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Disconnect Challenge

by | Feb 19, 2008 | Authentic Living, Domesticity, Inspired Living

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Disconnect Challenge

Hello my dearest ones. I’ve been thinking. Oh, yes, I know that sounds dangerous, but stay with me here.

You know that on The Inspired Room blog I try to encourage us to have Inspired Lives, not just Inspired Rooms, right? Because my motto is “our life should inspire our homes” first and foremost, it is about our life. And if our life is not being lived in balance, to its fullest, or if we are neglecting very important parts of our life, our homes are just empty decorated shells.

I cannot in good conscience encourage you to decorate, decorate, decorate when I don’t balance things out with considering the life behind the decor. Because that is not what matters most to me. So, this is one of those posts! Yes, we’ve shared many over the past 7 months. Like here, here, and here, and here, and here.

Remember a little over a week ago when we were getting inspired to find beauty everyday? Remember my little interview with Alexandra Stoddard? Remember how she said “mostly it is not good to be so connected”?

I’ve been mulling that thought over as I had before she even said it. I’m torn. Torn between the great love I have for blogging and the people I’ve met, and the need for solitude and real life interaction.

And those words “mostly it is not good to be so connected…” keep running through my mind. “Mostly it is not good,” she said.

Now, I realize that she is not a blogger so she may not see the wonderful community and business opportunity we all have here. There are wonderful things about being connected in this way!

But that doesn’t change the point of her words. Online community and opportunity are good things. But are they The Best Things? The things we should pour ourselves into above all else? And does our frantic pace and lack of focus on what is really important to us keep us from truly experiencing the life we could lead, if we knew how to balance it all?

Disconnect Challenge

I’ve been wanting to revisit Alexandra’s statement. I have been writing my thoughts over the past few days in preparation to share this when I visited the blog of one of our dear contributors to inspiration week. When I saw that her thoughts were resonating with my own heart, I knew that now was the time for me to share. For sure. She is a kindred spirit!

I’ve heard from so many of you since that Alexandra interview. Those of you who understand what Alexandra meant. Those of you who have that still small voice inside of you nudging you to “step away from the computer” (or telephone, or tv or whatever it is that keeps us from living the life we really want) and engage yourself part of the week in something else.

I don’t think that little voice in our heads means we need to completely abandon blogging. But I do think that little voice is nudging us to balance our time online. To see it for what it is. A wonderful thing that can sometimes make us lose sight of The Best Things. A wonderful thing that sometimes consumes hours upon hours of our day. Every day. A wonderful thing that sometimes becomes the center of our world and runs our life. The thing we run to.

Disconnect Challenge

What if we accepted the challenge to completely disconnect just one day a week or a couple of evenings? Or two days? Or three? What could we do with our newfound concentration? With some time of solitude? Would we feel differently? Would our creativity and productivity soar? Would our relationships in our own family grow? Could we use our time to exercise? Pray? Play? Read? To enjoy the beauty of life? Would we be more organized or prepared for other things in life? Would that time of disconnect be the thing that brings us our next opportunity, because we took the time necessary to be proactive on something?

I for one am accepting the challenge to take balanced living to a new level. I will continue to set boundaries around schedule so I can slow down my pace and have even more balance in my life. And that is my goal. Balanced Living. My goal is not to be blogger extraordinaire or know all of the great insights from Google. I do not need to connect so much.

Disconnect Challenge

So, I invite you to join me in this challenge. If you want to. Not all of you need this. But look at your life and ask yourself some questions. Are you spending enough time with your husband? With your kids? With God? Or alone? You can join in this any way you want, including unplugging the phone and TV if they distract you or fill up too much of your time. You can choose a half a day, or evening or a couple of days. Or just the early morning hours. Whatever feels right to you. No pressure from me to do this, we all need to do what is right for us.

I need time for solitude. I need time to connect with my husband. I need to spend more time with my kids. I need to exercise. I need down time. I really need this challenge, probably more than I realize.

Are you with me?


  1. Vee~A Haven for Vee

    Not exactly with you, but I’m listening. My method is to rise and not go directly to the computer for several hours.

    After that, I spend time on the computer…a fair chunk of time…two hours at the least. Then I shut the computer down until evening when I would ordinarily be watching television. (TV hasn’t been so great lately… ;>)

    For those with families, I can see that being too tied to bloggin or the computer would be awful. For me, it’s a lifesaver. I would drive my real life friends beserk if I had to be “with” them in the same way that I am “with” the figs (figments of my imagination)/internets/cyber pals or whatever one calls us.

