Monday, July 22, 2013

Trying to Keep Up... And Failing

Remember my word for the year?  (It was surrender in case you don't feel like re-reading.)  A funny thing (ha ha ha): I think somehow (totally unconsciously) I told myself that once I completed my 40 day social media fast (which felt like a pretty big deal) I was done - I had accomplished my goal and achieved surrender.  Isn't that funny?!?  I'm a darn fool. ;)

Let me back up a little bit and admit that my priorities have been all kinds of messed up lately... I'm ashamed to admit how much time I have spent doing things like reading blogs, online shopping, and scrolling Facebook and Twitter in the name of "Blogher prep" the last couple of weeks.  I haven't had a choice really; party invites go up on Twitter and are filled in under a minute.  I'm not even kidding.  Plus, everyone on the #Blogher13 chat seems to be best friends with each other, and I know a whopping TWO people that will be in Chicago, so I've had a lot of catching up to do.  And, since I'm being honest here, my 350 Twitter followers aren't exactly going to impress many of the big brands.

Seriously, I DON'T KNOW HOW THESE PEOPLE DO IT -- they tweet all day long, have 10K followers, and never miss a thing!! 

So, here's the thing... I've been trying to keep up.  I've been trying really hard to build my Twitter following, get invited to private parties, create an impressive media kit, and find the perfect wardrobe all while still managing my family, my house, and two online summer jobs... And, I've failed.

I can't keep up.

I'm really really excited about my time in Chicago (in case you haven't been able to tell), but I've also been convicted that as much I want to be a good blogger, I really want to be a good mom/wife/teacher/friend/etc. more.  In my heart and mind, I KNOW that, but it is just so easy to forget...

One of the things that I both love and hate about God is that he has a way of always bringing me back to earth when this sort of thing happens -- First, it was the mistake I made in my online class that had me calling a parent to apologize and doing extra work to get back on track.  It really wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was a major reminder that I was dangerously close to entering the "I'm doing too much and not doing anything well" place I find myself in a couple of times a year.  

That incident led to a couple of other things which led me to actually call up two girlfriends who were planning to visit me last week and cancel on them.  I knew it was the right thing to do (and they were, of course, wonderful about it it), but I felt SO bad.  I had been looking forward to my time with them, and again, I was slapped in the face with the reminder that I had let things spin out of control a little bit in my life...

So yesterday, finally, I made some changes.  I unplugged my internet and took Sam out for donuts and an early morning park date instead.  I did a project around the house I've been procrastinating for some time now, and I prayed - a lot.

I can't keep up, and that's OK because my value is found in Him and not in the number of people liking my status or reading my blog.

A good reminder and the perfect timing.

P.S. Don't worry, I'm not going to be serious forever... I'll see you tomorrow to discuss THE MEN TELL ALL (totally making time for that)!

22 comments:

  1. I needed to hear this today. That last sentence about our value being found in Him and not in numbers and follower counts is good stuff, girl. Thanks.

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  2. A lot of truth here, friend. Thanks for the reminders.

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  3. I agree with the girls above me, thanks for the reminder. I think we all get too "caught up". It's nice to know we have each other and we're not alone...another great thing about blogging lol
    Lauren

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  4. I've been struggling to find my "purpose" so to speak lately and have found myself struggling to with balancing everything. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to build whatever it is you want to invest yourself in...unfortunately it's also hard to keep investing yourself in everything else at the same time. {sigh} I guess we will get it figured out one day ;)

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  5. Please believe me when I tell you that the following comes from a place of love. Please. While I'm not big on commenting, I enjoy reading your blog. I love seeing Sam grow up and look at how nicely you've decorated your house. I get ideas from reading about your classroom and I laugh out loud when you recap reality tv. However, your recent posts haven't been sitting well with me. I was especially turned off by this sentence: "I've been trying really hard to build my Twitter following, get invited to private parties, create an impressive media kit, and find the perfect wardrobe...."

    Seriously, E? Why? Why bust your arse for a bigger following? Why care about those parties? I don't get it. It seems so superficial and lame. And I thought you were different. Be careful. It doesn't sound healthy. I'm worried, that's all.

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    1. Oh girl, thanks (really) for being honest with me and sharing your thoughts... I really do appreciate that and hope that anyone that reads this blog will feel the freedom to tell me the "hard stuff" too.

      That said, I feel like its important to clarify that I too think that getting caught up in numbers and invites and clothes is superficial, lame, and unhealthy. I TOTALLY think that too. The thing is, sometimes, in my weaker moments, I STILL DO IT. I don't WANT to care about those things; but, I'm human, and sometimes I let myself get focused on things that really don't matter.

      This post was about bringing myself BACK, about admitting that sometimes I go there (because I really do try to keep it real on this blog - even when the things I have to say aren't popular or don't show me in the best light), and I don't want to.

      I think most people that write a blog care a little bit about numbers; and, I'd imagine that its pretty normal to get caught up in those kinds of things before heading to a big blog conference, so I'm thankful that the Lord is bringing me back to earth NOW - before I go all the way there.

      Does that make sense? Sorry for the novel, but I hope I explained myself a little better.

      I hope you will stick around and see me through this season, but I understand if you don't. Either way, thanks for the concern!
      E

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  6. I think that we all struggle with doing everything well, but I often think that "I'm doing too much and not doing anything well," too. You're an amazing mom, teacher, wife, and I'm sure many other things!! Keep praying, girlfriend!!! None of us have answers, but we are all struggling with you!! xo

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  7. Definitely something I need to be reminded of as well! It is hard to not get caught up on the superficial stuff and focus on what "really matters". Thanks for always keeping it real!

