The Prompt: Evaluate

The Prompt 72: Evaluate

For me, summer vacation is a time for fun, busy days balanced by slow, lazy relaxation. It is a time without deadlines or rushing or obligations. It is a time to refresh, refocus and take stock.

It is a time to plan and organise; to make the most of our days. But, it is also a time for spontaneity and winging it and having a go.

And, it is as much a time for quiet and contemplation as it is for excitement and noise and adventure.

Everything slows down. Everyone relaxes and unwinds. Everyone takes time to simply be.

It is time for a break.

But, for me, summer vacation is also about taking advantage of those slower days and quieter times. To consider, to assess, to measure, to prioritise.

It is time to evaluate.

I will be enjoying our summer, and I will be writing about it, but I will be taking a step back from a lot of my self-imposed blogging obligations. I will be focusing on my own little corner of the web for the next couple of months.

Giving it some attention; it deserves it.

I will be making the most of every day of our vacation and ticking as many things off our summer bucket list as possible. I will be enjoying this time with the kids, as it will be over too soon. I will be savouring these last weeks before the wee girl starts preschool. I will be focusing on my family.

Giving them the attention they deserve.

In my must have a list kind of a way though, I am making a plan. An outline of the things I want to think about over the summer. I might not come up with an answer, I might decide that I’m happy the way things are, I might realise that my focus needs to be somewhere else entirely. But, for want of a better starting point…

My blog started as an on-line diary, a journal of sorts. It has evolved hugely since then, to a point where I worry that its overall content is no longer capturing memories, or our expat life, in the way I originally intended. What is the story I wish to tell?

However, I very much enjoy writing about lots of different things, and I don’t want to plan myself in to a corner! The direction I take needs to stay true to my original intent, but I want to develop other areas too. Which is leading me towards developing more features. Who is my audience?

This then alters my approach to linkys. I am too tied to other peoples schedules. I will continue with my favourites. I will join others as and when. I will drop to monthly on some that I love but simply don’t have the time (or content) to join every week. How do I write what I want to write?

Most importantly I will be focusing on my voice. I want to develop my style and ensure that all my content reads the same. How do I maintain my authenticity?

My house is chaotic. The mother of all projects, I need to focus much more of my time and energy on it! We are about to kick off works to replace the roof, sidings, gutters and windows, and that’s before we think about internal redecoration. How do I blog and manage these projects?

Along the way I have challenged myself to deal with the clutter. We have boxes in the garage that were packed when we left London over ten years ago. They need to be opened. They need to be sorted. How do I let go?

I am also painfully conscious of the fact that the wee girl starts preschool in September, and while I know that the time she is at school will help me achieve all of the above (!), I will miss her. For the last three years we have spent almost every day together, just the two of us. I need to make the most of the summer, and I need to ensure that I better organise my time going forward. How do I ensure I have balance?

And the most important thing? I want to be happy. I want to enjoy everything that I do. I want nothing to feel like a chore. I want nothing to detract from the time I spend with the kids. I want to finish the house.

I don’t want to feel pulled and frustrated and incomplete.

But, what if after all my planning and assessments, all my sorting and resolving; after my evaluation of life, the universe blog and everything; my only achievement is a happier, more balanced life? Then I’ve won.
 

mumturnedmom

You can find this weeks #ThePrompt linky here. I do hope this week’s prompt inspired you; I look forward to reading your posts.
 

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24 thoughts on “The Prompt: Evaluate”

  1. Lovely post sara. Like you my blog started as a diary and to some extent it still is. However i do feell pressure at times to make it more. Hope you have a relaxing summer which leaves you fresh and ready to move on with whatever lifes throws at you lol x

    1. Thank you Jill, it’s tricky to balance isn’t it, and I guess it very much depends what you’d like to get out of it x

  2. Oh hon if you manage to achieve a happier more balanced life then you’ve won BIG TIME! Really hope you succeed. I think a lot of bloggers take a break over summer, I know I will be doing a lot less because I have to look after three monkey’s all day and I’m (a) not going to blog/be on social media around them hardly and (b) I’ll be even more shattered in the evenings than I usually am. I guess people that actually get to sleep can stay up late but if I’m not in bed by 9:30 it floors me.

    Really good post and prompt my dear xx

    1. I’m just going to cut back a lot, and really just blog about what we’re up to, because writing a journal was my primary goal originally! Other than that, I’m going to tinker!

