I took a vacation from my blog…and I liked it.

Oh yes. Yes I just wrote that.

And I mean it.

I haven’t posted in awhile which is very abnormal for me. What happened however was pretty simple. One day I woke up to do my usual routine of breakfast and browsing blogs. I was already under the weather for some time so that didn’t help my mood. And then I noticed the over 1500 unread blog entries in my Reader.

1500.

And then I went to Twitter. And then Pinterest. And then Facebook. Then back to Bloglovin’. And oh yes there’s this giant place called the Internet and they have tons of non-blog websites that I check all the time too. News perhaps. You Tube? What?

Somewhere in all this information overload of Matrix symbols blurring into in the palm of my hand, I thought this is ridiculous. I could easily spend all morning, if not all day staring at my iPhone screen.

So I did what any rational blogger would do. I turned off my computer and lived my non-computer life for almost 3 blissful weeks. With some tweeting exceptions. 40 characters was all I could hack.

Oh she can’t admit that. That’s terrible of her. Did she just write that?

Come on now, bloggers LOVE blogging. We’re supposed to be ‘on’ all the time. Reading. Tweeting. Writing comments. Responding to comments. Taking photos. Pinning, pinning and pinning. Planning our next craft, our next link party contribution, networking with companies to promote their brands, ours brands, cultivating our image damnit! We eat, live, breathe and drink social media. We would never ever admit that sometimes it’s kind of nice…to say…stop for awhile.

But it is. And I have no regrets. And even learned a few things while on my unscheduled vacation.

1) The world will not implode around you.

Bloggers will continue to blog. Your blog will continue to get visitors. And views. People will still find you and all your good content that you’ve already written. Heck you may even find some new followers at this time. Life will go on.

2) People will miss you.

New blogging friends took the time to email me when they hadn’t seen a regular post from me in awhile. That my friends, was simply awesome. To have people who less than 2 years ago were virtual strangers, take the time out of their day to see if I was ok. ย Really super cool. I mean it. Thank you. Blogging is a community, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

3) Your family will be happier for it.

Mom’s not on the computer again? Score! Bike rides for everyone. Yeah remember that. Non-computer activities. Did lots of those. Gardening season starts next month.

4) Things will feel and look new when you come back.

All the redundant pins and crafts that you thought were going in circles? Oh wait, there’s new stuff on Pinterest. And in your Reader. Lots of fresh new stuff. And you’re actually excited to see it and read all about it. But at the same time it will help you hone in on what you truly want to read vs reading it just because it’s there. That’s a good thing.

5) It will inspire your creativity.

When I stopped looking online for inspiration and starting looking outside my living room window and around my house to see what we could do, what we needed to, it opened up a whole new type of window in my mind.

But don’t get me wrong, this wouldn’t be a proper blog post for me if I didn’t share some photos of my missing in action life.

So here’s what I/we did do.

We started by taking apart a nursery and began the merging of two bedrooms to one.

taking apart the nursery

Did some major spring cleaning of toys and donated boxes and boxes to thrift stores.

spring cleaning toys

Began a half bathroom makeover. In a very tall, hard to paint bathroom. Love you James!

half bath update begins

half bath update begins (2)

Took a day trip to our old stomping ground of downtown Toronto with the family, where we spent almost a decade living in the core.

Met up with the fabulous and gorgeous Lynne Knowlton of Design the Life You Want to Liveย and sat in the audience for a Cityline taping.

me + kids

The girls newly shared bedroom was getting updated. So lots of decorating to do and I started by spray painting letters to put up and fixing up old mason jar lamps.

spray painting letters (2)

spray painting letters

painting mason jar light

Took a purple wall (BEHR Bloomsberry)…

BEHR blue paint swatches

BEHR Bloomsberry

And made it blue (BEHR Refreshing Pool). Again, love you James (my husband did all the painting).

BEHR Refreshing Pool

Put together a bunk bed. This is the Malibu Bunk Bed from The Brick which we scored on sale.

white bunk bed

Emptied out the basement to prep for its full renovation this May, so that I can give that gorgeous MCM credenza hiding in there its due credit and display it properly.

basement before

And spent as many days outside as we could, teaching Little C how to ride a bike.

Cabin fever meet the season of Spring.

riding bikes

There was so much more painting, organizing, bird feeder making, backyard cleaning, etc. Which I’ll totally get to as we’ve got a ton of projects on the go. In Canada where we live, I affectionately call this spray painting season because unlike the user friendly temperatures of warmer climates, we get maybe April – Sept to get any major painting done in the garage.

But it’s nice to see all the great entries I need to catch up on and projects to go admire. And most of all to reply to comments (which I am very behind on so my apologies) from my last entry,ย The Challenges of Being Creative as a Blogger. Which for the recordย really hit a nerve with a lot of bloggers (in a good way) and I was really happy to have that conversation started. Blogging while rewarding in many ways, can be very time consuming. Key word is consuming. And sometimes it consumes the wrong things – your time for example – that could and should be spent off of your computer.

