more of me...I knew that was it.

I talked to my son that night...calmly.  And, finally I started to understand.  He did need me.  He felt like both John & I had been so busy that there wasn't time to do things together as a family.  He always felt rushed.  He wanted time with us.

So, I reached another conclusion.  That my children, my family needs me.  And, that IS important.  As a matter of fact, apart from my relationship with God, my husband and my children are THE most important things  to me.

So, where am I going with all this?  Well, my dear friend Callie made a suggestion to me a couple months back.  She suggested I return to blogging instead of (and she made a gestures to indicate the meaning) spewing things out on Facebook. So here I am.  I'm at a point where I need to re-evaluate a lot of things.  My motivations.  What is important to me.  And, where my value really comes from.

Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts.  So here I am.  Again.

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