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527th Friday Blog Roundup

So I gave up my Hay Day farm… at least, temporarily.  My virtual farm replaced Candy Crush last year as my obsession-of-choice.  I took it up to the 70th level, opened all the fishing slots, bought all the machines, all the animals, all the crops, and gathered over $3 million in virtual coins and 300 diamonds.  By all intents and purposes, I “won” this unwinnable game.

I loved playing in the morning.  I loved waking up and greeting the river boat, filling the crates with the items I made overnight.  I loved gathering my crops and replanting the seeds.  I loved to collect all the gifts from my townspeople and fill their new orders.  All in all, waking my town up in the morning took about 20 minutes out of my day, and it was a happy 20 minutes where I felt like I was setting everything right in the world.  It was like a really relaxing virtual cleaning session, with a clear end-point, and it made me feel as if I had accomplished something before I started my day.

The gaming equivalent of starting the day with a clean email inbox.

But the night was a different story.  At night, I was constantly telling Josh that we couldn’t start something because I “just had to take care of my farm.”  I would predict a task to take me 5 minutes, but it was more like 10.  I had to clean up my farm from the day and get it ready for the next day, which could take anywhere from a half hour to… an hour.  Or more.  It was eating up my life.  And unlike the beginning, I wasn’t really enjoying it anymore.

So I told Josh that I was putting my farm to sleep for a few days.  Nothing would happen unless I opened the app (and I warned the kids not to touch it), and I didn’t plan to open the app until the weekend when I would give myself a little play time and then shut it down until the next weekend or so.

It has given me a lot of time this week.

I guess I’ve been looking at my time wasters — what am I doing that doesn’t really add to my life but I do it anyway out of habit or some thought that I “should” do it, etc.  Hay Day had gone from a game into a slog.  So it was out.

I’ve kept yoga, morning coffee, reading, and blogging.  I’ve cut out Hay Day, a bunch of non-personal blogs I was reading because I felt I “should,” and snacking after dinner.

Everything feels a little neater in the moment.

What are your time wasters?  Why haven’t you dropped them?


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Mojo Working is back with a brief post about acknowledging loss after everything changes.  It’s powerful in its simplicity.  I can’t say much more than that without ruining the effect of the words, so I’m going ask you to click over and let them speak for themselves.

Two Adults, One Child has a post about blogging which I think is particularly relevant to our community where burnout is common because of the high emotional content of our blogs (both writing and reading).  I like her approach on how to make blogging something that adds to her life instead of detract.  She can sum it up with one perfect sentence: “to use this space as it was originally intended — as an outlet for me to express my thoughts and feelings.”  But you’ll need to read the whole post to get the greater context.

Lastly, No Kidding in NZ has a post that I wish were pinnable to the front of Google.  And perhaps you can help me to push it up the Google ranks by clicking over to read and spread it around yourself so Google gets the message that we want people to be able to find it.  She goes through the emotions she experienced when she resolved her infertility by living child-free after treatments.  This piece is so powerful for someone who is in the throes of it; to see that things could get better even if the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t visible.  Her honesty about the length of time she went through the emotions is helpful as well.  Not everyone will experience the same feelings, but if they are feeling these things, this post will help them feel less alone.

The roundup to the Roundup: What are your time wasters?  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 26th and January 9th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Northern Star { 01.09.15 at 8:42 am }
2 Catwoman73 { 01.09.15 at 10:16 am }

Thanks for the shout out Mel- what a nice welcome back to the community!

I found this post this week, and I’ve probably read it 100 times already. It isn’t from an ALI blogger, but I think it is particularly relevant to this community-

3 Karen (River Run Dry) { 01.09.15 at 11:33 am }

It’s like you’re inside my head. I need to figure out how to carve more time out of my day, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I waste a lot.

Candy Crush Soda is a time waster for sure. Facebook is a time waster. Basically, social media is where I waste my time. But the thing is, I seem to be having trouble staying focused lately as well, and I use it to take a moment when I’m feeling overwhelmed. But you’re right. I need to neaten and clean up my life as well.

I like the idea of coming up with a list of things I spent time doing that I am doing because I feel like I “should…” and go from there.



