2012: Desperately seeking balance

January 3rd, 2012
By

Nadine Kam photo
Posting photos of animals and hay bales, below, took more time in 2011 than perhaps necessary.

On New Year’s Eve, I received a message from MauiShopGirl blogger Tania Ginoza, regarding sharing my New Year’s resolutions.

At that point, I hadn’t given it much thought beyond not making any resolutions. First, I had the flu going into the new year, and when you’re sick, the future is last thing on your mind. There’s only the present miserable state.

Second, last new year I was caught up in the rush of the Post A Day movement, joining other bloggers around the world in pledging to post daily. “How hard could it be?” I thought at the time. I was already posting four to five times a week. What’s another couple of posts?

Well, my daily posts lasted about a month. Those two last posts, I found, were the difference between what one of my bosses calls “therapy,” and stress-inducing obsession. And when it comes to a choice between mental health and insanity, the choice is easy.


Hay bales in Lakeville, CT, July 2010.

I am entering my fifth year of blogging (August 2007), and fifth year on Twitter (May 2007). I take responsibility for turning a whole lot of people on to Twitter over a couple of evangelical years, but in the middle of last year, I cut back on my interactions. While on vacation in New York, then in nothing-going-on Lakeville, CT, I finally figured out how much time I was putting into social networking. With all the time in the world, and nothing going on around me, it was taking four hours a day to simply upload a handful of photos and manage conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Foodspotting. It’s a lot of time when you add in regular work hours and even though much of it is fun, it adds a layer of stress when you start feeling it’s something you must do at any cost.

I’d already cut back my blogging hours the previous year. When I started, it wasn’t unusual to stay up til 3 in the morning blogging and editing video. For us much as we talk about sustainability, those kinds of hours are not sustainable over time.

Now, six months after I cut back, I’m seeing new year stories along the lines of Pico Iyer’s “The Joy of Quiet,” extolling the joys of or desire to escape the information stream. I think that escape is impossible for anyone who wants to have any kind of career or relevance in the future. That information stream is as much a part of our culture as radio was in the 1930s to ’50s, and television from the 1950s through ’80s. But, I believe it’s possible to occupy physical and online worlds in a way that allows one to be human, not machine. And, so I arrived at  my personal buzz word for 2012, which is “balance.”

If it ever comes down to a choice, I’ve always known that I prefer to live life on a human scale rather than the scattershot of bits and bytes.

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2 Responses to “2012: Desperately seeking balance”

  1. Tania:

    Many people would be surprised how long it takes to complete a blog post; photo prep, writing and then editing. That doesn’t even include attending an event and planning. I’ve been blogging frequently because I wanted to learn the software and other skills quickly and gain a readership but will pull back at some point because it’s my hobby not my job and it should remain enjoyable. I had also long lived a life with no creative outlet and so it was like a rush of rapidly filling that hole but it can feel a bit consuming.

    I do find myself as others do putting limits on the time spent on fb, twitter. And also making the time to just be…to sit in silence. And even if we do experience a good meal or an event, there is a quite a difference I find when I plan to blog about it versus just simply attending, enjoying and reveling in it.

    Mahalo for mentioning me…I’ve read your articles for many years so it was a nice surprise. Cheers to 2012…


  2. Nadine Kam:

    Definitely. Thanks for thinking of me and sharing your thoughts. You’re doing a great job with your blog!


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