10 March 2016

Here to Stay


About 14 months ago, I was considering throwing in the blogging towel because I had struggled with lousy internet access for (at the time) six years, and I was about to lose daytime internet access altogether. I didn't see any way to keep going.

And yet, I wasn't ready to stop. I was so frustrated with the access issue (as well as the ridiculous price we were paying for non-existent signal), and my emotions were stifling my creativity and cutting into everything I wanted to accomplish. I did not want to spend five to eight hours a week at an internet cafe just to upload photos and write blog posts.

I couldn't do what I needed to do on my phone due to bandwidth limits, inadequate signal and technology shortfalls on my outdated smart phone. I continually tested different options for posting to my blog from my phone, and it just didn't work. I could post pictureless posts somewhat acceptably, but my phone typing leaves much to be desired. I had tried composing blog posts in Microsoft Word, then pasting from that into my blog from the phone. Lovely Microsoft would drag in all kinds of garbage garble code. Pictures wouldn't post at all. Nothing worked the way it was supposed to.

My dear, sweet husband could see the toll the stress was taking on me, and he kept encouraging me to take a break or just walk away for good.

It was tempting. Oh, how tempting!

At the time, I had about 60 unpublished snowflake patterns, and I had about 90 unpublished blog posts. So I thought if I could just get enough internet time to schedule posts and upload already completed snowflake patterns, I could keep going for about three or four months, and then, if my attitude hadn't changed, I could give up, knowing I had given it my best shot. I thought I would feel no guilt and no loss. Guilt was easy to avoid, but loss still surrounded me. I missed my online community. (And still do...)

As 2015 progressed, I gave up Crochetville, and I eventually even gave up Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps, which was the most painful internet sacrifice to date. (My crew even got a new ship when the USS Noro was retired in favor of the upgraded and state-of-the-art USS Cashmere! What a time to walk away!!!) I haven't updated my patterns on Ravelry in at least a month, and I haven't decided yet whether I will sign up for the next quarterly quilting challenge on Ravelry in April. I haven't updated my snowflake directory (code I write myself) this year, I think, but I know it needs to be done, and it will eventually get done. On the other hand, I've been updating my training journal at the end of every month. (Amazing what motivation magically materializes when Ride the Rockies links to your incomplete training journal to inspire other riders...)


A few months into this new and limited internet access and blog life, we changed internet providers, and suddenly, for the first time since I first got my own internet access in 1992, I had internet access that actually works. We also got new used smartphones that work just a bit better than the old refurbs we'd been using for nearly three years. I still can't post from my phone, but this feels like a whole new life! Yet the lifestyle I had been forced to accept had taken hold. I still limit my time on the internet, but now I am on my own healthy internet regimen instead of a signal-starved diet.

For the last six months or so, I've been able to spend one night a week at home preparing my blog for an upcoming week. Sometimes I publish posts up to a month ahead of schedule. Sometimes I just do the next week. I rarely have to spend time at an internet cafe anymore (although I still occasionally make use of the free WiFi downstairs when I need to communicate while I'm at work), and I can spend my free time at home quilting or sewing or outside on my bike or in my garden.

I currently have about 70 unpublished snowflake patterns (yes, more than before this internet dilemma began!!!), and I'm down to about 58 unpublished blog posts. I no longer feel stressed or pressured, even when I don't have an entire snowflake pattern with pictures ready to go by Friday night for the following Monday. I have time for my husband, time for me, and time for my family.

Creativity has returned and improved. Life is wonderful. And I think I can keep going for a while longer.

I still have days or evenings, sometimes a week or more at a time, when I don't feel like getting on the internet. I still have times when other commitments interfere with what I've planned to do when I'm not at work.

But blogging has become fun again. That's the way it should be, in my opinion.

As long as my eyesight holds out, I will keep crocheting with tiny hooks, and I'll keep sharing my creations and my photography here.

7 comments :

  1. Ugg awful internet access just annoys to no end and sucks the fun out of things. And yeah, some days you just don't want to go online, and that works too. Everyone needs a break. Being far ahead helps a lot though haha

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    1. What's really bad is when they charge an arm and a leg plus your firstborn for lousy Internet, Pat! :)

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  2. I too go up and down with my blogging frequency, but it is such a wonderful way for our creative outlets. do you have the pattern for that frilled lizard on your site?

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    1. Thank you, African Aussie! Yes, I do have a pattern for that in one of my charity booklets, but I have to look up the link; hope to have that for you in a couple of minutes...

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    2. I apologize for the delay; I was on my phone, and it's more difficult to look up links on that contraption, so I had to get to a real computer. The second booklet contains the lizard and several other amigurumi patterns, as well as a few snowflake patterns. I put all five booklets together to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis, so the booklets are available via donation. Here is a link to the information about the second booklet. It has all the appropriate links.

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  3. SO glad to hear that you have better access and are keeping on! You're the first blogger I ever read; I can remember checking out your training schedule years ago (before starting my own blog and making contact with you) and being amazed at your mileage.

    I too find that the more I stay away from the computer the less I want to be on it. Kind of hard for me to find a balance with that right now - but I do miss the fellowship of online friends. My problem is not lack of access but of organization....

    Love the frilled lizard. Are you making a lacy collar for your own Lizard to wear? :D

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    1. What a huge, giant compliment, Sue! Thank you!

      I'm not sure my Lizard would wear a frilly collar... You know him. Nothing fancy, and definitely nothing lacy!

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