There is no graceful way to dive back into blogging after taking nearly a year break. The desire to do it in such a way has proved paralyzing, so I decided to just start.
Here is a boring blog about what I’m doing these days that has no pressure to be awesome or amazing or paradigm-shifting or even that entertaining. You can completely ignore it and I will never know the difference, in reality. In my mind, I will have broken my radio silence and not feel the weight of having to do it again. Then I might be able to get back to writing.
Of Monsters and Men. It’s on my hypothetical List-capital-L to see them in concert in Iceland someday. This album is on repeat at least once a week here.
We just re-watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (one of my all-time favorites) and now I’m resisting the urge to book tickets to faraway countries because a 14+ hour flight with a baby sounds terrible. This is also why I’m listening to more Of Monsters and Men – they hang out on the soundtrack a lot.
Brooklyn 99 – delightful, silly fun at the end of a day where I have been primarily yelled at by a small child. It’s heartwarming in an unexpected way, but mostly slapstick. I’m pretty sure Kendra recommended this one back in The Lazy Sisters podcast days, and I pretty much always take her word on the good TV.
I loosely made a 2018 goal to cook two new recipes per month in order to help us break out of the rut that we fell into post-baby. I also made the loose goal to read more selectively: less fluff, more depth. I accidentally combined the two and kicked off the year re-reading Bread & Wine, a collection of essays and recipes by Shauna Niequist. Niequist talks a lot in the book about hospitality (something I should set a goal around, but am too scared to) and allowing food to be a way to connect with others, not a way to show off. Her message reminds me again and again that this is not my natural gifting, so reading her book often is good for me.
I followed Bread & Wine up with a new-to-me recipe/memoir combo in Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstratch. It’s delightful. I earmarked at least two dozen recipes that I want to try (hello meeting loose goal #1), and I loved her message about how making family dinner a priority tends to benefit the other areas of your life as well. From page 10 of the book:
“Things could not have been more okay—on the food front and beyond. I was starting to shape a theory about dinner. I found that if I was eating well, there was a good chance that I was living well, too. I found that when I prioritized dinner, a lot of other things seemed to fall into place… the simple act of carving out the ritual—a delicious homemade ritual—gave every day purpose and meaning, no matter what else was going on in our lives.” — Jenny Rosenstratch, Dinner: A Love Story
Ashley and I talk a lot about ritual on our podcast, and I am learning that my heart craves it in a way that I never realized until motherhood. Life at home alone with Arthur can be monotonous and feel like I’m treading water all day, fixing food and cleaning up after it and then cleaning up the toys and folding the laundry… it often leaves me thinking about “someday” when this is all over and I no longer have to change diapers. “Someday,” I have learned, can be dangerous.
I, too, have begun to feel that making a good dinner a priority at least 4-5 times per week helps keep me in the here and now, a ritual that I need in these days of tiny human wrangling, where progress seems to undo itself almost immediately.
I’ve read other things, too:
Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers – A near-perfect YA novel that I would compare to John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. Teenagers stuck in a small town in summer, smart, snappy dialogue, and people that jump off the page. If YA is your thing, don’t miss this one.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – A read for book club. Not something I would have picked up on my own, but I loved how the narrator applied racing theory to everyday life, and all through the eyes and voice of a dog. Those passages were brilliant.
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stablie and Reading People by Anne Bogel – I read both of these to prep for an upcoming Chasing Creative episode on personality and creativity. Both good, solid reads on personality typing systems, the first about the Enneagram, specifically, the send a more general overview of some of the systems in general. Both short, to-the-point reads if you find personality interesting. I certainly do.
Trying to convince Arthur to crawl — forward.
Getting out of the house a little more for some alone time, something my introvert soul definitely needs. Mothering as an introvert is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I love Arthur dearly, DEARLY, but oh, time alone to think in full sentences and concentrate with all of my brain is necessary.
That’s all, folks.
I wrote a blog. I broke a months-long silence. I did not do it gracefully, but I did it.
And now I can write more.