Monday, June 8, 2015

Off hiatus

    I apologize for my lack of blogging, I was taking a mental hiatus. Yes, beyond a writing hiatus, I seriously have not been thinking interesting thoughts for the past few months.

In March, Josh and I had a great B&B weekend in Chadd’s Ford, Pa., and I started to write a travel piece about it for the blog since travel writing was always one of my favorite writing opportunities when I worked at the paper. But I was boring myself in that piece, which guarantees it would have bored anyone else twice as much. I gave it up, started over, this time focusing on the food of the trip, and ran it as my food column in the newspaper. I think that much shorter version turned out much more interesting, but I don’t get much feedback from the food column besides the “that kale recipe last week looked interesting,” so I’ll never know if that writing was any better than what I threw out.

And that’s it. I have not put thought to keyboard, besides emails, the very infrequent Facebook posts, and the required work stories. Every now and then I’d have a flutter of an interesting thought, but it would be gone before Josh got home from work. Plus the whole Baltimore riot situation was going on, for which I had no words, and to write about silly or petty things at that time when I was reading some really great blogs and articles on that issue felt irreverent.

Once you take a break from writing, it’s really hard to get restarted. I thought about setting up another 10-day challenge for myself, but didn’t. Confession: I’m a really lazy person. People see the whole picture of the “things I get done” and think I’m a really busy person, but I’m actually just extremely efficient at the things I do, leaving me tons of free time for being lazy. At my best, I use that free time for writing more emails or handwritten snail mail, checking in with friends by text, reading for pleasure, studying the Bible, planning meals and dinner parties, remembering to return library books on time, etc. At my worst, I discover a new television series on Netflix and binge. Which is why you might notice I’ve picked up a slight Texan twang.

In May, probably on a night that Josh was working late, I decided to check out “Friday Night Lights” since it had been mentioned in one or two blogs that I enjoy. I watched the first episode and was hooked. It reminds me so much of “My So Called Life” and “Parenthood,” two other binge-worthy shows, and I love a Texan accent and I love the relationship between Coach Taylor and his wife and I could go on about this for a long time. Within a week and a half, I had finished the first season, all during Rye’s naps and Josh’s late shifts [note: this is secret binge-watching]. Writing and reading went out the window. I’ve just finished season 3, and I’m trying to convince myself to take a break before starting season 4. Which is what I said after finishing season 2, but then didn’t.

I want to start writing again. I want to start having interesting thoughts again, which means getting out of my rut, exposing myself to more outside things, and then forming opinions on stuff [how eloquently worded that is]. I hear-by vow not to watch any “Friday Night Lights” for the next week. 

I also plan to start journaling again. I bought a journal back in April I think, and it’s still sitting on my desk in its cellophane wrapper. This particular one inspired me because the cover reads “Don’t remember the days, remember the moments,” which is my goal for journaling. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to write down everything that happened in a day, but if you just write down the best or most out-of-the-ordinary part of the day, it’s going to be a much more enjoyable read in the future.

Speaking of which, I found my journal from 2012 and re-read it (as much as I could still make out my handwriting, which typically expires in about 10 days), and it was very enlightening. I was going through a tough time, but the book is filled with hope and encouragement (that journal’s cover reads “Live in Hope,” which was my theme at that point in life). But even during a time of struggle, it was neat to see the other things that I cared about at the time that weren’t so self-focused, like a coworker had left the paper and wanted his job back and I told the editor I thought we should take him back and he didn’t want to and I was really upset about it. That’s not necessarily an event I’d forget in life, or at least not for a while, but I’m terrible about remembering WHEN things happened in my life, even in relationship to other things that have happened in my life. Writing them down gives me a chance to have a record, if not a mental record.

So re-reading my journal was the catalyst for me to now tear the plastic off my new journal and get started on my 2015 journal. So there you have it: I hear-by challenge myself to write in my journal for the next 10 days.
 
The opened journal sits on my desk waiting.

As for blogging, be patient with me. I am sure good thoughts will be reflowing soon.

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