Monday, October 12, 2009

Arithmetic.

"I've been thinking of changing my mind...it never stays the same for long..."

Last week I took a break. It started off as unintended. Sunday passed and I realized I hadn't been on the internet...not one time. No Twitter. No blogs. No recaps of Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Glee, Mad Men, Dollhouse, or FlashForward. I didn't "window shop" at Forever 21 or Bloomingdale's, nor did I "for real" shop online for Christmas gifts. No perusing of my favorite music websites. No absorbing current events. (And by current events, I mean the world of Entertainment Weekly, E! online, and People.)

Afternoon rolled around last Monday and I'd still not spent any time on Elliott. (That's my beloved Macbook Pro's name, for the uninitiated.)

Wow! I actually can survive without the internet for a couple of days.

This spurred me on. I decided to forgo the intrawebs for a solid week.
With the exception of Starfall.com (Caroline loves working on her letters & I refuse to take that away from her!) and Lauren's Vampire Diaries recap last Friday. (She quoted me in her post--I had to read it! If you're a fan of the show, you must read Lauren's analysis of each episode--you'll pee yourself with laughter. I kid you not.)


"But of all the things I know for sure...You're the only certain one..."
Tuesday morning I spent my "free" hours painting with Caroline. I called my aunt in Mississippi for a nice chat. We--Caroline and I--dusted lampshades, baseboards, and bookshelves. When it was her nap time, I cleaned out closets. Organized closets. Stored away Libbey's too-little clothing, which Caroline will wear in a couple of years. And I de-limed our faucets.

Seriously. Lime-Away is a powerful cleaning product.

Tuesday afternoon found us decorating picture frames and eating pizza with Libbey's two best friends, who came home with us after school. It was good times.

On Wednesday Caroline and I had a dance party in the living room. Libbey and I played tackle tickle. The three of us watched The Great Pumpkin (we love Linus!).

During Thursday's nap time, I cleaned my kitchen and bathroom, all while having the best chat with Heather K. If you've never cleaned while chatting with one of your best girlfriends, then you're truly missing out. It makes cleaning fun. Kind of!

By Friday, my week of no internet, specifically Twitter, was enjoyable.

Yes, I said that.

And yes, I missed my Twitter buddies, and reading the blogs of all my favorite people. But honestly, I'd spent so much quality time with my children, and my house was pretty cleaned and organized. Hallelujah! I felt so accomplished. That's a really good feeling, too.

More than anything, though, my evenings were free. I'm not on the internet during the day nearly as much as I am after the girls go to bed. That's "me time." My "free time." Because my mothering duties are put on hold for a good 11 hours or so.


"See, I'd apologize my way to You...if the heavens stretched that far..."
But what about my "wife time?" Scott is neglected in the evenings, I'll admit it. He does his thing on his computer or on Xbox Live, while I spend hours Twitting or blogging away. It's never been an issue...until we both realized we'd been really missing out on our evening hours of being husband and wife. Oh sure, we take regular date nights. But that's just once a week.

Sans internet, though, we talked. I mean, we really talked. We watched the Generation Kill miniseries. We cuddled. We had a lot of...ahem...fun...cough-cough.


"Cause if I add, if I subtract, if I give it all, try to take some back...
I've forgotten the freedom that comes from the fact...that You are the sum..."
Finally, and most importantly, I spent last week thinking of things that are true...honest...just...pure...and lovely. (Philippians 4:8) I had many talks with God. I also listened a lot. And for this, I am a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

My internet break was just what I needed. Little things added up to one big sum, and I knew I needed to recalculate some priorities in my life.

It's been over a week now and I feel better. I am better. And I'm happy to be back.
"When the years are showing on my face and my strongest days are gone,
when my heart and flesh depart this place, from a life that's sung Your song...
You'll still be the one I want..."


****************************

They clean up pretty nicely, huh?

29 comments:

Sun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sun said...

A few days ago... I was beginning to think you had taken a vacation and didn't tell me... and you DID! Good for you. . I think it's essential that we de-clutter sometimes. I am proud to call you my friend.

love your face..
-Sun

p.s. *hawaii

Shannon said...

Speaking of vampires...


You will be very pleased to hear I've watched episodes 1 & 2 of True Blood.

About time, right? ;)

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

You know I missed you and you know I'm I am glad your back. But most of all you know that I get it. Really the time at night...the "me" time really was better as "we" time....right?

Vicki said...

Very awesome. Priority shifting can be hard sometimes but it sounds like you did it almost painlessly. Meanwhile Kelly, Tori and I were wondering why we hadn't seen your eye on Twitter.

Kat said...

I keep contemplating bringing the computer or not for our Vegas trip. But I think that I am going to bring to dump pictures.

I have managed to de-twitter my life. And I rarely facebook. And I am out reading blogs...but lack the brain cells to compose my own. But a break...I am not sure I could do it :-)

Swirl Girl said...

I think it's wonderful that you don't need this Lula personality to enjoy your Leigh-Ann-ness.

You may not need her, but I sure do!!

Kim said...

Good job Lula! You forgot to mention Caroline's meltdown on Thursday! :)

Love you girl!

Heather said...

I will admit, I missed you. And I worried a little. But then we got to chat for nearly two hours and catch up on all things "Lula-and-Heather", and I was happy.

I have not spent nearly as much time on the computer. I love this time of year too much; I want to be outside soaking up the fall before the winter cold sets in. Facebook infected my computer and totally pi$$ed me off, so I deleted my account.

I'm glad you took a break, but even more glad that you're back.

See you in a month! Yay!

Lula! said...