    Miss Stoddard probably guards her time for writing or socializing with “real” people.

    Looking forward to reading what others have to say…

  2. Melissa

    Vee, it sounds like you already have it together! It is admirable that you don’t go straight to the computer in the mornings, and that you shut the computer down until evening. My computer is on all day! I think we need to each assess our own lives and what is working for us or not working. Those of us married with children types do have a lot of connecting we must do outside of the computer so we might have more of a need to limit our time! Sounds like you are quite balanced, I like your method and it suits your life! :-)

  3. Design for Mankind

    Awww, Melissa. You ARE inspiring, and I wouldn’t trade your candid thoughts for anything in the world. I think you’re absolutely right, and there have been many times I’ve justified HOURS on the web because I’m passionate about my online community.

    I actually accepted a part time position last month simply b/c of this. The pay is ridiculous and the job is cake, but I needed a reason to get out of my pj’s, meet REAL LIFE people and experience life away from my monitor. I go everyday from 10-3 and refuse to blog while on the job. This keeps me in check and active; not to mention sane!

    As for family goes, my husband and I have Mac dates on Tuesday/Thursdays where we sit in bed next to each other on our bellies and do our computer thing (he’s a graphic designer, so he’s a sucker for the web, too!). Any other day of the week and our computer has to be off by 8pm for dinner and visiting.

    Ok whoa. I just realized I wrote a novel. Ridiculous. What I meant to say is ‘RIGHT ON, SISTER’ and I encourage everyone else to disconnect in whatever way they can. Maybe not everyday, maybe not even for half a day, but as often as is possible for their schedules. It really is good for the soul.

    And thanks, Melissa, for this reminder. You are the Queen of Balanced Living! :)

  4. karen

    Such a great message. I have been feeling in the same mood of simplifying my life and trying to focus on the important things. Balance is difficult to achieve all the time, and yet pruning a bit always results in a more fruitful life. Less is more. Thank you for a lovely post. Blessings, Karen

  5. janet

    I am with you but I am also with Vee. Somedays I spend too much time on the computer and other days not so much. I was pleased to note that while I was gone for five days I didn’t get the cold sweats without a computer! So do whatever you need to do to live a balanced life and you will always have my respect:)


  6. Julie Neill

    Melissa, I am in complete agreement with you. The computer is such a wonderful source of inspiration, information, connection to people we would not otherwise meet, but our loved ones, our family, our friends are our treasures.
    Blogging should be just that, a log, an online journal, and yes, a way to connect with like-minded others-but it should enrich our lives, not consume us.
    I am so impressed by how much you live through your heart as well as your mind, your genuine warmth is so evident in your blog and I’m sure it is from this same motivation that you experience all the aspects of your life.

  7. lauraofharvestlane

    Ah here I am a new blogger and you’ve given me something new to think about!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I feel better about not blogging every day now.

    God bless!
    Happy at Home

  8. Judy

    I SOOOOO need to do this. I need to create more balance in my life. I’m addicted to crocheting and my crochet blog, neglecting my writing and other constructive pursuits – or time to do NOTHING but “be”….

    Thanks for the challenge. I will begin by lessening the frequency I’m on the computer. I might actually get more crocheting done…LOL!

  9. Lizette

    Cherish your Visions, Cherish your ideals, Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the Beauty that forms your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for…if you remain true to them, your world will at last be built.(James Allen) I will be here waiting for you when you come. xoxo3hearts/Lizette

  10. Annechovie

    Hi Melissa~
    I think you have some very valid points here and I’m glad you brought it up. I used to blog everyday, but that ended up stifling my creativity and making it so much of a chore that it wasn’t natural or enjoyable anymore. You are very right, there ARE more important things and it is all about living a balanced life. Blogging is A joy in life, but it’s NOT all there is, not even close. Thanks, and I am going to take your challenge! XO

  11. Julie

    Oh Honey – you are preaching to the choir. Except you sing much more beautifully than I ever could. Since I was without a computer for so long, my priorities shifted. I no longer post everyday. I no longer visit everyday (which makes me feel so guilty.) But those are only feelings and I can learn to deal with them. You are on the right page and I applaud you for this post. Enjoy the solitude or the frenziness of just daily living. I love you honey!


