Playing Dead

Even since before I got sick I’ve been wondering where I wanted the blog to go. I’m no gourmet cook. I’m not a homeschool technique pioneer (or even faithful follower). I’m not a photojournalist. I’m no theologian. I’m not going to post on my own personal spiritual struggles because there’s nothing edifying about that. I’m not an author. I’d be no good as a news digester.

I mostly just get from one day to the next, sometimes remembering to take milestone photos of the kids for the few family members who read. I get on my soapbox from time to time – too much for some people. I play show and tell occasionally. I do the “guess what funny thing Johnny said”. I note the passing of feasts, fasts and seasons, but not consistently.

But other than keeping distant family updated there’s nothing useful about any of this. Certainly nothing needed, edifying. Nothing filling any kind of gap. The problem is, once you’ve been doing this for a while (a little over two years in this case), you can get the mistaken impression that what you write matters. When, of course it doesn’t. A holy man once said, “Imagine you died two weeks ago. How much of any of this matters now?” Well, none of it. Very wise words.

I look at a generous number of blogs. Way too many, to be honest. Some of these are “family blogs”. I enjoy keeping up with people. Some of them are “news blogs”. They filter through the news so I don’t have to. Some of them are “creative blogs”. They show all kinds of things I wish I could do. Plus, they’re pretty and a nice escape. Some are more specialized: “feminine blogs”, “funny blogs”, “theological blogs”. The only kind I really don’t read with any regularity are “introspective blogs”.

I’ve tried to keep up a “one post a day” discipline for a while now. Sometimes there’s more than one, depending, but not usually of any substance. The thing is, I can’t now think of any reason to keep up with it. If I were writing anything of any importance then it would be different, but I’m not. I find myself admiring the people who post once a week at most and only when they’ve got something to say. I have the distinct feeling they don’t worry much over blog popularity or readership.

So if you don’t see many posts, it’s not that I haven’t recovered (I’m getting there) or have fallen off the face of the earth. If I think of anything to say, or anything happens that would be interesting to share, then I’ll post it. I think I’ll sit around and reflect on those wise words for a while.

21 thoughts on “Playing Dead

  1. Stay quiet as often as you need to be…but I would like to say that as a “non-family” member who reads your blog…I find it very inspiring, down-to-earth, funny and informative. I enjoy the small glimpse into your family.

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  2. I love your blog too. As a parishioner who lives so far away, it's part of being able to stay in touch with your family and my parish! And I share many of your interests, science, books, old things, nature, faith. Your blog is a wonderful respite from the Grim Seriousness of so much and the Incredible Silliness of so much else! However, I would rather see you cut back than burn out.

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  3. I haven't been writing as long as you- but I have similar thoughts.

    Even though we all should strive to be edifying and charitable in our writing- what we say matters- even when we die. The mundane is important to God- how do I know this? he became flesh as one of us- how much more mundane can that be for the almighty God to put on flesh?

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  4. I can relate very well to this. I've been blogging (on various different sites) for seven years now. I had hoped that creating “Our Little Monkeys” would give me some direction, but I still don't have any. There are so any times when I just want to throw in the towel, but then I remember that I am keeping a record of our lives via my blog. And, as an added bonus, I have made some wonderful friends through blogging.

    As you can see in the comments, we all love your blog (and you!). It covers a variety of topics and your voice is always prevalent in your posts. Don't give up, but take a break as needed. I'd miss your blog if you stopped all together 😦

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  5. I understand the being quiet. I too feel the same way and read blogs for the same reason as you! I could almost write this post for myself. Don't quit though… I am new to your blog and new to reading about Orthodox. I appreciate it! Thanks!

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  6. FWIW, I enjoy reading your posts. I feel sometimes that whether or not the network blogging creates is illusory, it helps make being a clergy wife less isolating. I have heard clergy wives from the elder generations complain of this, and have never experienced it myself, and wonder if it is because of these virtual networks we create on Facebook and blogs. They are even sometimes a real network, as in when several of us helped a seminary friend in need last year.

    But even having said that, I only post things I think my bishop wouldn't be bothered by reading (not, that he *does* read my blog, just that he wouldn't squish me if he did. LOL.) Often I write something and wait and several days later read it and say, “Eh. No, I don't think so.”

    If you feel like quieting down a bit, do it! Most people have RSS feeds now a days anyhow, so when you do occasionally have a thought to share, the feeds pick it up for them.

