If it’s not on Facebook, did it really happen? This strange thought has been going around and around inside my head.
What do these words mean? Well, this is what I’m thinking: Do we have to turn every thought, idea, conversation and event into a post in order to make it valuable? If we don’t share something, will it slide out of our memories, leaving no significant mark? If it had never happened, would it matter?
There is no doubt that sharing can be valuable. If I didn’t share my family’s life, my blog wouldn’t be the same. I need stories to illustrate the principles of our unschooling way of life. And I do hope what I share is helpful to someone.
So as I go through my day, I look for things to post on Facebook or include in a blog post. I add ideas to my podcast planning notes. I wonder if I can turn thoughts into videos. I take photos. I write. I record. I film. I share.
But I suspect while I’m thinking about how I’m going to share an event in our lives, I’m missing something very important. While I’m formulating blog posts in my head and thinking about the photos I need to go with my words, I’m not absorbing and enjoying the little details of the present moment. Everything I experience is filtered through the lens of the Internet and I’m not seeing clearly what is actually happening around me.
It can be tiring living life as a series of blog posts, turning everything into something valuable to share. And so I’ve been thinking about retreating, living my off-line life more fully, not worrying about whether what we are doing is Facebook or blog worthy or not.
Yes, I’m taking a break from the Internet. I’m off to read some books, watch the last series of Downton Abbey, write something no one is going to read, talk with my kids without recording our conversations, chat with my husband over coffee and really listen to what he says, learn something new, play, have fun, think, and pray. I’m going to enjoy all these things for their own sakes. I’m not going to think about how I can turn them into anything worth sharing.
I often write about how our kids need quiet times when they don’t seem to be doing much. They might not be passionate about anything in particular. They ignore things we strew. We begin to worry they’ll never be interested in anything ever again. And then one day, without warning, everything changes. Our children’s eyes suddenly light up. They are once again in the grip of a passion. Although learning probably never stopped, once again it becomes obvious to us. And perhaps we sigh with relief. At least this process is what I’ve experienced over and over again. I suspect the same thing happens with mothers. One day I might wake up feeling refreshed, with an idea I just can’t wait to turn into something worth sharing. Well, that’s what I’m hoping.
I’m not sure whether I’ll be missed. We can often have an inflated sense of our importance. “Everyone will wonder where I’ve gone,” we might worry when, in actual fact, no one has noticed we’ve slipped away. Yes, we’re never as important as we might hope. But just in case, you would like to keep up with a bit of Elvis nonsense while I’m having a break, I’m sure you’ll find me and my family on my daughter Imogen’s Facebook page and her new blog which we are in the process of creating.
So if it’s not on Facebook, did it really happen? Of course, it did. Maybe it’s the unrecorded moments of our lives which are the most important of all. Quiet time to think, noticing things that might pass us by. Perhaps without these, we will never have anything worthy to share.
Do you document your life in a public way? I wonder if there are ever times when you want to reclaim your life, pay attention to the little things of life, just enjoy living the individual moments of each day.
Images: Gemma-Rose is taking lots of photos for sharing on Facebook. She’s documenting the recording of Imogen’s latest music video, Into the West!