Don’t ask me where I’ve been. I can’t remember. For the last month I’ve been struggling with just about every aspect of my life, juggling, balancing, trying to fit together all the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle that is my life.
And, mostly, I’ve been attending a dark, brooding, pity-party as I hopelessly criticize myself for being less-than in most of the things I’m trying to do. When I try to be a good writer, my parenting falls short. When I try to be a good parent, my writing goes to the back burner. When I try to keep up with the daily minutae of laundry, dishes, holidays, and housecleaning, my husband waves at me from a distance and I’m reminded that I used to date that guy and he might be still interested in my attention every now and again.
Oh, and I turned 40.
So I haven’t been blogging. Mostly because I’m often sick of listening to my own thoughts, I don’t feel like I have much to share with anyone else.
I’m back on the upswing. I’ve submitted a number of pieces in a range of genres, and hope that at least one generates a positive answer. I cleaned the house once or twice. My parents came from out of state for a short but joyful visit. I had some teacher conferences and my kids are doing very well in school. I can fit into my old jeans. And despite the ever-present financial concerns, we still have a house and food on the table, even if it is usually pasta with butter and cheese.
Part of the problem is that I hold myself to very high standards. Oh, sure, I could log on daily and blather on about this or that, but it’s just not in me. Somehow I have to make everything I write here “column worthy” — that is, if I wouldn’t have sent it to my old Herald editor, it’s not good enough to publish here. A crisp, pithy 500 words on something meaningful, whether personal or global. Precise language, whether poetic or staccato; an identifiable arc with personal insights and external meanings intertwined. A bit of me, exposed, for the general masses to critique.
Not too daunting, is it? No wonder my fingers freeze over the keyboard every time I log on here.
In my fiction writing I have defrosted myself by accepting that I am free to write the biggest pile of crap that I can, because all writers know that the real stuff comes in revision (even while we hope that as we struggle with the first draft it’s not all entirely a load of poo).
The same is true for my life. While I haven’t lowered my standards or truncated my expectations, I think I’m going to make a bigger commitment to myself and to this blog. My world is messy and complicated. Why should this piece of it be any different?
A Mom’s World continues to spin. Hang on.
(ps — 500 words exactly. Quality? You decide.)