Time For A Heart To Heart

Posted: October 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hello, friends! I think it’s time we had a little heart to heart.

I mentioned earlier that I have not been feeling too well. Not only have I felt like my body is fighting off illness and that all I want to do is sleep for 24 hours straight, but I have also felt on the verge of an anxiety attack and like something isn’t quite right.

Yesterday afternoon, Peter & I seriously discussed me quitting the blog.

When I have a passion for something, I go all out. You may have noticed that. You may also have noticed that I have a lot of passions.

I have a passion for my faith.

I have a passion for my family.

I have a passion for a healthy lifestyle.

I have a passion for sharing my story and blogging.

Most of the time, I can give 100% to each of those things without hesitation. Most of the time, I can juggle the responsibilities that come with each seamlessly. Most of the time, I have no problem and manage it all with a smile on my face.

Then, I noticed something. I give and give and give to each of those passions. Nothing brings me down for awhile. But inevitably, I crash and burn.

Peter and I took a closer look at this cycle and, it appears, about once every 3-4 weeks I reach that threshold and go from one extreme to the other. From having it all sorted out to barely feeling like I can keep my head above water. The water being the tears that drop from my eyes at nary a moment’s notice.

Whenever I reach this point, I doubt myself as a mother. Whenever I reach this point, a lot of my healthy habits break down – either with stress eating or feeling too exhausted to workout. Whenever I reach this point, I get angry with myself and lose patience with others. This can not and will not go on.

A lot of topics in my devotional readings, study groups at church, and even just in my heart during prayer, have really forced me to wonder about my own passions.

When looking at my passions, it’s obvious that 3 of the 4 are non-negotiable parts of my life. That left me negotiating the blog.

After much thought, I can’t deny any of those passions of mine. They each bring something to my life which I cannot give up on. So, I won’t. Yes, I still plan to blog. I simply have to analyze where I spend my time on the work and adjust as necessary – likely a lot of the behind the scenes and side work associated with it.

But that isn’t even the main point of this post.

This post is NOT another reflection on my blogging habits or a plea for feedback on what to do. It is not asking for comments to assure me to keep blogging.

If anything, this post is a plea from me to you. A plea to take a close look at your life. Really take the time to consider your goals. Pay attention to how you spend your time. Determine if you ever feel you don’t have enough to give to the things that matter most. This post is not a plea for my benefit. It is a plea for yours. A plea to live the life that matches your values.

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99 Comments to “Time For A Heart To Heart”
  1. Becca says:

    Love this tina… while my blog is nowhere near as popular and successful as yours, when my life got crazy the last month I had to made choices and decide what I could slakc on a bit to not have a total breakdown and it was my blog. My family, my job, my “me” was important and had to stay, the blog could hold off for a few weeks.

  2. I can relate, Tina. I am fascinated by so many things and pour myself into my passions. Only after learning to say “no” did I finally step back and live a more balanced life. Even with that balance, I find myself freaking out occasionally because of a strong desire to “do it all.”

    Lots of hugs to you. I’m glad you’ll be sticking around, but I’m even more glad that you’re listening to and following your heart.

  3. One thing I love and respect most about you (and your blog) is your honesty. Ok 2 things, your honesty and your passion. Real life comes first. And I know you already know this of course.

    I have found myself questioning blogging as well. Like Saturday when I didn’t post for once. The world didn’t end. It was actually kind of nice not rushing home and hammering out a post or spending hours of my day off reading posts.

    Maybe just scale back on the blog posts? Even if you do stop blogging, I hope so much that we stay in touch. I think you have so much to offer. But, you must do what is best for you and your family first and foremost. Your friends will still be here one way or another ;-)

  4. Whenever someone considers quitting their blog, I think this same thing….why don’t you just set up a schedule for yourself where you get “time off”? If you worked a traditional job, you would work 5 days a week and get weekends off, but yet you blog 7 days a week! Maybe it would help you if you said you took the weekend days off, or just Sunday. Or maybe since you said every 3-4 weeks you get worn down, plan to take a 3-4 day blogging vacation at the end of each month.

