I have no idea how some parent bloggers find the time to write as many posts as they do. I had the munchkin home with me for a little over a week, and neither the physical space nor the mental energy for a blog post was in any way forthcoming. Maybe it’s just because it’s not part of the things I make a point of carving out for myself in my spare time, not yet anyway, but it was pretty darn easy to go AWOL from the internet.
I’ve been thinking about that carved-out-space and what I do with it a lot lately, as I realize the semester ahead is actually one with a lot of obstacles that must be carved around, though at some point it seemed like it was going to be easy. I’ve never been particularly good at self-care around stress – I have trouble coming up with a way to “reward” myself for accomplishments, for example, or filling those free moments with things that genuinely relax me. So as I’ve been strategizing ways to deal with the semester ahead, I came across, and downloaded, an App called “Balance”, which lets me fill in frequencies of “take care of myself” type goals and reminds me when I need to do one of them.
Possibly needless to say, “Balance” has started to piss me off relatively quickly. When my phone beeps and it gives me a “You should think about Reading For Fun soon” or “You really should Write a Blog Post now”, I glare at it and go “Oh, shut up, phone”. When I randomly open the phone up to send a text or check my email and the screen says “What have you done for yourself today?”, I think my phone is a condescending ass. And when I accomplish a few things on my list and mark them off, it tells me to pat myself on the back or give myself a reward, and I think “Don’t patronize me, phone”.
The idea that technology can’t mediate the inherent problems I have with finding balance is not exactly difficult to grasp, but I was surprised at how resentful I get about the reminders and even the praise. Maybe, again, building it in to my sense of routine will make it easier, or at least make me less angry about being made aware of my slips and challenges.
Because for all that said, I’m here, writing a blog post, just like it’s been telling me to do.