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  8. I need to remember this more! He loves us no matter how many comments or followers we get!

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  9. Good word and great reminder! I think it's so easy to get caught up in doing too much in the realm of any social media, especially with so many people how have thousands of followers. (Shoot, I find myself wanting to keep up with those who have a few hundred.) And yet, like you said, it's way more important to make sure your time is planted in what really matters. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I had a very similar reality check in June. I was spending WAY too much time on the computer: juggling my blog, my new TPT store, keeping up with social networking, working on lesson plans, graphic design projects for my summer job... I really noticed this when I started missing my husband (who was sitting in the room with me all along). At first I thought it was him, but then I realized it was me. I had to cut some things: I'm down Facebook and Pinterest in my social media, I've stopped stocking my TPT store for now, and I cut back on all of the extra little projects. I can't imagine being a mother (besides to my puppy) while doing everything you do. You're going to be fine, Elizabeth. I just know you are an earnest mother, wife, teacher, and blogger. You will find your balance.

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  11. Meant to comment yesterday... but you know how it does...Anyway just wanted to say you are NOT failing you are SURVIVING.
    And when we COMPARE we DESPAIR.
    Lots of love to you on your journey to the windy city.
    I will ironically be in Chicago this weekend for a wedding.

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  12. Whoa.... did you jump in and read my brain!? I relate. I so relate. : )

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  13. I used to blog, and was so caught up in this as well! What were my numbers? How can I get them higher?? On and on. I deleted my blog and don't really miss it...well, maybe every now and then. :-) I have to say, in all honesty, that I do wonder about people who have Twitter and then don't bother to respond to the people they are wanting to connect with. I know I've reached out to you a couple times on Twitter and hear nothing back, which makes me feel kind of silly ha. Don't get me wrong, I know you can't respond to every comment. And maybe my comments are lame haha? ;-) I know I don't have any big business behind me, but I do genuinely enjoy your blog and thoughts.

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    1. Silly Kim - you are a "no-reply" blogger, which means I can't respond to your comments via email! Seriously girl, fix this problem, and I guarantee you will get a lot more responses! (I wrote about how to do it here: http://www.emyselfandi.com/2012/11/how-to-add-your-email-address-to-your.html) As for Twitter, I'll take full responsibility for that. Only in the last month or so have I really been trying to learn to use Twitter - the whole thing is a lot more complicated for me than it should be, haha! So, I'm so sorry if I left you hanging on a comment! I hope you will reach out again and let me redeem myself!

      On a different note, I admire you for deleting your blog when you were getting too caught up in numbers - it is easy to get off track and NOT easy to take control of it so quickly!

      Thanks for reading here. I really do value YOU and what you have to say! :)

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  14. ahhh get out of my head. I could literally steal this post word-for-word and put it on my blog because I feel this way MUCH too often. maybe we should just co-host a blog - share the pressure of keeping up a social media presence. I sincerely hate when I write similar things on my blog about numbers and feeling unbalanced and I get emails like, "remember blogging is supposed to be fun" - ya I got that people but it would be a whole lot funner if I got paid or sponsored to do it and that requires numbers, branding, regular posts, FB/twitter updates, responding to comments, etc. etc.
    I so GET you and if I'm ever scheduled to come visit and you're feeling overwhelmed, I'm still coming. I'm great at cleaning other people's houses, packing for ridiculously fun blog conferences and playing with toddlers (and eating donuts).
    xo

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    1. Sara, if you're ever scheduled to visit E, I better be invited, too!

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  15. I just recently found your blog and I love it! I enjoy your honesty and your love for the Lord. Thank you for doing this!

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  16. Love this. I think we all feel a bit like we're in a race that we'll never win at times. And it kinda sucks. But I'm trying to teach myself that I'm on my own timeline, not someone else's, and the comparing needs to stop (because boy is it ridiculously easy to do so). Keep up the good work and focus on what matters xo

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  17. You guys have had such a busy summer that it's no wonder if you feel overwhelmed as you prepare to head out of town. Re: numbers, growing a blog has always seemed like a positive goal to me (a non-blogger myself). And doing some legwork to help make the most of a conference also sounds good. Hope you have a wonderful time! =)

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  18. I think it gets easy to focus on online stuff, because you can quantify your success. The number of likes, retweets, favorites, and blog comments are more tangible than knowing you did a great job being a mom on a given day (especially because toddlers are very forgiving and loving).

    Don't feel bad about getting caught up in the numbers, social media, clothes, etc. This week, those things kind of do matter. They will help you get the most out of the investment of going to BlogHer, and they'll make you feel confident. If you were in a constant downward spiral, and numbers/parties/etc were the only reason you blogged, then it would be a problem. But trust me, I've been neglecting social media. As a result, I didn't even know (until reading this post), that there were private parties, or parties with invitations. I haven't connected with any brands pre-conference.

    And frankly, blogging is supposed to be fun. But anybody who says they do it only for themselves, wouldn't hit publish on their posts. Writing the post and leaving it as a draft would be sufficient. We blog, because we want to share our thoughts, ideas, successes and failures with the world. We want to create a community, connect with new people, and know that we matter a little bit. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the reason the blog world exists. It's the reason there is a BlogHer to go to this weekend.

    One last thing, you should know I have you beat: I know a whoppin' 3 people who are going to the conference. Plus my husband and kids are going to Chicago because 1) I'm afraid to drive in Chicago alone and 2) I need a security blanket that comes in the form of sweet faces and warm hugs. You are going to be awesome this weekend and I can't wait to meet you tomorrow! See you at Blog as Book Proposal!

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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