    Just an idea! That way you can still blog, but there is scheduled time off and you have that work-life separation that is SO important.

  5. i’m not sure what all you’re going through right now, but know that i am here if you need me.

    also, from a blogging standpoint, know that i have been there. all my love you to, you beautiful mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. :)

  6. Khushboo says:

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post! I blog as it’s an outlet for me to share my ideas. Sometimes I do feel the pressure to put up a post but then remind myself to take a step back. Blogging is my passion, not an obligation. Hope youre feeling less overwhelmed, Tina.

  7. Love this post, Tina. Sometimes we all need to sit back and reevaluate what matters.

    For me, I am also a passionate person and give my time to many things: God, family, fitness, myself.

    I can only imagine how it much be for someone who pours so much into a fabulous blog…I know how time consuming posts are; the prep, the execution…I’ve been blogging for several years and have tried to keep up with my thrice daily posts, and like you would just crash and burn. I have finally decided to do what time can allow, and if it means not posting on the weekends, or just posting once a day, so be it.

    Be well, Tina! You’re an inspiration to us all. :)

  8. Blogging can be overwhelming. It is a job and a job that you are fabulous at! I don’t think you should quit it, but maybe ease up a bit, as in don’t post as much? You post A LOT, so maybe if you narrowed it down to 1-2 times a day it would seem less overwhelming

  9. I love your blog and your absolute honesty. The feelings you’re having are totally legit and I think you’ll find more people who can relate than not, especially when kids are involved. I always take on too much and have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone, so this feeling of getting to the brink and saying “screw it all” is very cyclical for me. That’s when I know I have to remove things from my plate, say no, and take more time to think about what I really want. But it’s so hard when you’re in the midst of it.

  10. Thanks for the reminder to keep what’s important first in my life. It’s easy to forget sometimes.

  11. katie says:

    You should aways do what is best for YOU and follow your heart and instinct. You are truly a beautiful person all around Tina, I am blessed that I met you in the blog world, and I give you SO much credit for blogging as much as you do and raising 2 young kids, that has got to be tough! I seriously think you are superwoman.

    All that matters to me is for you to be happy and to do what makes you happy, always here for you, please know that xo <3

  12. Tina, I get it. And this comes so timely for me, as the hubs and I have been struggling through the same thing. Life is so precious — I just pray that I have the wisdom to invest wisely! Praying for you and Peter!

  13. As someone with similar passions, I can relate to this post. A while back I decided that while I knew my blog would grow faster, earn more, etc if I posted more often, it wasn’t worth the time it took away from other things for me. Now, the weekends are off for me, just like if I was working a traditional job. I rarely even read other blogs on the weekends. Then, during the week, I post 3-5 days. For now, this is as much as I want to devote to blogging and it’s an amount that keeps me sane. I love that I can share my passion for healthy eating with like-minded individuals while still maintaining my role as a wife and mother and person of faith.
    Sorry for such a long comment, but I felt compelled to share. :-) Good for you for reflecting and figuring out what is going to work out best for you in the grand scheme of things. I’m sending love your way.

  14. I think that you’re a very wise woman. You’ve always been 100% truthful to your blog readers and yourself. I admire that about you. Trying to do too much in too many areas leads people to become burned out, and as a mother, a wife, the priorities are definitely elsewhere. I think blogging is so incredibly rewarding, and if I did not have a full-time job, going back to school, responsibilities to my family and husband, I would blog more often and with more purpose. I admire you for being able to admit that it’s time to make a change. I support you and thank you.

  15. WOW. I had the exact same conversation today (or like 2 hours ago I should say!) to my husband. I have been really quiet and moody for 2 days now and he keeps asking me to talk about it and of course I didn’t until I completely melted down.

    I have way too much on my plate right now as well and I’m fighting with myself all the time. I feel like I am not giving 100% to anything…just giving more like 50% to a lot of things (which still adds up to way more than one person can give!). Something’s gotta go…or I at least need to stop beating myself up and being so hard on myself about everything!

  16. I’ve been thinking about how I spend my time too. Thank you for this post. I have some self reflecting to do as well.

    oh, I am also glad that you aren’t going to quit blogging. I love to read it and they how you are so “open” to talking about your faith, your ups and downs, etc!

