Oh my. I haven’t written a blog post since Joe died, more than a year and a half ago.
It’s been way too long. Much has taken place since then. Significantly, a year ago in February, I got really (REALLY) sick, and missed three weeks of work, and then began a slow upward trend healthwise. I escaped into knitting, the first thing I felt I could try, but largely ignored my multi-media artwork (although I did organize all my craft bits by color, which was actually quite an accomplishment). I started walking the stairs in our library to build up some endurance and graduated to running the bleachers at the high school football field in the summer. Peter gave me a FitBit; it says I’ve walked across New Zealand (990 lifetime miles, or least that’s the distance I had walked by the end of last year). I started dancing again last fall (yay for Oula!), and have lost about 15 pounds. I started re-evaluating the stress level I can handle and determined I wasn’t doing so well in that regard, professionally. Most recently, after four-plus years, I retired from my full-time job as a project manager at Tyler Technologies; tomorrow I start a part-time position here in Teton Valley, giving back to the community, assisting the local school district with PR. In a nutshell, I’ve gone through some life changes since you last saw a blog post from me.
This record is not meant to be a diary of doings, and I appreciate you hanging in through that last long paragraph. Several constants bear mentioning right here, though: Peter and family and traveling — all of which I love to write about, although one lesson I’ve learned better as I grow older is to respect other’s privacy. (Not everybody wants me to write about them, in other words.)
So — what is my blog going to be about now, if I am going to revitalize it?
Our trips provide never-ending fodder for writing. I must have several hundred ideas of things I think merit exploration. I jot these down by the dozens in whatever notebook I happen to be carrying on a journey.
And the photos! We have some 2,000 pictures *just* from our most recent adventure in Italy and Malta, and about half that many from Singapore and Cambodia last fall (the only reason being it was half as long a trip). But all of them need to be organized and sifted through with some discipline before sharing — a daunting task in and of itself. That will take a while, I know, so will start with just this one, in the Piazza di Pietra, Rome.
I’m also reading, a LOT, again, which has re-widened my world, which I’d somehow let slide into smallness. In fact, my Tyler teammates all gave me books at my retirement party — a gesture so touching and so personal I’m moved to tears whenever I look at one of the notes that went along with each gift.
But that starts my inner debate — How do I pick THE book to write about? Would the two book clubs I belong to mind if I write about what we’re reading there (and maybe even relay parts of their respective discussions)? Should I reactivate the old grouping “My Weekly Reader” to talk about books on a regular schedule?
Which prompts another internal discussion: in the past, I’ve often set goals to write a post every day for a month about a single topic, or to do one a month for a year, or whatever. I’d set limits like a maximum number of words, or using only ONE picture per post. However, Peter has (wisely) shown me that this kind of self-imposed obligation, while helpful in providing structure and creating expectations on the part of readers, can be demoralizing if I don’t meet whatever goal I’ve set. And that’s not why I want to write….
That said, writing a blog, as I’ve told others, is only worth it IF YOU DO IT. In other words, it’s not enough to just “have a blog.” It needs INPUT. It needs THOUGHT. It needs ATTENTION. The words don’t just appear magically.
And that’s why I’ve been reluctant to get “back in the saddle,” I guess. The stats say this blog has had 12,000-plus posts; I know I have many friends who have been loyal readers, and I don’t want to let them down.
Can I even live up to my own expectations?
When every day provides new inspiration from — and concern about — so much of the world’s happenings — where do I start?
Well, for now, I’m just going to begin.
It might take a while for me to gear up; when I sat down at my laptop today, I didn’t even recall how to access my site to start composing. I’m fuzzy on adding links; it took 10 minutes to refresh my memory on how to insert a photo (and it has no caption or anything fancy like that). How exactly does the rollover to Facebook work? I’m not exactly sure. Have I already written so much that no one will read this whole entry?
None of that matters.
I certainly have “the need to express life in a creative way.” As I explained to a friend earlier today, that’s the BEST reason I want to resurrect this blog. (It’s also the reason why, as we speak, I’m also planning out a new artwork.)
Here’s hoping I will find some leftover wordsmithing ability deep in my brain, an insight or two into the universal condition that will strike a chord, an observation about a place or happening to bring a smile or the spark of curiosity to someone.
This post has a new grouping that’s called “The Sunday Open.” While I may not write every week, this day of the week has proven to be good creative time for me. Plus, it provides, at least, a catch-all category with a suggested timeline, with no commitment except the goal of posting on a fairly regular basis.
Please comment here or on FB — I’d love to hear your impressions and reactions.
Thanks and see you on the trail of new “Jewelry and Junk” to come!