Hi, kids. Yeah, I've been scarce. Again. But I did leave you with that enthralling mayo versus Miracle Whip poll. So, at least my blogging and journalistic integrity is still well in tact. [Gulp.]
While I've been busy with things outside of the blogosphere, the reality is I just haven't been 'feeling' it. And not just "not 'feeling' it" with the blog, but "not 'feeling' it" in general. The truth is I've been dealing with things that run much deeper than coming up with engaging content or even other exterior life stresses.
I've hesitated to say anything at all and simply muster myself back up into the saddle and simply get on with it. I think there are times in life when one must simply rally and fake it to make it. Those times, I've found, are usually during a general moment of malaise or melancholy or just a good old fashioned pity party. That's not to say that there aren't hints of those aforementioned meddlers as they always seem to invite themselves in even during more profound moments of being heavy-hearted. But this is not a time for mustering. This is a time to get quiet, still, reflective. It's a time to check in, instead of checking out. Now, I'm not trying to bring the room down. Really. But as I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm wanting to put forth more authenticity here. And with that, I also think that sharing our stories can hold tremendous power or at least be helpful to someone somewhere.
If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone declare some kind of defeat over how someone else in the blogosphere has such a great life, well, I'd probably have a couple of bucks and some change. But, still, that's a lot of nickels. It also makes me think about those who have emailed or tweeted me over the years about my "fabulous" or "perfect life" (?!?!) and wishing their life was more like mine. Kids, my life is far from perfect. SO far. The reality is, no one's life is perfect - and we know that. So why do so many of us engage in the comparison game? Furthermore, why do so many of us put so much heart into something based on such false assumptions. Are we just slightly sadomasochistic? Or maybe we're just trying too hard to find beacons of our future happiness only to cut ourselves down for not being there already. Wherever 'there' is anyway?
Believe me, I'm still trying to move past that knee-jerk response of thinking that the key to my happiness lay somewhere 'out there'. I know it's not. But too often things get so overwhelming that it's simply easier to set things to auto-pilot and coast through self-deprecation, self-pity, mindless consumer consumption, or the refrigerator. Or, I just let myself get my magpie on and get distracted by all things sparkly and aesthetically pleasing. The thing is, when you fly on auto-pilot too long you can start to forget how to fly the plane in the first damn place. And you just feel utterly lost. That's when you know it's time to quit popping packages of peanuts and stop your irreverent chatter with the flight attendants and get down to business. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for a landing. Oh, and there's gonna be turbulence. Buckle up.
"Be careful what you're good at - you could end up doing it for years."
~ Danielle LaPorte
Another byproduct of zoning out on auto-pilot is that you become much more susceptible to others' opinions about you, who you are, and what you should be doing. It can feel deceptively good. Letting others take the reins and just guide you on your way. Ah! And, oftentimes, they'll even guide you toward things you're good at! But, BUT, just because you're good at it may not always mean it's what you should be doing or, more important, that you even want to do it in the first place. I don't know about you, but that's been a recurring theme in my life. If you don't put in the effort to learn what genuinely moves you, years can go by before you understand just how comfortably numb you've allowed yourself to get. Hey, what's that flashing red light on the control panel? Co-Pilot? Co-Pilot?!! Crap.
So, yeah. While contemplating a blog redesign and content reconsideration I came to realize that those were merely understudies to what I actually need which is something much bigger - my own truth. (Lord, that sounds daunting!) I suppose the issues with my mom's health have made me understand most profoundly that life truly is short. It's gotten me down, but it's also made me understand and value what's really important. And, it also makes me feel like I know where to start. And that's not such a terrible place. Right?
We'll see where all of this takes us. To start off the excavation process, I'll be digging into Danielle LaPorte's new book The Fire Starter Sessions. It's going to be some serious work. It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to be an adventure. And I hope you'll be patient with me in the process.
PHOTOS BY UNCLE BEEFY.