Archive for January, 2014

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When do you cut bait?

January 23, 2014

I was on the computer for a long time yesterday. It has been a while. I noticed I’ve only posted twice this month and I haven’t read up on many of the blogs I follow.

It got me thinking. Are all the links on my page current? What about in my Internet Explorer favorites bar?

I was surprised by the number of inactive or missing blog pages altogether. Most of the blogs I had bookmarked seemed to have stopped blogging in 2012 or within the last four months.

Naturally the missing blogs I deleted. The ones that stopped in 2012 I also deleted. But what about a blogger who seemed to randomly stop in August or September or maybe even as late as October of 2013. Holidays can be brutal so who can blame someone for taking a break. I took one.

I take breaks quite frequently. But I seem to manage 3 or 4 posts a month even on my slowest months.

I have followers that I know are just spammers. I wish I could clean that list up too (hey, WordPress–how about it? Can you let us freeloaders decide who we allow to follow us or not?) It makes for inaccurate statistics and I really don’t want help with building up my readership or being just a number to some joker!

So when do you decide to cut bait on a fellow blogger who seems to have dropped off the face of the world? Some I would love to know if they’re okay and what is new in their lives. Should I keep their link indefinitely just in case they pop back up into bloggy land? Do you?

What about blogs that were for a specific purpose, like say a semester abroad or a mission trip? No new posts will be forthcoming.

I was on the computer for a long time. It was refreshing to hit delete, delete. I wish those bloggers well. Perhaps their blog served its purpose and they have moved on. I hope those that had issue specific blogs (health, etc.) did not take a turn for the worst.

And if I’m not posting the kinds of things to keep you interested, I won’t mind the unfollow (hint, hint, spammers!).

Feel free to post comments–I want to know what you think.

 

UPDATE: YES! Not 1 minute after publishing this post I received a “follow” from a guy who wants to show me how to make income blogging. With no way to contact him directly I decided to leave a comment. After gagging over all the “Thanks for the follow, man!” and “Great stuff! Look forward to getting more tips” I respectfully asked him to unfollow me if he had no other interest in my blog other than to generate more traffic and business for himself. My comment is waiting for moderation. I’ll let you know what the response is. Disgusting!!!

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Where has the time gone?

January 22, 2014

It is January 22nd and I am not sure where the time has gone.

I haven’t written much. It is not that I don’t have anything to blog about, it is just that the moments are pretty mundane.

So today I will just say that for once in a long while I’m happy for the snow days.

By this time I have usually posted that I wish the girls would go to school. And immediately people would comment back and chastise me about not appreciating the fleeting time with T1 and T2. “Enjoy it–the time goes by too quickly.” “Rather than complain, make memories with them.”

Wow. Doesn’t anybody appreciate or understand that on days like these there is a feeling of waste when the Chief isn’t here to share with us? I feel the same about the regularly scheduled school breaks and don’t get me started about the 2 and half months of summer he misses out on.

I’m sure quite a few who chastise me have their spouses home, especially the government workers who also get the occasional snow day, home to share with them. Or who are there with them if the power goes out at night.

And the girls notice a difference between snow days with the Chief and without.

So we had a fabulously long Christmas break followed by several snow days recently. Not a complaint from me. I haven’t even heard T2 moan that she cannot be in school.

It is definitely better with the Chief home.

Maybe that’s why the time is flying.

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Sometimes It Is Not Fun Being an Adult

January 12, 2014

When the Chief asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said, “I was thinking about that. Could we combine Christmas with our anniversary, not get each other anything, and go to this bed-and-breakfast that I’ve been dying to go to and have been watching its blog like a hawk?”

The Chief was game and I was given the go ahead to look for a sitter for the girls.

Then the Chief gave me for Christmas a pair of earrings we had scoped out at an antique shop downtown. Now I did get him to narrow down how much he spent and I don’t think that he paid too much for them. I would like them appraised to see if the stones are real but the earrings themselves are 14k gold.

So our anniversary came and went and so did some weird weather. It is fortuitous that we did not go on our actual anniversary because of the weather. (The next day was a snow day and that could have been disastrous.)

We were planning on going tomorrow. But it has been nagging at me. The cost. The cost of one night. I know, I know it is the experience of staying in a historic building, having cocktail hour, a luxury bath, gas fire-place, amazing food in the morning, time alone, just the two of us… I’m worth it. He’s worth it (though I’m not so sure he’d enjoy it as much as I would). 18 years is a pretty good accomplishment.