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  7. I too find inspiration in your blog, more than you think. It is the day to day realities of life for those of us with young children that are so important for those of us with no neighbours anymore along the backfence that we an share those little life details with.

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  8. My blog is so much more quiet than “it” used to be. I felt the need to keep things a bit closer to my heart and I went through the same process of wondering the why and what of my blogging. With that being said if you quit blogging daily I'll have to think of a new coffee routine. I love your family posts and I miss you immensely.

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  9. I”ve wrestled with this same thing for years. I've had this conversation with Fr. so many times. I agree with all you say and struggle with wanting to stop it all. The only reason I haven't is because my in-laws really miss our girls and love seeing them on the blog. It all seems to vain to me. I told Fr. Justin that I thought that it wouldn't be too much longer before the priests will be preaching to get rid of the internet. 🙂

    I do, however, think there is a certain amount of mother/sister/wife support that goes on with blogging. However, does is keep us from reaching out locally when we reach out over the internet so much? I don't know.

    Prayers!

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  10. Oh, I would argue with you not to do this if I hadn't stepped back a little myself in the last couple of months. And you DO seem to comment everywhere—I could see how that would be hard to maintain. We love you and I would miss you a whole bunch if you stopped completely. But I know where your inbox is. 😉

    My unsolicited advice is to put up that “BWO” box on your blog, and then post when you can. A down-to-earth clergy wife such as yourself is a blessing to the internet world. Then again, you're right. How much does any of this online stuff matter in the face of the business of mothering our kids and staying on top of household tasks?

    OK, so a rambling comment to say, “Nooooo!! But in reality, I completely understand.” Love to you.

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  11. Well:

    1. How completely unexpected – I'm in shock. I will even admit to some involuntary tearing up too on reading all of this.

    2. Five days off meds last week for the sake of illness was not a good thing. Perspective is coming back.

    3. I just can't mess with my sister's coffee routine.

    4. When my sense of humor is dead then I will be too. Hence the funny post this morning.

    5. I've been going through a stressful (not necessarily bad, just stressful) patch lately. A few people know about it but it's not bloggable at the moment, so it has me somewhat gagged.

    6. I agree about the community, especially the community of matushki and Orthodox women. We're rare birds in lots of the country and it helps to have some lifelines. I would have LOVED to have had such a community when we were in seminary and especially the year after.

    7. A belated Happy Valentine's Day and love to you all. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  12. Oh, i'm glad you're not going away (i hope my sleeplessness is not completely deactivating my reading comprehension skills -elementary though they might be- and i got your comment right…

    I really enjoy your blog because it is so unpretentious and, anyway, my writing skills are worse than the reading ones, i don't know the words that i need here.
    Just wanted to say that reading about Orthodoxy in countries where it is not “traditional”, and what is more important, having the chance for a glimpse of how it is practised in real life, is really encouraging and inspiring for me.

    Plus, when you read a person's blog for sometime and you pray for them and they pray for you it's kind of sad to have them go away…

    In Christ,
    Athena

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  13. I haven't been online for a couple of days, and I must admit you gave me a bit of a scare here… 🙂 I enjoy reading the “little” day to day things you share!!

    It's the community that builds up around blogging that I really love. That's what keeps me blogging – at least semi-regularly. Plus, it's a great way for me to chronicle life's happenings… I don't really know what “category” my blog would fit in… it's basically just my journal… not necessarily useful to anyone but me — but I'm grateful it's introduced me to so many wonderful people! 🙂

    ~Nonna

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  14. I'm not sure what I could add to all that has already been said, but I do look forward to seeing what you have to say each day (or whenever). You have your own humorous, down-to-earth take on things, and I would really miss you if you disappeared. Good strength to you!

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  15. I do so appreciate you and your blog, regardless of category, mission, etc. I've struggled with figuring out my niche as well, and I'm just trying to be content with my blog being an extension of me, nothing grand, not overly popular. 🙂 I appreciate how you share yourself, your various facets, with us.

    Muah back at you, Matushka!

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  16. I completely understand your struggles with the blog. As you know I have one but haven't done much with it. I tend to be more of an introvert and have a hard time sharing myself with others but it helps to identify with other woman with similar beliefs. I do enjoy reading your blog, as an orthodox homeschooling mom who was once a working mom, I find comfort in reading your posts and identifying with some of the items you post. I will look forward to whatever direction you take and am greateful to have met you in this blogging world. In Christ, Melanie

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