    Thanks and hugs to you…go hug those 2 precious little ones God has given you!

  17. I can totally relate. Whenever my life gets extra busy and crazy, something’s got to give. As I don’t want to neglect my job or my family, I have to scale back on my hobbies, like blogging, cooking, or exercising. So sometimes I might blog every day, sometimes only once a week. I know my priorities and act accordingly.
    But I still hope you’ll keep blogging, even if it’s just every other day or so. ;)

  18. Lee says:

    It sounds like you’re feeling like you’re spread too thin. Maybe try to post less? Or not post at all on the weekends. I know that there’s a certain pressure to post X times a day and have good quality posts at that, but we would all still read if you posted once a week, once a month or even once a year!

    Feel free to email me if you ever want to talk more about it!

  19. Thank you for this post, Tina. I love your honesty. I do hope you’ll continue to blog, perhaps you can blog once per day and take weekends off? I know you’ll do what is best for you and your family.

    Hugs

  20. Jess says:

    SO glad you hit “publish” on this one!! I love your plea at the end – because you are absolutely right. It is SO SO SO easy to get sucked into the chaos of life and to lose sight of what is truly important. Your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Sure we all have passions, many of which we spill right here on our blogs to share with all of you, but those passions do not replace family, friends, loved ones, or a focus on YOU. So important never to lose sight of that. And PS. I’m glad you aren’t leaving us, I heart you! I just hope you can find a bit better balance, it sounds like you might need it. Hugs my friend.

  21. I can definitely relate, but unfortunately the things I need to do I NEED to do. Haha. Why don’t you take a break or post less often?

  22. Lori says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I needed this right now. I have been so overwhelmed by a lot of things and I think I need to take a serious look at what I’m doing and what God really wants me to be doing.

  23. Great post girl! I love your passion and I can see it every time I read your posts :)

  24. Erica says:

    Yup….j and i have had this same conversation! For me, its so hard to just casually blog… I either do it on some kind of schedule or??? I so feel for you! We all need to reprioritize every once in a while

  25. Reese says:

    I’m glad you aren’t quitting the blog, because I JUST found it! But if you did choose to, it would make sense based on what you wrote here. I love your philosophy on life and look forward to continue reading. :)

  26. I love that you wrote this, because I so often feel like I’m alone in thinking that I have too many things in my life that are important to me, and too many things that take up dimte. I do the exact same thing as far as balance goes – I feel great for a few weeks, then everything comes crashing down.
    I’m really glad you’re sticking around, yours is one of the few blogs I read whose story I can almost completely relate to. especially in times like these.
    we can get through it!

  27. YUP! I’ve definitely had this conversation with Travis and I’ve only been doing this for like 5 months!! It’s really a very selfish thing – blogging. Taking pictures of our food and telling others about our workouts….will it make an eternal difference? Probably not.

    • krit says:

      Great points Lindsay!
      I know yall are friends Tina, so take a look at Lisa’s (Okie) blog. She doesn’t post on any schedule and doesn’t let it control her life by any means! I love this about her blog, even when it’s been weeks since she’s updated haha. She might not make money off it or get the amount of readers so many bloggers strive for, but who cares? Real life comes first to her!
      I just feel so many bloggers get too caught up in becoming popular, adhering to a posting schedule, and always having some sort of ‘series’ for people to read. It just feels very fake in some ways.

    • lindsay says:

      I am reminder of Ecclesiastes 3. Lindsay you made this point the other day. About there being a time for everything. We just need to listen to GOD’S VOICE about that timing. Much love here to you Tina!
      LC

  28. Katheryn says:

    Check out this blog post. The blogger is one of my favorites. I read it late last night, and it sums up everything you’re saying and more.
    http://www.memoriesoncloverlane.com/2011/10/conscious-pace.html

  29. Karin says:

    Tina,

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I started a blog last June, and I love to blog. But, I have found it be a lot of work (even though I love it). I have a two year old, and work mornings. Plus, I try to exercise each day too, cook, clean, grocery shop, etc. Each day, I have a lot going on. Personally, I have admired you for doing it all, and wonder how you do it. But for me, I have had to come with grips of only blogging a few times a week. My hubbie is NOT happy about my blogging, so I’ve become a bit of a closet blogger. I love life, and enjoy my work, family and blogging. So, I will make it work.