  12. Kathleen Grace

    I have to admit that blogging has become an unnatural force in my life. I do love it, it has been very good for me in so many ways and I think it has unleashed a lot of creativitiy that has been pushed to the side for so many years as a wife and mom. Having said that, I still need to unplug more and find the balance in my life. There will always be the need to take a look at priorities in ones life and blogging is just one more area to make sure you put in its proper place. Even good things need to be helds in check sometimes! I am with you.

  13. the feathered nest

    Melissa, great idea! I hope more people take up the challenge. I haven’t blogged since almost a week ago and I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made in my life! My blog has suffered but after all it’s just a blog! I haven’t even turned my computer on for most of the day. I just can’t spend 2+ hours a day blogging/surfing anymore – it’s just not how I want to live my life.


  14. snhamlett

    I definitely applaud you for keeping your eye on what makes life more balanced and meaningful for you. For me, being home with the kids all day and having a workaholic husband, blogging provides much needed adult interaction and inspiration. It actually is my “me” time right now. But that said, I do find that I have to put the laptop away and take a vacation sometimes… the need ebbs and flows and I go with that as I need to. Which is what it’s all about I think… finding the balance that works for you. We’ll be here when you get back, how could we not, when you inspire so many of us so often? ;)

  15. Melissa

    I totally agree with you on how much blogging and visiting with other women has enriched my life and inspired my creativity! Isn’t it amazing? I never would’ve guessed. I agree with the “me time” of it all. And of course I am not quitting, I am just evaluating the line where it ends up stifling my creativity and life. It isn’t always easy to recognize that point. It isn’t just when you are exhausted from it, it is probably way back when you were still having fun and enjoying yourself. It is a delicate balance, one no one can judge for another person.

    For me I can’t even necessarily be on the computer less time (I rely on my computer for work and social interaction!) but I can have DESIGNATED times where it is off limits. That way I can’t even be distracted by a new email or wondering what you all are up to or even be inspired to create a new post when I should be focused on something else. I think that is what Alexandra meant by TOO much connection. Focused time in life is so important, and blogging, emailing, texting, cell phones, regular phones all interrupt times we could be focused on other pursuits. We can devote time to the computer and we can devote time AWAY. That is what I am aiming for. Concentrated time on both, not mixed together. I’ve been working on that this past month! The more I am experiencing that balance, the happier I am. I’m new at blogging so bear with me as I figure this out!

  16. Elizabeth

    Balance is daily struggle for me as I work outside the home and have 4 children. I am not a “born organized” person and my family suffers because of my affliction. Your post struck a chord with me today because I am taking next week off to bring order to my home. I will be starting with a friend coming on Saturday to help me purge the uneccesary things in my home. I know this will give me momentum to carry on through the week. Balanced living is what makes us thrive as women, mothers, friends and sister’s. It is definitely something for which to strive. It helps us to live the best life we can. One of my favorite quotes is from Oswald Chambers.
    “Good is the enemy of the best.” Think about it and I think it will resonate with what you are saying about not being too connected. Thank you for your lovely, inspirational blog!

  17. melissa lewis

    I must say I think you are right on. My husband and I have a philosophy in our home…God first, marriage second, then work/ministry. Being married to someone in the ministry has taught me a lot a/b others expectations of us. People are sometimes insulted when we suggest we need to wait to serve them b/c our family comes first. It’s a hard thing to do, b/c you don’t want to let others down. but the blessings that flow when you are putting the priorities on things that God has demanded us to is amazing.

    The same applies here. Blogging can become a little too much. We are excited to see what others have to say. We don’t want to miss out on any great opportunities. But we must have balance. If we are putting God first, then of course, will he not guide us in the rest? He won’t let us MISS out on anything if we are following him, right?

  18. Penny, Mosaic Artist

    After reading this post and the comments so far, I believe stepping away from all technology – not just the computer – but the blackberry, the cell phone, text messaging, mindless TV can be a great thing.

    There was a segment on the Today show this morning about classes being given in NYC on how to break the addiction to the internet, texting, emailing 24/7. I mean if someone is making money giving classes to TEACH people how to spend time away from technology, I think it has become a world wide epidemic!

    Great topic.

