If it’s Not on Facebook, Did it Really Happen?

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!

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  1. Reply

    This is a bit off topic, but after reading this post I have to say it. I’ve only been reading your website a short time, but I would bet my bottom dollar you are an INFJ in Myers-Briggs. 🙂

    1. Reply


      I don’t know a lot about Myers-Briggs but after reading your comment, I’m going to do some research. I know the ‘I’ in INFJ stands for Introvert and I am definitely an introvert. I shall have to find out more about the NFJ components. Thank you so much for reading my blog and also for your comment. (I shall have to report back about the INFJ assessment when I’ve done some reading!) I’m glad you stopped by!

    • Kathryn Coard
    • February 25, 2017

    I will miss you, but understand your need to retreat a bit.
    I pray you find your time refreshing.
    Kathryn xx

    1. Reply


      It’s good to connect with you. I suspect I didn’t answer a message from you before I deleted Messenger. It was a question about non-fiction writing. I asked my girls for ideas and they suggested your daughter sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I think the next event is in April so now is a perfect time to prepare! Everyone works on a writing project for a month. It can be fiction or non-fiction. There are forums and other activities for encouragement, support and friendship. Also, would your daughter be interested in creating a blog? She could write and share her non-fiction writings.

      Thank you for your kind words and friendship. xx

    • Gina
    • February 26, 2017

    Sue, I have similar thoughts/issues with Facebook and being online. I have a ministry that is very Facebook and blog oriented so I feel like I need to be online daily for those reasons. However I also find myself spending too much time online sometimes because I am not disciplined enough.

    1. Reply


      I understand the need to be on Facebook for ministry reasons. FB groups are an excellent way to connect with people we are helping or working with. But yes, it’s hard to visit our groups, do the work we need to do, and then leave the Internet. I get distracted as well. I don’t like the way I let myself be controlled by social media and other online things. I’d like to be stronger and able to resist. Have you read ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport? He has some strategies for becoming a better Internet user. Things like having set times for going on the Internet and not letting ourselves visit outside of these times. Maybe we have to think about why we have the urge to click around the Internet. Know ourselves and why we are doing things. I shall have to re-read that part of the book, refresh my memory and then put the ideas into practice!

  2. Reply

    Yes, I’ll miss you. But I understand the need to have a break now and then. Most years I have a lenten break from electronic devices – not total (as all official mail in Denmark is electronic, and many otherthings are as well) – but no surfing, no blogging (premade blog posts may happen), absolutely no World of Warcraft gaming etc.
    I hope youll retirn with refreshened eyes and mind.
    God bless you and your family

    1. Reply


      I like the idea of pre-made posts! Will you save answering comments until Easter? I also like how you have a Lenten break from electronic devices. The Internet can take over our lives. It’s good to take a break and concentrate on other things for a while. I hope you have a very blessed Lent. May God bless you and your family too!

      1. Reply

        No I won’t wait until Easter to answer blogposts, comments ect. 1. I’m way too curous. 2. It would take me days to catch up. Sundays are never fast days, and I’ll use some time to read, no savour what everybody was up to in the past week, answer, comment, and maybe write a blogpost or two for the coming week. I get sooo much more dome, when I’m not sitting in front of the computer.
        So far God has blessed us with our second grandchild. We’re still smiling.

        God bless you.

        1. Reply


          Your grandchild news is making me smile too. Congratulations! I hope baby and mother are well.

          Oh yes, catching up can take forever. If I get too far behind with blogging things, I begin to feel overwhelmed and then I want to run away. But we have Sundays! A good time to catch up with friends.

          May God bless you too!

    • Chris
    • February 26, 2017

    Maybe it’s the unrecorded moments of our lives which are the most important of all.
    Wow, SUe, I love this~ SO true. Such a great way to look at things. I have not really been blogging much about family lately, bc I find, much the same as you, that it IS exhausting, chronicling every thing, every event. Living life in between blog posts can be empty…..in fact maybe that’s a blog post in and of itself! Ha

    Plus I’d rather stay under the radar and not really put my family “out there” as much as I had in the past……for a variety of reasons…….

    Sue this was wonderful and it’s always so great to touch base and “chat!”

    I’ll be in touch, my friend.

