I spent about an hour Saturday night falling down the rabbit hole of old posts. First I checked out November of 2014, then November of last year. I did NaBloPoMo in 2015 too, so there were a lot of posts to read.
There were some good posts. Some honest, raw, authentic posts. Some important posts. I was proud of a lot of what I read, and the discussions my words inspired.
As has been the case on many occasions when I read my own archives, I am left worrying that writing has deteriorated, that I’m somehow becoming worse for wear as I write year after year. At the very least my current posts feels lazy. Certainly the topics of my recent posts are. When I read through old posts it always feels like I was tackling more important topics, and getting better results, than I’m currently doing.
Of course back then I was still struggling. A lot. Especially in 2014. Struggle seems to inspire good writing, at least for me. Struggle is interesting. It’s dramatic. It pulls you in. It is part of a arch with conflict and hopefully, eventually, resolution. Struggle is a driving force in writing.
I’m not struggling so much anymore. Sure there are still challenges, but that desperation, that despair is no longer there. I have a much better handle on my life. I think the main reason for this is my kids are more manageable. They can play together for 10 or 15 minutes without any parental supervision. I no longer have to act as their constant referee. 10 or 15 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but those swaths of time are incredibly freeing. And with that freedom comes a calm, a sense of peace, an ability to regroup and prepare for what comes next. Reading back through posts from one or two years ago there is no doubt in my mind…I am a different woman, living a different life. For that, I am thankful.
I suppose what it all comes down to, is that ever lingering fear that in the absence of struggle I don’t have anything substantial to say. This blog is not packaging a brand. I don’t have some message to impart to the masses. I’m just a woman writing about her life.
But just writing that paragraph I’m already scoffing at my own words. It’s silly to think that in the absence of dire circumstances I have nothing substantial to say. Surely that isn’t the case. I have plenty to say, I think it will just take a lot more work to find the words and write them down.
And there is still struggle. Plenty of it. I am still struggling to find a definition of minimalism that makes sense to me. My house is not nearly the disaster area that had me believing I was a miserable failure, but it’s still not where I want it to be. Minimalism (or my understanding of it) delivered me from certain doom, and I absolutely believe it can make me even happier and more content than I already am.
My marriage always provides a steady stream of material, and I think I’m finally learning how to write about it in a way that respects all parties involved. And of course motherhood, and the crooked way I continue to muddle through it, will always leave a trail of blog post fodder in its wake.
So yes, I do believe I have something substantial still to say, I just need to take the time and energy to say it. I dedicated myself to posting every day in November, and while requiring a regular return to this space was a useful exercise, I see that moving forward I need to dedicate myself to this space in a more meaningful way, with fewer, more thoughtful posts.
I know that the election really hijacked my mental space. Navigating life the past few weeks has been an emotional minefield. While I’m disappointed I didn’t show up here with something meaningful to say, I am ready to forgive myself and move on. There is plenty of time to write thoughtfully about this terrifying new world we live in. And I do believe I still have something substantial to say.
So don’t worry. You’ll be seeing more of me, even after November.