March 15, 2014
In January, I decided to take a break from blogging. When I started this blog in May of 2009 (!), I made myself a rule: keep writing the blog as long as you’re having fun doing it. We all have plenty of obligations and non-negotiables in our lives; the last thing I wanted to do was add another item to my to-do list. I never wanted the blog to feel like something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do.
I had an email conversation with a dear friend the other day, along these same lines. We were sharing about the ways that seemingly positive, healthy choices and commitments can quickly become oppressive if we aren’t careful. What starts off as good self care–“I feel better when I exercise regularly”–can end up adding guilt and stress–“Oh shit, I haven’t worked out in three days and I’m really tired and now I’m going to gain weight and I feel like a bad person.”
Maybe this sounds melodramatic, but I think we all do it. At least I do. I am definitely someone who thrives with some structure in place, but I will all-too-easily convert that structure into rules and expectations that I then hold myself up against, judging myself unfavorably in the process. Seeing all of what I’m not doing. Thinking in “shoulds”: Oh, I should really be reading that super-intellectual book instead of these addictive, dystopian young adult novels. I should bake something to take to the family that just moved in down the street. I should make an appointment to donate platelets, because I haven’t gone in a year…etc.
So, when this blog started to feel like a “should,” I took a break. It’s been a good break, a needed one, and I gained the distance and perspective that I was hoping for, and I’m back now, excited to re-think this space, to re-engage with it and with you, on a “want to” basis and not a “should.” My original plan wasn’t to return until April, but, you know what? I missed this. And it feels good to be back.
Part of what put me in a bit of a rut, I think, was feeling locked into a particular format: story, photos, recipe. It’s a good format, of course, and I’m not planning to abandon it entirely, but I’d like to do other things with this space. My next post will be about our family’s Friday night ritual. And for April, I’ve lined up a slate of guest posts from writers and friends (friends who are writers, really) about poems that they consider game-changers. It’s going to be a month full of poetry nerdiness, and it’s going to be awesome.
Please know that I will definitely still be writing about food, and sharing recipes, but I’m also just kind of going to do whatever. More joy, less obligation. More brandishing butter knives while standing on step ladders.