To blog or not to blog on vacation?

by Kristin on August 11, 2009

in Culture, ideas & paradigms

That is the question. At least it has been for me these last few days. Our family is at a cottage on Lake Michigan—our annual summer getaway. Because I’m often a divided person, this is the sort of conversation (argument?) the three prominent parts of me been carrying on in my head:

Professional Me: It’s Tuesday. I always blog on Monday, but I haven’t blogged since . Do people know I’m on vacation? Will they decide I’m not a very serious blogger, because I didn’t write several posts ahead of time and set them to automatically publish while I’m away, pretending to relax?

Mama Me: That’s ridiculous. You’re on vacation. You can’t let your blog run your life. Sometimes you have to let go. If you can’t relax like normal people, you have to make yourself relax. Focus all of your attention on your family. The blog will be there when you get back. If the audience isn’t, then good riddance.

Me Me: Those are all fine points, but you’re missing the real issue: I can’t go a week without writing. I feel like I’m starting to suffocate—like all the oxygen is being sucked from my world. If I don’t have an outlet for all of my thoughts and ideas, I’ll be distracted and grumpy. I won’t even be able to fully enjoy these days with my kids, unless I create some balance for myself.

Mama Me: Oh, so this vacation is all about you? Do you think the kids are going to remember the great blog post you wrote during vacation, 2009? You can’t set your needs aside for one week? Did your mom ever do anything for herself on family vacations?

Me Me: Exactly. Maybe if she would have, I wouldn’t be dealing with all the inner Mama guilt. The kids don’t need me to be focusing on them every minute. They need me to be happy and content. In order to be who I am, I have to write. Not as much as usual, but I have to write at least a little.

Professional Me: All I know, is that if I can’t locate a decent wireless signal sometime soon, I’m going to slowly start losing it. Then you’ll all be sorry. It’s almost impossible to relax, knowing the entire social media realm is buzzing along, and I can’t access it when I want to. Not all the time of course—just if I need to!

Mama Me: If anyone ruins this vacation it’s going to be you. And that computer. Which you shouldn’t have even brought. There—I said it.

Me Me: [Sneaks away with a notebook and pen, to write down her thoughts in peace.]

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  • Mark

    Why not just prepare a post in front of vacation or say you are going on vacation?

  • Mark

    That being said, I certainly won’t forget my express card for my MBP when I am on vacation next week…

  • Mike Goad

    We blog when we are traveling nearly as much as when we are home. Granted, I can’t really call our travel days vacation as I’m retired and every day is like being “on vacation.”

    However, my blogging is one of the things I enjoy doing, just as much as reading a good book. I’m certainly going to take books with us on the road. Why would I not blog?

    Note: While I am retired, I am also currently employed as a short term supplemental instructor — defined as under 6 months –, so our next trip will be a “vacation.

  • TJ Hirst

    All I can say, post vacation is . . .love it! But I’m reading your twitter stream about the broken arm and don’t think it is going well. Best wishes to you all to recuperate and restore despite all that.

  • Violet

    First of all, hello from a fellow East Central IL college townie! :) I just found you a couple days ago, can’t remember from where I bounced.

    Vacation is for what makes you happy – if writing and blogging makes you happy, do it…if a break from it makes you happy, take it. I need a break from the “entire social media realm” and, well, from pretty much the world’s population, so when I vacate to Florida in a few weeks I am planning to disappear, electronically-speaking. I can’t wait!

  • Daisy

    We brought the laptop along on our vacation so we could keep in touch with family and so we could upload photos as we filled the memory cards. Blogging was a bonus. Husband did tease me a little when he saw me take pictures that could only be for blog posts!!

  • Jennifer

    You silly. The constant internal divide…sounds like you handled it just fine.

  • Scott

    I’m impressed! The internal conversations between the three of you seemed very organized. If I throw one more me in on my own conversation it doesn’t take long for us to quickly get lost.

    I’ve been on leave from the blog for a while and I do miss it, terribly. I did blog regularly enough to be able to say this I think, I think part of the vacation time when it was my vacation was the writing because I enjoy it so much. Vacation, to me anyway, is about relaxing and if writing is a key way one relaxes why would you not want to continue this during a vacation?

    Granted, I don’t think one would want it to consume as much time in a day as normal…maybe. Instead of publishing those long, thought out, sectioned posts, why not just publish a thought in a generic format that says hey I’m on vacation?

  • Kristin T.

    Mark, I guess what I was trying to get at, in a fun way, was the complexity of the situation. But I probably wasn’t clear about it, because I was trying to be light rather than straight-forward. Anyway, if I prepare posts ahead of time (if I could possibly find the time to do so in the first place) it satisfies the Mama Me and Professional Me, but still leaves the Me Me in need of a creative outlet.

    Mike, this is exactly how I feel: “…my blogging is one of the things I enjoy doing, just as much as reading a good book. I’m certainly going to take books with us on the road. Why would I not blog?” The problem, when you have young kids, is they actually want to spend time with you! Which isn’t a problem, of course. It’s a wonderful thing. If we can’t have more hours in the day, maybe a vacation that’s twice as long would do the trick. :)

    TJ, I take it you have had some of the same internal conversations? I thought I might not be alone. :) And yes, Q broke her arm on Tuesday, so we spent six hours in the emergency room getting it set and cast, etc. That has given this vacation a whole different tone. I keep wondering if there’s some irony in all of this—the accident happening just an hour or two after I finished writing this post—but I can’t figure out what exactly it would be.

    Violet, it’s so good to meet a fellow East Central Illinois dweller! I’m glad you found my blog. And I completely agree: “Vacation is for what makes you happy.” (In case you’re wondering, responding to comments left by readers of my blog is one of the things that makes me happy.) :)

    Jennifer, who’s calling me silly?!? :) Seriously, don’t you have that internal divide? Don’t you feel like two or three different selves sometimes?

    Scott, your comment made me laugh. I don’t think my internal arguments are actually that organized, until I try to sort through them and write them down (which I don’t think I’ve actually done before now). In addition to being relaxing, writing is the best way to sort through thoughts, don’t you think? For that reason, I hope you’re able to get back to blogging soon—when you’re ready, of course.

  • Kristin T.

    Daisy, somehow I missed you! So sorry! Yes, laptops seem to play some role in most of today’s vacations. I guess the trick is deciding ahead of time why you’re bringing your laptop, and how much work you will or won’t do—drawing some boundaries so vacation can actually be an opportunity to vacate from your usual routines and trappings. (I have taken some photos just for my blog, too—like the two for this post!)

  • Cobalt-Blue

    That was funny. I didn’t check your blog on Monday because I knew that you were going to be on vacation. To my surprise (a good one), you wrote something. And that something you wrote (internal dialogue), I can definitely relate to!

  • Kristin T.

    Cobalt-Blue, so glad you found it funny—and that you can relate. Does that mean that my thoughts and sense of humor are not so strange after all? :)

  • paul merrill

    Great post!! I can relate to your struggle.

    I blog while on vacation by taking photos of stuff I want to blog about. When I later go through my photos folder, I remember what I wanted to blog about (most of the time). Or simple notes to myself on blogging topics allow me to flesh them out later.

    This summer’s camping vacation included no computer. That worked for me.