Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where I Discuss the Fate of my Blog.

It isn't a surprise to anyone when I say that my home here on the internet has been neglected for a very long time. It also isn't a surprise to me to log in and see that my page views are dwindling to almost nothing, my rare posts garner only a couple of comments, and that my twitter presence has been almost zero. All of that seems rather obvious when I haven't consistently talked about books (or anything for that matter), in nearly a year.

I don't think I imagined that this place would become so blank during the school year. I underestimated the amount of work I need to do to prep, plan, and teach three new classes. I didn't take into account that I would be diagnosed with Lupus and would begin a lifelong war against crazy symptoms, weird side-effects, and my doctor (who I have since forgiven). I also didn't count on a few of my closest blogging friends disappearing from the book blogging world entirely (namely Amanda and Jillian).

In many ways, I have begun to seclude myself from my online presence. I'm so incredibly frustrated by the events of my everyday life, namely the Lupus, that trying to maintain a happier online presence is just too much. And balancing doctor's appointments, exhaustion, and a crazy first year of teaching leaves me little time to read. And when I do read, I feel guilty the entire time.

It was only when talking to my doctor last week that I realized how unhappy I have been...because I have stopped doing things for me. The last 6-8 months have been devoted to trying to keep my head above water at school and battling the ins and outs of my diagnosis. It was only when speaking with my doctor (and crying a bit after some bad news), that he suggested that I take more time for myself-that focusing too much on everything else has depleted me. He told me that when school ends, I need to relax, get healthy, and read.

It was what I needed to hear. I was thisclose to deleting my blog a week or so ago. But I'm going to give it one more try. By the end of the summer, if I'm not feeling it, I'll let go.

The simple truth is, I cannot handle one more piece of stress. But if I can rekindle my love and energy for this, I want to. Because I miss it.

In any case, I felt like I should share-to anyone who may still read this space. In only 3 more weeks I'll be done, and a summer of reading, relaxing, and focusing on myself will launch. I hope that some of you will be there.

40 comments:

  1. I hope you feel re-energeized throughout the Summer, Allie. Hugs! :)

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  2. I've been keeping up with your school adventures. :) I hope you'll be able to make a comeback and stay, but should it prove too onerous, then yeah, let it go. OTOH, we all need a creative outlet and something we do just for fun, and if this is that for you, then you should either deliberately spend time on it or find something else that works. Either way, best of luck, and I hope the medical stuff gets better. Lupus is a tough one.

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  3. Oh, Allie. I feel as though you and I are in the same place. I underestimated how much work my last semester of college would entail and then add on looking for an internship, fighting pneumonia for a month, applying to grad school, and apartment hunting and, well, my own posting has been sporadic at best. It's hard to jump back in, hard to find the energy to read. I hope you (and I!) are able to find the time to renergize and return to reading this summer.

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  4. Allie, though I don't comment on many blogs these days (I think this is the first comment I've left anywhere in about six weeks), I am still reading those few blogs of people I feel I'm close to. I'm glad we're friends on FB and Instagram and a few other places (I'm barely on twitter these days, too...). I'm glad I have a way to keep in contact if you decide to leave your blog behind. Having made that hard decision myself - and of course, taking 18 months to fully decide - I can understand what you're going through and I'll support you no matter what you choose. Feel free to write me any time, by email or on FB or whatever. I don't have lupus, but you know how crazy my body acted for a long time, so I can sympathize or at least lend an ear. I think your doctor has some really good advice. I hope this summer can help you really recover.

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  5. I'm hoping this summer will be a restful break for you!

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  6. Sending you so many good thoughts and big virtual hugs, Allie. Selfishly I hope rekindling your passion for the blog pans out. But even more than that, I hope you can feel full of joy for reading and focus on yourself to feel joyful all around. You're such a wonderful person. Hang in there.

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  7. I know from experience that it can be hard work keeping up with a blog as well as the rest of life. Enjoy your well-earned summer break.

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  8. I'm still reading. I'm sorry to hear about your lupus, that blows. Here's hoping you have a super summer that is relaxing and fun.

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  9. Hope your summer is filled with good things and you are able to feel rested, whether or not you decide to continue the blog!