  19. Tara

    Too much connection…I am on vacation this week and have not called a soul, have not made one plan…I took a nap, I played extensively with my daughter…I worked really hard on a 6 week project at work and promised myself this would be a week of staring out the wondows, watching sunbeams on my floor. I have friends who travel with their family every single school break–what are they thinking? Even if I had tons of money I know for me solace is more valuable than anything. It keeps me balanced and FULL. That feeling is worht its weight in gold.

  20. Vinita

    I had been through this struggle two years back when I realized that internet has been taking over my real world…in the process leaving me exhausted, not in control of my emotions and time and so on. I could not do it on my own to get “disconnected” Strange it may sound I prayed everyday asking GOD/Universe toallow me to enjoy the real world more than the internet(which seemed like the real world at that time). Now I just spend one hr in the morning on the net with my morning cup of tea, and one hr at night. Thats it. I gave time on the computer as a special treat to myself after I did all the stuff I was supposed to do during the day. If I missed something I don’t get the morning time on the net. I had to be disciplined and treat myself like a kid who gets extra playtime after the homework is done. Balance and everything in moderation became my mantra. For two years I followed this strictly and now I am free of the hold the internet would have over me. I don’t feel I HAVE to spend time on the net to be informed. Now I don’t even have to look at the time. It comes naturally .. when it gets closer to one hr I automatically start getting the feeling that its enough I am done .. Its a great feeling. I have found myself and I am still connected but with other things in life.


  21. Elizabeth

    I understand where you’re coming from on this. I made a ‘no TV for three days a week’ rule a while back. I can’t say I’ve been abiding by it completely, but it has made me conscious of how I spend my time. I’ve been much more creative and started writing again. I say go for it. Do whatever you need to do to feel more ‘disconnected.’ I understand.

  22. Adla

    Oh it’s like we have to put on a blogging patch for this affair :) never say never can try for sure. I think if I took time away from the blogging world , I should head to the park and enjoy a good read and enjoy the weather while I’m at it:)Shall keep you updated on this process!

  23. Bethany

    I’m reading your blog after spending two hours reading blogs at this computer!!! While I’m not about to give up blogging, I do like to put it aside on weekends and days when my family life takes over! But it is so important to my creative life… I won’t stop reading the inspiration that’s out there. I consider it part of my “work”, just like reading professional journals when I used to work in advertising!

  24. Rhoda

    I love blogging too, but definitely see the need to step back and not get so caught up in it all. I determined from the beginning of my blog that I would not post everyday, but every other day or so and that has helped me not get so caught up in the urgency of blogging. Since I’ve been home again, I am spending way too much time catching up with everyone & I know that will have to stop. I want to keep sharing creativity, but can’t possibly keep up with all the visiting that I’ve tried to keep up with.

    And I’m also starting my new business from home & hope that will get me out more among people, that’s really what I want to spend my time doing. The blog will just be an offshoot of that real life activity. I try to get together with a girlfriend once a week for social interaction & fellowship. When I’m around the house all day, I definitely spend too much time on here & put off cleaning & doing things I should be doing. I don’t have children at home, so they are not suffering & I do turn it off before dinner & leave it off. But, I hear you! I want to challenge myself too to step away from it all much more often than I do now.

    We will all have to figure out our own balance!


  25. JO

    Aahh Melissa… a topic we have discussed recently… I am up for the challenge… I have noticed that since I started blogging my creativity has taken a nose dive …I have met such wonderful and inspiring people through the fabulous world of blogging but I find myself tired and unable to concentrate…trying to visit everyone and leave comments… its hard to do… and then you feel guilty when you don’t

    I have actually messed up three relatively simple projects I have been working on… I love posting but I also love NOT posting if that makes any sense….

    Unfortunately is is important to those of us who do have a business on the internet…

    Balance is the key… and one has to find that comfort level…

    I am adding below the comment that I had written when you posted about Alexandra….

