Saturday, 16 July 2011

a balance

I turned on the computer late last night to write a post that balanced out the garden one from the previous Friday. I'd taken photographs of nettles and bindweed rampaging amongst the flower beds and the beans, and of piles of rubbish next to the shed, and of the grass that is growing through into next doors garden and probably driving them mad.
but I didn't quite get the photos uploaded, or the post written.

you see every time I turn on the computer I find more and more "social networks" to distract me.

first of course is google reader, where I catch up with all your news, then this week I joined twitter - and I can honestly say hand on heart, "I don't understand it...."

and then there is pinterest. miles and miles of inspiring things to look at, to like and repin and comment on, and giggle at the comments of others, coffee lady and Lynn have a hilarious thing going on about bicycles and muffins....
I do have a problem with pinterest though, much as I love it, oh and boy do I love it, but I get this sense of overwhelming when I spend too much time on it. so much to create, so many beautiful things I'd love to have, so many kitchens to get green with envy over, endless gorgeous hairstyles I know my hair won't create, places to go, endless things to make and eat and .........

lastly there's facebook. it's a funny thing facebook, I have friends who I see every week, friends who live across the road, relatives I've not seen for years as they live in foreign lands, friends from years gone by, blog friends, and friends of friends. whenever I log on I catch up with little snippets of news from far and wide - news of my sisters engagement (bet not everyone finds out this way....) and of new blog posts to check out, and photos of parties and holidays and all manner of things. every once in a while I'm even on at the same time as a friend and then you can "chat" as I did this week with Lynn, almost a real time conversation, the occasional "hurry up" thought, as facebook informs you that ..... is typing. so much to say. so much news to catch up on.

last night it was different though. I read one update that stopped me in my tracks. someone wrote that her husband had died suddenly only a short time after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. he was just starting his chemotherapy treatment. and was only 2 years older than me. I suddenly didn't know what to think, we didn't know him well, he was the brother in law of one of my oldest friends, but we'd seen him last summer and no one could fail to like him. I felt an urge to shut off from everything, enough, no more information, I don't want to read posts like this, I'd rather not know, and I decided to just walk away from it all, no more, I shall become a hermit, a technophobe, delete all my accounts.

but you can't hide, the information is still out there, and it doesn't go away just because you ignore it. so I realised that this is the balance, the negative that comes with the positive, the north and the south, I can't just have the pretty pictures and show off my garden, and admire cupcakes, and dream about quilts and wooden worktops. there is a real world out there too, and I can't pretend it doesn't exist. life isn't perfect, and I can't hide from that, and the support and inspiration and friendship that I get from being here is the balance I need, but it requires a certain amount of honesty, I should have photographed my nettles last week, instead of pretending that everything was perfect, and but I'm not going to show you them now - this post is long enough already.


  1. Thank you for writing this. I got something from reading it... it was very much 'food for thought' for me. It actually made me realise how much i'm coming to rely on the virtual world and no matter how badly I feel about his- you are right- it is here (well virtually anyway!) and we have to be actively aware of striking a healthy balance


  2. You don't need to show us your nettles and piles of rubbish. We know from the wonderful pictures you did show that they didn't appear as if by magic, more that they were the result of many hours of hard work. That's the balance too.

  3. Interesting post Tess.

    Sometimes, like you, I feel that the endless stream of gorgeous images we see, now not just in magazines and television but all over the internet, can leave one feeling just a teensy bit dissatisfied or that our homes should look like a stylist's creation etc. i can remember the sweet old days when the most green-eyed I would get would be watching Grand Designs! Ha!

    Not only that but also so many creative people making beautiful things, so much talent on display can chip away at the old confidence sometimes, Iots of people feel this way I think.

    When I catch myself feeling this way I am not impressed, I thought I had grown out of comparing myself with other people! The thing is we all like to provide posts that delight I guess, but hooray for people who say/show how it really is sometimes - it is a balance. I have shown some garden disasters, but they really do make ugly pics!

    Really hard to take news, sharing that online is a personal decision I guess? All depends on the remit of the blog/site. Sorry to hear the sad news that came your way. xx

  4. I know what you mean I think. Sometimes I feel that Blog posts make everything seem happy all the time as no-one posts about bad stuff or mess . It makes me feel inadequate quite often because my house isn't as good as ' Z's ' house etc etc. Facebook is where I find out most family especially through the SIL . I'm sorry to hear of your bad news sometimes it's the easy way to let people know good/bad news without having to speak to them unfortunately. Does any of this actually make sense??

  5. It is All So Confusing, isn't it? I began blogging three years ago during a turbulent time - putting up pretty pictures was mighty therapeutic for me. This summer I have been back to turbulence again, but this time it's been other people's pretty pictures (via Pinterest) that have soothed me (the speed factor helps, too; it's a lot easier to click, click, click on those photos than to assemble a blog post).

    As for Facebook, well, we know that I am still ambivalent enough about it that I don't even use my real identity! But what a gift it was to find you there the other day, just when I needed to hear what you had to say.

    I echo what everybody else says about balance and moderation; for now, I figure if I'm being inspired and uplifted instead of ending up feeling bad about myself, and if I'm outside enjoying my flowers as much as I'm enjoying pictures of yours, it must all be good... xoxo

  6. After a year of blogging, I've been thinking along these sort of lines myself. Am re-assessing the whole blogging thing at the moment.

  7. Mmmm. Afternoon babe.
    I have such a love/hate thing going on with blogging. I love the fact that I have made some gorgeous friends, people who I doubt I'll ever meet, ever, but true friends.
    But then there is the smug-I'm-so-perfect-look-at-my-lovely-perfect-life side that really p***** me off. So much so that about once a week I vow never to read another blog again. Stuff that makes me feel indequate and what I am doing is not good enough.
    Facebook and twitter are both beyond me- I don't want to start all that. But. But. It is still out there regardless of me being paranoid and neurotic about what people think of me or what I think of me. So I think I just have to be brave and carry on doing just the amount of cyber stuff I am able to and enjoy the stuff of cyber-friends and ignore what I don't like. Am I rambling? Do I even make sense? Hope so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And cyber hugs coming your way. Ax

  8. Very poignent. I will not get into Facebook or Twitter but I do like to Blog. A blog I have followed since the writer first commented on mine nearly two years ago has been removed. I'm very fond of this blogger & am desperately worried about her as are her other ' followers ' ( she had a lot to cope with ) But she won't return our emails. I feel helpless but want to help as you would a friend.
    I'm sure my friends locally think I am mad getting so involved but she had become a real friend even though we have never met.

  9. ....and so beautifully put.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's easy to hide in all the lovely things out there in internet land, but it's always the reality that makes it all come crashing back again.

    take care Tess,

    Nina xxx

  10. Finding the balance... so much of life is about finding balance--online too. I've had similar feelings often too. I just rejoined Twitter, and am enjoying it though. Very much I appreciate honesty. And your place here has always felt very true, and honest, Tess. Just be you. :o) ((HUGS))

  11. An excellent thought provoking post. I often feel the same about all the social media etc available to us but it also opens up so much too. I guess it is about balance. I don't "get" twitter either... and I've not dared to visit Pinterest yet!


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