Sunday, May 19, 2013

now open for business...

it has been 14 months and 6 days since i last sat at a computer to blog.
it's not that i haven't wanted to.
i just couldn't.

i couldn't write about all the wonderful, funny, silly, ridiculous things that were happening in our lives because it kind of felt like i would be betraying my mom in some way.  i think that's part of the reason that it was even difficult for me to blog through the latter part of 2011 and beginning of 2012.  my mom was my most loyal blog reader and my most prolific commenter and when her cancer started to rear its ugly head and bring her down, i found it difficult to find the joy in everyday living.  i felt like if we were enjoying life while my mom was fighting for her own, it would be too painful for her.

i'm not saying that these feelings were valid or rational, but they were reality for me.

today marks one year of learning to live without her.  learning how to be a mom without her.  learning how to do holidays without her.  learning how to celebrate birthdays without her.  learning to say, 'going to my dad's house' instead of 'going to my parents' house.'
learning to not take anything for granted.

it has not been easy.  some days are better than others but there are more happy days than sad ones.  and this is so hard writing this, knowing that she'll never read it, or comment on it, or call me as soon as i post it to ask me if that really happened.

i just wish she was here in body.
i know she's here in spirit.
there have been many times where i just knew that.

it is time to start blogging again.  it is time.

we recently sat as family and reread through the 5(!) years of blog posts i wrote.  we laughed, we cried, we reenacted some of the craziness.  my boys thought they were hilarious.  i am so thankful that i have recorded those memories, many of which i did not recall until i read them.  i need to continue to write about the joys and trials of raising three active boys so that we don't forget that there are more happy days than sad ones.

i have been getting little nudges to start blogging again.  a friend of mine posted this passage from Ann Lamott and it has been resonating in my brain ever since:

"I had a great idea for a new book, although come to think of it, maybe it is just a Facebook post. But it would be called Pre First Draft, and address the way we suit up and show up to be writers, artists, and general tribal-two-stomp creative types.

I think it would begin with an admonition: if you used to love writing, painting, dancing, singing, whatever, but you stopped doing it when you had kids or began a strenuous career, [or when your mom got cancer and died] then you have to ask yourself if you are okay about not doing it anymore.

If you always dreamed of writing a novel or a memoir,
[or a blog] and you used to love to write, and were pretty good at it, will it break your heart if it turns out you never got around to it? If you wake up one day at eighty, will you feel nonchalant that something always took precedence over a daily commitment to discovering your creative spirit?

If not--if this very thought fills you with regret--then what are you waiting for?

Back in the days when I had writing students, they used to spend half their time explaining to me why it was too hard to get around to writing every day, but how once this or that happens--they retired, or their last kid moved out--they could get to work.

I use to say very nicely, "That's very nice; but it's a total crock. There will never be a good time to write. It will never be easier. If you won't find an hour a day now, you won't find it then."

It's the same belief as thinking that once you lose weight, you'll begin to feel good about yourself. No, you won't. If you're not okay with yourself at 185 pounds, you're not going to be okay at 140. It's an inside job.

How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to. Then you push back your sleeves and start writing--I.e., scribbling words down on paper, or typing at a computer. And it will be completely awful. It will be unreadable shit! You won't have a clue how it account to anything, ever. And to that, I say, Welcome. That's what it's like to be a writer. But you just do it anyway. At my church, we sing a gospel song called, "Hallelujah anyway." Everything's a mess, and you're going down the tubes financially, and gaining weight? Well, Hallelujah anyway.

So you decide to get back to work creatively, and you write up some thoughts or passages or memories or scenes. Then what? Then you write some more. Everywhere you go, you carry a pen, and take notes--ideas will start to come to you. You'll see and overhear and remember things that you want to include in this mysterious quilt you're putting together, so you jot them down. Imagine a rag-bag guy who lives inside you, who collects images, descriptions, holy moments, snippets of funny conversation, for you to use in your writing--but he doesn't have any hands, and needs you to help him amass the rags with which you can make squares for the quilt.

That's all you have to do today: pay attention--being a writer is about paying attention. Stop hitting the snooze button. Carry a pen with you everywhere, or else God will give me all these insights and images that were supposed to go to you. Hang up a shingle on the inside of you: now open for business. Wow! You won't have to wake up at 70, aching with regret that you threw your creative essence under the bus. And if you already are seventy, then you won't have to wake up at eighty, confused and in despair about how you let your gift slip away. Because you will have been writing--or dancing again, or practicing recorder--every single glorious, livelong, weird, amazing day." 

these nudges: this passage, along with my family's joy at rereading past blogs, and this quote from the series finale of The Office:

"I've worked at a paper company for 12 years and never wrote anything down."

it is time.  i am not okay with not blogging anymore.  there are things to write down.  there are memories to record.  

my mom would want it this way.
hallelujah anyway.


fatherknowsbest said...

I'm so glad you're back in business!...This is lovely, Amy!...

Kim Blando said...

Glad to see you are back to blogging ... I often check it ... love to read your posts :)

Kim said...

I sit here with tears running down my face SO proud of you and excited that you have returned to your blogging world!!! I too love reading your blog and have never stopped checking it hoping you would start back up again! I am so inspired after reading all your new posts that I may even start a blog! Woah. This is big. Love you Amy!! Welcome back :)