The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Blog Roundup

I didn't think that I'd ever say this since the start of the relationship was so seeped in infatuation, but the addition of Facebook has been the straw that has broken the online camel's back. There are now way too many spaces to communicate or read and in doing so, too many words slip through the cracks.

There's email--I have three accounts--the normal one, one for family and a few friends, and one for volunteer work/listservs. There is Google Reader which can grow by 100 posts or more per day. If I take off a few days to do a big work project, I come back to several hundred unread posts. There have been times when I've had to declare bankruptcy and start from scratch. Oh and there are my own blogs--LFCA and here--that require upkeep. Not just posts, but updating the blogroll daily or pruning dead links.

There is Twitter--and I should warn that I rarely remember to look at the @replies so it is a terrible way to reach me--and now emails coming in through Facebook. I am a huge lover of Facebook, though I think I love it because I use it sparingly. I don't see every status update. I tend to turn it on and off throughout the day so I catch whatever is on at the time and then I usually go around to a few profile pages to see what friends and family are up to over the course of the week. But please don't count on me to have seen an update--I beg you to email it out if it's important.

Oh, and then on top of this is the fact that I squeeze my computer usage into certain hours of the day. Too many places to check and too much information to read. I am going into overload.

Therefore, I am stating it here: the best way to reach me, communicate with me, get me to do something is to send it via email. Or, if you don't need support from me but want it from the greater community, put in on the LFCA.

The item I love the post is the LFCA because even on days that I can't get to Google Reader, I see a lot of stuff that is happening across the blogosphere as I put it together. Please send in your news--I'm sure I'm not the only one who uses it to play catch-up from time to time. Don't wait for someone else to send it in; just fill out the form. Each day, there are a few cases where I'll get the same news in triplicate. I just delete the two additional ones and post the news. Much better to receive it six times in one day than to not receive it at all. And if you want support, it's there for the taking.

And, as a public service announcement, if you are reading it, please take the time to click through and leave a few comments. Choose a section that speaks to you in the moment and make a point to click on a few items and leave comments.

I think I balance email, blog reading, blog writing, and occasional Facebook/Twitter well. Trying to keep all open at once has been head-exploding. How do you balance your online time? Are there sites that have helped you organize the multitude of places where information is coming in?

The sign up for the next book tour is below this post. The book is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Here's the unfortunate part: I cannot tell you anything about it without ruining the surprise (I know, I hate surprises, but I loved this book). You find out the surprise about 20 or so pages into the book so it isn't suspenseful, it's just this bizarre story where you feel like you're looking at something blurry and it slowly comes into focus and then you're stunned when you can see it clearly.

I think it's a book best read as a group; it's something you're going to want to talk about afterwards. It's not about infertility per se, but it lends itself to a lot of ethical questions concerning treatments. So...sign up if you were looking for a good book to read on a cold winter (or, if you're in Oz, warm summer) night.

I have felt this huge push to organize this week. I've been filling trash bags, moving things to their correct spot, donating what can be donated. I have this urge to clean and cook and pretty much do nothing else. My mother has offered to watch the twins this weekend so I can ride out this organizational wave and re-do the storage room. Take everything non-essential out of our house and either donate or take it to the dump. It is spring cleaning about three months early.

I think some of it comes from house-envy. I went to visit a friend this week and stood in awe of her apartment. It was gorgeous and organized and had art on the walls and matching furniture. Lindsay is currently redoing a bathroom and it made me want to buy new fixtures or at least paint a wall or two. My sister has a gorgeous home and she is finishing up some remodeling. I have home envy.

I think our biggest problem is clutter. There are simply too many things in this house. Seeing so many piles makes me feel like I'm not on top of things.

I'm not on top of things, am I?

And now, the blogs...

The Maybe Baby had a post about her new ohm. Prior to getting pregnant with the twins, she had a mantra that she said whenever possible. After the loss of the twins, the mantra started to sound false so it was time for a new series of words to bring her back into a good frame of mind. After she stated the new mantra, she wrote: "Because it felt ridiculous not to recognize the obvious. Unfair not to state it. But the second line, thankfully, goes hand in hand with the first and third, acting as a kind of bridge. It felt presumptive to say I was healthy and happy. I am not there." The post was just a particularly beautiful piece of truthfulness.

Woman Anyone? had a post about how others view her life and the things they say. There were so many thoughts and phrases that moved me in this post including that her slow response was due to "chewing on alphabets." But the thought that sent chills down both arms came midway through the post: "How many people who ask me questions of this kind or pass remarks have ever sat on a toilet seat with something in their hands and mourning that this is what I was once upon a time, and that every living human ever really was just this mass?" Because we all were, at one point, that mass.

An Offering of Love had a post about buying new clothes and ending up in line behind the woman with the baby. It is a post that so many people will be able to relate to, including the final thought: "
It is really miserable to be spending money on fat clothes that I do not want, while simultaneously being face-to-face with that one elusive thing that would make it okay to be buying fat clothes."

