Monday, February 22, 2016

When a Blog Isn't Helpful

On our recent doughnut day, we were debating the merits of various glaze recipes. We couldn't remember which one was our favorite. Finally we checked here at Home Joys and found a note from a couple years ago stating our favorite glaze recipe.

It was not the first time when I have had to check here to find the answer to some question. My faulty memory can not be relied upon. If I write it down, I may or may not know where to find it in the future. So the search function here on Home Joys, if it happens to be something I wrote about, comes in handy.

Several months ago I wanted to make yogurt. It had been a long time, probably a year, since I had made yogurt. I was glad I had written complete directions.

Last spring a friend asked me to make some artisan bread for a meal she was catering. It had been so long that I made anything besides very basic ordinary bread that I searched the archives to find some of the past notes on artisan breads I had written.

So this blog can be helpful for faltering memories.

But maybe there are things I don't want to remember.

Invariably, when I poke through the blog archives, I say, "I forgot that I did that. Why don't I do that any more?" It may be a forgotten recipe or the fact that I once used cloth diapers. If I'm not careful, I can feel the rush of guilt. If I know how, if I once did, why did I drop it? Why didn't I continue?

And then I wonder if any of you, when reading through Home Joys, think that I continue doing everything I have ever written about.

I don't.

I've written in the past about the false view of life a blog can give.

Sometimes I write about something that I try once. Sometimes I write about something that I do for a season. Sometimes I write about things that have become a habit, but could always be dropped in a new season.

For example, I once made my own homemade soap. I've never made it again. I'd like to. I actually purchased the supplies, but several years later, the supplies are untouched.

I already mentioned that I once made yogurt frequently, at least once a week, but now I rarely make yogurt. Maybe someday I'll resume yogurt making, but for now, it isn't in my normal routine.

And then there are things that I have continued. My family would revolt if I didn't make sourdough waffles every week. Kefir is easier to make than yogurt and continues in our kitchen. I have made my own laundry detergent for years since it is so simple and cleans well.

It is okay to stop doing things. For me right now that means using my dryer more often and buying disposable diapers. Just because I hung out cloth diapers five years ago doesn't mean I need to continue today.

I want Home Joys to be helpful to you. I do not ever want to inflict guilt or obligation on anyone. 

Not even myself.

Remember, whatever you read here could be a one-time or a seasonal event. Never, ever, ever have I done everything I write about all the time.

I still need to write a post sometime on What I Don't Do.

Do you have things you have done for a season but then quit? How do you handle the feeling of obligation to continue to do something just because you know how to do it?

21 comments :

  1. Yes I've certainly had things like this in my life. I try to remind myself that no one is perfect. I used to make kefir and sourdough, but I don't anymore. I would like to. But I just haven't done it for various reasons. The reality is that all of us Moms have similar struggles. I try to remember its a lie that others are perfect.

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  2. I learned a long time to go to accept my seasons. Some seasons I can do certain things and others I can not. I totally get what you mean though. I also have looked back at my blog and thought why did I stop doing that too. Then I remember very quick it isn't my season. You are so right...it can give an impression that we do all these things all the time.

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  3. 1st time commenter, but longtime reader....on our blog i try to document our day-to-day life/living - FOR OURSELVES. if other people find that helpful, that's wonderful. but what we write on our blog is just for ourselves. and yes, i am sure there are things on our blog that we tried and then stopped doing. an example would be mason bees. i was so excited to try them, got them, built them a beautiful house and in the first season they flew off into the woods (we live in the middle of nowhere with forest surrounding us). and that is what they do. they like to build their own houses. so that is something that i wrote about 2yrs ago and now you are making me wonder if people still think i have them and maintain them???

    as for other people's blogs - i have no expectations that they are doing everything, all of the time, and i certainly don't expect that of you. the blogs i read, i choose to read because they inspire me. i know that nothing is always perfect in your life, or anyone's life, but i don't expect that of you, or anyone else. i come here because you share and inspire. and for a woman/mother/wife - you are very inspirational. perfect? no. do everything you have tried once for forever. no.

    but your posts have never made me believe otherwise. i come here to be inspired - by your successes, your failures, your routines, the things you've only ever done once, your truthfulness and the fact that you keep trying things - even if it's only once.

    i'm not trying to hog your comment section...i just don't want you to feel guilty about ever misleading anyone. you haven't. you inspire.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind encouraging comment. I'm so glad that you decided to comment today!
      Gina

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  4. Totally agree. Someone told me once, "You can't do every thing well, just pick a few things and do them." Words to live by!

