You know how when a friend calls you, and you keep meaning to call them back, but then the longer it gets you almost get too embarrassed to call them back because so much time has passed, and then you are filled with shame and question whether to just end the friendship because you've left it too long and you're just a shitty person?
That's how I've been with this blog.
It's been over two months since I have written, which is stark given that I used to write every day.
Here's the honest truth - over the past year, this blog has felt more like a chore than a joy. I've been feeling so much pressure to deliver unique posts, with good writing and deep thoughts and wry humor. I'll start writing and then realize that it's crap and then not want to open my computer again, because it's just another thing on my list to do.
Then, this morning, sitting in a coffee shop listening to my "writing music" list on Spotify and finishing up a freelance project, I got the urge to write. Even though I don't really have anything to write and I only have 28 minutes to do it, here I am. This won't be an insightful, witty post you forward around to your friends. But, I'm writing it anyway.
The truth is, life has been overwhelmingly busy lately. Having three kids has caught up with me. There's always a swim practice to attend, a camp pick up, an illness, a deadline, a house to clean, a barbecue to buy food for, 3 pounds to lose, gym classes to go to in order to lose said 3 pounds, three meals to prepare, numerous trips to Johns Hopkins with two kids now in peanut allergy trials, essays to write for writing classes I'm taking, mammograms to schedule, books I keep meaning to read, friends to call back (see above), assignments to grade for online classes I teach, school PA meetings, skin care regimes to stick to, sunscreen to apply (on 4 bodies), and a thousand other things including daily bathing and sleeping.
I'm not complaining, really. These things are necessary, and some I've brought on myself. And in fact, I've been happier in the past 6 months than I have been in a long time. I've been going out a lot with friends (stay tuned for a post on the best night ever at a bar with a 90's cover band) - more than I ever have since having children. I suppose in some ways, after 8 years I am coming up for air a bit and rediscovering a semblance of a social life. I've also taken two writing classes now, where I've met some of the most incredible people, and I've actually published one piece, inspired by a blog I wrote on here in what seems like forever ago. I've planned a bunch of vacations and trips (look out Napa Valley, my husband and I will take you by storm in September). I've had a ton of visitors to our Bethesda abode, including my childhood best friend last month, and my best friend from London arrives on Sunday. I've gone to Philadelphia to see the Zack Brown Band with my best friend from college, and my husband and I saw Richard Marx at the Birchmere last month (you read that right). In between all of this, I've managed to get pretty good at yoga. I can do a headstand and the crow pose and I am so freaking proud of myself.
But I also struggle... daily. Parenting has gotten harder and harder, and the physical challenges of toddlerhood have turned into emotional ones as my kids enter grade school. Two nights ago, after losing my shit on multiple occasions, I went to bed telling myself what a horrible mother I was, and envisioning what my kids will say about me in therapy someday. It was a low point, with an internal voice saying - You're fucking your kids up. You're failing. You aren't cut out for this. You suck.
The next morning, I took a deep breath and forgave myself and started a new day.
But shit, this is hard. In between all of the sun and fun and good stuff, it's still really hard.
I worry. I cry. I try to stay in the present and get angry at myself when my mind wanders to those places that are painful and don't do anyone any good.
I'm not ready to stop writing this blog. I've got so much more to say. I'm going to try to say it more often.
Thanks for sticking with me.