Alive and Kicking

Hi, I'm Shannon. Once upon a time I blogged here, and then I took an entirely unplanned break, and then I started getting e-mails asking me if I had died. So it seemed like I should pop in and put those concerns to rest: I have not died, run away, or otherwise gone crazy (despite Hubs' occasional testimonials to the contrary).

Here's the scoop:

We moved unexpectedly this summer, fulfilling a life-long dream to live in the country. I should explain that by "in the country" I mean "more than four minutes away from a Wal Mart." It's a whopping nine minutes to a Wal Mart, and I think this must be just exactly how Ma Ingalls felt. You city folk just wouldn't understand.

So: New (unexpected) house and new schools, which meant that late summer and early fall were flurries of unpacking and helping everyone ease into all the new-ness. As if that weren't enough, my little tiny baby started kindergarten, which meant that I had no preschooler at home for the first time in 13 years. It was the end of an era. A sticky, playdough-encrusted era.

I realized this meant it was time to get busy on all the stuff I'd been putting off forever. I thought about running for Congress (not really) or going back to medical school (not really on that one, either), but I decided instead to to tackle the mysterious chunk of petrified something-or-other I'd been needing to scrape off the bottom of the breakfast table for a decade (yes, really, on that one).

A funny thing happened, though, as I found myself so necessarily elbow-deep in the business of real life. The part of my life that was, for so long, filled up with Twitter and deadlines and comments and stats and advertising suddenly grew silent…and, to my staggering amazement, I liked it that way. This blog was an important part of my life for so long, and those of you who have read here so faithfully have encouraged me in ways I can't express. So why, I asked myself, was it so easy to step away? I had the sense that for this moment, anyway, I'd simply said all I wanted to say in this space.

And then I wondered if I should blog some big, official announcement, but blogging about not blogging seemed a little trippy, doesn't it? So I'd look at my computer and shrug and–whaddya know–six whole months had passed.

Really, that's the whole story. No big scandal or trauma, just the much-needed realization that my online life had become too consuming and–despite my best efforts–it was keeping me from giving the best part of myself to the people I love most. It was time to change that.  And it's been very, very good. Life is quieter now, or, at least, "quieter". There are, after all, four offspring in the house with a tendency to ride down wooden stairs in laundry baskets.

This all sounds like a "The End." It's not. I don't have any plans to close this blog down, though I can't guarantee any plans to fill it back up, either. Right now I'm content for it to sit here and let me dabble in it occasionally or often or never. (Clearly, I am all about the strategic planning.)

In the meantime, wherever you are, I hope you're well and happy and finding your own little slice of quiet. Or "quiet".

See you around, sweet friends. Thanks for stopping by.

68 thoughts on “Alive and Kicking

  1. Aunt LoLo says:

    Douglas Adams keeps running through my head. “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”
    Blogs are funny, aren’t they? They seem so necessary, so vital, at times…and at others? they’re just busy work.
    Enjoy your quiet, mama. We’ll see you when we see you! Your bread is still my husband’s favorite, and I make it twice a week. *Grin*

  2. Starr says:

    Yay! I love that you found a slice of quiet. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog on your own terms! Hope you pop in occasionally because it always makes me smile. πŸ™‚

  3. Colleen says:

    Wow! It’s like we’re living parallel lives. I stopped blogging 6 months ago, too. Except instead of moving being my reason for stopping, it was because 2010 was the crappiest year of my life and blogging about it hurt too much.
    Also, I’m pretty sure no one noticed I stopped writing. Other than that, our lives are totally the same. πŸ™‚
    p.s. I cheered out loud when I saw your entry in my google reader.

  4. MemeGRL says:

    Oh good. I took an unexpected and undesired web break also and it did change my outlook when I came back too. (Yes, I’m *sure* we’re the only two people out there that this happens to, right?!) But thanks for throwing an occasional message to those of us out here who loved “hearing” from you when you were a frequent poster. You gave me a lot of hope and encouragement (in the universality of that messy pre-school stage of child-raising) and a nifty view in to a life not at all like mine on the east coast. Thanks for not shutting down. Really. I like knowing the door is open. And I wish you all every happiness in your new home and new stage of life!

  5. Carly says:

    Oddly, I went through my reader yesterday and clicked over here wondering whatever happened to that nice lady from Rocks in my Dryer? And today, there you are at the top of the list again.
    Thanks for stopping by – may you be greatly blessed in everything no matter whether you blog daily, monthly or never again!

  6. Kathryn says:

    Kind of reminds me those emails that Meg Ryan sends to Tom Hans in You’ve Got Mail.
    Glad to see a blog – even if it might be the only one for a while. (-:

  7. Deb says:

    Even as one of those who wrote to you, I couldn’t cheer your thoughts with more enthusiasm. Blog when you feel like it, because your thoughts are always a breath of fresh air, but for goodness sakes, ABSOLUTELY, enjoy your life first and foremost!!!