    Thank you so much for this gentle and loving reminder that stepping away and connecting with that which is around you is important


    I for one struggle immensely with the time I have been spending on the computer as opposed to creating…. I am trying to learn to balance it all because there are days when I am glued to my chair and that is way to often…. I have found some wonderful friends through blogging… so I now give myself an alloted amount of time to visit blogs early in the morning while I sip a cup of coffee and later in the evening when I try but dont really sit and watch tv… I am finding that to be quite boring anymore unless its a really good show or movie so I take that time to draw or hand sew or visit blogs if that is what I wish to do…

    I agree with Alexandra in that we have lost all sense of enoying our days and evenings with family …. the computer and blogging in itself can be addictive… and while most people won’t admit they are ….there have been actual studies that prove it to be so…

    People used to sit on their front porches and visit… now they sit on their chairs and play games…

    I love this post because it does put into perspective the fact that we must take time to spend with each other or doing the things we love and less time being controlled by a machine….

    Granted it is now a sign of the times… and it is both a blessing and a curse…

    Could I live without my computer ? No… however when I was away from it for four days… I really didnt miss it… I think we all need blogging breaks… its important… if not for anything else than to clear your mind…

    The biggest difference however is the fact that a lot of us use the internet for online boutiques… and with that you HAVE to be on the computer a LOT…. yes you can leave a note and tell your guests you will be going away so that anything they purchase wont be sent until you get back… but the back end of the boutique is time consuming in itself…. maintaining a web site is an every day occurance…. you have to make product…take pictures… photo edit them… product…. invoicing……send it… keep up PR…. keep your clients happy… taxes… constantly change the appearance and keep your site refreshed etc etc etc…. and I think therein lies the difference between just a web site or a blog and a boutique

    I love Alexandra Stoddard… I love the fact that she is such a strong influence and an inspiration to many of us…. I love this post because she does remind us to take time to smell the coffee or the roses and find the beauty that is all around us



  26. Lisa & Alfie

    You know, I constantly have people tell me I should have internet access at work but absorption is exactly what concerns me. I know how I can log on and then get up 2 hours later feeling like I just sat down. And I don’t want to lose that connection with the people coming in to the store because half my attention is tugging toward the computer. So to keep things in balance, tech at home and no tech at work. It forces the break that keeps things in perspective. I don’t think I could be disciplined if I worked from home. And Alfie would really miss his mom.
    Lisa & Alfie

  27. Daisy Cottage

    You are such a sweetheart Melissa….

    Just do whatever your heart is wanting to do – follow its’ whispers to your soul and you will fine.

    Love to you,


  28. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    Sister, I am with you on this one. I know that I shared this with you over an email, however it seems like there just isn’t enough time in a day to get done the things that HAVE to be done, let alone take the time to visit our sweet blog friends. I am torn and feel like I have let people down by either not posting something or not visiting. But, I have to have a balance. With that in mind, I only allow myself a small amount of time at the computer..usually with my coffee and after beds are made. Most likely you are getting an agreeing nod that we need to balance and you know, family and home are first. May sound kind of selfish sounding, but the reality is just that. I love my blogging friends, so love reading about everyone’s ideas and inspirations, but have to really curtail the time. I hear ya loud and clear! No ill feelings from me. None. Zip. Nadda!

    Love ya, my sweet and talented friend!


  29. Dena

    Hi Melissa!
    Thank you so much for stopping by blog and for your sweet comment, I really appreciate that!
    I, too, think about this a lot. Right now, I feel in balance, but that does change. My blog is really just an online journal that I update a few times a week at the most, but for some reason, I feel guilty for not doing it more often – just silly! Your post helped me to realize to make those choices ON PURPOSE w/out guilt. I have a site meter and I see that people check my blog everyday, so unconsiously I think I “owe” them a new post, really silly when I stop to think about it.
    (Love you blog and all your photos, by the way!)
    Thank you for voicing your thoughts on this topic and helping me think through this just a bit more.

  30. Casa de Jules

    How interesting to arrive here today to read your thoughts on something that has been on my heart for the past few weeks. Thanks for sharing your heart and good for you! I’m sure you’ll be blessed!

  31. Lynn

    Hi Melissa, First of all, thank you for your beautiful blog and all it’s inspiration. I decided at the first of the year to cut back on blogging….to maybe only post once a week or so. I do try to answer any comments but not always right away. I do not go to the computer first thing in the morning. However I do have a website that must be checked on every day several times a day. But that’s the cost of doing business on the net. There is a forum that I belong to that I also only check on once a week or so now. My kids and dh get so frustrated with me because I don’t use my cell phone but I have always felt like I never needed to be that connected. Bottom line is I am with you on this challenge.

  32. Terri Steffes


    It’s like stepping away from the ice cream. You know you should do it, but it tastes soooo good!

