Choosing a Break

brainstuck.com

brainstuck.com

This Adventure in Blogging requires time. A year ago, I remember thinking a once-per-month post was daunting…now I spend at least 4 hours a day blogging – reading and commenting, writing posts and replying to comments. It’s carved out of my writing time, so my books are traveling by horse and buggy versus high-speed rail.

But it’s my choice.

I’m grateful to have choices, to recognize that there are few things in my middle-aged years I MUST do. Long ago, when my life was harder, when my options seemed fewer, I still had them. Maybe working grueling hours while single parenting didn’t feel like a choice. Yet, even then, my attitude was within my control.

lotsofjokes.com

lotsofjokes.com

Life fluxes. Kids grow up and move out, and sometimes move back in. Grandchildren appear and suddenly I’m the lifesaver for stressed out new parents. The Overlord is two years old and Grammy is a hot commodity. Now my parents are reaching their mid-eighties and my time is stretching in another direction. Time passes and new choices roll out as they always do.

My parents are arriving in Oregon today and staying for a week to look at senior housing. I’ve done the legwork and pulled together appointments. The Overlord and his parents will be tenting in the front yard with the coyotes and my brother is flying in from the Alaska to “camp” in my writing room.

tomperwomper.deviantart.com

tomperwomper.deviantart.com

My mom is blind and loves to talk. My dad is losing his hearing (and too young for hearing aids) so we all talk VERY LOUD. I’m a terrible cook, which means meals are more like science experiments. We’ll all go for walks, drive to our little town for lunch, show my folks the area, and stay up late with the TV blaring.

I’m making the choice to breathe deeply, to relax, to laugh, to dedicate my energy to a gathering of loved ones that may not come again.

Needless to say, I’m making a choice not to stress about blogging for a week. I’ll miss you all. I’ll miss some great posts, lots of laughs, poignant stories, magical poems, stunning photography, and heartfelt connections. I will, of course, be back.

Have a great week. Wish me luck!

157 thoughts on “Choosing a Break

  1. Good luck with everything. I have a 2 and 6 year old grandchildren and a 85 year old mother. Boy, is it hard finding time for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My break didn’t feel too much like a break, but it was family time with all the laughter and exhaustion that entails. It sounds like you and I are in almost the same place in terms of obligations of both ends of the spectrum. It won’t last forever, so just gotta find the moments of joy before they’re gone. 😀

      Like

      • philipparees says:

        Word of advice on the hearing aid issue. Not always beneficial. My husband, for years deaf enough to miss those ‘asides’ you can’t help but will rue (if they were heard) has now some National Health Invisible Free hearing aids. Now I am the deaf one and get shouted at! Life was much better without them. I can’t hear the television because he turns it way down ( probably no great loss) and if I drop a pot lid he jumps like one of those electrified cats.
        Tell your father!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Phillipa. I’ve heard that there can be challenges with hearing aids. Right now my father is out of the conversation loop, and that’s kind of sad. He just pretends he can hear us. Hopefully, we can find the right balance. Your advice is well taken! Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

          Like

  2. Sounds like you will need a REAL break when they all leave…like Jamaica!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheron says:

    Wow! You had a lot on your plate. Hope all went well. My mom is having the hearing aid issue, so I laughed about that. Luckily, I have a sister who lives near her and is an angel. They live across the country in Tennesse so I do what I can and tell my sister how much I appreciate her. Family is important and they’re lucky to have you helping out as much as you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a little worn out by the end of it :-). Glad to be back to the routine. You’re lucky to have family engaged, and I’m sure your sister appreciates the kind words. My parents made their decision to move out here. More busy-ness ahead!

      Like

  4. What a fun post. You’re so right–we make those choices. It’s the consequences we’re not always happy about. And mostly are. Have a fun week with the family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Letizia says:

    I love how you all speak very loudly for your father. My mother is losing her hearing but refuses to wear a hearing aid (despite the fact that my partner wears one and he’s young and she can see how discreet they now are). I guess we all have our hangups and until then, we need to speak up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s a common story – the one symbol that encapsulates our transition from youth to old age. Letting my hair go gray was a big one for me. For my dad, it’s the hearing aid. He’ll get there, in time…and probably wish he’d done it sooner 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! I am waiting for a grandchild!! But my parents are older and I am just new to blogging! I could really relate to your post! Hope you are having a good break!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I pop over after a recommendation from Edwinas Episodes and here’s you taking a week off😂😂😂 Have fun and chillax,I’ll have a browse in the meantime 😉😉😋😋😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] Myths of the Mirror This is a post that I think many of us can relate to. Not only do I love the humourous way it is written, I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were in the position where I was taking a break for a week! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know the feeling Diane! It can get overwhelming!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post, and I appreciate you sharing great lessons. I thank you for reminding me that it is our life choices and attitudes that make the difference and help us to have a stress free (or almost free) life 🙂 Enjoy this time with your family.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Jed Jurchenko says:

    Great blog and what an awesome community! Thanks for the reminder that taking a break every now and then is perfectly okay. As a new blogger, I often find myself feeling torn between writing, commenting, and connecting with my own family. With three active girls who keep me on my toes, it’s great to hear from an experienced blogger that taking a break is not the end of the blogging world. Wishing you an incredible and relaxing break!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Candice says:

    What makes me smile most about this post is that I was getting ready to post something similar (about the time I now spend blogging versus getting things done.) I am considering creating a Three Day blogging schedule, which requires letting go on my part. I will create a post about it hopefully later today as it is after midnight. Anyhow, I realize my “needs” have changed in regard to the blog and my creativity and thus my habits and structure need to change. Change, change, change. I hope all goes well with the family!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Erik says:

      And a lovely smile it is, Candice. Well said!

      My mom was always frugal. It still amazes me how she could run a household of six on such a meager budget. Time is like that, as well. We can amaze ourselves at what we can still accomplish with focus and intention, even when our time budget is pared down.

      Life will change and so must our choices. As I’m famous (at least in my own head) for saying, you always have a choice. I’m glad you’re using yours wisely.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Candice says:

        Thank you, Erik for the compliment! and your words about choices. I created a post focusing on change and how it is indeed inevitable, but oh so necessary. What I needed when I began my blog is no longer a major factor, and as a result doesn’t require the same level of time to maintain. (Several postings daily.) Repositioning or reevaluating how I am budgeting my time is now on my menu. I need to apply more time and focus to certain areas of my creativity while giving less to others. I will hopefully have gotten things in a new order before the first of September.

        Liked by 2 people

      • And the great thing is that most choices can be unchosen when and if circumstances change. I like keeping that in the back of my mind. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Erik says:

          Absolutely. I’m famous for saying, “Anything can fly on a trial basis.” And sometimes, just saying, I’m going to make this change for one week gives us the courage and feeling of safety to do it, rather than feeling like it’s “forever.” If it works, well – it’s already underway at that point and you can extend the “trial basis” indefinitely.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Candice, I can’t wait to read your post!! I’ve been considering how to structure my time so that I have more balance. And it’s hard to let go, even a bit. I’ll officially be back on Sunday and will be sure to catch up. Thanks! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Candice says:

        I will post it today as my Day 3 Quote 🙂 And, yes structuring time is hard, especially for someone like me who can either be easily distracted or become insanely rigid. Balance is key. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or suggestions once you get a chance to read it (once I get it posted lol)

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Kev says:

    I hear ye, honestly, I do!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. haileyfoglio says:

    Hi!! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award! You’re by no means obligated to accept it, but if you do, you can find the guidelines on my blog, here: http://pigsandwriting.com/2015/08/18/infinity-dreams-award/

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Léa says:

    Bonne courage et bonne chance! 🙂 Léa

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks a very entertaining article. I have the same problem I spend more time blogging that I do my book

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Have fun with your family! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. It is rather amazing isn’t it…this swapping of roles…wondering when it will end and how, but still feeling grateful for the chance to be here, even when it hurts like Hell.

    The choice you present in the second image is daunting. Fountain of Youth or Fountain of Bacon. I guess you have to be ‘old’ to understand why you wouldn’t want to be young again.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. hsampson says:

    Hello D! I know you are very busy but I just wanted to let you know that I just nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award.

    Don´t worry you don´t have to accept the award or do anything, this is just my way to tell you THANK YOU, I admire your work and I am grateful to you for sharing and teaching me so much!

    Check it out here: http://wp.me/p5trJ-ss

    And once again, thank you for blogging!!!

    Your friend always,

    Hector Sampson

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Cat says:

    I hope you have a lovely time with your parents, D 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cat. Their health is starting to decline, so it’s a time of important choices. I might need a break from my break 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Erik says:

        I know nothing about your relationship with your parents. So this is not to say that you aren’t already doing so. But don’t be afraid to ask them how they feel about their declining health. They know. They live with it every day. I hope someone will be willing to talk with me if my health begins to decline at some point, since I suspect I’ll have a lot to say, some tears to shed – and be looking for a compassionate person to listen and hold me hand.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Erik. We do talk about health concerns and the sense of loss that comes from no longer being the people they were. My folks are both pretty sharp and in that way they’re blessed, but the perpetual loss of functioning is really tough. Thanks again for the kind words.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Cat says:

        Sounds like that may well be needed

        Liked by 1 person

  21. reocochran says:

    Enjoy your family and try to resist checking during breaks. I had a hard time up at my Mom’s not at least browsing my fellow followers and liking their posts. Then, I looked up and realized I had missed something my Mom said. I changed at that moment, made the phone and blogging be out on my back burner.
    I plan to see her over Labor Day and last week of October. She lives about 2 and half hours away. Her senoor living place is cheaper than local places and 2 brothers plus one sister in law live close by her. 🙂
    Enjoy parents, brother and the grandchild camping out. I like his nick name, too. ♡

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Ana says:

    Well said, Diana. Enjoy these moments with your family. Hope you create wonderful memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Have a great break Diana. I hope all goes well with your family. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. balroop2013 says:

    Hi D. Wishing you a relaxing and joyful break, so essential for charging our batteries! All the best! Looking forward to your comeback with some unique ideas.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. hsampson says:

    The best of lucks and lots of sharing and learning D!!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The images you added to this post had me laughing, love the sense of humor there. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Good luck with your week, enjoy it and enjoy a break from blogging, you’ll enjoy it all the more when you return.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Sounds great-I mean stressful in some ways but think of it as cross training your brain. You will feel so good getting back into your routine later.😊

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Best wishes to you and your family. Safe journeying! I once took a seven year “break” from blogging. 😀 Hopefully you won’t be gone anywhere near that long.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Steven Baird says:

    Good luck, good luck, good luck, and enjoy the time with your family. Family first. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Heartafire says:

    Family must take precedent, especially when very important issues are at stake. I wish you all the best for a smooth and easy experience in the coming days and weeks. I await your return. Take your time, we will be here. Much love!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. ❤ Yes, some important and difficult decisions ahead for my parents, which are bound to change things a bit here. Whittling away the extraneous from what's important is part of life. But I'll be happy to get back to my blogging family too when the time comes 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  32. Erik says:

    You KNOW how I myself am reading this, Diana:

    “But it’s my choice.

    I’m grateful to have choices, to recognize that there are few things in my middle-aged years I MUST do. Long ago, when my life was harder, when my options seemed fewer, I still had them. Maybe working grueling hours while single parenting didn’t feel like a choice. Yet, even then, my attitude was within my control.”

    I like to imagine that, even if only in the smallest degree, the timing of your reading my book contributed to your sense of the power of choice.

    Live fully present in the moment. Enjoy your time with each family member. Ask new questions of them. We can always learn more about even the people we know the best. And you will return all the more ready to go after your break.

    “You always have a choice.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your book was a great reminder, Erik. After years of “journeying” and working in mental health, the principles of choice are ingrained in my worldview and a core theme in most of my books (all except the one you read! Ha ha).

      That said, I get stressed out and cranky too, so the reminders are both grounding and uplifting at the same time! Your book was full of those lessons that drill down to what’s important – a recipe book for happiness. 🙂

      I love your suggestion to ask new questions! I’ll make a point to do that and the timing couldn’t be more perfect ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Have a great week and enjoy your blogging break, Sounds like you have got a lot to be getting on with sorting out your family 🙂
    I know how hard it is to resist the lure of the hypnotising blog. calling out for attention and willing you to acknowledge it! Good luck! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  34. philipparees says:

    The habits of blogging and the obligations to the kind friends that bother to read somehow crowds out life which ( as you are grinning and bearing imminently) cannot be ‘scheduled’ in quite the same way. I sometimes feel that we extend ourselves at the expense of those nearest and dearest but the wwwheels do keep turning and we Skinner rats feel unable to stop peddling. Reading books ( and being able to take them in ) seems a major accomplishment when once it was as natural as brushing teeth! It sometimes does need cauterising, this infection!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment, Philippa. I’ve been thinking about balance again lately, as I frequently do. I imagine myself as a drunk trying to walk a straight line, wobbling from one side to the other. There’s a post about this brewing in the back of my brain…for another day. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Nurse Kelly says:

    You are so wise. I agree, we have to keep it in perspective – so addicting!!! Enjoy your break – see you when you return xo

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Irena S. says:

    Sometimes it is hard to find time for blogging and the rest of your life xD
    Have a good time! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Ritu says:

    Enjoy with your family! I say, every so often, that I’m taking a short break…but its so hard!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Dan Antion says:

    Family first! Enjoy the week, we’ll be here when you return 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  39. we’ll wait for you. have a good week.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Carrie Rubin says:

    Have a wonderful time with your family. It’s nice to disconnect from the virtual world from time to time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  41. orangepondconnects says:

    The Overlord!!!! lol That is too adorable. And have a great week visiting with your family 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  42. BunKaryudo says:

    I hope everything went well!

    I know how you feel about blogging. I find doing it regularly a challenge, but now that I’ve got into a routine, I find having to miss a post a bit of a challenge too. I keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for the blogging police to come and take me away.

    Liked by 3 people

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