Sometimes, in order to be a better blogger, you need to step away from your blog (and other blogs), to get a fresh perspective.

A blog vacation.

Try it one day. It may just surprise you. And if you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about how it impacted you. Because it has definitely changed my perspective on how I want to go forward with the pages of this virtual scrapbook of mine.

42 Comments

  • Reply
    Lynne
    April 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Ahhhhhh Alex, you are a dream. I know I missed you. I’m leaving on a blogging vacation this weekend for 10 days. Thanks for the inspiration !!!! It was an ABSOLUTE amazeballs pleasure to meet you !! Dear blog readers, Alex is so stunning in real life… beauty inside & out – it will make your jaw hit the ground !! She looks like a super model but with the brains of a techie blogger and the heart of a beautiful Mom. LOVE love, love her. You are right, we have a beautiful blogging community ~ that is seriously the best part about blogging, isn’t it? The awesome souls we meet along the way.

    p.s. your projects look brills awesome. Did you lay on your bathroom floor to take that picture ?! LOL * you are a hard core blogger now * xx

    Much love to you, my friend. xx

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Ooh where’s the trip?! I love how you travel. I feel like I need to get on that more. James and me are so not travel people and yet we’re starting to think otherwise.

      It was amazing to meet you as well! You are just as you are on your blog – open, funny, beautiful and your energy is incredible. It’s crazy how much we think alike. And I never would have met you if it hadn’t been for AT doing a feature on your treehouse. I should write them an email! xo

  • Reply
    Green Door Hospitality
    April 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Welcome back Alex!! Glad to hear from you but also glad that you had this time to spend with your family and it looks like you got a ton of stuff accomplished!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kenley

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks Kenley! I am trying to get my head in the internet world and it’s crazy b/c for some reason this month it’s been so much go go go that I have to schedule in time to check emails.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    April 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I had a feeling you were taking a break ;-] I think spring is the season for taking a break from sitting in front of your computer. The weather starts getting nice and you just want to head outdoors—that’s how I feel at least! Can’t wait to catch up on all the projects you’re doing. And you are totally right, when you just spend some time in your home you come up with new projects for how you actually live and for things you really want to improve—without the help of Pinterest! It’s like we’re naturally creative or something ;-]

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      It’s true. We’ve been outside as many days as the weather allowed. You don’t really feel like typing on a computer when you’re knee deep in dirt and painting and bike riding.

      I loved your 6 month Blogging Roundup post. I really related to it!!

  • Reply
    Jolene
    April 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Good job! You deserved it Alex ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      I see you’ve been super busy with renos! WOW! Amazing progress!

  • Reply
    Danielle from Storypiece
    April 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Well said, my friend. I did this when I was traveling for my step-dad’s funeral and it was time well spent. Investing in family and yourself is incredibly important and at the end of the day the only thing you’ll regret NOT doing. Writing another blog post or pinning something versus playing with your babies… seems like a no brainer, but in the chaos of blogging, it can be easy to miss it.

    Glad you are doing well and just recharging your spirit. Welcome Back!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      I remember that and it was great that you did that. Your family needed you and that was by far way more important.
      The greatest thing I can think of with this was that I realized that even if you miss a week or even a months worth of blog posts in your Readers from other bloggers etc, you can always catch up at any time. I feel like we just go so fast in todays social media that it feels like if we miss a day, we’ll fall behind. And it’s so ridiculous. Christmas comes every year. So does Summer. There’s always somebody out there looking for a tutorial or a craft or a good story. And if they miss the ‘seasonal’ craft this year. Oh well, there’s always next year. And it’s OK.

  • Reply
    Victoria โ€ข Restoring our Victorian
    April 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Welcome back! You were missed!
    BUT I didnโ€™t wonder for one second WHY or where!!!

    Now that Iโ€™m at one-year, I am in AWE of anyone who goes past it. Seriously. So much work. And I donโ€™t have two little humans to raise! I have NO idea how you do it!!
    p.s.โ€”that IS a really tall bathroom!!! AND the perfect shade of blue!!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      I have so much more respect for bloggers that do this, because like you having done it for a year, completely now understand why people get paid or have jobs as bloggers. It is so much more work than I could ever have comprehended in the beginning when it was all sunshine and creative ideas coming out the end of the rainbow. And it’s not even about the lack of ideas sometimes as much as it is the time factor.

  • Reply
    Growing Up in the Garden
    April 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    woohoo! I loved this. So refreshing!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you Jessica!

