I have a balance problem. You might be expecting me to say something like "work-life balance" yadayada. But since becoming a stay at home mom I've figured out there is no work-life balance. I'm just ON all the time.
No. My problem is balancing input and output. I have this thing. I always want more.
More information. More books. More blogs. More podcasts. More pretty pins.
I have an until now unspoken fallacy of a belief that somewhere out there is some "thing" - that magical thing I need that will change my life. The parenting book that will make tantrums manageable. The organization method that will keep my house clean for only ten minutes a day. The blog post that will inspire me. The style that is just so me. The perfect - easy - diet that will change my body forever. The book that will keep me up reading it all night and dying to read the sequel.
I'm always looking. I am hooked. I am addicted.
It's an internet thing, yeah, primarily. Blogs have been my crack for a long time. Don't take away my feed reader, people!
But it also applies in other areas like books. For me a satisfying trip to the library is leaving with a stuffed tote bag. Okay, so maybe I will only read 20% of the books, but it's the promise, the potential, that appeals to me, the hope that maybe one of them will be a gem, the thing I can't explain, the thing I've been looking for, the book with a treasure inside.
I not only hoard books, but ideas of books. I have a wish list on Amazon, free samples on my Kindle, a want-to-read list on Goodreads, and a for-later list on my library web site. I'm always looking for more books I might be interested in reading. It will take me a hundred years just to read through my current wish list, not to mention the fact that I keep adding to it..
And then there's my recipe problem. If I get a magazine I just have to tear out any recipe that is vaguely appealing. I have folders full of maybe someday recipes. And then there are the bookmarks, the pins, the cookbooks. I'll never cook them all. And lately, I mostly cook old standbys anyway!
This might sound like just a quirk. But there are problems with it.
I'm so busy looking for new ideas and taking them in, that I don't deeply absorb and apply things to my life. Let's face it, I know 90% of what I need to know to eat healthy and exercise by now. I could quit reading about it and do it, but instead I spend thirty minutes on the internet reading about it, instead of doing it. Not helpful, really.
Another problem is it perpetuates this magical thinking, that there is a "magic" answer out there to every problem that can easily solve it, if only I knew it. Not only do I spend so much time looking, looking, looking but I also carry around this idea that all problems are meant to be solved. When in truth some problems are just walked through blind until I reach the other side.
It's been worse since I've become a mother because I go looking for escape or for solutions to all the challenges - cradle cap, climbing out of cribs, bored toddlers, tantrums, teething, etc.
But I also became addicted to mindlessly searching the internet everyday. When I was breastfeeding for HOURS a day, it's what I did, and I carried it with me, the habit, into my daily life, that need to just wander and search for something. It seemed like it made me less lonely, seeing what other moms were going through. But at the end it only made me more lonely, a halfway connection and not a full one.
And then all of this has me consuming things others have created and not creating my own. Not crafting, cooking, blogging, writing - all things I find fulfilling.
So I'd like to break this hold it has on me. Maybe not completely. I'm not sure I'm ready for cold turkey from the internets. But I'd like to spend more time applying the knowledge I have, more time creating, more time living, and less time reading about how to live and peering into someone else's windows.
I haven't decided on a course of action yet, but something MUST be done.