  8. Revoirs says:

    Sniff…. I just found you. But you know, I do understand. I’ve been blogging for for almost 5 years and I can see how my focus could change. But knowing me, I’d FIND stuff. haha. Like organization, school news from my kids, church happenings, husband’s silly stuff, my weird thing that happened at the marketplace. πŸ˜‰

  9. edj says:

    I’m glad I hadn’t deleted you from my feed reader πŸ˜‰ Hello! Moving takes a lot of energy, doesn’t it? Glad you’re all doing well.

  10. Shannon says:

    My name is Shannon too and I just posted on my blog today for the first time in a long time. Strange little coincidence in blogland. My excuse? New baby, busy life, just not feeling it. And I’m glad there are others out there that are not consumed by technology like it’s so easy to become. Updates are nice every once in a while…people don’t take you for granted that way. Just my two cents. Have a nice day!

  11. Jenny says:

    I’ve kept you in my feedreader hoping to see something sometime, and I was quite happy to see you again today! Every once in awhile I would remember your last post about moving and wondered whatever happened to you. Glad all is well and you are enjoying life. Stop in when you can!

  12. Julia @ PaperCrank says:

    Good to hear from you, Shannon!! I, too, cheered out loud when your post showed up in my reader. πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear about your new, “quieter” life in the country, even if it’s sporadic! Many blessings on you country-folks. πŸ˜‰

  13. Molly Bilbow says:

    I guessed you might have been busy with the move and all that follows after. Glad you’re enjoying the country and being mom of four!
    I never set out to do my two on a regular basis. The only thing I do on a regular basis is cook dinner.
    My fun blog is an every (maybe) two/three month entry, and my “Serious Designer” blog just gets updates when I do a new freelance piece for my mom’s church group (cuz they fun!).
    Don’t write for us, just do it for yourself, and I’ll be happy to see when you stop by to say Howdy!

  14. Amy says:

    I checked in on your blog the other day to make sure my reader was still working. I completely understand the business of a blog, and although we’ve greatly missed you, it sounds like you have things figured out quite nicely.
    Hope to see you again soon!

  15. Jennifer R. says:

    Thank you for letting us know. I, too, had wondered if something had happened to you. I’m glad to know it was just a move that pulled you away from blogland. Enjoy your new home and the extra minutes in your day. I’ll keep you in my reader just in case you throw out an occasional post. πŸ™‚

  16. Laura says:

    Glad to know you’re all okay. Stepping back and breathing is a good thing. Enjoy the silence from the keyboard and the way the kiddos giggles tickle your ears instead.

  17. katie@Impatientlyprayingforpatience says:

    I am glad to hear you are in fact alive and kicking. I just love your writing style and the fun things you have to say. But I understand about needing the break, although I am quite jealous of the youngest in kindergarten. I just started potty training my youngest and as it is going right now. He may be in diapers when he finally goes off to kindergarten.

  18. Jenny Goldsby says:

    Blessings to you and your sweet family!
    I mean really – when LOST ended what else is there to talk about! (Grin)

  19. Betsy says:

    Ahhhhh, the similarities. My youngest started Kindergarten this year… I also have been taking long, unexpected “bloggy breaks”…
    Thus, the beauty of a blog. It’s YOURS, and you can do it WHEN YOU WANT TO. πŸ™‚

  20. Angela says:

    A well deserved break I am sure. I was almost giddy when I noticed that there was a new post – your blog is on my blog roll and it has been a while.
    Miss you – started visiting for Works for Me Wednesday, continued for your Lost recaps and all the other stuff in between.

  21. Linda says:

    I had just gotten to know you, and then you “disappeared”! It is so nice to hear what’s been going on in your life. I do believe you have chosen the “better part” for now, but I hope you’ll come and visit every now and then.

  22. Elaine says:

    what’s really weird is that I hadn’t visited your blog in a while and I JUST today clicked over to catch up. Crazy, huh? Glad you’re enjoying life. Keep it up!! xo

  23. Mrs Lemon says:

    No pressure! That’s exactly what feed readers are for. I am sincerely happy to hear that everything is going well for you.
    But if you do get a new minivan with a bossy voice, please to let us know πŸ˜‰

  24. Colleen says:

    So, happy for you! Quiet even just “quiet” is nice sometimes. I hope you enjoy the country, we do.
    Just drop every now and again so we don’t worry. πŸ™‚

  25. elizabethk says:

    SO happy for you, dear Shannon. I was a frequent reader but seldom commenter. May God continue to bless you and your family. Thank you for blogging, for sharing so much of yourself, life and love with us. Whether you continue to blog or not… I blogged (blogger and lj – never widely read – ha!) when it all began but life happened, and I got onboard real life at home. πŸ™‚ Will always read if you do happen to jump on once in awhile.
    Gentle Hugs to you – country girl! πŸ˜‰

  26. JeneeLyn says:

    So glad to hear there wasn’t a tragedy or turmoil that interrupted your blogging. I’ve continued to check in during the past few months and was delighted to see the new post today. Happy for your fullfilment of my dream to live ‘in the country’. Will you be putting in a garden, Ma? I will look forward to hearing from you, whenever that may be. I think you have a gift for this kind of thing.

