The fruits of disciplined blogging

The increase in my productivity has been nothing short of staggering during my self imposed, month long blog-fast. I’ve been more productive this past month, than I have been in the previous 12 months. I’ve finished projects I was working on, begun projects I procrastinated about starting for months beforehand, and it has all been a totally unexpected bonus.

The day I left the blog behind I had very strong withdrawal symptoms before even the first few hours had past. But I made the decision to quit for a month and I’m the kind of person who having made up my mind about something, will endeavour to see it through to the end, no matter what.

When I began my blog break I was at a point when I could easily have deleted the whole blog because I loathed my obsession with it and rather than finding it an enjoyable experience, had come to resent how much life it seemed to suck out of me.

I really expected the whole month to pass in some kind of haze….I expected the cravings would never subside because I felt them so severely, but pass they did, and before I knew it I was actually enjoying housework (yikes! that IS frightening) and discovering a great many plans that I had overlooked and ideas that I had neglected to develop. Now I had found time for them!

It was clear to me that I had allowed my blogging to become a very unhealthy part of my life, or rather, my addiction to it was unhealthy. Y’see, I have an addictive personality. I have a really tough time exercising temperance and moderation. It stems from early in my childhood and has never since been resolved.

I’m not a therapy junkie and I haven’t the slightest interest in joining a ‘care and share’ group. I like to deal with things in my own way. Even if it has taken nearly 40 years to acknowledge that I have dependency issues and to connect the dots to see that they impact certain areas of my life that I had hitherto thought unconnected, and therefore, unresolveable.

When I realised that I had an addiction of the cyber variety, what could I do?

Total fasting from addictive matter has always proved the best way for me to deal with my addictions, but could I apply that in this particular instance? I managed total abstinance from smoking, I managed it with alcohol (though I was never a serious drinker). I’d like to be able to say it worked with food, but the thing about food is that while we can live without booze and cigarettes, we still have to eat…so the eating fast isn’t practical for someone like me (nor is it sensible, unless it is a prayer fast and not done from a purely selfish and twisted motive).Was blogging similar? Could I have a little of it, or would I binge once I got the merest taste of it?

To cut a long story shorter than it would have otherwise been…absolute fasting from cyberspace was the best thing for me to do at that point (apart from responding to a few comments and emails which would have been discourteous to ignore). And I have to say, that doing so has significantly improved not only my productivity, but also my family life and my spiritual life too.

Every morning but one (when I had to scan documents for my daughter before school one morning) I have come downstairs while the kids are still in bed, and after having made myself a cuppa earl grey, have settled onto the sofa to read the daily Mass readings and to have a quiet time with God.

I’m not suggesting I’m all holier than thou now, but I am saying that I have made space to be with the Lord at the start of my day and I feel all the better for it. The readings have come more and more alive to me, and even though I hate getting out of bed in the mornings, once I’m up and reading the Word of God, I’m seeing things I never saw before, even through my blurry, sleep filled eyes, and I’m enjoying developing my relationship with Him further, even in this small way.

It hasn’t been easy for me..and that may sound ridiculous to those who have no temperance issues, but I can honestly say that I really appreciate what I have gained from giving God greater precedence over how I spend my time, and I’m not prepared to go back to how I was before.

I don’t know right now if this will become a regular pattern of bloggin for me…one month off and one month on….or if I will blog just when I feel like it, but I know for sure that I don’t want to blog in the same way as I did before….with that great big burden of (self enforced) oppression weighing down on me.

I’ve been much more chilled lately, and consequently, so have my children, especially since I ceased checking my blog every five minutes! In fact, I’ve endeavoured, when the kids are home, to only go online at night, when they’re in bed, unless I’ve had to do work online or use the computer for some other reason. Ironically, I also find that there are even more things I want to write about and share with you all when I’m away from the blog and not thinking about what to write next!

To sum up then, I’m feeling positive as I return to blogging, and I hope (though in truth, doubt ) that it (the positivity) will continue. The rule for me now is that there are no rules. No self imposed rules. No pressure, and with that outlook, I hope to continue for a while yet to come…and I thank you for your warm welcome back over recent days!God Bless you all as you have blessed me!

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7 Responses to The fruits of disciplined blogging

  1. Owen says:

    Amen. There are no rules, only those you make and if you make none there are none 🙂

    My life is better balanced also for having walked away from blogging for a time and I too began spending time in the daily Mass readings (not to mention daily Mass itself) and four of the five of us now pray daily at 9pm. Interestingly or as you note, perhaps ironically this lead to increased writing and in my case reflections on those readings. This in turn lead to my Spiritual Director granting permission for me to return to my own blog for just that purpose and so luminousmiseries has a new focus as well.

    ::thrive! O

  2. Jennifer says:

    I totally understand. I use to be an internet junkie. I was recently in hospital for 5 weeks and didn’t have access to the internet. At the end I got to come home for day passes but it just wasn’t the same. Now I look at the computer and wonder what to do on it? What took up so much of my time on it. I am on it about 10- 15 min a day, somedays not at all.

    Being off work until January has given me way more time to pray, read the bible and devotions and learn. Enjoy your daily readings!

  3. John Bowden says:

    God is able to turn even your blogging addiction into something beautiful!

  4. Maryellen says:

    What you say makes a lot of sense. God always blesses us in unexpected ways of His own when we put Him first.

    Kudos to you for your successful approach to this problem area. It takes a lifetime of effort to discover who we really are, and why. We are fortunate when we enter the quest. Some people avoid knowing themselves clear to the grave.

    You’ve taken a giant step on the Inner Journey. From what I’ve read here, I think the Journey will be deep and deeply rewarding.

  5. Valerie says:

    Deb – I have an addictive personality, too, so I know that you are writing from your heart. I totally agree with you, and it’s what I have found to be true for myself as well. So, I continue to write a few times a month, and that’s pretty much enough for me. I’m glad you have found a “balance”, and that you’ll continue to blog when you can. Have a blessed holiday season!

  6. Antonia says:

    HEY! nice to see you again!

    I know what you mean about the massive increase in productivity minus blogging…!

  7. Every morning but one (when I had to scan documents for my daughter before school one morning) I have come downstairs while the kids are still in bed, and after having made myself a cuppa earl grey, have settled onto the sofa to read the daily Mass readings and to have a quiet time with God.

    You can still do that. It sounds wonderfully healthy to me and such a blessing!

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