So, now where was I?

I've been a bit lax on the blogging front in the last week or two. Partly because my life has been blissfully laid back: I've been reading, working on some data for an evaluation of a nonprofit (I like it but {yawn} to talk about), and hanging out with my kids and puppy friend.

obligatory Louie photo

Also partly because I've been having discussions with myself about blogging. Has it run its course for me? Why do I do it? Does it come from a place of authentic expression or has it become more of an obligation or--worse--a source of feeling I need to compete {well, compete's not the right word} or prove myself {closer}?

Side note: one of my professors, David Elkind, pioneered the psychological concept of "imaginary audience." Originally he applied it to adolescents and their tendency to believe that everyone is watching them & how this affects their behavior and decision making...a heightened self-awareness and assumption that everyone else is preoccupied with them too! A couple of years ago in a conversation I had with him, he mentioned that he also thought that new parents revert to this "imaginary audience" mentality when they first have a child and perhaps people continue to do this in periods of change and upheaval in their lives.

People who blog don't have an "imaginary audience"--they have a real, albeit absent, one. But sometimes I wonder whether it still inhibits or artificially guides what we do. What does this do to the way we live our lives? Does it change you? For the better? For the not-so-better?

On good days, I'm simply documenting our lives. {This is our scrapbook. I'll eventually turn it into one.} That's good. I'm putting my thoughts down and giving myself a forum to write. Also good. I'm uplifted by others' thoughts and inspired to try new things,

find the spark,
see thing through another lens,
love my children better,
make the cupcakes,
clean the closet.
All good.

On bad days, I am online too much--depending on virtual connections rather than real ones, writing about living instead of actually living. Or I feel envious of others' great posts & frustrated with my own piddly offerings. Or I wait and wait for comments, hoping to be validated by my part-imaginary-part-real audience. Or I see volumes of fantastic things to want and have and feel less satisfied with my own blessed bounty. Is this just me?

So that's where I've been lately: through the whole cycle of blog existentialism (if a family does something and it isn't blogged, did it happen at all??). It's all in the balance, I've come to think. I may sometimes turn off comments. If so, it's not's me, my dear audience {and always feel free to e-mail me...I love a good e-mail conversation}. I may take some blogidays to try and find me some good, basic, joy and not write about it.

You know, just to keep my imaginary audience guessing.