I’ve learned a lot recently about living intentionally and engaged with my children. My followers will notice that instagram happens in spits and spurts, sometimes tweeting a sunset picture the next day at noon. I’m learning the secrets to being both present with my family and being public in a way that makes sense for my family. And my sanity. And here’s what I am beginning to realize about how to blog those stunning, living moments, without killing them.
1. A Moment Lost is a Moment Lost, Even if There are Millions of Moments
When we are in a moment of active parenting with our kids, and my mind breaks to “Oh gosh I need a photo so I can instagram this and facebook it,” I’ve pulled myself out of the moment. In the 30 seconds it takes to crop, filter, and feed that photo out, the moment may fly away. Sure, there are thousands of moments a day to potentially spend with my child, but not THAT moment.
In a recent BlogCastFM interview with Damon Brown this phenomenon is mentioned and Damon introduces his book, Our Virtual Shadow. One of the things he mentions is this idea that it might not be that big of a deal – once. But once an hour? Once a day? How much do we lose cumulatively?
2. Your Mindset and Intention Matters
I know that when I was in theatre I was, in many ways, a better director than actress. While I did have a few sparkling scenes where I could let go and BE in the moment with completely pure intentions, I am in many ways a better director. I see the possibilities in the scene. A benefit – if you’re directing. Potentially less so if you’re trying to just enjoy the moment with your kids.
3. Postpone What Can be Postponed
Sure – you’re an artist. A content creator. I get that. So snap the photo with your phone or camera if you want. But does it need to be tweeted that instant? The reason #latergram is a popular hashtag on Instagram right now is because of this very principle. Capture the images you need to tell the story as they are happening. But wait for the downtime to actually TELL THE STORY. (Click to Tweet) There’s nothing that says I can’t post a week after the fact about my garden, my project, my dinner recipe, etc. In other words, wait until the butterfly has flown away to stop looking at it’s beauty.
4. Never Miss a Chance to Get Your Hair Wet
If you allow yourself to be so removed from the moment that you’re not even in the same swimming pool, you’ve lost a precious opportunity. Read this post about Get Your Hair Wet Parenting. I’ll wait. Doesn’t that just about sum it up? Never miss a chance to get your hair wet. (Click to Tweet)
5. There is No “Balance” – Only Collaboration
You might ask, “So, Angela! How do you balance living a life worth writing about with writing about your life? How do you balance your family and your content creation?”
Hint: There is no balance. There’s a synergy that happens, a little bit of normal and collaborative dance that develops based on needs, time, and your to-do list. Book due next week? Frozen pizza and mother’s helper! Posts scheduled ahead for the next two weeks? Not so much!
My collaboration with my family happens with that give and take dance. For example, many times MY plate of food is the one that becomes the photo-plate. Everyone else is served and eating and I take my plate out to the porch for photos in natural light. I write and format the bulk of my posts (and most of the pages in my book for that matter) after 8pm. My husband gives me one full day at minimum each week. I give the family one full day at minimum each week. I make a concious choice to do promotional things with my phone during the down times. The naps. The waiting rooms. The car passenger seat. The movie queue. The times when my presence doesn’t matter one way or the other.
How do you handle the juggling act of living and creating? How do you avoid being pulled too far from the moments you know others will want to hear about?