Um, hello? Remember me? I used to post weekly, but I've taken the last, ahem, twelve weeks off. Rest assured all five PJ's are alive and well! We've just been so busy that I took an unplanned break. Thanks to all of you who emailed or texted or messaged to check on me. HAPPY NEW YEAR! I AM BACK!
But not entirely. Because there is this one thing. I started blogging in 2007. It is now 2017. That's 10 years and 1,093 posts in which I faithfully recorded pretty much everything on this weblog. When Nick and I can't remember the timing of some random event or milestone, I search ye olde bloggity and bam. There it is. This blog has been a big part of my life as a stay-at-home mom.
But somewhere along the line blogging has become a task for me. Just one more thing on my very long to-do- list. Somewhere along the way writing a blog post quit being a fun, relaxing, creative activity and became a dull, joyless, mechanical obligation. And I think everyone can sense it in my dull, joyless, mechanical writing. My own mom doesn't read my blog anymore. It's just plain boring.
The primary reason I carried on through October is because I felt guilty about short-changing Annie — I kept such close records when Ella and Kate were little, but my third child gets at most a couple of photos on the weekly post. When I carefully evaluated the way I utilize my time, I realized that writing blog posts actually keeps me away from Annie. Perhaps it was only away for 15-20 minutes, but those minutes could have been used to read her a book, do a quick craft activity, watch her jump on the trampoline, or just sit quietly on the couch and cuddle her sweet little body while she watches Elena of Avalor. (I went with watch her jump on the trampoline because this mother of three cannot jump on a trampoline for more than a couple of bounces without wearing Depends.)
The fact is, in spite of intentionally resisting the pressure to become a frantic, harried, overscheduled American family of five, in 18 short months of living in America we became just that. Ella and Kate have piano, voice, Brownies, and swim team every single week. Annie goes to MOPS and tags along to all her sisters' activities. Nick works Monday through Friday and is in the middle of taking on a new professional opportunity. I started facilitating the Tulsa Girls Math Circle, chaired two time-consuming PTA service events, took on additional responsibilities at church, and handle all things domestic while enrolled in graduate school full time. We are maxed out. Completely maxed out. If we thrived on action and stress, we would be in our elements. But that is not who we are.
We are people who like spending down time as a family. We like peace. Our home is a kind, warm, slow-moving sort of place. None of us likes drama. We detest being hurried and rushed. Our ideal day off is full of what Kate refers to as "lazing about." This morning the girls and I snuggled, read, and watched TV in my bed until 9:30am. We're going to a movie this afternoon. That's precisely our speed.
My break from blogging has been a welcome relief. Giving myself the grace to give it up (even temporarily) left me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. And the best part is that I found myself composing funny paragraphs, furious rants, or thoughtful blog posts in my head for the first time in years. Those posts never made it onto the screen — mostly because I felt guilty writing silly diddies when I hadn't put together my weekly post...like eating a brownie without first eating my vegetables — but I had fun thinking about them.
I want to rediscover that joy. But first I'm going to eat my vegetables.
I'm going to take a few mornings to catch up on the twelve weeks of 2016 that I failed to record. One post for each week. Lots of facts and photos. All opinion and emotion and humor and mess and real life will be scrubbed. These posts will be sterile and dull and mechanical. Just like everything else I've written for the last 18 months.
Then I'm going to make this blog private. And I'm going to go back to the way I started blogging: in short, sweet, completely random posts. (With a few ranting tirades and soul-searching rambles thrown in for balance.) I will write whatever I feel like writing. Or I might not write at all for months. But when I do write, I will write for me.
I should be caught up with my public posts by mid-January at which point you can subscribe privately. Don't even think about asking for permission to view the private blog if you can't handle unfiltered Aubrey. She's more than a little bit crazy. :)