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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Under the Radar and Loving It

Hello again! I'm in the middle of the seemingly endless marathon that is getting a classroom ready to open for students (they start on Tuesday- eek!)  When the opportunity came up to spend Labor Day weekend visiting friends, I snapped it up immediately! I literally dropped everything- phone calls, materials that needed to be prepped for the looming First Week of School (and by the way, did you read my feature at The Unread Reader? It gives a sneak peek into what I do when I'm not reading!) housework, organization, technology in all forms (including blog hops- wow!), you name it, and took off in the car for a weekend of down time.  I've even devoted this weekend to rereading older, favorite books!

The experience has been nothing short of amazing.  I've spent the weekend exploring, laughing, playing games with friends, sleeping in, relaxing, and basically not worrying about a thing.  I was sitting on the deck at my friends' home this morning when a thought that had been rocking around in my brain finally clicked into place.

I've been trying for awhile to come up with what I wanted to present as my Results of One Year of Book Blogging.  What did I learn?  What do I wish I had known at the onset? What do I want to communicate to others?  I hemmed and hawwed, as there are so many good resources out there that other people have put together, and I didn't want to be redundant (although you can definitely expect a Link Rodeo at some point highlighting all of these great resources), and finally, this morning, it hit me.  My lesson that I learned about the blogging adventure and was finally able to articulate this morning is:

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Most of the folks I know who are prolific readers and writers here in the blogosphere are doing this as a spare time activity.  Sometimes there's way more spare time to go around than others.  We work, we have homes to maintain, we have family and social obligations, we have to take care of our minds and our health (I promised myself again this morning that I would start exercising), some of us have kids (although I don't count myself among that number) and many of us have formed relationships with authors, publishers and other bloggers to participate in events and features and publicity extravaganzas.  It can all seem overwhelming sometimes, and I think that this collision between all the different forces in our lives is what leads to reading slumps and review blocks and uncomfortable things like that.  Isn't it icky when something that usually brings us so much enjoyment feels like an extra weight in an already weighty existence?

My weekend under the radar has shown me the way to deal with this stuff.  And here it is:

Stop. Pause. Reevaluate. Choose a different path.  Examine the way I'm dividing my time and my resources and see if there's a disconnect or imbalance.  If there's an element of my life that's getting neglected, direct some resources that way and see what happens.  I poured all of my energy into reconnecting with friends and doing things just because they were fun this weekend and I kind of feel like I'm ready to take on the world.  I feel like I've got things back in balance.

What does all this have to do with book blogging?  It means that sometimes you have to redirect energy to other things, and that that is perfectly fine.  Reviews will wait, features will wait, posting will wait, the networking will wait, email will wait.  If you have to do something else, or would like to take some time and do something else to make your own life better, then that's awesome!  Be in charge of the way you spend your time.  This is something I'm trying personally to be better at, and so far I can say the results are worth it. Plus now I'm stoked to get reviews written about all the awesome books I've been enjoying lately!

With that said, this coming week you can look forward to:
-The winners of my Blogiversary giveaways- thanks to everyone who entered!
-Information on a sweet collaboration and tour where you'll have a chance to win a Kindle 3!
-Blogfest 2010- my giveaway will go live this Friday!
-Reviews of some excellent books!
-Exclamation points!

Check back tomorrow for all the excitement to get started, and I hope your long weekend (if you have one) is going as well as mine!


Patty said...

I just recently stopped teaching second grade and I have gone from stressing over school this week end to just totally enjoying this week end...have a great school year!!!

jackie b central texas said...

Emily, sound advice and glad you took it for yourself and it worked! Always need some down time from pressure, even if some of it is self induced...

jackie ^_^

Danielle said...

Wait a minute...you mean there are still kids that get to start school after labor day?? Here in northern california they started august 16th!! Good luck and have a great year with the kids :)

Kelly said...

Hope you are having a great Labor Day :) I just read your guest post at The Unread Reader, and I had no idea you were from Buffalo!! I was born and raised in Buffalo :) Good luck with your job in VA!

Missie said...

I just got home from a week long family reunion where I had limited internet access. To be honest, there was a point where I thought, I need to find a way to check my messages. Then I thought, What! Why worry about it when I am here to spend time with family.

Your right, prioritize what is important, other stuff can wait!

Great post Emily! Thanks so much for sharing! Sometimes these little reminders really put things into perspective!

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