Some of you may have noticed that it’s been a while since I last wrote on Tenth to the Fraser, though thankfully I have had Jen’s prolific contributions to carry the torch while I’ve been quiet. Sometimes I get quiet because life gets too busy to blog, and sometimes I just need a bit of space alone with my thoughts.
The last month or so has found me both very busy and more introspective than usual. In my recent efforts to create better work-life balance, I have found a new joy in embracing the time away from the Internet to better focus on the task at hand, whether it’s billable client work, scrubbing the kitchen or playing Lego with my kids. Along with work-life balance, I also struggle with blog-life balance. I often feel guilty both for spending too much time blogging and for not spending enough time at it. I am coming to accept that it’s just the way it is: there is a time to blog, and a time to step away from the blog and just live your life.
Today, we have more data than ever on what ‘ordinary’ people are thinking and doing, because we are now all able to leave our mark on the Internet. But as ever, this fails to account for a great many meaningful moments that never do get written down or uploaded to YouTube. And that’s OK too. I think that we risk becoming spectators of our own lives if we are too focused on Tweeting every thought and photographing or videotaping every milestone.
On the other hand, in some aspects of my life I find that I gain a great deal by taking the time to reflect on my thoughts and experiences and write them down. As I explain my thinking to others, I understand it more fully myself. Blogging, Facebooking and all the rest can be wonderful ways to connect with people and explore ideas, but what really matters is your experience in the world and the impact your life has on others.
One thing I love about the New Westminster social media community that has emerged over the past few years is that it isn’t just an online echo chamber. Over and over I see examples of people making friends (who they actually do see in person as well as online), businesses winning customers, our City engaging citizens and all kinds of ordinary people coming up with great ideas to make our town a better place to live – and organizing themselves to make it happen.