    1. Reply


      I’m very fortunate: My family don’t mind me putting their stories out there on the Internet. But, as you said, chronicling everything is exhausting! Maybe you should write that post about living life between blog posts. I’d love to read it.

      I’ve been enjoying your posts via email. (I should hop over to your blog and say a proper hello.) I was interested to read that you are looking for more writing opportunities. I hope you’ve had some response and are able to earn some money from your talent.

      It’s so good to connect properly. We haven’t done that for a long time. Love to you and you family!

      1. Reply

        Well, I was disappointed to read that you’re on a bit of a break and so happy to get a new post in my inbox! yay…a bonus post!

        Thx for stopping over to the blog and you don’t have to worry about saying HI! It has been a long time since we chatted! I will send you an email and touch base before long! (and no I’ve not gotten any leads on writing possibilities but one never knows what will happen down the road, right? Plus I signed onto a few writing “job” boards, so we’ll see what happens. Thx for asking )

        Havea great day Sue!!
        Always good to stop by!

        1. Reply


          I miss the ‘old days’ when we chatted frequently on our blogs. Life seems to have got complicated and busy and I don’t comment on blogs as often as I’d like. An email? That would be wonderful when you have time! No hurry though.

          I hope you do find some writing work. Maybe once you get your first job it will lead to others. Yes, we never know what will happen down the road!

          Thank you for sprinkling some more joy into my day with your comment. xx

    • Anna
    • February 27, 2017

    I love reading your posts, but this makes sense to me. I don’t have any social media accounts, and, unfortunately, I’m also rotten at keeping a journal, so I sometimes wish I were better at keeping some record of memories so my kids and I would have it to look back at later; reminiscing is fun! But not at the expense of experiencing in the first place. Here’s Robert Frost poem I’ve been reciting to myself on walks lately on this subject (as it’s still winter here):
    There’s a patch of old snow in a corner
    That I should have guessed
    Was a blow-away paper the rain had brought to rest.
    It is speckled with grime as if
    Small print o’erspread it
    The news of a day I’d forgotten – if I ever read it.

    1. Reply


      No social media accounts? Oh my, that sounds uncomplicated and peaceful! Yes, reminiscing is fun. I guess that’s why Facebook is so popular. It’s good to look back through posts and photos and remember. I used to write a journal. For more than ten years I wrote daily entries. And then last November, somehow I slipped out of the habit of recording my day. I’m a bit sad about that. I do like to look back on my entries and relive everything. After reading your comment, I’ve been thinking about resuming my journal habit. In the future, I probably won’t remember what happened in the last 4 months, but at least it’s a relatively short blank period of my life.

      I’ve also been thinking about Robert Frost. Thank you for posting the poem. I have hopping all over the Internet reading poems and other info. I even found some poems on Youtube read by Robert Frost himself. I do like how you’ve commited the words to memory and recite them to yourself. I might try that too. I love poetry. All those exquisite words and images!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Lisa
    • March 5, 2017

    I would love to do some more blogging but, I find the computer takes up enough of my time as it is these days and am generally too tired to bother. I feel awfully slack … but obviously not enough to make me blog … hahahaha

    1. Reply


      I love your relaxed attitude. Yes, life gets busy and we get tired and we give some things away. You need a good reason for blogging: I’m waiting to read your next post. I don’t suppose that’s a good enough reason, but it’s true!

  3. Reply

    I think taking a break to recharge your creativity is a great idea! I know that I can tell I don’t have enough down time when I don’t really want to blog. Much better to wait and be renewed.

    It must be nearly autumn there, and that’s your favorite season if I remember correctly. I know that towards the end of summer, I feel too hot and tired to want to do anything. I hope you get to soak up a lot of cool breezes and autumn beauty, and really enjoy your blog break!

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, we do need breaks for our creativity to be renewed. And I think my break has been productive. Suddenly I feel inspired again. I’ve begun work on a new blog and video series about keeping family and homeschool journals!

      You did remember correctly: I do love autumn! The trees are just beginning to change colour. Usually, autumn days are warm and pleasant with crisp early mornings and evenings. But that hasn’t happened yet. It’s been warm and wet and humid with early morning mists. Not ideal running weather! I imagine you’re looking forward to spring, the growing season and the warmer temperatures. Lovely to chat!

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