    I think I could commit to that personally but not so much at work. I am going to think long and hard about it. Might even share it with my staff.

    Double gulp.

  33. the farmers wife

    Time spent on the computer can simply slip away from you and I agree that sometimes creativity dips. I’ve published a photoblog for three years and that actually a different type of blogging. You put the photo out there with a bit of text. There’s not alot of commenting and connecting on a daily basis. It’s a more singular activity. When I started the “At Home…” blog I was immediately aware of the difference.

    I agree with your point of view and this is why I sometimes love it when the electricity goes out. We’re forced to play board games by candlelight or other simple activities. I don’t have young children at home so the balance thing is a bit easier for me.

    I will propose another point of view and that comes from the rural perspective. You and Alexandra certainly live in urban or suburban communities where it’s relatively easy to connect one-on-one with other people, or to visit a museum or coffee shop. Rural dwellers are pretty much stranded and the internet and internet communities have been a wonderful answer to that. Rural artists and craftpeople traditionally haven’t had outlets for their creativity. One weaver I know had to travel incredible distances to do arts and crafts fairs or to present her wares to shop owners. Again, the internet provided a much needed connection to the world at large.

    Some great thoughts here and lots to think about. Balance is difficult and swinging too far one way is easier that one might believe.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  34. Jenn and Jacqui

    Dear Melissa, we are with you 100% on this challenge! We totally connected with Alexandra Stoddard’s philosophy, your interview with her was brilliant and insightful.

    We simply just want to live our best life. This is easier said than done in today’s world. But we have changed the way we live. It did not happen overnight but it is happening! For us it was a Life Plan put in place about a year ago. We are chipping away at it!

    And we cannot thank you enough, we told you before Melissa that your were inspirational and these positive changes are all because of you! Without you knowing it! lol

    And we did have Alexandra’s book! Found it yesterday unpacking some boxes, yes, still unpackaing a few! Hamish jumped into a box yesterday and sat in there just staring at us, I think he is sick of it too! lol

    In regard to blogging, at home we have put in place strict rules, strict for want of a better word, just so that we have both time to visit our blogging friends and time to post on the blog, and time to live in between!

    We now post once a week or so. We truly enjoy this part of our lives but we want to continue to enjoy it. In our weekend newspaper there was an article about blogging, it was specifically about Facebook, but apparantly a lot of people worldwide are addicted, it is a phenomenon!

    Thank you so much for posting on this topic. it’s great to share opinions with others.

    Hugs to you and gorgeous Winston!
    Jenn and Jacqui xo

  35. JO

    Melissa… I did want to touch on one more adverse affect that people may not think about that has to do more with computers than blogging itself…

    Obesity in adults and children is becoming an epidemic… has anyone noticed that kids dont exercise anymore? Besides sitting at a desk all day in school they get on the computer to do their homework… or play games after school… if you think that using the computer every day for a few hours isnt going to your hips… think again…

    Children used to play games in their front yards.. I realize this is difficult to do during the winter and one has to be more careful nowadays because of predators… however… if you get your children out there for daily walks… even get a group together with the neighbors…. wouldnt that mean so much more than computer games?

    This is a serious issue … unhealthy eating habits… major lack of exercise …. quality time that isnt being spent with each other not only for physical but mental health as well…is raising mechanical … obese children that will grow into mechanical… obese adults…



  36. cd&m

    A very thought provoking post.

  37. Sandy

    Hello dear-Melissa! Yes, blogging has to come in moderation. Great post, as I’m sure you have encouarged many readers to simplify (in the blogging world). I run in the mornings and come back and have coffee and quiet time (devotions) before I turn my computer on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get consumed at times. I have to manage my time wisely because of my job. So I take a peek here and there into blogland.
    I’m glad I came to visit today and I’m here to cheer you on, girl!
    Blessings! Sand

  38. Sandy

    I forgot the “y” —
    Blessings! Sandy – LOL.

  39. all things bright and beautiful

    Miss Melissa – You know my dear – it had to come to this – I was watching you and thinking – she cannot keep this up – how does she do it ?

    I totally understand – totally

    It has been the best to be away for the past 10 days – I love it and my back has settled down off the computer and my arm doesnt hurt and – there is LIFE out there!!

