Hard Choices

Domestic Dork has been my virtual baby for several years. So, what I’m about to say isn’t said easily, or with pleasure.

I’m logging off.

I’ve spent the last week (plus a few days) battling an ear infection in my left ear, and now, one in my right ear. ManDork and I are both overwhelmed with the stress of moving (and we are incredibly behind on packing). Admittedly, as much as I’ve been whining about living in dinky, little Medicine Hat for the last three years, I’m frightened by the thought of moving to a big city and starting over trying to make friends. I’ve been consistently unable to keep up with my, admittedly self-imposed, crafting, blogging, and Hollyday Studios obligations while simultaneously managing a home and being a good parent.

I’m tired.

Writing has been a pleasure of mine for years, and writing for an audience, no matter how meager, has been exhilarating. As an often isolated young mother, thousands of miles from my own mother and family, and with few friends, my blog (and the related social network accounts) have formed an important community of sorts. But my writing has frown stunted, not only by the knowledge that I have readers to impress (and a reputation, or perhaps personal vanity, to protect), but also by a growing sense of obligation. Fewer and fewer posts have been a product of inspiration demanding to be captured in the written word, and instead have been a chore, a to-do list item to check, a duty. More and more I’ve found myself writing apologies for not having posted regularly enough. More and more I have vomited words onto the screen to satiate the compulsion to get at least something new online. After all, a blogger must publish or perish.

But the passion is gone.

Despite having been so anxious, upon resigning my job at Madchen Studios, to rediedicate myself to Domestic Dork, and even using some of the last of my studio employee credit to have photography done specifically to use in a new design for Domestic Dork, I am unable to convince myself that this is the right thing for me to do.

The idea of giving it all up is certainly not a new one. My inner luddite has often whispered suggestions to me to sign off, permanently, and embrace the “real” world. The drive always died under the sense that I had friends online, obligations, and the fear that I would soon regret it when I realized I wanted to return to my online pride and joy, DomesticDork.com, but my audience was gone. I have ignored the urge to commit web suicide time and time again, brushing it off as a silly whim.

Then, just a few days ago, my paternal grandmother contacted me. You might remember when I came upon my biological father’s Facebook page. The shock was emotionally enormous. I cried a great deal. I had chosen then, not to contact him. It was, I am certain, the right decision.

So I was, to put it lightly, aggravated by the selfishness of a woman who, after a quarter of a century of neglect, sough me out to satisfy her own curiosity, and perhaps a sense of guilt (though maybe that’s giving her too much credit). She was clearly less than honest in her letter. I’m perturbed that I have now been forced to have contact from the genetic family with which I want nothing to do. To my further annoyance, she didn’t even spell my full name correctly. Ultimately, I decided she deserved no response from me, for many reasons.

But it just made me tired, rather, even more tired than I already was. The truth is, I’m a bit of a misanthrope at times. There are very few people I like. I despise personal drama (I had my fill years and years ago, no thanks to my paternal family). I have found myself worn thin by the frustrating interactions I observe online. I am physically drained by these damn ear infections. I am weart of having a to-do list that never approaches completion because my internet “obligations” pile up faster than I can handle. And I am sick-to-death of failing to keep promises to my real family, small as those promises may be, because I am so wrapped up in my online life. The old women’s letter was the proverbial straw.

I’m tired. And I can’t do it anymore. I told Adam as much. Despite being in the top three of the first round of So You Think You’re Crafty, despite having countless ideas for free printables for you all, despire having a brand new blog design in the works, despite having a number of books I planned to review, despite all that…I’m done.

I’m done because I’m too tired to persist. And I dread the idea of my paternal family finding me again via my online presence. I’m done trying to follow everyone’s blogs and Twitter accounts and maintain my own. I had a great deal of reasons not to quit, reasons that had been keeping me trapped for nearly a year now.

Really, those reasons mean nothing when I consider the one big reason I should quit.

My online life is negatively affecting my real one.

Blogging is doing nothing for my parenting skills. I have a bright and lovely and curious daughter. I am missing out on her childhood because I’m so “busy” maintaining online connection and projects. Here I am, a young mother with a gifted child, likely the only child I will ever have, and I’m letting my short time with her slip through my fingers. I’m missing opportunity after opportunity not only to teach her, and provide enriching learning experiences, but opportunities to simply play together. While I don’t believe a mother is obligated to cease all pre-child interests and have no life of her own, I’m not comfortable pursuing such seemingly fruitles activities at the expense of my relationship with my little girl; not only for her sake, but for my own as well.