  30. Oh lady, I get it. COMPLETELY. And I heart you even more for putting it out there.

  31. cheryl says:

    just sending a hug. i’m not at all a dedicated regular on my blog. when i’ve debated it, i’ve only truly considered three posts a week…and i don’t have some of the extra responsibilities on my plate that you do.

    honest question — why wouldn’t one post a day, weekdays only, be any less important? in some ways, it would be easier to keep up with for readers and it would be easier on YOU. you can still be passionate and real and all that but the blog might be a bit less of a stressor if you had a self-imposed limit.

  32. You’re amazing, Tina. I feel like your posts can always apply to an aspect of my life, some way, some how. Blogging is something that I struggle with sometimes too, as it can be SO hard to find the “perfect” balance of it all. Just keep your head held high & reevaluate how you post & when you post.

    You are NOT alone, and no matter what you decide I will support you :D

  33. Balance can be a hard thing… I do hope you are able to find it and continue blogging!!! (Though I have to say I have NO idea how you do it all with 2 kids – you are Superwoman!) I love you blog. :)

    *hugs*

  34. Tina….girl – we love you and don’t worry about scaling back your posts! Take a little time, relax and feel better! We will all be here waiting for you – we promise! I have no where near the readership you do…and sometimes I feel like stressed out about not having time to read/blog/etc… Just remember that God, family & your health is at the top of what’s important. :-) MUCH love from Trinidad
    xoxo

  35. Katy Widrick says:

    It’s no small exaggeration to say that if you left the blog world, I’d cry. Your posts and your spirit have come to mean so much to me, and without you here to add such great perspective, we’d all miss out.

    Having said that, the moment that blogging interferes with your happiness, get out. NOTHING is more important than your faily, your faith and your passion. I love you and just hope that whatever your next steps are, you have peace.

    (Bless our fabulously supportive spouses, huh?)

  36. I love this Tina. I think its so important to do what’s right for you, and it differs from person to person. Being able to recognize that something has to give is so valuable, if only for your own sanity.
    For me, my blog is like therapy. Its a stress releif, but the second that changes, I will definitely have to do some serious thinking.

  37. Bonnie says:

    Thank you for this honest and introspective post, Tina…I echo everyone’s thoughts when I say that I agree – and I do not have the readership that you have but still feel the tugs and troubles of keeping a positive balance (AND have no kids – how do you do it anyway?!). ;) It’s so good to be able to have those kind of (often hard) conversations with your spouse; I sure appreciate Mikey for all the heart-to-hearts and he’s helped me realize that I can’t just read blogs all day! Sounds dumb, but I think you might know what I mean? I’ve been struggling recently b/c I’m an in-home personal trainer and right now work is very slow. I have all this time and have felt very convicted about wasting it. This post was another nail in the coffin for me and is causing me to think again. Thank you. I love what Lindsay said – will it make an eternal difference? I’d like to think so, from the relationships formed and the topics written about, but in general, no, probably not – there are others here, in my life and town, I could be more intentional to connect with face to face. That’s just me though. …Thanks again Tina. May God give you that balance as you sort through your priorities. :)

  38. what a good reminder. balance is hard and it always seems that life will get “less busy” once we reach ____ but it never does. i’m chronically overcommitted so this is something i need to work on.

  39. Lisa says:

    I am sorry you are feeling this way! I can totally relate. I was going through similar feelings and I reduced how much I blog by a LOT. I also reduced the amount of blogs I read by at least half. I kept it down to the ones I loved, the ones I wanted to read every day and that I could relate to. The rest? Oh well. Delete.

    My priorities in my life are my partner, working out, and down time –this includes tv, seeing friends, reading real books and sleeping. I make sure that these things are all met first. Blogging is last. And honestly, I’m lucky that I often have free time on my lunch breaks at work and that’s when I do it. Otherwise I’d never have time to blog!