  • Reply
    Time With Thea
    April 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Nice to have you back. i was wondering where you went and was worried that I lost you. You certainly have been busy with other important priorities. So impressed with your articulate but so personal writing skills! Take Care, Thea

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thea you know I am a sucker for anyone who likes my writing! I’ll take that anyday over crafts (I know what?)

  • Reply
    Stephen Hughes
    April 23, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Good to have you back – and good colour choice from purple! – and I’m not surprised to not have any blogs for a day or two from you – exhaustion!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Exhaustion is right! But it’s even funnier when my 5 year old tells me she’s tired. I am like you’re 5. You don’t get to be tired for another decade.

  • Reply
    Candace
    April 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Every time I take a break from my blog I am filled with anxiety leading up to it, but I’m always so glad when I finally do walk away. You need it every once in a while!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I feel like most bloggers have these moments where they secretly go “Do I have to take a photo of this project?” or “If I don’t want to post, will people leave?”. When it’s so not the case. It’s great to hear your perspective!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
    April 24, 2013 at 3:07 am

    First of all, thanks to you, I have a Katy Perry song stuck in my head. ๐Ÿ™‚ And secondly, I think it’s GREAT you took a break, Alex. I have a few planned breaks coming up because of trips where I will have limited to no internet access…and while I’ve just been mentally and practically planning ahead, it helps to know that the world will not implode, that family time will be relished, and that it will lead to more creativity at the end of the day. I’m not surprised, but I think we all need to be reminded of those things. Which leads me to ask, have you seen the TED talk on taking a sabbatical? I think you’d find it interesting, especially in light of your recent blog sabbatical. It’s all about choosing to step away from “work” (for up to a year) in order to live life and in turn come up with fresh ideas. As you have done! http://blog.ted.com/2009/10/02/the_power_of_ti/

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Oh no not the Katy Perry song! I’ve missed so many of your entries I’ve got to go browsing now/

      I haven’t seen that yet but I will for sure shortly. Lately I have found myself wanting to read more blogs than view them. Which is very strange for me. I think Pinterest has changed a lot of how I view craft projects and so forth. Which is a whole other post on it’s own.

  • Reply
    Kelly (Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons)
    April 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I just took a little blog vacation as well. Besides a few photo posts, I wrote and posted nothing for almost a month. And, like you, I LIKED it. I was nervous and felt guilty at first….like I was slacking off on my job, but then I just accepted what was happening and went with it. I’m ready to jump back in now, but I have realized that stepping away, when needed, is not such a bad thing. Sometimes it gives you, like you said, a newfound surge of creativity.

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 27, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I noticed you were busy and I thought she’s probably in the same mode I am. The go go go of non-computer life. I don’t know what it is with this season, but it’s been SO hard for me just get to sit down on a computer. There’s just been so much to get done around the house and the kids always want to go outside and well, that takes precedence.

  • Reply
    Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint
    April 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    A take bloggy breaks all the time and it’s becoming that time again. I’ve lost my mojo for the past couple weeks. It seems like after a much needed break you come back full of life and creativity. I have plenty to do around here and I think it may be the perfect time to do it! I will come back full of good bloggy stuff. Thanks for sharing a wonder blogcation! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 27, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for coming by Denyse! I saw your clean your oven post and oh have I been procrastinating on that one. I can’t show anyone the inside of it. It’s a travesty known to mankind.

  • Reply
    Gabby @ Essentially Eclectic
    April 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    LOVE this. Totally agree. I haven’t gone on a blog sabbatical yet (except for that period of three weeks in which I was redoing my blog design but that was hardly a sabbatical) but I have definitely slooowwwed down on the number of times I post a week. I used to feel pressure to post to get my pageviews up or because I haven’t posted in a while. But you know what? I’m just tired. So I spent the last few nights just watching old episodes of The Office on Netflix. And it was glorious! Thanks for posting this–a great reminder to not forget about life outside of blogland and how great it is!

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

      HA! Netflix. I was just on that and playing catch up on my PVR. For me my biggest issue this month has been time. Usually there are moments where it’s easy to schedule in a blog post or do a small photo shoot of a craft or a project. But this month, it’s like the Universe went “Good Luck with that”. And you know what? It’s ok. There are going to be times where I will have too much time and probably not enough ideas. At least this way I can get the projects done and talk about them after properly.

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    April 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Welcome back Alex! so glad you are doing well, and that you’ve been having a good time with your family and got so many things done! ๐Ÿ™‚ blog vacation; seems like fun and after reading your last two posts; I believe I need one too ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know I haven’t been “blogging” for long, not even a year yet but I’m already exhausted; it’s a lot of work! happy you are recharged and can’t wait to read about your projects! Alex! you won’t believe this, it’s 3:07 and I’m watching cityline while leaving you this comment and I just saw you on Cityline when they were talking about paint, you look great my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚ and just saw you again before the commercial! ๐Ÿ™‚ YAY! (funny!)

