I Stood Up — Finding Blogging and Life Balance

Yesterday, I had the honor of publishing a piece on Studio30 Plus. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an amazing social media site that provides a welcoming place for writers to meet with other writers, push themselves to grow, and share their writing with others.

Just in case you didn’t see my post over there, I thought I’d share it here.

I Stood Up

I was extended a play date invitation for this past Friday from my lovely new friend, Melissa, who blogs over at Confessions of a Dr. Mom.

She invited us over for a morning of fun, time for our three-year old daughters to get to know one another while playing dollhouse, blocks, and Strawberry Shortcake.

They played for a while and as I watched them together, I couldn’t help but think what a cute picture they would make, standing close so together, offering each other an occasional hug and tender smile.

I was consumed by the thought that I needed to write about the joy that I saw in my daughter’s eyes as they played. My mind was spinning over all of the things that I wanted to write.  It took every ounce of self restraint I could muster to keep myself from pulling out a notepad to jot my thoughts down before they slipped through my fingers, as they too often do.

Melissa offered our girls a snack of fresh strawberries, juicy raspberries, and cookies that were simply perfection, hearts with pink and white icing and drizzled chocolate.  The colors were so vibrant. I thought about how gorgeous they’d look in a photo if I just placed a glass of milk in the background and used a shallow depth of field to capture the plate of cookies. I wanted so badly to photograph the cookies and I had to keep reeling my brain in from framing the playdate as a blog post.

Our girls were adorable in their hair bows and coincidentally matching polka-dotted outfits, with smiles that reflected their joy.

But, I couldn’t help but think that I was missing out on a blogging opportunity.

I thought about Melissa and just knew that I should write about how nice it has been to meet her, how much I enjoy her company, and just how amazing a mother she is.

I catch myself doing this so often now. When the kids and I go to the park, I force myself to put away the camera, to enjoy the moments for what they are rather than as blog fodder.  My brain seems to be consistently in writing overdrive, always looking for the next post, afraid to relax, lest perfect post will pass me by.

At a recent blogger get together, my fellow bloggers and I spent a great deal of time tweeting about how much fun we were having. When I looked at the photos of the event, I realized that so many of us (myself included) were hunched over our phones, telling the Twitterverse the details of our day. Looking back, there’s a part of me that wishes that we had put our phones away and spent more time squeezing every last bit of joy out of our time together.

Henry David Thoreau so astutely wrote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live,” and I think he was onto something.

Part of why I write everything down is because I live in constant fear that one day I will lose my memories. I want to document every moment of this life in case one day it isn’t all clear … in case I need a nudge to bring it all back.

But, in that moment, in my lovely friend’s home, I made a conscious effort to keep myself in the present…there with the beautiful girls, the fabulous cookies, and the gesture of friendship. I enjoyed Melissa’s stories and our laughter. I focused on learning more about her and sharing bits of who I am.

I stood up to live and I don’t regret it for a moment.

(Thank you, Melissa, for helping me to enjoy such a lovely small moment.)

If you have a few minutes, go check out the Studio30 Plus site! You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful they’ve been to me.


  1. and you still wrote a beautiful post that captured the playdate :)

  2. Nichole, I LOVE this post. It is so true!! I too have had to step back and enjoy moments and not worry about capturing info and pictures for my blog. With all of our health issues this past month, I have just had to step away- not writing as much and not reading other blogs as much. Life comes 1st!
    I am so glad you and Melissa had such a lovely time!

  3. wantapeanutblog

    I also find it is a constant battle between thinking about writing and staying in the moment. I really want to be able to define separate times dedicated to writing, but having 2 kids (and a husband, and a dog, and a house to run) makes that so hard!

  4. Yuliya shesuggests.com/

    Oh how perfectly you've summed what (I assume) all of us feel…be present but capture the memories, be grateful but reflect, be a mommy and a blogger/writer/photographer…

  5. Klz Www.taminginsanity.com

    I have to leave my phone in another room if I want to live in the moment now…

  6. ~*Jess*~ straighttalkjess.com

    This is so true. It's hard to just do things sometimes without the need to think about what you want to write about. Like me and church. Luckily this week it was a lot better :) Until the elderly gentleman sitting a pew away started to cut his nails. During mass. And his wife gave him the stink eye to stop. Lol.

  7. Jessica fourplusanangel.com

    I have to work hard at this and find myself working harder at it all the time. I'm learning to put my phone somewhere else or leave it on a different floor of the house so that I can truly be in the moment with my children.

  8. A lovely post, Nichole. As a new blogger, I sometimes find myself getting caught up in the process and missing the life behind the post. I'm glad to know I'm not alone, to realize we all need a reminder to stand up and live.

    In this post, you balanced both sides of the act. Congratulations. And keep standing up…

  9. My kids ask now, "Are you blogging this?"

    And then they're disappointed if I don't.

    "What? This isn't worth blogging??"

    So it's also probably better that you don't create those expectations.

    But, still….take lots and lots of pictures.

    You'll want them later.

  10. Ah what a great post!!! I loved it. I think this is probably very, very true for many, many social-media junkies. Well, done!

  11. gigi

    I was very baffled at BBC at how many people were tweeting. I started doing it because everyone else was. It seemed to me to be impossible to both take everything in that I wanted to, tweet and not be rude to the speaker. I know they expect it, but still.

