Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why Haven't I Been Blogging?

typewriter of capricorn by emdot
typewriter of capricorn, a photo by emdot on Flickr.
If you followed any of my old blogs, you have probably asked me that question. A few times. Some of you even reached out via email to see if something had happened. Well, a bunch of things happened, both internally and externally, that brought my blogging to a screeching halt. For some reason, before I start blogging again (that's what I'm doing here), I feel compelled to excuse my absence, so here goes:

1. My job is very demanding and more often than not it takes over my life--or at least a large portion of it. I work about 60 hours a week during our down time and 80 hours a week October through December. I'm often exhausted and I don't feel like I can string five words together at the end of a day. Hell, tonight I ate baby carrots for dinner because I was too tired for anything else. I know what you're thinking: Work-life balance. I'd love some, thanks! Right now I'm putting my son through college by myself, and the pressure to make sure the bills get paid is immense. This is not to say that I couldn't make enough money to pay the piper without working myself into the ground, but presently, this job is the job I have and for that I love it (parenthetical shout out to my grandmother for telling me about the Great Depression every day when I was small--I appreciate EVERYTHING I have because of her).

2. My son went away to school last fall and I got really depressed. I was blogging about becoming an empty nester for a while. My intention was to put on a brave face and write about all the fun things a person can do once she is finished raising children. The cheery posts became more and more of a chore, and as the summer faded into winter, I gave in to some fierce blues. Some weekends I didn't get out of bed; some weekdays it was a monumental effort to get up and get dressed, much less be smart, strong and successful. I was on the verge of tears all day, every day  (except when he came home for holidays) for 9 months until he came back. I stopped being so cheery when I posted to my empty nest blog. My boss joked, "Every post ends with you drinking wine in your underwear and listening to Le Tigre." She was right. I couldn't imagine why anyone would voluntarily submit themselves to reading about my extended emo vacation. I was wrong. Still it didn't matter, I was too sad to do anything I enjoyed. Or dust my furniture.

Summer flew by and he was gone again. I thought it would be easier this time, but it wasn't. The first two weeks were almost unbearable. I couldn't find my edges. I spent too much time working or alone. I was frequently tangled in a skein of existential crises. When I wasn't fighting my way through those, I was berating myself for every parental misstep. I felt I was unforgivable. It was awful. I tried every day to be happy, but my existence was dismal and no one knew. I finally 'fessed up to two friends about how bad I was feeling--because I was feeling scary bad, and that's when I started feeling better. They both came through for me in a big way. There were countless phone calls and house visits (there still are, only this time, they're much more joyous). At first it felt weird to be THAT SAD around anyone except myself--to be an open wound, defenseless and inert. Neither of them flinched; neither of them left. We watched movies and ate junk food; we went out to Sabatino's and drank too much wine; we went on mid-day coffee runs. None of these practices have ceased either--they are valued and cherished traditions now.

3. I am a perfectionist. For months now, I have deliberated endlessly on things such as: design, SEO, and topical focus. I'm not wild about the design of this blog, but I had to stop myself at good enough.

Is the font clean and readable?  Color scheme easy on the eyes? Yes and yes. OKAY! Good enough!

Do you really give a shit if lots of people read this? NO, NOT REALLY! Perfect. Good enough!

Do you really want to be fenced in by a topic? HELL NO!!! Oh, sweet freedom! Good enough!

*the needle screeches across the record*

But...How much to share? I've been agonizing over that too. And I'll share my angst-ridden thoughts on that with you sexy people tomorrow--I'm beat and I'm going to bed.


Hardin Reddy said...

Do this--write this blog--for yourself. No one else. It will be cathartic.

Splotchy said...

Welcome back. :-)

Chrisa said...

That's how my blog started - a way to just write what I wanted, who cares who reads it. you'll be amazed, because you write well. Nice to see you back!

Sue Reddel said...

Three things - you need to get how talented you are and stop being so hard on yourself, great to see you writing again, and one question, how do I get invited to the Sabatino dinners? :)

Anonymous said...

I really loved this. It is so honest. That's refreshing. It's hard to decide how much to share. I also can't be limited to one topic either -- which is apparently a big no - no in the blog world. Whatever. Anyway, you should know that I find it helpful to read an honest account of the hard days. Helps me feel like I'm not alone. So thanks.

ShesAllWrite said...

Thanks for the support, everybody. I'm happy to be back.

Sue, let's get a Sabatino's dinner on the calendar with you and D. I would very much love to spend time with you guys!

The M half of the M -n- J Show said...

I'm much more drawn to authentic, honest blogs than anything else. That doesn't mean it has to be all serious and deep all the time, but authenticity goes a long way. Are *you* happy about it? Yes? Good! I like your style.

Oh, and I'm singing "every day I write the book" in my head now. Thanks for the earworm. :-) (every day, every day, every day I write the boo-ook)

ShesAllWrite said...

The M half of the M -n- J Show: Thanks for the compliment and enjoy the earworm! I am secretly hoping that Elvis Costello sends me a C&D order.