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  10. Another idea? (Only a suggestion.) I'm sensing you want to keep a place within the literary conversation, and that's why you're torn over keeping or deleting the blog. What if you simply lower your expectation for yourself? Commit (to yourself, I mean, not us) to something like ten, or even five pages a day, of a classic on your list. Like the way you do your housecleaning: ten minutes a day to clean, ten pages a day to explore a classic. It might take you two months to finish a title, but so what? Blog on that title only, which means you might only blog every couple months. You can still blog spontaneously if you WANT to, but this way, you've only committed yourself to a quiet, steady diet of literature. The project keeps going, but it's manageable and adds to your life rather than overwhelming it.

    Only an idea. I always think all or nothing and thought you might be similar; it's so easy to forget the grey area. Which isn't to say I don't think you should delete. If it was me? I'd probably just delete and move on. So I only point out a different angle in case it's useful. You inspire a lot of people with your project (you DEFINITELY inspire me), but you must take care of yourself.

    Lots of love and hugs going out to you, Allie. We'll still be connected if you do delete. I'd miss you very much if we weren't.

    xx

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  11. It's amazing how easy it is to let all the "real life" stuff sort of take over.

    I taught High School for two years, and I can definitely empathize with the unexpected amount of time that it takes - especially in the beginning. My other teacher friends promised that it gets much better, and I can concur that my second year was at least 85% easier than my first. I was out of work for 4 weeks (unexpectedly) when I had a detached retina - and that was pretty stressful, so I can't imagine what you're experiencing.

    But, I just wanted to stop in and say that, whatever you decide regarding the fate of your blog, I've really enjoyed reading it, and you've been an inspiration to me in many ways, so I wanted to say Thanks!

    Hope you have a restful and rejuvenating summer break :-)

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  12. I think a summer focused on you and the things you enjoy sound like a great idea. Enjoy it.

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  13. I nearly gave up my blog recently as well, but then the Classics Spin inspired me to give it another go. Oh!!!! I just remembered!! I'm coming to Michigan in July -- if you're around, I'd love to meet you in real life!!!! Let me know if you're interested, I don't want to add any more stress.

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  14. Hi Allie, I know how you feel and I am not a blogger that has large expectations or masses of followers. I have MS and sometimes I type and don't even know where my fingers are but I love the blogging community and know I need to continue to do things to be part of it. I read shorter books, don't put pressure on myself to keep up with what everyone else is reading and once I started really reading what I wanted to when I wanted to things were easier. You will learn to manage your health, it is difficult at first . You don't have to be or try to be positive all the time. Just do what you can do and hang the rest. Take care,

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  15. That's right, we've been missing you. Please give this blog, and your reading hobby, a second chance. Just take it easy and don't force yourself too much, while keep doing nice things that you like.

    Be happy and take care. :D

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  16. Allie, I really feel for you and hope that your summer will be very restful and renewing. As one of your faithful readers, I hope you will be able to continue blogging at least here and there. There is no pressure at all to keep up a certain rate. I subscribe by email and get notifications about new posts, so even if months and months go by, I would still find out there's a new post and happily read it. But of course we all want you to take care of yourself and do what is best for you. In any case, I really, really hope that you won't completely delete your blog. I was sad when J deleted hers. Even if you don't continue it, there are readers who will read and enjoy old posts.
    Take care, and God bless you, Allie! : )

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  17. I don't always comment, but I'm here reading!! I hope things get better for you Allie! My thoughts are with you.

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  18. I always read all of your posts, and I know your story. I do hope you get the rest and rejuvenation that you need to heal and make the right choices for your health.

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  19. Like Chris, I'm always here reading! I hope that this summer finds you relaxed and a little bit reenergized and that things get better. <3 Whether you choose to continue blogging or not, you have to do what's best for you. I'll certainly miss A Literary Odyssey if it goes away, but if YOUR blog isn't working for you? It should be a fun, happy-making thing in your life. Nothing stressful at all.

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  20. I'm a regular reader though I don't leave many comments. Your blog has inspired me to read more classics and I really feel like I know you in person sometimes when I'm reading.

    Think about what makes you happy and don't worry as much about views or comments. I'd say keep reading though. For me, it is therapeutic and it offers me much comfort when I feel down or unwell.

