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.
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…
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.