    I used to mak kefir, but it was like tending a monster. So much kefir. I cooked with it, made shakes, drank so much we all had...I'll just say reactions. How do you handle it all? Do you throw some of it away? I stopped, let my grains go yeasty and threw them out. I felt awful doing that.

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    1. Sandi-
      What works for me is to make a batch once a week or so and let the grains in the fridge in between. I could never keep up if I made kefir constantly.
      Gina

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    2. Good idea! Thanks. I didn't realize I could do it that way!

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  5. i am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! mY FAMILY JUST MOVED TO Pa . I have been reading all your posts all the way back to the first one ! I wish I had all your energy ! you have a beautiful family .

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  6. I think it's just normal to go through seasons.
    I made whole wheat muffins from scratch weekly for years...years!! Then I stopped. I didn't really think about it until one day I decided to make some and couldn't remember how!
    Last year at this time I was making bread every weekend. I'm just not eating much bread these days.No point in making bread that is just going to turn blue!
    Before I had any children I was sure I would always use cloth diapers and make my own baby food. When baby 1 was born I was given a box of disposables.Well that was pretty much that! Baby didn't mind and I was relieved of buckets and icky rinses!

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  7. I think we sometimes just get burn-out. I have quite a few "hobbies" that I have done regularly for a few years. Have been quite good at, made lots of gifts, and even sold some. Then one day look at a project I had started and turn and walk away from it, not to return to that thing for a few years. You just get burned out on it. Move onto the next interest or season if you will

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  8. Oh, I appreciate this post. Your honesty is refreshing. It's so true. We can easily pick up or put things down, and others may think we are plodding along, adding things to our routines while keeping all the old things. Just tonight, while changing my daughter's disposable diaper, I thought again how I haven't put a cloth diaper on her even once. And I'm pretty sure I won't be now that she's eating solid food! :)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I think I tried cloth diapers on my last daughter a couple times and she always got a diaper rash so I quit for good. I'm guessing that I won't get around to using them with this new baby.
      Gina

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  9. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven....Eccle. 3:1. With all the social media out there we can definitely get bogged down if we let ourselves go there. But we need to find our contentment in God and how He made us and what we can handle. Have a good day!

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    1. Amen! And contentment, in this area and many others, can be a struggle for me.
      Gina

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  10. haha, YES!!! I have been meaning to do a blog post about this very topic! Sort of like "whatever happened to X. . . "

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    1. I hope you do! Glad that other long-time bloggers can relate.
      Gina

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  11. I don't hang out clothes like I used to. I agree with the seasons. We did try your raised donuts this year. I kinda winged the glaze. They were delicious and the girls said we need to do them again next year. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them! Love that you are starting a tradition with your girls.
      Gina

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  12. I think we all go through this. I love having a clothesline, but use my gas dryer for towels (because I like soft towels) ands most clothes (because I don't like ironing). I still use the line for sheets, blankets, rugs, and some other things, but don't feel compelled to use it for everything anymore. This spring, I am ripping out the strawberry plants that took over a 5 x 5 raised square foot bed. I love the fresh strawberries for the month or so that they produce, but there are a lot of farms where I can go and get them so I can use the bed for other items that grow all summer and fall. I might plant some strawberries along a fence and keep them under control, but if I don't, oh well.

    Finally, as your kids grow and no longer live at home, you really change. I am single and no longer bother decorating for 'minor' holidays, like Valentine's Day. Those holidays for which I do decorate have fewer decorations because I am decluttering and keeping just the items I love. It makes for easy setting up and putting away, too.

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  13. There is a season and there are things I did years ago that I don't do anymore as well... Sometimes I laugh about it because I feel like I did MORE when my babies were 4, 4 and under than I do now that I Have 5 kids, 8 and under! They are older, but I find myself pulled in other areas I guess. I used to cloth diaper all the time, but now I go in weeks for my 5th baby. Some months/weeks, it's all I use; then something changes and I go back to disposables. I don't make my own tortillas too often anymore. I don't sew as much as I used to. I had to stop volunteering at our children's hospital when I was pregnant with my 5th baby... that one was veryyyyyy hard for me. I cried and cried. My husband had to remind me that it doesn't mean I'll never do certain things again, but that I just need to take an extended break for awhile. Seasons of life and all that... No guilt, just seasons. :)

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  14. They say that mother should only stay at home and look for the kids but nowadays mothers are also working.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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