Summer is here. This will be my son’s last summer before starting high school. How exciting! (I’m so proud!) Time for me to savor mothering him before it’s too late. In four short years he’ll graduate from high school and leave for college.

No doubt we’ll be hitting the mountain biking trails during the day. He’s an avid downhill mountain biker. There is no way I can keep up with him. Even before divalproex, my balance left something to be desired. (I’ve always been something of a klutz.) So I’ll leisurely pedal the gentle meandering trails enjoying the view and taking in glorious natural beauty (or cacti and dust) while he races down mountains, rocks, sand, cliffs, and all manner of life and limb threatening terrain.

To enjoy this summer, I must somehow learn how to use social media and keep in contact with my friends without gluing myself to a computing device. It’s way too easy to be drawn in all hours of the day and night when I carry my smartphone around as if it is an appendage of my body, of my mind, and of my heart.

There are so, so many gifted bloggers whom I want to read, so many comments to make, so much valuable content to share, so many souls to love. To my dear and valued friends, mental health advocates, writers, poets, artists, and kindred spirits with whom I regularly communicate throughout the day and often into the night, summer has begun, and now I must focus my time and energy on my son and on painting our house. (Oh, did I mention that I’ve successfully avoided finishing painting the interior of our house for coming up on a year now. Hi, my name is Kitt. I live with bipolar disorder, surrounded by unfinished well-intentioned household projects. Typical.)

Instead of spending this summer typing at my keyboard, I plan to be bicycling on a dirt trail struggling to keep up with my son or covered from head to toe with paint (hopefully some ends up on the walls).

Happy Summer. Not checking out entirely, just cutting back, way back.

Wish me luck.


  1. Thank you. What a change, to have your youngest graduate from school.

  2. Yep! Looking forward to getting out into nature this summer.

  3. I just had my youngest graduate from school, and I recently dug her old mountain bike out of the garage to travel a few dirt roads. Funny how things work in life. I highly recommend cutting back for the summer… it’ll be over before you know it!

  4. I completely understand where you are coming from:It takes so much time to be an active participant in social media. Good luck with the new direction. cheers, Glenn

  5. No, I’m not completely disappearing. Here I am today, the afternoon following my son’s 8th grade promotion ceremony, and I’m reading blog posts and typing while sitting in front of the television. My son just came in from in-line skating around the back-yard (concrete patio and side yards). My husband and I are hanging out. I’m just trying to learn how to better prioritize my time. I’ll still be around. Indeed, moderation in all things.

  6. I’m still going to be checking in. I think I’ll have to wean myself from reading blog posts and commenting.

  7. I commend you for focusing on first things first. Go, enjoy your son. Enjoy the sun. We’ll be around when you’re ready to return.

  8. Didn’t you imply that you wouldn’t *completely* disappear from the blogosphere/Facebook/Twitter? I HOPE not because I’d be super-bummed to go 100% Kittless & face major withdrawal.

    Stay around just a little! Pretty please. What’s that lovely proverb? “Moderation in all things”!

  9. Thank you. I wish you the best in parenting your daughter. We have to go the extra mile when our kids need special medical or neurological care. My son gets sometimes debilitating migraines (genetic).

  10. I’m so glad you have plans for the summer that make you feel happy, Kitt. You’re right to bask in being with your son and appreciate being able to do activities with him. I would so love to go on hikes or bike rides with my daughter, who has a mild form of cerebral palsy and isn’t up to that kind of thing. Enjoy it all, and don’t worry about us! I’m not going anywhere, no matter how cray-cray I might get sometimes.

  11. Actually, I have it set to only show badges for social media (no noises). If I need to, I’ll turn off the badges. They do nag and demand attention.

  12. Hiya Kitt,

    May I just say, I have a smartphone, but I don’t allow it to do ANYTHING clever–it can’t locate me, it can’t notify me of emails or Facebook comments, it won’t auto-tag me when I do things, it doesn’t upload photos anywhere unless I manually tell it to… it is literally a phone, used for calling and texting and taking on-the-spot photos, that I occasionally use for playing silly games if I’m stuck on a train, etc etc. Good luck with The Summer of Cutting Back, and if you take a look at your phone’s setting, that might help!


    PS But if you’re like me, you can still spend too much time playing Fish Live… 😉

  13. Best of luck, Kitt. I’m sure you and your boy will have a magical summer. Well deserved.

    All the best,

  14. Thank you. I will truly miss chatting with you, but I must control myself!

  15. I’m going to pay him and one of his cousins to help me with some of the painting, but not too much. Summer is for fun, after all.

  16. Why, thank you, Eli.

  17. I cannot imagine having a smartphone. My phone is ultra-low-tech, and that’s a good thing, as you know how glued I am to social media! I think you are establishing very wise, realistic and healthy goals. Your putting your son and family life/ projects first is something you’ll never regret. I commend you for being an inspiring example. It might be a challenge at first to cut down on social media; it has been for me, but it has also felt very good to unplug. I will savor your summer posts and I am happy you’ve come to this decision!

  18. Your son is far more important than blogging. Now as to the painting of the house, just focus on one wall then another however your son comes before painting. Plus mountain biking sounds like more fun.

  19. Good luck. And I hope for the occasional rainy day to bring you back to the keyboard now and then.

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