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

      That’s hilarious! Lynne messaged me when it was on and I was like “TV? Right I have one, with a PVR full of taped shows”. I can’t believe you recognized me. I also remembered why I stopped using my flat iron.

  • Reply
    the home tome
    April 27, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Ah yes! Real life that doesn’t have anything to do with a computer/phone screen! I’m not getting to catch up with my favorite blogs as much or update mine as often these days w infant in the house – instead of being anxious, I’m just trying to ride it…Kudos! Sounds like you did some fun things and got some great perspective. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

      If I had a super cute newborn that smelled a super cute newborn (baby scent…omg…like a drug) I probably would too be taking photos of the super cute baby and catching up on sleep. Enjoy this time, it goes by so fast and one day they’re 5 and riding a bike without training wheels faster than you.

  • Reply
    fynesdesigns
    April 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Great! I did this just after Christmas and it did help, (with everything life related)! You really hammered down those 3 weeks, look at all you accomplished!

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Apparently what I did not accomplish was responding to your comment! OMG. I blame the weather. We are never inside anymore.

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 2, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Alex, my god you’ve been busy!! I’m so glad you’re back… but also so glad you got a chance to switch off and unplug…. welcome back ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Ok how much do I love your new watercolour cards! I need to get some good cardstock and do some update birthday cards crediting your inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Aubrey
    May 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I have been meaning to comment on this post, Alex, as I read it not long after you posted it, and say that I loved it. I had been having all of these feelings all the while, been taking breaks from blogging and recently I decided to take a permanent vacation from blogging and I can’t express already how much joy it has brought to my life. It’s weird because blogging gives me joy but now that joy is just transferred to the things that are more important to me and allows me to be connected with people on a very real, personal level (ie in person). It’s been a wonderful thing and put much into perspective for me that even my little vacations from it didn’t give me. I can’t express how much more connected I feel with the world now and how I’ve come to prioritize what’s important to me and act on it.

    Really lovely post Alex. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      You’ve been meaning to comment! Lady I’ve been meaning to comment since I watched your goodbye video. I was like nooooo she can’t go (as much as I respected your choice) and then wouldn’t you know the first night in weeks I have to go into my BlogLovin feed and what do I see but a new entry from you. Amazing!!

      I think vacations from blogging and the internet as a whole now are essential for your peace of mind, for your creative mind and just to step away from a machine. I only got the internet when I was in University meaning I grew up my entire life without something that most of us can’t function without. And I think did we not do ok? We hung out with friends. Went places. Read books. Watched tv on a tv. Spent time outdoors (which I put my foot down for my kids in the summer to do so vs sitting inside). And there are days where I get back online and think this is nuts. I love it b/c you meet people you never would have met without this medium (like yourself) but you have to get away sometimes. And it has changed how I read blogs. I only now read entries that I enjoy vs feeling like I have to read them and I hope people do the same for mine. I don’t expect every post to be read but if it’s something someone is interested in, then great.

      Welcome back!

  • Reply
    Aubrey
    May 21, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Alex. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh I love that you grew up without internet for so long. It is crazy our connection to it today. I believe I could live without it just fine and it’s something I’ve thought of trying out.

    For me I already read, watched tv on a tv, spent time outdoors but leaving made me connect in a mental way that I wasn’t connected in. It made me see things so differently and I still do and I don’t ever want that to change. It made me breathe life in and out. I don’t know that I can express what leaving did for me. What leaving social networks permanently did for me. Though I’m the same person it made me better for it and those who love me appreciated it that much more.

    It too has changed how I read blogs. I read them less. I don’t bother with ones that I feel are wasting my time, like a collage of photos or a DIY I’ve seen again and again. I’m more interested in websites like Becoming Minimalist and Marie Forleo who want to give back, not constantly update everyone on their life. I’ve always had a desire to give back, to offer the bits of wisdom and experiences I’ve gained over the years in hopes of learning from others on their experiences. In hopes of helping people. I love the websites that don’t shy away from profound topics, moving and inspirational experiences. It’s also changed how often I comment. I now stop and say, do I want this permanently on the web and most often my answer is no.

    It’s just been great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    jackie
    July 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Hey, Alex. Just popping over from Shannon’s Canadian Blog hop, and I gotta say, I like what you’re all about! We have a lot of similar philosophies, you and I. ๐Ÿ™‚ Following you on a couple of platforms now.

    • Reply
      Alex
      July 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Jackie! You’re one of the reasons I actually started my Facebook page for this site (your advice in the Blogging Group). I figure I may as well have people who enjoy that method follow or share more easily that way. I follow you on there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    10 MORE Tips for Bloggers...One Year Later โ€” the thinking closet
    November 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    […] My friend Alex wrote a post you should read on this very subject: I Took a Vacation from My Blog…And I Liked It. […]

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