Last night at a media preview event at a new restaurant, my friend and I struck up a conversation with the couple sitting at the table next to us. What followed was a discussion about blogs and media with two people who are not necessarily embedded in this medium the way I am. It was a strange update on the “what’s a blog?” conversation I would have with people say, five years ago, when I mentioned that I had a blog at all. Now people have at least heard of blogs, they probably read them without even knowing it, and then the question is “what’s your blog about?”
At one point the gentleman made a comment that as a mother of two young boys, my life must be full of interesting moments. I replied that everyone’s life is full of interesting moments, but only a certain percentage of “everyone” chooses to share those in a blog (or book, or essay, etc.), and only a certain percentage of those stories has value as entertainment or thought-provoking material. I would like to think that I’m in the last category, at least sometimes.
This blog is almost nine years old. There has been a rash of veteran mom bloggers renaming, re-doing, or shutting down their long running sites altogether and starting from scratch. I have no intention of doing the same thing, but I acknowledge that my attention to this site is variable. Lately I have not been writing much on the internets anywhere – I’ve been using my scant free time to work on a social media consulting project, and to write pages privately. On my computer. Without publishing them on the internet, or even letting anyone see them at all.
As I have mentioned here in the recent past, I’m going through something new. I’m changing a little, or maybe a lot. One way that I have seen this manifest is the letting go of things. In general I’m still pretty wound up, or as my brother would say, “clenched,” but it’s in small ways that I notice my shift. It’s not all for the better. Things falling through cracks. Balls being dropped. Calls unreturned, obligations blown off. Piles growing bigger. The other day I didn’t even bring in the mail.
The big difference is: I don’t care.
I’m not even on any mood-altering drugs. I remember a friend once told me that she started taking Xanax when she travels by air. She said she was still afraid of the plane crashing, but the pill made her not care.
I’m not saying it’s a good thing, my lack of regard for this departure from my previously Super-Organized and Responsible ways. In fact, in noticing this about myself, I have pulled back from obligations, accepted fewer new ones, and even excused myself from previous agreements. I know that with the all-too-obvious demands on my time and energy, I won’t get to these other things in a timely fashion, and if I do force myself, I won’t do them well.
The good that has come from this, though, is a growing sense of peace, which is what I have been trying to obtain for…well, my whole life. Look – it’s not constant. Just this morning I was out for a walk listening to music and luckily I was on an empty street to nowhere when I burst into tears, suddenly filled with an overwhelming sense of loss.
But I didn’t beat myself up about it. I let it overcome me for a moment, wiped the tears away, and then kept on walking.
It’s a not a pill that helps me accept what’s happening in my life and move on. It’s a tangled web of many things: meditation, my creative practice, daily stretching, exercise, support of my family and friends, good sleep, bad sitcoms, tasty cocktails, great writing, inspiring music…but most of all, it’s time. Time is the only thing that makes everything hurt less. The break I gave myself, when I left CBS in October, was a joke. I planned that by the end of January, I would figure out what to do next.
I haven’t figured it out yet. But slowly, oh so slowly, I am realizing that “figuring it out” is not the important part of “what to do next.”
I actually sat down just now to show you my new business card:
…and I had forgotten that I chose to display the URL for my “about me” page instead of the home page. I struggled a lot with this business card design. Should I make another one with the House of Prince logo, or one for my hyperlocal site, Agoura Hills Mom? Should I list both of them on the card, or neither? What’s my goal for this card, anyway? What’s my GOAL in general? I don’t even remember making the choice, but it seems I knew what my focus had to be without even realizing it.
And it struck me that this weird phase of my creative life – and I say it’s “weird” because it’s so unusual for me to be responsible only to myself and what I feel is urgent versus what others have dictated – is not about my kids, or grief, or anything else – it’s about me.
So next time someone asks me what my blog is about, the answer is still complicated. In the right context, it’s easy: “hyperlocal blog about my adventures in my town.” But where my answer about House of Prince has gone through “it’s a place where I tell stories about my pregnancy and motherhood” to “it’s a mommy blog” to “it’s a mom blog,” to “it’s a personal blog,” I am just going to put that struggle to rest once and for all.