And lastly, BrooklynGirl had a post about closing off her blog amongst other thoughts. She ends with a poem by Adrienne Rich, but before she gets there, she states: "This cauldron of emotions is difficult to blog through when combined with this other (incredibly obvious) thing: I’m just not BrooklynGirl anymore." It twists the heart to see a blog close after 5 years and Brooklyngirl will be missed until she resurrects herself in a new space.

Topic I'd like to discuss from this: You'll need, of course, to first read BrooklynGirl's post. It was an interesting thought on how even the title of our blog defines us and can we keep writing in a space that no longer fits? Some have successfully changed blog titles and blog identities--Uppercase Woman comes to mind--but others choose to close off one space and start anew. What are your thoughts on this? What would you do if your blog no longer fit--change your title, change your space, stop blogging altogether, keep blogging in the same space and simply change the topic du jour even if all other aspects remain the same?

The roundup to the Roundup: I am drowning in communication and obnoxiously state the best way to reach me, join the Barren Bitches Book Brigade for Never Let Me Go, I feel the need to clean, so many good blogs and please weigh in on the question BrooklynGirl inadvertently (or purposefully) poses. I'll catch you back here Saturday night for Show & Tell. I will be the dust-covered one with the very clean storage room.


Kristin said...

"What would you do if your blog no longer fit--change your title, change your space, stop blogging altogether, keep blogging in the same space and simply change the topic du jour even if all other aspects remain the same?"

I'm in the process of addressing just this question. When I started my blog, we were immersed in our struggle to bring Gabe into existence. My blog title described me perfectly. I conceived over and over and over again only to never have a baby come to be. Since I started actively writing again last year, my blog has come to be so much more than a blog about infertility. While infertility always will be a big part of it, the title The Fertile Infertile no longer fits. I'll be keeping the same url but sometime in the next few months, my site will be undergoing a complete overhaul.

WaterBishop said...

"What would you do if your blog no longer fit--change your title, change your space, stop blogging altogether, keep blogging in the same space and simply change the topic du jour even if all other aspects remain the same?"

I have already rearranged my blog and it's description so many times and I've only had it a year. I think I am finally happy with it. Satisfied that what it is now will always define me somewhat. I like to keep the whole vibe and subject lose enough so that it can change with the times, with me. I know that goes against the 'blogging rules' and I should stay more on topic, but I would rather have a growing blog than start up a new one every year.

areyoukiddingme said...

My title is one of the things I say most often...about anything in my life. "Life is unfair" is a more basic response to things, but "Are You Kidding Me?" implies that the situation is just too ridiculous to be true. I don't see that ever changing in my lifetime. There is a lot of the ridiculous out there.

My blog is about the topic du jour, but the underlying theme is the same underlying theme of my life...creating and maintaining my family. My issues with childbearing have certainly shaped the way I view life, and it would be a disservice to ignore that.

Of course, I'm fairly new to blogging. Who knows how I will feel next year? But I'll probably do some rearranging of the furniture on my blog, so to speak, to keep things fresh.

luna said...

I hear you on the too-many-electronic-outlets-to-manage, and I don't even use facebook. it does become daunting, doesn't it?

I actually have 5 email accounts, 3-4 of which are used daily, though one is solely for large video files and easily manageable. google reader has seriously changed my life. I'm sure I don't have as many feeds as you, but it helps with efficiency and organization. but you're right, miss a day, and there's 60-75 posts already... too easy to get behind. and I can't read all the time, or I'd never write...

I (mostly) like twitter because it let's me (a) post a quick update when I don't have time/interest in blogging; and (b) keep up with a few others by quickies too.

as for the home envy, I get that. amazing what a good de-clutter can do though, so good luck!

I think my blog name will fit ("life from here") but I wonder whether I will always want to muse about infertility. with adoption, there is so much I want/need to keep close. I have a hard time updating my family blog even. so we'll see...

I love the roundup, btw -- it's another way I keep up during the week, along with LFCA. you rock!

Sarah said...

i have often wondered how you keep up with it all! i can't even keep up with 120 blogs, the majority of which may now be inactive?

Vintage Mommy said...

Facebook is making me nuts! The people I hear from are moms from our class, not the long-lost boyfriends I want to hear from LOL.

I didn't think about it when I named my blog (Vintage Mommy), but the name will just get better and better with age (haha!). I'll always be a vintage mommy; I suppose I might become a vintage grandma someday. That would be nice.

loribeth said...

I have not yet succumbed to Facebook (yet -- I figure I spend enough time online as it is) but am feeling the pressure. Ditto with Twitter. I too feel overwhelmed sometimes with all the stuff I do already (& I will admit to reading at work to keep up with everything). Google Reader has been a godsend, but to open it up after a weekend off the computer & find 100+ posts waiting to be read does give me pause.