  3. Yes yes yesss!! I’ve been thinking about a lot of these things lately and it means I’ve joined less and less linkies. I definitely love blogging and worried about my style for a bit. Now I’m more “ahh stuff it, I want to write it” :). Hope the summer is a brilliant time for you!!

  4. Oh Sara, I understand how you feel. The world of blogging has plenty of pressures and obligations I didn’t anticipate. My goal for the summer is one in the same: to make sure that my blog remains what I originally intended to be. Because in the end, that’s what made me start it in the first place.

    What you’re doing is perfect, and there’s no time like the summer to evaluate. Enjoy every minute with your family, and continue to make your house even more of a home for them. Because in the end, that’s what truly matters, isn’t it?

    Thank you for this motivating piece. It certainly gave me the boost I needed to balance work and family. Happy Friday. Have a great weekend :)

    1. Thank you Maria, I do hope that I manage to get a better balance, it’s hard to let go if it all, even for a bit. But, I’m enjoying focusing on writing about what we’re up to over the summer, getting back to my diary! We’ll see what happens after that…

  5. Gosh, so many complex questions and answers which can lead into so many more areas. I totally understand where you’re coming from as time does not stand still and the challenge of doing everything and doing everything well is constantly mounting. I think the question you asked about the Blog is really interesting and one that I’ve been asking myself too post the Britmums Euphoria – is this a personal blog or is this a business, or can it be both?! I don’t know, is the answer
    But spending time with the children is the most important thing you have to do, and nothing should detract from that. Social media can wait!
    Thanks for a thought provoking piece
    #ThePrompt

    1. It was very interesting to read your post as you are definitely asking yourself a lot of the same questions. I wonder where we’ll both be come September?!

  6. I think the summer is a natural time for a break and for evaluation. I think some of the best evaluating comes when we’re not all that conscious of it, if you know what I mean? I hope you enjoy every moment of the time with family as well as your planning (I get the feeling you will enjoy that bit too.) xx

  7. You have a long summer break as well don’t you? Six weeks over here isn’t really that long, especially when you have things planned. Will you still be around for The Prompt do you think? I hope you work out what it is you want to do and where you want to go with your writing.

    1. Yes, it would 10 weeks if not for snow days, so 9 weeks this year! The Prompt is definitely staying, it’s one of my favourite posts of the week, so even if no one else joins in, I want to keep writing them :) I just want to make sure that the rest of the blog is heading in the direction that I want to x

  8. It is a good time to think things through, and, decisions will be affected by the important things around you at this time…family, home, quality time. If anything outside of that feels like a chore it needs addressing.

    I’ve had to cut back on linkies too, and also cut out a few Facebook groups. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to be fully active in the blogging community, look after the house, do my proper job, look after Stella, see my family, and, especially, look after myself!

    Happy and balanced sounds good to me :) x

    1. I’m getting a sense of linky fatigue across the board at the moment, less people joining in and a lot less commenting. I will be letting some of them go, and possibly finding some new ones for after the summer!

  9. We all need time to step back and take stock Sara – the summer is the perfect time to do it. Blogging in particular really can take up so much time, as much as love it – but we need to evaluate if we’re happy with what we’re doing so if we’re not we can do something about it so we remain control xxx #ThePrompt

    1. Absolutely, I do feel that it’s all got away from me a bit, I need to take a step back and make sure it’s still the blog I want it to be x

  10. ‘Happier, more balanced life’ sounds like the jackpot to me! There is such a lot in this post – so many things to mull over and do and achieve and experience and enjoy. Taking a step back from blogging over the summer sounds like a very good move – I don’t blog that much but even one or two posts a week takes a sizeable chunk out of my writing time and all the social media that goes with it can be such a distraction! Here’s to a lovely summer and lets hope September finds us refreshed, brimming with ideas and raring to go! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting. xx

  11. Absolutely love this and what a good idea for the summer making both for family and reflecting with your lists. I have the same idea going on in my head stepping back from a few things I have been doing on a daily basis back home and trying to spend more of the summer with my kids and enjoying it to it’s fullest. Whilst I really want to share every aspect of my summer traveling I don’t because there is no time we are too busy going from town and city to see family and friends and make great memories. After all we only live once and soon summer will be over and can’t get it back. I love that you are doing the same. Blogging can sometimes take over can’t it? Great post as always Sara. Love your writing. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. Exactly, summer is short enough as it is! And, blogging can definitely take over. Thank for your lovely comment, as always x

  12. A lovely post. So much of it jumps out at me and I can relate too! I love the last line. You will most definitely have won if you manage a more balanced happier life x

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