    Hope you'll get better very soon!

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  22. Just here to send a big hug your way, Allie, and let you know that I think about you regularly. :)

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  23. When testing out a couple of new feed readers to replace Google Reader, your's was one of the three or four blogs I always fed into these new programs because while I cannot read every blog I subscribe to, if there is a new post on your blog I will always read that first.

    Wasn't it just a short time ago that you were sincerely hoping for a full time teaching position? I know that the non-classroom hours are far more than any parent realizes. No one expects to be diagnosed with a chronic illness nor other complications. Each of us can only accept the things that are thrown our way and take on one day at a time.

    I hope you decide to continue the blog, but in any event have a wonderful and restful summer. Hope your next book is a great one.

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  24. I understand the struggle. I am currently working on my teaching degree and my blog has suffered for it. I am just now (well last three weeks) able to post the weekly memo "From the editor's desk" consistently. I haven't posted a review in forever and I'm barely there in the ginormous space of the internet. Hang in there. Regroup- I recently gave myself permission to just read for me instead of reviews and tours. It's been really freeing. I've been reading the same book for a couple of weeks, but I'm getting so much out of it and I am able to do more hw without getting distracted. I'll be here (and if I'm not it's not you it's me too lazy to connect via the computer). Even if no one is here, this is your space to put out there and connect as you see fit.

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  25. The number of comments shd show you that we all care about you and are happy to see you back.

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  27. Stay strong and do what makes you the happiest. Very best wishes,

    -Aaron

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  28. Best of luck to you no matter what you decide to do about your blog. The blogging community will miss you if you choose to go, but do what's best for you and your health!

    Happy thoughts to you-

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  29. Summer is almost here! Hang in there. :)

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  30. Sending you good thoughts, Allie!

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  31. I wish you the best sweetie but please thinking of keeping the blog here not deleting it; you are such an inspiration :) .

    Nevey...

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  32. Hi there. I have really enjoyed your blog. I am also sort of off and on. I guess I just wanted to say that what you are saying really resonates with me . . . Having stress amd health problems interrupt your happy place. :) I think it is important to do a little something for yourself, even if it ends up being inconsistent. It does help the mornings to seem a little brighter. Good luck with your treatment. And just so u know, I'm happy to read whatever you post, no matter how sporatic. :)

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  34. Hugs. If I remember correctly from FB today or tomorrow might actually be your last day? Sounds about right since this post is now 20 days old. I've battled with some of these emotions (for me it's depression rather than trying to emotionally handle a new diagnosis like Lupus) and in the end I've decided to do what I can do and let the guilt of it go away. Which is why I'm commenting twenty days late. Part of that kills me and makes me feel shameful, but it's the best I can do. Anyway, all that to say--do what you need to do and let the guilt and the stress go. It's not worth it mentally or physically. I hope you have a beautiful summer and are able to put your feet up a little. xo

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  35. No matter what you do, don't ever delete your blog. Neglect it. Abandon it. Sabotage it.But never, ever delete it. You will regret it one day when you wish you could go back and read what you wrote. I know I do. Take care.

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  36. That's some big news, Allie, I'm not surprised you haven't had time to blog or even read much after the year you've had. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a diagnosis like that on top of studying etc. I'm hoping to get a teaching job (or even just relief work) when I move back to Australia later this year, and I know my blogging and reading is going to take a big dent, because I know how much work it is to plan lessons etc., I used to spend hours working on all the different classes I had, at night. I'm not looking forward to that side of it: to having to put my love of reading (and blogging) to one side.

    I don't know much about Lupus but I hope things get better for you, and if you keep blogging, there'll be lots of us who will certainly keep reading. All the best, Shannon.

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  37. So sorry to hear about your struggles with school and Lupus. It is difficult to maintain life let alone a blog when you're in the midst of something like that.

    I'm glad to hear you will continue to nurture your online presence while you continue to take care of yourself. I have struggled over the years to keep my blog alive, my sanity, and any semblance of a life since I became caregiver for my elderly parents. It's approaching ten years now. I had no idea it would consume my life so.

    I look forward to your reading expeditions this summer and do wish you the very best complete with rest, relaxation, and an increase of good health.

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