And I hear you on the house envy, & the clutter. I sometimes think I could spend a month at home just cleaning, organizing & purging, and I still wouldn't get everything done that needs doing (& I don't even have kids or their stuff to contend with!!). I often think it would be nice to have a bigger house, but then I realize I would have to move all this STUFF, & suddenly staying put doesn't seem so bad.

As for Brooklyn Girl's post, I am not sure what I would do. I'll have to think on that some more...

Cassandra said...

How do I balance online time? Check blog email address nonstop, and keep up with Reader multiple times a day. Check addresses for respective jobs when I'm at that job, and rarely other times (which can be a problem when I don't go to one office between Monday and Friday). Check two other personal email addresses when I remember, which is not every day. No Facebook!

What if blog no longer fit?
I specifically chose a blog title that would work both during and after infertility. I could change focus but keep the same name, unless the focus changed 100% such as an all-pottery blog (which I have no plans to do).

You will always be the Stirrup Queen to me.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

When I started my blog in Sept 2004, it was just a running commentary (although a thoughtful one) about my life. Then in 2006, it chronicled my downfall into illness and my subsequent diagnosis of Fibromylagia. Then I got married. Then we started trying for a baby. Then we lost two.

For me, my blog was never about any one thing, it's just about my perspective in this crazy world. "Destined to be an old woman with no regrets" isn't simply my blog title, but my life's motto or mantra. It's the goal. Suffice to say, it'll never change so neither will my title.

I'll write more about this in this week's Show and Tell since I was going to give the back story on my blog url and title. What excellent timing you have. Stay tuned...

Kara said...

I just joined fb last week - I know you are thinking "Hmmmmm that's funny because Kara really stunk at the last ICLW". Yes, yet another form of technology to keep track of/update/read.

I work on a computer for approximately 60% of the day so there are sometimes were I can blog/email/facebook while at work though in this economy I am really trying to just do the personal stuff at home.

Typically, my blogging is done when I have a fleeting thought or a fleeting moment, rarely when both occur.

I don't know how you do it. I think if I started to Twitter I might need a technology intervention.

Have you skyped before - that is fun.

Bea said...

Damn - you're supposed to fill out the form for LFCA. Um, sorry...


sharah said...

Question 1: a) I have 3 gmail accounts, but two of them are redirected into the third, so I only have to check one. b) I set facebook alerts so that it sends me an email when someone contacts me (through message, post, or friend request). Otherwise, I check when I have time. c) folders in my google reader are prioritized so that there's a section I check daily and sections that get read once a week or whenever.

Question 2: I have thought about leaving and starting over a few times. I think if I ever stop treatment, stop trying, stop hoping completely, I'll have to find a new space. IF has been such hell, that if I ever get out, I don't know if I would be able to go back to the same "space" and be reminded of what I went through constantly.

Photogrl said...

"House Envy" -- love it!

That's exactly what I have. Been helping a friend paint her new house and come home to find myself looking at my walls, thinking, hmm?

Clutter is a problem, one that I can't seem to conquer.

Jen said...

I often think longingly of the days when people didn't have so much stuff. I hate clutter. Especially with moving so often, I always wish that we had less stuff.

Geohde said...

I've just kept blogging where I am, but I sometimes wonder if I should start afresh. It's just that my current home is so comfy.


Karen said...

About the multitude of places to check online, I do have one tip. I use Bloglines instead of Google Reader and I was able to set up my Facebook friends' status updates as a feed on feed, not I can check them as I'm reading blogs. So it will say something like "Stirrup Queens... (2)" and also "Facebook Friends (48)" and I've found it's quite easy to skim through the 48 status updates and pick through what is interesting and worth commenting on vs. what I can leave alone. Hopefully you can set up the same thing with Google reader and it should make FB easier to deal with.

About blogs no longer fitting...I did run into a problem with the title of my blog no longer making sense once our baby stopped being hypothetical and became flesh and blood and we stopped calling her Clio and started calling her by her name, but I didn't feel like changing everything and I like the title, so I've just left it, but it taught me a lesson in being more forward-thinking when naming things in the future!

MrsSpock said...

FB has pushed me over the edge as well. There are not enough hours for all the real and virtual communities I have a stake in to be anything but stretched thin in them all.

Soralis said...

I don't know how you keep it all together! I can never find time to keep up with everything!

Amanda said...

I do about 1/100 of what you do (online and offline) and just don't seem to find enough time. You amaze me that you get so much done. And thank you for all that you do!

I adore Twitter. Although I get behind with myspace, facebook, my blog(s) and google reader twitter comes to my phone. I can't avoid it! :-)

As far as my blog name, Waiting In Line still fit but it didn't. I know I'll always be waiting in line for one thing or another, but the holding-my-breath type of wait is over. So now I'm Waiting No More. :-)