    There's a level of being removed when blogging that isn't always healthy! Glad you have the right perspective.

  12. @30ishmama twitter.com/30ishmama

    I have been concerned about this myself. As a new blogger I thought it was due to the novelty of it all, but I see that it continues long after the novelty wears off. How does one remain present while thinking ahead?

  13. Tracie fromtracie.com

    I love that you restrained yourself and stayed in the moment (even though it was hard). I have had to learn to do that as well. It can be especially hard because my blogging-supportive husband and daughter will sit there and talk all about how I could blog _____ (whatever it is that we are doing) they are total enablers.

  14. Booyah's Momma chipandbobo.com

    I find myself doing this exact same thing. Rushing to get the camera so I can get a picture I might be able to use on the blog. Laughing at something my kids said, and then going to write them down on a sticky so I don't forget.

    At times, I've caught myself wondering… am I documenting moments? Or creating them?

    For me, I hope it's the former. That's why I'm doing this, after all. Love your perspective on this.

  15. Love this post Nichole and I can completely understand where you are coming from. You are a writer, it courses through your veins and makes it hard not to want to capture those moments on paper and in pictures.

    I love how you see life.

    I had such a wonderful morning with you and your super sweet children Nichole, thank you again :)

    BTW, I joined studio 30! Thanks to you :)

  16. JDaniel4's Mom jdaniel4smom.com

    I find myselt taking pictures of things we do wondering if they will appear in a blog post.

  17. I LOVE this post. You're so right about living in the moment. It's so easy to miss those precious seconds while we do just one more thing. Thank you for reminding us that the 'now' is more important often than recoding the 'then'.

  18. This is a wonderful post, Nichole. I don't have a great phone, but I know that nights my husband is home, he gets irritated that I am constantly at the laptop. I try very hard not to use it too much during the day, but I have to struggle not to feel like I'm "missing" something.

  19. This is so spot on. What an eye opener. Last few weeks I've been dragging my feet and realized I needed to stop reading blogs and to just take care of me. Know what? It was refreshing.
    It's hard finding that balance but living in the moment is so much better.
    For me anyways

  20. Krista notmommyoftheyear.com

    This is partly why I write too. I want to not only remember the moment, but the feeling, how it burned or filled me with warmth or made me laugh until I cry. Unfortunately, sometimes I do catch myself inside a moment with a camera or trying to put words together for a blog post instead of just enjoying the moment. It's such a balance. Knowing that a moment is good enough that you want to remember it forever yet taking the moment to enjoy it the first time around.

  21. Stacey staceysmotheringmoments.com

    I love that quote by Thoreau. I find that when I am struggling to find topics for my blog, it's because I'm not living. It's wonderful to take a step back and just live sometimes. Even if it means a few days away from writing, or from blogging. Life is rich and full of material, but you definitely have to live it first! Great post!

  22. Heh. This is a great post! For me? I usually have the opposite problem. I'm so entranced with the moment that I think I'll *never* forget what's going on and I can just blog about it later.

    Then when I have "time" to blog? The memories are all fuzzy and seem to turn to dust as soon as I try to touch them. *sigh* I need to write stuff down so I can post more than once an eon. LoL

  23. Adelle Gabrielson

    This is lovely! Oh, how I can relate! I have scraps of paper everywhere; scribbles on the back of their drawings, notes in the back of my checkbook.

    I recently made a conscious decision to blog less and it was a good one. I feel vulnerable, like something might be passing me by. Maybe it is, but there are other things that won't be and that's all that matters.

    Thanks for putting this into words so aptly.

  24. Megan-Best of Fates bestoffates.com

    You're so freaking amazing of a writer.

    That is all.

  25. Allison @ Alli n Son alli-n-son.com

    Beautiful and so true. We miss out on parts of life if we are hiding behind a camera waiting to capture it all. Or writing down notes so we don't miss a thing. It's so nice to just step back and be part of the moment rather than simply looking at the moment.

  26. mommylebron

    I know this feeling well. I catch myself all time thinking "this would be great to blog about" or "this reminds me of something else that would be great to blog about". I try to jot down a note here and there but I mostly hope that when I write, the important moments that should stand out, do and that's what I'll write about.

  27. C.Mom lacaramamma.com

    Love this! It is so true! I have to consciously think about putting my phone down at times to just "be." Working full time, in a school, I do not access twitter much during the day..and I have to admit, that I feel left out..or as if I am losing out on things that are happening. The truth is that I am living in those moments, making things come alive for children….which makes me remember what is important.

  28. ksluiter

    I JUST said last week during my blogging extravaganza that I blog to keep the memories…to have my voice and my perspective on our life kept forever. I wish my mom and dad and grandparents had been story tellers. they weren't. I long for stories of their every day struggles. I don't have them.

    but i blog so much that people are always questioning me…am i going to blog this?

    if I don't, people get sad.

    if I do, people get weirded out.

    i think about it TOO much. and i have to put it all away sometimes and just lay on the floor and have that moment.

    great post, lady.

  29. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    Beautiful piece. I am guilty of doing the same thing… always looking for blog worthy moments. I am trying to be better about being in the moment no matter who I'm with. Everything isn't meant for the Internnet.

    Congrats on being featured on Studio 30+!

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