But we have a family cruise to Hawaii this summer. I’m going to want to do as many excursions as possible. The amount we would have spent in the accommodation, taxes and for a sitter for the night could pay for 1 or 2 excursions for a family of 4 depending on what we choose to do.

I was talking to the father of the sitter, letting him know we’d tell her tonight if we still needed her. “Yeah, we usually end up taking the kids with us because there will be a time when it’s just us.” I said, “We’re going on this trip but it’s not like we’ll have privacy.” He laughed, “Sure you will. Just send them to the beach.” T1, who will be sharing a cabin with other cousins, piped in, “Or just send T2 to our cabin!”

It is not just that. In recent days I looked around at our more than adequate home and started listing that I’d still really like–our bathroom redone and we truly need to admit we need a king size bed if we’re ever going to get decent sleep any time soon. This could mean a whole new bedroom set (ours is 18 years old now). And he has a list of his own–new kitchen floor, new front door, etc. None of this will be inexpensive. We just got a new hot water heater, new washer & dryer, and replaced the french doors. Not cheap at all. Those three were definite needs and not the wants of a new bathroom sink.

And the kicker? The Chief and I just had physicals. Our GP is an old friend–I’m talking I’ve known him since 9th grade. He went in to see the Chief and said, “Not that your wife told me to say anything to you, but you don’t seem too particularly thrilled with your employment situation. What’s it going to take for you to stop sailing?”

“For my wife and children to agree to live on half my salary.”

Don’t get me wrong, the Chief is pretty selfless and doesn’t make us feel like a burden. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that it is me that refers to myself as spoiled and blessed that I don’t have to work. I’ve struggled with that and I’ve panicked about that–I can be immobilized by the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But the Chief has never made me feel like he resents us. He has expressed displeasure when he’s felt unappreciated but he’s right. The girls especially have had moments of thoughtless unappreciation.

I just spent the month of November being thankful and December is about serving, giving, and counting those blessings all over again. If the Chief is one of my top blessings, is it right for me to ask him to take me to what boils down to as an extravagance in light of all the home improvements I just complained about and the already planned expensive Hawaiian trip .. for “our anniversary”? Is it appreciative to ask him to spend money of something he might not enjoy as much as me?

Okay, just to be balanced, if the Chief asked me to spend our anniversary at a woodworking show, you better believed I’d roll my eyes, groan, make sure there was a nice hotel and restaurant involved before I’d agree to go with him. (And yes, I’ve spent my birthday at a woodworking show with him but it was followed by a Trace Atkins & Bill Engvall concert–seemed like a reasonable exchange!) The Chief agreed to the B-n-B idea without asking for something for him.

I wanted the Chief to step in and say, “Let’s save the money for Hawaii.” But he wouldn’t. He felt like he was in between a rock and a hard place. He listened to what I had to say. If he gave his thumbs up, I’d enjoy it–I’d have a blast. But I’d probably feel the guilt later when I had another sleepless night or complained again about or mismatched medicine cabinets. Or had even more guilt as we signed up for our excursions. Would it be worth it.

The Chief came up with the only grown-up solution. “If you’re going to feel guilty, let’s not go and go shopping for a king size bed this week.”

He’s a good guy, that Chief of mine.

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Naming the Year 2014

January 3, 2014

What would you Name your year? What was last year? What will this year be?

Last year I named 2013 The Year of Listening. For the most part I think I did and I made some changes. On the other hand, I think there is a big project in my future that I just keep finding excuses not to start. The Chief and I are learning to listen to each other in different ways, by taking harder looks at ourselves. T1 and I have had to talk about some tough topics the past two months and surprisingly so much has been about expression and how to act in a conflict and really looking at what is behind the action–not even the words.

For 2014 so much of the year will be focused on T1–ending middle school and starting high school. Just in the first 6 weeks of this year working on special program applications before she even gets into high school! So much attention falls on T1 that I don’t want to forget T2 and all that she processes and holds close to her heart. I want to hear her as much as I do her sister. We have a big milestone family trip this summer and we’re all looking forward to that.

If I had to name the year, I want 2014 to be a Year of Balance. To balance time between the girls and meeting their needs. Balance of work (i.e., actually subbing more) and free (lazy) time. To balance volunteer time with family time. To balance my priorities to finish that big project without excuses (and continuing listening more!).

Related Articles: Naming the Year

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