  40. To be honest, I’ve had thoughts like this recently too. I LOVE to blog, but sometimes I feel like it adds a ton of unecessary stress to my life. And I know I’M the one putting this stress on myself. Lately I’ve really changed the focus of my blog, and have started to post way less often as well. It’s reminded me that blogging should enhance my life, not take away from it, and also that obsessing over food or blogging isn’t healthy. And I’ve been a much happier person lately because of it. Hope the same happens for you :)

  41. jobo says:

    I am really glad you posted this Tina. I know it was hard to do but what I love most about this post, is your plea at the end. Not about what to do, not about stopping blogging, but about evaluating where we ALL focus and prioritize and making sure we also have balance and aren’t shortchanging ourselves or those we love most. Whatever you decide to do, I support you 1000%. XOXO!

  42. Jill K says:

    I began reading your blog regularly because I felt it offered the “whole picture.” It is a refreshing space to journey with someone who offers the many sides of her life. Some others I read often are only one dimensional and lack “grit.”

    Here again you have exposed part of your life with us. This is what makes you enjoyable. Thanks for offering your insight to us and if you leave the whirl wind world of blogging I am thankful for the time I spent here.

    I have had to make those tough choices too and will be moving soon because of it, so I know change isn’t always easy or expected. But it is refreshing once it’s over.

    I’ll be praying for you and your journey!

  43. Stephanie says:

    I’m pretty sure this has already been said, but I didn’t read through all of the comments. Couldn’t you just blog less? I find it hard enough to keep up with posting once a day and responding to comments…and my blog is just a tiny little blog. I imagine that posting multiple times a day would be overwhelming! As a reader, I actually prefer when my favourite blogs only post once a day (at the most)…that way I actually get a chance to read all of the posts.

  44. lindsay says:

    sweet friend, i hear your plea. I understand your heart and finding that balance, rest, freshness. I read this devotional this morning about burnout. I will email it to you. It was near to my heart.
    xxoo

  45. Susan says:

    This is exactly why I’ve laid off blogging over the past couple weeks. I noticed I was feeling pressure to blog every day when pressure is the LAST thing I need while I’m trying to heal. As much as I love blogging, like you said, there are non-negotiables that have to come first. Health, family, happiness included. We are the worst for putting unnecessary expectations on ourselves. Good for you for realizing that those expectations were actually holding you back from the things that are truly important to you! xoxoxo

  46. Tina thank you for posting this! Your plea is exactly what I have been trying to do more of in my life. I’m so sorry that you are not feeling well and are going through a tough time! If you ever need to vent to a virtual stranger I’d be more than happy to oblige :) . I hope that you are able to find a balance with blogging that allows you to fulfill your passion for it without losing out on other aspects of life! Love you!

  47. I’m always amazed at bloggers like you who have little kids and/or jobs and still find time to put out posts. I doubt I could have done that with kids around. And, I cut way back on my number of posts per week over the past almost two years of blogging. Do what works for you. Your readers will be hear even if you only post now and then.

  48. Mama Pea says:

    This post is one of the many reasons I admire you. We all strive for balance. I’ll pray you figure out how to get it. :)

  49. Lauren says:

    I feel like i am reading a story about myself! My husband and I have this conversation weekly too. I am the exact same person as you, I swear. I go ALL or NOTHING and am so passionate in what I do that it’s borderline obsessive. I admire you daily girl and I think it’s so great that you are not only sharing this but admitting it and realizing that you need to do what is best for you, your family and your health. The sign of a TRUE healthy living blogger. <3 you!

  50. This was just what I needed to hear today. Don’t take that the wrong way, though! I just mean that it helped me realize that I am not the only one. I feel as though I go through cycles, too, and I have breakdowns where I just let everything go. Things that I love to do become a chore and I’ve really realized that I need to make time to do the things I love. I am in the middle of post (working on it, taking my time!) speaking about passion, and having time to do the things that I love, and having a balance. Life is too short to not take a step back and analyze what meaning each day has brought to your life.

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