    We’ll always be here you just do what you can and a BIG hug to a beautiful lady who we are honored to share our lives with :-)

    Now, hows this for a challenge – can you do no posts for a week!!


    Hugs bug


  40. Lavender Chick

    Well said. I agree completely.

    That’s all I can really say about that ….

    Enjoy your time of solitude, we all need it and you truly deserve it!

  41. this is glamorous

    Hello Melissa!

    Balanced living is definitely a worthwhile goal. I could do with extra time to get caught up on a few things, spend more time with friends, P., a new book, or a new creative project. Thanks for making us think and put things in perspective.


  42. megan duerksen

    well i don’t like someone else telling me what to do. :)
    but i am needing to do the same.
    i am so ready for nicer weather too so i don’t feel all stuck in my house glues to the computer. if i can garden or walk or swim it makes my priorities so different.

    come back soon.

  43. A Fanciful Twist

    I agree.. I am trying to find that balance myself…. It is not easy…. But, I notice so much time passing and me at the computer… This week I had to be away on purpose then a few weeks ago with my house flooding, more time away.. It was almost like forced time… And, I realized this balance is necessary… Indeeeeed… xoxoxo now to find my own little way… ;)

  44. Claudia Hill


    Thank you so much for stopping by my new blog. Your gracious welcome is much appreciated.

    I love your blog – I’ve really enjoyed looking back through your posts. It really is inspiring. As to your most recent post – I’m new to blogging, but I certainly can see how one can easily get hooked and spend hours at the computer. I hope to avoid too much computer time and will heed your advice!


  45. Lynda

    I’m with you, Melissa! As you know, I’ve been mulling this over since reading your interview with Alexandra and when I read Rebecca’s challenge yesterday, I knew I wasn’t alone. I’ve decided to unplug from the computer every Sunday and I’m planning to add a weekday very soon. It’s not that I don’t love blogging and the wonderful friendships I have here, it’s just that I’m unable to keep up with it and everything else in my life … and I’m really feeling the stress. So often I turn on the computer to quickly check something then one thing leads to another and a couple of hours have passed by. I’ll be writing a similar post on my blog later today or tomorrow. ~ hugs, Lynda xo

  46. Jennifer

    Melissa – I think you`re bang on. Blogging is fabulously fun, but it can be very addictive too, if you have a compulsive personality. I don`t blog every day, just because I don<t have the time. And, I do think it`s important to set the time when you do blog. I like your idea of unplugging — it`s espcially important when we work and have families. Balance is really, really important.

  47. anne

    Hi Melissa, I would love to join you with this challenge, but I would find it very hard, I don;t have children at home, and my husband works away alot, in March he flys to Australia and Malaysia for a few weeks, so really it is my evening hobby in the dark winter nights. I manage during the day, either by being at work or at my friends ceramic shop. xox

  48. Melissa

    I’m loving all of your kind feedback, suggestions and personal insights! Here’s the deal, even if you are well-balanced in your life, you can consider joining in on the challenge. If you normally blog for two hours on a particular day and feel good about that, excellent. BUT, just CONSIDER trying to use that time JUST ONCE to do something else special for yourself. I dare ya to just try it once. And if you do, come back next week and share how it went! You don’t have to join in, really you don’t, but you are all welcome to give it a go. Just once. No lifetime commitments!

  49. Esther Sunday

    Oh, Melissa. I so understand and support you. I am always so torn to. The blogging community is so awesome, but at times it does seem to take over your life, stifling your own creativity, etc. I just have a few precious hours in the evening (although I peek around during the day from work, if it is slow) and I am torn. My hubbers, dogs, house, family, friends, etc. all need to fit in. And, on top of that I MUST be able to be creative with my hands. So, I decided to post once a week, allowing myself a bit more time to get around to see everyone, which is so important to me. I try to provide more “bang for the buck” on each post since it is only once a week, and I am finding that I am enjoying the creativity that comes in planning that type of post. On top of that, I am forcing myself not to turn on the computer for a couple of days too. I am working hard on convincing myself that is ok to do. I don’t need to go overboard. I am not going to feel bad if I can’t bet to each and every post. Bottom line, you have to do what works for you and FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT. That is the challenge. Love ya, Esther