Yes, Kim (also known as "Memaw" by my children) is right...Caroline DID have a total meltdown on Thursday, and Shannon got to hear it first hand, via the phone.

If you've never heard an almost-4 year old scream, "I want to go see MAMAW!" 2374 times, you're missing out.

Really. The 1000th time is as special as the first.

And yes, I did start drinking early that night.
I jest.
Not really.

Busy Bee Lauren said...

I am so proud of you! And I am so glad you got to step back and enjoy more time with S. I need to do that for Ted, I know he would appreciate it.

You rule.

Elena said...

I've been missing you! But everyone needs a break once in a while. We have to refill our buckets. So glad you're back, and even more glad you had a wonderful break.

Tony C said...

You never cease to amaze me!

I know I don't normally do this...but please let me share.

I've broadcasted high school sports for 16 years (yep, started at age 10) as more a hobby than a second job. I enjoy it, but I spend too much time away from home during basketball season...in my opinion. I started feeling guilty about that fact when the toddler was born.

Up until two years ago, I had a signature sign off like most radio people. Then at a point I was really feeling burned out, I changed my Friday night sign off to the following:

'Hey folks, Sunday is coming up and I invited you to worship with your family at a church of your choice. It will be the best time you spend with them all week. Good night and God bless.'

A pretty drastic change from my old sign off. All of a sudden Mrs. Tony C, the station manager, the school's principal and others started getting comments about my new sign off...and they were all positive and encouraging!

It was then Mrs. Tony C convinced me that my time on the radio was more than just a hobby, it was a ministry God had placed me in for His glory. Now her and the little one attend games when they can and my teenager often accompanies me.

I say all that to say this. Your abililty to write and entertain is a God-given gift. You don't shy away from praising Him often in Lulaville. Yes, it may be a little time spent away from you loved ones, but what a powerful tool for His glory.

I started to send this to you in an email, but I thought 'What the heck!' I'm not saying anything your loyal readers don't already know. Hang in there Lula, and may God continue to bless your talent and your family.

CaraBee said...

Breaks are a good thing. Especially when it means so many good times with your loved ones. Plus it brings a fresh view to what you took a break from.

Btw, saw a commercial for Liberator something or other today (while at the gym, so I couldn't hear it) and immediately thought of you. They kept saying how it was Medicare approved but never showed what it was. I'm like, DUDE, Medicare is covering THAT?! That's health care reform I can get behind! Turns out it's some medical supply company. Not nearly as much fun.

Mama Kat said...

yay for healthy breaks!! I kind of feel like I'm still at that point where if I took one I'd develop some kind of twitch. I'll wait til things get REALLY bad...and then I'll take my break. Amen.

....I need to go to church, sigh.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Ya know what, although I missed you and am glad "you're back," I was happy for you when you were gone. I had a feeling you were just taking a break, whether intended or not. I think we all need to do that.

Blogging is fun but after doing it for so long you start feeling like you're on a schedule.

Live.Love.Eat said...

P.S. I will never Twitter.

sassy stephanie said...

One day, my son asked me to play cars with him. I told him "in a minute" because I was "working" on the computer. He sat at my feet with his little Matchbox cars. An hour passed. AN HOUR. I had to step back and take a long hard look at how I was spending my time.

The hubs and I didn't plan and save since before our wedding for me to be a stay home mom that blogged all day. I had to cut back. Way back. And honestly, I don't really miss it. I get just enough of it to stay connected.

I can't bear the thought of my grown children reflecting back to a time when I put them on the back burner b/c I was always on the computer. I want them to speak of making cupcakes for no reason, swinging in the backyard and hunting for lizards. If that lessens the depths of my bloggy relationships, so be it.

Linda said...

I set out to take a blogging break for a few weeks, and it turned into the entire summer! And I have to say, it was the best summer. I'm back at blogging, but probably not every day like I used to. Too many other family things to keep me busy. And I'm enjoying my house being cleaner! LOL Good to have you back, but hope you take those breaks when you can!

Sissy said...

I love your family. They are so cute and lucky to have you!

Michelle said...

Obviously many of us can relate to this! I know Brantley and I spend WAY too much time on our laptops and too little time just talking and enjoying each others company. And then we wonder where the time went?! Glad you took a much needed break to recalculate!

Melissa said...

It's so good and so necessary. Glad you took a break for the most important things.

Heck, I shut my whole blog down, but I couldn't stand being away from it, so I just started a new one. How bad is that? Still, I know I'm not caught up the way I was.

I'm glad you're back. Can't wait until November!

Jen said...

This makes me wonder all about all the times that I could get done if I left the internet. I wonder......

themoonisdown said...

YAY! for breaks!! i used to wait for vacations with bated breath when i could leave my computer alone! they were the best.

glad you're back!

xo

Amber W. said...

I'm a new visitor to your blog and I have to say that this post inspired me! I, too, should take a break from the 'net and see where it leads me... Maybe this weekend...

mercurial mary said...

What a lovely post! I give up all media for Lent every year. It really brings focus back to the important things in life. Also, there is a ton of new and interesting things to catch up on after 40 days!!!!

Julie said...

yay for quality time with family. That is most important... we love you when you are back. This is why I haven't been on as much... time with family and God. It is so worth it and now I am budgeting my internet time.

Ashton Dene' said...

Your family is so beautiful & I'm so glad you get to enjoy them so often, what a blessing. I hope when I have a family that I'm a mom like you.

I also love your tweets, they make me laugh on a regular basis.

x, ash

Ashton Dene' said...

Your family is so beautiful & I'm so glad you get to enjoy them so often, what a blessing. I hope when I have a family that I'm a mom like you.

I also love your tweets, they make me laugh on a regular basis.

x, ash