  27. Charlsie Swadley says:

    I was so very happy to see your post pop up on my bloglines feed! Yours was one of the first blogs I faithfully read and I miss your hilarious posts but totally understand enjoying having a quiet blog for awhile!

  28. Molly Piper says:

    You know I miss your internet “voice,” but I’m thankful for this new phase of freedom for you. And always very thankful for your help and guidance as a blogger. Love you, friend.

  29. Teresa says:

    So glad to hear you are okay. I was actually worried!
    Enjoy the quiet and I will look forward to seeing your posts whenever that may be!

  30. Susan says:

    I’m so glad you are well. I am also glad you are not ending your blog in the bathroom, because you know, with three boys, one of them would have noticed. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the quiet, but selfishly, I do hope you check in on occasion.

  31. punkinmama says:

    Sounds wonderful. Enjoy the quiet or the “quiet”. Will look forward to whenever there might be a post in my reader from you, but also can’t wish away this season in your life either.

  32. Heidi Smith Luedtke says:

    I, too, live in the country. 26 minutes from a Walmart, if that’s the yardstick of just how far out in the sticks one resides. As a firm believer in the philosophy that “you can do it all, just not all at the same time,” I applaud your recent absence from the blog. Cheers from my little corner of nowhere to yours, Heidi

  33. Genny says:

    I’m glad things are good… I have stopped by from time to time and wondered. Congratulations on your move to the sort-of-country! πŸ™‚
    I took a break from my blog a while ago too. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be gone, and it turned out it was almost seven months! Time does fly! I think it’s important not to let the online world take away from the real one… my time away helped me to learn to balance that better. Anyway, just wanted to say it is nice reading a post from you again. I started reading your blog a couple of years ago and just really connected to your writing beautiful style.

  34. Fiddledeedee says:

    I’ve been thinking about you lately, and wondering how you were. I’m so glad you posted this. Your explanation is exactly what I assumed. πŸ™‚ You know, yours was the first blog I ever read. And you’ve been such a terrific inspiration to me. I wonder when I’ll feel like I’ve said enough. I suppose I’ll know it when it comes. And I miss you in the blogging world, btw.

  35. Heather says:

    I often take breaks from my blog as well. Thanks for updating. I so enjoy your posts and checked back at least once a week to see if you had updated. Looking forward to seeing more posts, however sporadic they may be! πŸ™‚

  36. Rachel says:

    This makes me sad. I love your writing! I am fairly new to your blog, so I guess I can content myself with reading the archives (at least for a while…)

  37. Kim says:

    Well, it may not become “regular” again, but I’m glad to “hear” you on here again. I started reading your blog around the time of my first trip to South Africa (Oct.’07) and just love your heart. Glad to know you haven’t quit forever!

  38. Tiera says:

    I really miss reading you blog every day, yes, everyday, I looked forward to it. But, I so understand your need to actually spend time with the ones you love in real life. Good for you. I will check back from time to time to see if anything new is going on. Blessings to you.

  39. tracey says:

    When something no longer fills you up with goodness, it’s not a bad thing to move on. Especially since you can always come back if the mood and time fits again.
    Take care. Enjoy your quiet stuff.

  40. Domestic Extraordinaire says:

    I haven’t read in what seems like forever. Much love to you and your ‘new’ life. Also nine whole minutes from Walmart….you poor thing, I am sure it’s uphill in the snow both ways….LOL.
    Hope to see you around these parts sooner than later, but I totally understand.

  41. lomagirl says:

    I haven’t clicked on your blog in a long time, having decided that you’d just shut down. but somehow, accidently, I clicked on you this morning and I’m glad I did. Welcome back!
    Don’t you think it’s ironic you moved right after finishing renovations? Doesn’t that always happen?

  42. KimC says:

    I know just how you feel. I’m so close to being right there with you. I took the month of December off blogging (except for prior obligations) and had *such* a hard time getting back into posting regularly.
    Even now, I have to remind myself why I do it. The habit is broken, and now it feels suspiciously like work. Enjoy that free feeling!

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