  50. Polly

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!! Couldn’t agree more. Though I love this blogging community and the friends I’ve made, I realize that when the mom/wife is busy running the blog and not the house, the house falls apart. And that is my first ministry! But I am floundering on which days I will take off. I have always taken off Sundays but then I’ve done a double post on Saturdays. Does representing Christ in such a public way mean that I NEED to post a Church at Home every Sunday? Right now, I’ve been taking each day as they come and if I have the time to blog, I do. But some days I don’t. Odd how this tears at me! Odd that a year ago, I didn’t even know all these amazing girls. Odd the path God has taken me down in this very personal release from my fears. Odd that it had to be in front of the whole world. I need my blog now as it has become part of God’s extended hand to me… and from me. Odd… blessings, Polly

  51. Carol

    I have been thinking the same thing Melissa. On one hand I love all the wonderful new friends I have met but I also think I have wasted alot of valuable life event time. The conflict is that blogging/internet gives me the instant visual thirst that I seem to crave. But the time I spend is time away from actually creating and doing. I know that I will not totally walk away but I have found that being a bit more organized with my computer time has helped.

  52. Vanessa

    Being selfish for a second I feel a sigh of relief knowing I’m not the only one who needs a time out once in a while! I got back from vacation on Sunday thinking I was going to go full speed ahead. But as the days passes, I decided to slow things down a bit. Thank you for your inspiration and words of wisdom.

  53. titus2woman

    I gave up computer before noon for Lent, and I hafta say that at first it was REALLY HARD! Isn’t that SAD? but it is the truth. Now it’s not at all bad, and it feels sooo good to have a better balance (not to mention focus!) and begin my day without having to get on the internet! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  54. Mary

    Oh Melissa, you have given voice to a feeling that I have had for weeks now. I think I have just unconsciously taken a break — mostly not visited everyone — and I felt bad about that. But I’ve also gained so much peace from not trying to cram too much into my day.

    Thank you so much for voicing this. I loved seeing the pictures of your family, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  55. katiedid

    I started blogging as a free precursor to some PR I wanted to do in starting my own business. Somewhere along the line it has contributed to stalling out the “launch” date by eating up way too much of my time. I work semi-full time and have a family,and have been remodeling our house for the last 1 1/2 years. I enjoy blogging so much and agree totally with all you have said about meeting other like minded design enthusiasts. And I think having a blog is really helpful in so many ways. But if I put as much effort into getting the business up and running as I do blogging, I think it would be going strong by now, and i could be at home (home business) where my family is (which is one of the goals). You are so right! Although I do not post as many as some for the very reasons you mention, I can see that my family wouldrather I be with them more often.

    Thank you Melissa for the reality check, and for Ms. Stoddard who put that bug in your ear. :)

  56. Sue

    Blogging has been one of the greatest joys in my life but it is also overwhelming at times. I have found that I need to step back often and stay away for a little while. Life just goes by so fast and I do not want to miss it. I can be easily caught up in something I so enjoy so it has been necessary for me to pull myself out from time to time.
    I would miss it horribly if I gave it up so finding the balance is key. I am still searching for that. You must do what your heart tells you to do. You are such a special person and we will all back you up in any decision you make regarding this.

    Stay well, be happy and have a sweet weekend!


  57. Gail McCormack

    I’m with you Melissa, I’m 100% with you!! I make sure I have coffee with my friends at least twice a week, you know real people and real coffee, Tony and I go out for dinner every Saturday night – don’t get me wrong I love my blogging friends too but… I now need to go a step further and have at least a few hours in the afternoon everyday disconnected, in this time. Isn’t it nice to know you’re not the only one feeling like this. Let’s hope we can all find the right balance for each one of us

  58. marita

    well i’m happy to take that challenge and i don’t have any problems with that.
    for years i do it on a daily base, disconnecting!! leaving the outside behind me, concentrating, silence!! just heavenly!

  59. kim in Camas - ScrapToMyLu

    I’ve been so disconnected from the blogs I love, like YOURS!
    After I get Today’s Creative Blog posted, I hardly have time anymore for the surfing I once did.

    Can’t wait to go back and read your interview.

  60. Beverly

    Melissa, I am so glad you mentioned your interview with Alexandra Stoddard. Since I just recently found your blog, I had not been privy to your experience when you first posted.

    I so identify with your thoughts about living life. I learned years ago to treasure each moment. As each year in my life passes, I become more certain to take the time to savor everything around me. I believe happiness is a choice, and I choose to be happy.

    Thank you for sharing.



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