Tuesday, September 24, 2013

August and Everything After

I hope Mr. Duritz will forgive me for taking liberty with his words on this little blog, but it seemed like an appropriate title for a post intended to sum up the rest of a month. A month! I don’t know where August went.

I don’t know where August went, but we, at least, finally stopped going going going.

We’ve had a busy, busy summer full of travel and I have to admit I felt a wave of relief to pull in our driveway after NY and know that we weren’t headed anywhere for a few weeks. The rest of August felt like one long, lazy summer day. We spent a lot of time at the pool with Jamie and little Z and then reveling in the long naps that follow a day of sun and water. We had a visit from Akanksha and a girls morning out brunch for Jamie’s birthday. We went on lots of stroller walks with friends and I finally got back to some consistency with running and dipped my toe back into the dance trance world. We spent a lot of days at home, working on skills like stair climbing, being gentle to Buddy, opening drawers and flinging everything out and using a straw cup. I finally got caught up on some projects that have been on my to do lists for months including hanging a picture I’ve had since October (!!!!). I spent a lot of Bo’s naptimes curled up with Buddy’s soft head in my lap and a good book in hand, relishing the quiet. With heavy, heavy hearts we said good-bye to Buddy in the final week of August (deep breath, don’t start crying again) and I spent the better part of a weekend walking around in my pajamas, ugly crying as I went about my routine. I owe it to the sweet Budsters to write more about this and I will, but I’m not emotionally ready yet. I was thankful that the scheduling gods gave Matt all of Labor Day weekend off, because I needed the distraction of his go-go-go social calendar to just sweep me up and force me into the motions of our normal life to keep moving forward after that. And then before I knew it, it was September 1st and there was a chill in the air when I’d wake up in the mornings. Granted, by 9 am it would be 89% humidity again but the promise of fall and fresh starts and blank notebooks and sharp pencils is there nonetheless.

It’s been a hard summer, for reasons obvious (above) and not so obvious (and not mine to share.) The last few months have been busy, fun, relaxing and full of joyful moments with a silly toddler, but there’s also been a persistent heavy feeling that has taken up residence in my chest and tears have surprised me on more than one occasion when a friend in the know will gently ask, how are you? I told one friend that at least it feels like a healthy sadness – the kind that can cohabitate with other feelings, like hope and optimism and gratitude. The kind of sadness that shows up when you’re going through something hard and shitty (like, I dunno, losing your dog) but you know it’s appropriate and it will eventually pass with time. It’s there, and it’s uncomfortable but it’ll pass. And gratitude has always been my antidote to hard things, and helps act as a compass to redirect my focus to what’s wonderful and lovely right under my nose. It doesn’t take much before I’m reminded.

In the meantime, I’ve circled around this blog a few times, trying to decide what I’m doing with this.  For the last few months, I haven’t felt like blogging and let’s be honest… this isn’t a job, there isn’t anyone anxiously hitting refresh (except my mom, Hi Sharebear!) and I’m likely the only one who cares if I’m up to date. It seems obvious to me that if blogging feels like an obligation, then – duh – stop blogging. We’ve been busy, busy, busy living our lives and stopping to write it all down in front of glowing screen just hasn’t had the draw that it used to.

And yet…

I love having our little lives documented on this corner of the internet. I have grand intentions of making family yearbooks with the thousands of pictures I take each year, but this is where my stories reside. I often  go back and read old posts of mine, and I’m always happy I captured these small moments of our life – even if I’m often capturing them two or three weeks (months) later. I don’t know if one day Bo and any brothers/sisters he may have will like reading these stories or if that will just be asking too much of their attention spans, but it still feels important to capture them.

I originally started blogging because I realized I hated scrapbooking but I’ve always loved journaling and taking photos and this seemed like a natural marriage of the two. Once I got going, I discovered there was a whole community of bloggers out there and it seemed like a natural progression to think of this as a way to connect with other people. And I have! I’ve met people through my blog that I never would have crossed paths with “in real life” and some of them I consider my most cherished friends and my first lines of defense when it comes to sending out panicked texts about child rearing or “should I purchase this dress that’s on sale even though I have no where to wear it?” emergencies. It takes a digital village, ya’ll. I’ve been blessed to meet some of them in person, and others remain digital friends but close nonetheless. But, the mindset of having “that kind of blog” makes me feel this artificial pressure to post more frequently – something like a semi-daily basis – and it’s taken me awhile to accept that that’s just not a priority I’m willing to make. (Dear reader, you may have figured that out years ago. It’s quite apparent if I got a weekly post in, I was writing “frequently.”) I’ve also found that Instagram and Twitter have really served the “digital bonding” purpose that I originally thought this blog would as far as meeting new people and staying connected with far-flung (or even same zip code) friends.

I also feel more reluctant to share anything more than funny anecdotes or a recap of vacations, events and milestones. I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of making my blog private numerous times. I wrote and rewrote that paragraph about feeling sad about fifty times before deciding to leave it in. This doesn’t just feel like my blog anymore – one day my fifteen year old child may google his name and I wonder what he’ll think of what his dear old mama decided to share with the internet. (I’ve tried to keep from embarrassing Teenage Bo, but I’m certain all mamas are guarantee to fill in that endeavor by their mere existence.)

So, six paragraphs of thinking out loud later, where does that leave me? I’m not ready to shut down my blog, but I’m ready to let myself off some make-believe hook I’ve been on that I need to post with any type of regularity or profoundness. I love to write and doing so in any form – blog, journal, book, 140 character deep thoughts – is an outlet for me. And, I still want a home for our family stories to live, even if they are fewer and far between or cause deep mortification to my offspring one day. Obviously, this think-as-I-write post is for me, to give myself permission I’ve been silly enough to think I need, to know that it’s okay to blog however I want to blog. Once a month, three times in a day, up to date or throwback style. If you’re here and you’re still reading, I love reading your comments and knowing you’re out there caring about our little family. If you’ve scrolled straight down to the photos and I’m talking to myself at this point, well that’s totally okay too.

Commence the photo dump. That’s really why we’re here, isn’t it?

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4 comments:

Susan Johannesmann said...

Hey lady. I am still reading no matter how long you wait to post. Heck sometimes we pass pretty close between when I get around to reading and when you get around to writing, so it all works out.

By they way, you handle being sad like a real pro, lady. I still ask myself daily "what would Meg do?" ha. It's funny cause it's true.

Lindsay Collins said...

I was (am) so sorry to hear about Buddy. There's no doubt he primed you for mamahood, I know there are lots of us out there who are in that boat where our dogs were our first babies. With that said, no doubt he knew how much he was loved by you, just as Bo must know how much he's loved! Lucky babies.

Tamara Scott said...

You have a right to be just as sad as you want, and I'm sure your baby(ies) will understand one day. Either way, I think you've expressed your grief with your usual grace, and I can see how you've made so many friends through your writing.

k. said...

Yeah, you pretty munch took the words out of my mouth. I've taken an indefinite sabbatical of sorts while I try to figure out what my documentation strategy is, having just felt really overwhelmed as of late. My words have felt... stuck. And pushing it has just been impossible, so. Yeah. A break, but hopefully not a forever one, because looking back on Q's first year of life and all of the in-betweens that I documented - those are just precious. And you'll feel the same way, too.

(How do you have a toddler?! This is blowing my mind...)