The lovely Jana Kingsford has suggested that starting my workday with a blog post is the way to go. Remember how I did that "NaBloPoMo" thing a couple of years back, and posted every day in November? That might be what's going to happen here, with Prolific Posting becoming more important than Amazing Content.
There are some who will tell you that the whole point of a blog is to attract readers. And for some people, that may be the case. I came up in the world of Live Journal, though, and dial-up BBS services, so for me, it's more of my letter to the world. My open-book journal. My place to pour it out. And that still makes me incredibly leery, because LOOK! This is an open platform -- what I put here is going to live on into eternity, thanks to the Wayback machine and other such things. My first blog, back when we called them Weblogs, was at PITAS. I can no longer remember my password, so I don't know how on earth to remove the account. At least my friendster account has gone the way of the dodo, along with friendster.
I'm feeling better today, but also feeling really sad about the rough day my poor kiddo had yesterday. "Everyone thinks I'm such a brave kid," he says, "but I'm scared of a lot of things." Halloween is rough on him, because he loves costumes and magic and candy, but he HATES the gruesome ghouls and floaty, gauze-wrapped skeletons everywhere.
And lately, I am butting up again and again against the pull of video games and cartoons on my son. I am not totally anti-media, but I feel like I'm getting sucked down and powerless against the riptide of violence and the addictive quality of screen time. He's still little, thank God, so social media isn't a concern yet. But UGH.
Sparkle Stories is always a help in this whole ordeal. They are what my son turns to when he can't sleep, when he needs some comfort, when the world is too much. Funny, heartfelt, touching, and full of truth, beauty, and goodness. There are five free Halloween stories on their site right now; that's where we'll head tonight.
I'm sitting down to write, and I feel empty. A beloved guest from far away is staying with us, and my panicky only-child self is at war with my desire to spend time with my dear visitor. So I over-extend and do too much, and don't set boundaries, and then wonder why my heart is racing and I'm snapping and sniping at my child and spouse...
And our time together is good. A mirror is being held up, though, to how much i rely on my own routines and patterns to get by.
I hate that I'm letting my child soothe himself with tech -- games and cartoons on the iPad -- when I retreat to my phone and computer to tune out.
I hate that my kid is eating so much sugar, when I search the cupboards for a quick snack instead of a meal.
I hate being begged for a toy or soon-to-be thrown away thing, when I am letting money run through my fingers and bills are piling up while I don't work enough.
Im in a rough and whiny spot tonight, and angry with myself for not being happy.
This photo is from last year. The dogwood never got this colorful this year. Writing feels like wading through moving water. I'm pushing along but not making a lot of headway. In my big project, I'm at the point where I'm really doubting what I set out to do, and I feel like what I'm doing isn't any good anyway. Other writers assure me that this is part of the process...
I'm forcing myself to blog, just doing it, just ten minutes of actual writing that isn't for money and isn't related to this one project, this one project that has gotten so narrow and yet so big at the same time. I've been burned before by what I've put out into the world, by daring to be open and talk about how I feel in public, and that being seen as unprofessional. What do you think? Is it unprofessional to talk about your feelings? To say, "I've self-imposed an unreasonable timeframe on this work?" To acknowledge that the work is bloody hard?
I remember being fifteen and weeping hysterically to my mother that it was so important that I be who other wanted me to be. That if I didn't, there was no place for me in the world. And to a certain extent, I still behave that way, afraid that if I talk too much, shine too brightly, stand out, or, conversely, if I don't shine, if I let myself need help and need support from other, if I talk about my problems, I'll be outcast. And I wonder, what is to be gained by staying within parameters? and what is to be gained by breaking out? And can I get back in?
SO I'm still working on being more authentic, and at the same time, at molding who that is, who is that person who is still learning and growing and feeling like a child in so many ways at forty?
And there is October, this month of glory, and I don't want to miss it. It's passing by so quickly, and we still need to make a costume for kiddo's halloween, and to decorate and carve and store up the sweetness of summer for the long winter ahead. We've been told to expect a long, snowy winter this year, and my heart is full of dread. Trying to sway that, to turn it around into expectation and wonder.
Leaves of red and gold are littering the grasses now. Some trees are already bare. Others are blazing and delighting. And on the edge of my consciousness are test results and scans and a lingering unknowing. Best to blaze now, isn't it?
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.