Monday, October 8, 2018

Taking a Blog Break: Or, The Only Post You'll Read This Week That Talks Extensively About God and the Macarena

I went into General Conference this past weekend hoping for some peace and spiritual clarity.

Be careful what you wish for.

The phase of life I'm in right now resembles a tsunami more closely than anything I've ever lived through before. My oldest child is entering high school and my youngest just graduated from diapers and frankly, I was not ready for either thing to happen.

I feel pulled in a million different directions, dealing with the great things and the challenging things each of my 6 kids brings into our family, trying to juggle home and family and the blog and church and I'm sort of exhausted.

So when it came General Conference time, which is the semi-annual broadcast from leaders of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints giving spiritual instruction, encouragement, and inspiration, I was all ears.

I was hoping for re-calibration, which I understood to mean feeling warm fuzzies and then resuming my chaotic life exactly as before and finding that it had magically become more manageable.

Then our prophet President Nelson stood at the podium and directly called for a 10-day social media fast and I was like YOU KNOW THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT.

In preparation for this Conference I'd done a little object lesson with the kids. I took two identical-looking paper lunch bags, one empty and one filled with fruit snacks. I set them on the table and asked the kids to pick one.

Some picked A, some picked B, and some refused to choose because they didn't know what was inside either. Then I called my 4-year-old up to peek in the bags and tell the other kids which one to choose.

The prophet is like that. I don't know why a social media fast is needed at this time, but I trust that sometimes he can see things I can't. Even if there aren't literal fruit snacks at the end of this, I will listen to the prophet.

So I'm taking a 10-day breather, not only from Unremarkable Files' social media channels but also from the blog itself.

If I hit the ground running (or more accurately, blogging) right now, I will likely be the exact same person 6 months from now when General Conference rolls around again. If I take this break, I'll have space to implement some of the improvements in my life I was inspired to make this weekend.

Still, I'll have you know I'm terrified to do this. Ten days feels like a long time to be away.

I've never done it before, at least not without scheduling posts to publish while I'm gone, and I worry that the audience I've worked so hard to build will forget about me and move on.

It's quite possible that's what happened to the guys who wrote "Macarena." We'll never know for sure.

I'm being melodramatic, of course. People go on vacation all the time for 10 days, and I'm not exactly a Spanish dance sensation over here.

The bottom line is that I love my Heavenly Father and I have a strong testimony that President Nelson is God's prophet, every bit as much as Noah or Moses was. I must, or else I would never, ever do this.

See you all in 10 days. And until I come back, please feel free to brush up your Macarena with this instructional YouTube video.

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Amanda said...

I think it will be great for you! I have been taking lots of breaks lately, and yes, I won't lie, comments and views overall seem to have dropped a bit. But the people who really want to keep reading will stay, and in the end this is really about what you need right now!

Diana Dye said...

I watched that entire macarena video. I just thought you should know.

See you in 10 days. I'm not on facebook and my blog is hardly social media as only my mom reads it but I've been thinking hard about the negative voices I let into my life through a screen. I'm so glad Pres. Nelson mentioned that aspect of consumption too.

The week leading up to conference I had been feeling a need to step up my gospel learning game. Boy, did our prophet deliver.

Unknown said...

I think it's awesome that you're going to do a social media fast! You can do it!!! There's a popular Catholic speaker & podcaster who recently did an entire month without internet, and I heard that it was really fruitful for him. It's amazing to see the things God does when we take steps to simplify and dive into more silence.

Also, I feel obligated to tell you that as soon as I saw you mention the General Conference, I immediately thought of your brilliant snack system that you use for your kids during the Conference. I hope it still works!

melinda said...

We'll be here, promise!! We all need to re-charge. Glad you are taking his direction. Thanks for putting the Macarena back in my head! lol

Jenny Evans said...

Absolutely. Best Conference ever. I came away with so many concrete, specific things I'm going to do as a result.

Jenny Evans said...

Seeing as how they would riot and start looting if we ever stopped... yes. Yes, it works.

Actually, we also write a few notes on a Post-It for each speaker and then put them into Ziploc bags with the speaker's picture on them to review later, and it's cool to see the kids' notes getting more detailed than, "Jesus is nis." (misspelling intentional)

Jenny Evans said...

I thought the Internet needed it, frankly.

Jenny Evans said...

Clarification: the Macarena, not my absence. Although I suppose it could be read either way.