Would writing a blog post that receives fifty-some comments congratulating me on my wit really be any more fulfilling than spending an afternoon baking orange-craisin bread with my daughter? Would possibly winning a crafting contest really be more exciting that the look of excitement on Lucy’s face when presented with a craft made just for her? Is there really anything distant, digital friends can offer me that my own family cannot?

I’m starting to seriously doubt it.

And so I’m bowing out. For a year, two, five, forever? I don’t know. All I know is that I cannot do it all. I cannot have it all. And I’m not willing to sacrifice my happiness to maintain something that used to make me happy. I have a little girl starting home-school preschool next month. I have a new house to make a home. I have books to read, and projects to make (because I want to to, not because I need to post a tutorial online). I have fun and laughter and love waiting for me…

offline.

So thank you. Thank you to all my readers, to everyone who has ever re-tweeted, sponsored, re-blogged, or shared in Domestic Dork. It’s been quite a ride, but it’s time for me to get off.

Love,                              

siggy

19 Responses to Hard Choices

  • Tara says:

    I know exactly how you feel. You have opened my eyes with this post. I wish you well in your personal and professional adventures.

  • Rita says:

    I completely understand. Good luck, Holly! It’s been great to be a part of your life for the last little while!

  • Terri Sue says:

    dear holly,
    i have just found you about two months ago and enjoyed you very much. all i can say at this moment is BRAVO! i am 53 years old. when i was bringing up my wee ones people didn’t have pc’s on the average. we didn’t. i do know now that i spend WAY to much time sitting in front of a screen rather than doing things. after just reading your very thought provoking goodbye, i think it’s time for me to unsubscribe to the many blogs i follow and start doing life instead of reading about others doing it. i thank you my friend. spend all the time you can with your dear lucy. believe me even when the days seem to go so slow and everything is going wrong,step back, look at her through new eyes because before you know it she will be grown. i know it seems impossible right now, but it will all be over so soon. love her, love her, love her, and hang on for the ride with your dear adam.
    blessings,
    terri sue

  • Tracy says:

    I am sorry to see you sign off, my fellow MN fan. ;) However, I commend you for doing what is best for you and your family. Life is stressful enough, why add more to it? May God bless you. ((hugs))

  • I’m sorry you’re not continuing on with SYTYC. I think you would have been a worthy adversary! Balance and happiness is important though (and I’ve cut back on my blogging to try to achieve a happier balance for me too).

    Best wishes and I hope you get better soon!

  • Anonymous says:

    I just stummbled on this site this moring and This was posted on the 23rd and i know you will probly never read this comment but Well said Im not a blogger but im a follower of MANY MANY MANY of them and i didnt relize how much time i do spend on here reading blogs finding projects (which i never even make ha) and neglecting my responcibilitys as a first time mom and a home maker i think you opened alot of peoples eyes you sure did open mine. All i can say is thanks for the reality check I think its time i detach myself from the Blogosphere as well You were the push i really needed I hope you nothing but the best in your future!

    ~ A mom officaly deatched from the Blogosphere

  • Baye says:

    Totally understand. At some point you might consider a smaller blogging venture–one where you post when you want be that once a month or whatever. You could also make it more anonymous–there’s no need to include real names of people or places, photos of faces, that kind of thing.

    Tough about the paternal family. I, too, experienced that. Strangely they don’t get that their attempts to justify their absence only add insult to injury.

    Take care, enjoy you baby and husband, relish the adventure of a new life in a new place. I’m sure you will have lots of fun new experiences.

  • Jaynie says:

    Hi Holly i just wanted to say, im sorry you have left although ive not been on recently due to my mother being ill and who has now passed away, i have always read your blog and enjoyed it. Good luck for the future i hope one day you will want to come back but i do hope all your wishes come true and life is good for you enjoy it to the full xx jayne

  • Amy says:

    Just popping by to see if you were still offline. :( Miss reading of your adventures and creativity. Hope all is well!

  • Valerie Neal says:

    I’ve been offline for about a year, well not totally, but not paying attention to my blogs or blogs I follow, due to obligations at home. I applaud you, you are doing what is right for you and setting an example for others. I’m a 45yo stay at home, home school mom, and a grandmother, this time goes so fast, enjoy it, savor it, embrace it! Blessings.

  • Steamtron says:

    I just started a blog and now I keep reading these “i’m done blogging” posts. I guess I was late on the ball. Oh well, more blog for me!
    I like your dorky owl/bear/animal helmet/hat/head coverer.

  • Anonymous says:

    I read some of your stuff. you seem like a very unlikable person who’s always complaining about one thing or another…

NO BULLY ZONE

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