We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes. How difficult for us, then, to achieve a balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, (A Gift from the Sea – 1955)
Thank you to every one who commented on my last post. As often happens, this post began life as a reply. I decided to post it instead, for those of you who don’t subscribe to comment threads.
A few weeks ago, if I’d logged in and found those comments, so full of wisdom, compassion, understanding, friendship and appreciation, I’d have wept with the emotion of it all. But today, after a few sunny, pain-free weeks full of music and reading, what I feel is a surge of contentment and gratitude…and a growing – but comfortable – longing to get back to some balanced blogging.
I’m not ready for daily blogging or inbox safaris yet, but I’ve regained enough perspective and clarity to know that taking a step back was entirely the right thing to do. I remember a few of you ‘logging off’ for a bit in recent years and coming back stronger and even more creative because of it.
In the hundreds of hours I’ve gained by not logging on every day, a deeper sense of calm has helped me – and my husband – stay more grounded while we navigate tough financial times and our kids’ teenage turbulence.
Before I dulled my own shine by spending too much time at a table, writing and reading online and not living enough, my writing tapped into a part of me that was more aware, more open, intuitive, communicative and creative. I feel this offline break is leading me back there.
When I wrote my coaching column, the monthly deadline suited me, but blogging’s blurred the line between ‘writing’ and chatting. My best bouts of creativity follow a clear pattern: on fire > burnout > rest.
I’m not a slow and steady, constant, reliable kind of blogger even though I love community connections and always feel the need to creatively filter and pass on what I experience. Because I’m slowly becoming my old synchronicity-loving self again, I’ve recently ‘stumbled across’ lots of expressive arts courses, events and opportunities that have excited me and my daughter.
The universe has also delighted me with surprise visits from FOUR old and dear friends and their families en-route to and from holidays in Scotland. This means my daughter can have real life outings with her long-distance friends instead of just texts and cyber relationships.
My son, still physically unable to pursue any sports or social events that involve activity, is an inspiration to all of us. He’s simply taken the imposed rest time to fill his life with other things he enjoys, and is brave enough to believe that if sporting friends abandon him during this traumatic phase, then their friendship isn’t as valuable as he thought it was. He’s the poster boy in this house for living the ‘It is what it is…’ and ‘What will be, will be…’ way of life.
Our garden’s still a mess after the winter ravages, but I’m feeling the benefits of having aligned myself with the seasons again. I’ve been noticing the sudden breezes before storms and appreciating all the summer flowers in my garden when they come into bloom. Simple pleasures, like sitting on the back doorstep, enjoying a coffee in the sun, have been flowing back in like gentle waves and restoring me.
Being more mobile and proactive these last few weeks has also given me a boost. It’s meant that I’ve felt brighter and more positive and even shed a few midlife pounds; I’ve done less of what I call ‘C’ eating (Comfort/Celebration/Consolation/Compensation/Convenience) and am feeling the benefit. I now have more energy to support my friends who are battling cancer and my dad who’s experiencing health challenges in his eighties.
I sense that a lot of you experience similar blogging tides and seasons. I wrote a newsletter article a few years ago called Ebb and Flow so it’s now fairly apparent that I was a ‘tidal’ writer long before I became a deciduous blogger. I’ve no idea when I’ll be logging on again, but in the meantime, here are a few questions for you to ponder before we meet again:
- What are your creative patterns?
- Do you ever get an icky feeling or a sense that your blogging’s straying out of alignment with your integrity or seasonal/tidal patterns?
- If you took a blogging break right now, for two straight weeks offline, how would you fill that time? If the thought appeals, what, if anything, is stopping you?
- What do you need more of right now?
- What do you need less of?
- What do you need to say NO to?
- What do you need to say YES!! to?
- What expands you?
- What contracts you?
- Do you ever C-eat? If so, what do you really need instead of food? What is food (or drink) a substitute for?
Thank you, once again, for being so appreciative of my desire to craft something constructive out of the ups and downs of my life and for making this a place I enjoy coming back to.