4 Sharon { 01.09.15 at 1:07 pm }

Gosh, Facebook and blog reading are both huge time wasters for me. . . but they are also the way I unwind and take little mental breaks throughout the day, so I am loathe to give them up, even if doing so would free up productive time for me.

You’ve given me food for thought.

5 Mel { 01.09.15 at 1:34 pm }


But those are time USERS, not wasters, because they serve a purpose. They use up time, but they help you take a mental break. Whereas worrying is a big time waster for me — I get nothing good out of it. Hay Day was a time waster — it was a slog, not a fun game. Checking the same forum 9 times during the day rather than just reading all the messages from the day during one check at the end of the day — big time waster (whereas checking once is a good time user).

6 loribeth { 01.09.15 at 2:50 pm }

Mel, re: your comment above, me too — although for me it’s not Hay Day & games, but Facebook & my usual online hangouts. I get all caught up on everything & then I bounce back & forth from site to site refreshing to see if there’s anything new. I know it would be much more productive to just put the damn computer down & pick up a book or go do something else, & then check again in a few hours.

For second helpings, Sarah’s satirical post about the her trip to the nail salon (stress relief, right??) is both hilarious and heartbreaking:


7 rebecca { 01.09.15 at 3:24 pm }

Using my time more consciously has been on my mind a lot lately. Facebook is one that I need a break from – I find myself checking it as simply a distraction or a way to procrastinate. Not good. I’ve thought about deleting my account, but I think it is a tool that can be useful; I just need to be more in control of how I use it. I’ve also recently cut out some forums that were no longer useful to me, and it’s been nice to reclaim that time in my day.

Here’s my favorite post from this week. It took my breath away: http://dreamingofdiapers.com/2014/12/05/perspective-perfect-woman/

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.09.15 at 3:33 pm }

I liked this from Justine: http://ahalfbakedlife.blogspot.com/2015/01/dharana-practice-of-focus-and-food-for.html

I can’t think of time-wasters now, but I’m going to watch for them and see if there are any that could be put aside like you’ve done with Hay Day.

9 Mali { 01.09.15 at 5:31 pm }

Thanks for including my post, Mel! I see so much pain amongst those in the first days, weeks, months and even years, and wanted to write something that might help them see that it won’t always be like that.

Time-wasters for me, at the moment, are Candy Crush Soda. I stopped Candy Crush about a year ago, but then got hooked on the new one. And spending too much time on my iPad. Like Loribeth, I read, then I want to comment, then I click over to links, and before you know it, an hour or more has passed. Yikes.

10 Junebug { 01.09.15 at 7:37 pm }

I eliminated ‘My Singing Monsters’ this year. And I am adding Chinese lessons for both me and my adopted daughter so we can recognize her heritage. Hopefully there isn’t too much homework. 🙂

11 torthuil { 01.09.15 at 8:21 pm }

Great blogs, read them all. This week I like Sadie’s post “A Tale of Two Playgroups.” http://my-invincible-spring.blogspot.ca/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-playgroups.html I love pretty much everything she writes but this sentence sums up the meaning of life I think: “I’m grateful for and sensitive to complicated, less-than-‘perfect’ realities. I’m happy. My life is full of love.”

12 Justine { 01.10.15 at 12:22 am }

Thanks, Lori!

I think it’s Facebook as a time-suck here, too … but I also need to get more regular sleep, so that I can MAKE something productive out of the time I DO have.

13 deathstar { 01.10.15 at 12:44 pm }

Anything to do with FB, like Papa Pear, Candy Crush, Bubble witch Saga…sigh. Honestly, what did I do with my time before Facebook? Oh, yeah, downloaded music. I went out and bought a canvas and art supplies because I want to work on my creativity this year – still in bags after a week. Why? Inertia. If someone came over and said let’s get your art stuff out, I’d go sure!

14 Sarah { 01.16.15 at 2:42 pm }

Loribeth, thanks for the mention!! Though the experiences themselves were both typical and excruciating, I laughed my head off while writing this piece. I was partially convinced no one else would find it funny, so thanks for proving me wrong.

I have been drawn into the most unproductive vortex of commenting on yahoo articles that contain falsehoods about infertility. I try to remind myself that my input will likely not make a difference in such a forum, and that I should spend my time elsewhere. But sometimes my temper gets the better of me.

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