I know. I haven’t written since, like, January. I mean, I’ve been writing – mostly in sporadic fits and starts on drafts that don’t want to be published – but I haven’t been putting it out here. Self-doubt is the worst.
In case you’re wondering, I’m feeling better since that last post. Better is the new great. I still have days where getting out of bed or doing human-type things are a battle, but those days are mercifully fewer than they were over the winter. I have a doctor’s appointment later this month to (fingers crossed) finally get to the bottom of all the anxiety and mood swings and overall depression. I’m betting it has a lot to do with getting pregnant in the middle of perimenopause and new-baby exhaustion on top of a history of anxiety/depression and the nine million competing demands that make up my daily life. I’m no expert, though.
In other news, the kids are great. We all survived May: another year of college and high school is wrapping up, and it’s hard to believe that three of my four kids are on the threshold of adulthood. It’s also hard to believe that having a houseful of teenagers could be so much fun, and I say that with exactly zero sarcasm. As for the fourth child, Baby John is almost two, so I guess I’ll need to stop calling him Baby John soon.
The house is still an overwhelming mess of unfinished projects and repairs, but at least the basement doesn’t reek of heating oil anymore. Except on rainy days. But whatever. It’s fine.
We’re moving ever closer to transforming the front patio into a kitchen garden. This spring launched a campaign of wholesale slaughter against the overgrown landscaping in our front yard. Which means using a chainsaw. Once you get past the irrational fear of somehow managing to saw off your own hands placed safely behind the blade (see my anxiety issues), mowing down branches with a growling, clattering piece of metal-toothed machinery feels pretty badass. We also built a big stone firepit out back, and the bonfires stoked with all that slaughtered landscaping are magical. We’re looking a little less like the Clampetts every single day, and it makes me happy.
Oh, and I started a side project on cooking. On a second website. With a French name, no less. Because, you know, when you aren’t making time to write on one site, it TOTALLY MAKES SENSE to start a second site. With a name that nobody can spell. I’m slowly moving all that content (and by all that content, I mean both posts) to its own little space here, because I love the project and want to share everything I’m learning, but I don’t love having two websites.
Anyway. The cooking. My brain needed a break from writing, but my fidgety ADD hands still needed a creative outlet. Cooking seemed a natural fit: it’s creative, there’s a tangible result at the end, and I have a family to feed anyway. So far, it’s a game-changer for my mood: there are few better lessons in self-confidence than transforming kitchen staples into a soaring puff of soufflé. Chopping vegetables and cleaving meat and intentionally setting things aflame is the best stress relief ever. Diving into cookbooks, riffing on technique and experimenting with dinner, making and cleaning up messes, learning something new every time: it’s wondrous fun, even when I have no idea what I’m doing.
And so is writing. I’ve been missing writing.
Even if I have no idea what I’m doing there, either.
And, on that note, because I’ve been giving this a lot of thought while I haven’t been writing: Do any of you ever get tired of this whole “blogging” thing? I mean, I think there’s a huge difference between “writing on the Internet” and this thing that seems to have metastasized into “blogging.” And I’m so fed up and exhausted with blogging – chasing followers and fussing over form and marketing and being everywhere on social media and a million tiny clicklust-y things that seem to value traffic over content. To me, it feels like an entire industry based around ensuring my insecurity about things that have absolutely nothing to do with writing.
So I’m kind of done with it.
I’m done with worrying about whether my site is pretty enough: get used to this stock WordPress theme, you guys. I’m done with posting to social media sites I don’t like (I’m looking at you, Twitter) because Big Blogging told me to. I’m done with feeling bad about the way my Instagram looks and I’m done with feeling less-than because I don’t put out a newsletter. I’m done with all the things I should do that get in the way of the things I want to do.
I might have time for it someday. But for now, I’m just owning that I truly could not care less about blogging. I could waste time lamenting that I don’t know how to custom-code my space, or I could write a (hopefully) funny, relatable piece on the everyday disasters that seem to happen every day around here. I think I know which option you guys keep showing up for.
I’m here to write.
And I’m glad you’re here to read.