So many things yet nothing at all. How can it be? Here it is, another Thursday Three!
1. Sometimes the anticipation is the best part. This is a season where we are getting ready, celebrating through Advent and preparing for things we’re all looking forward to. There is a certain excitement in the time leading up to something, and we should cherish that. More to come, but for now, I’m happy to be in the planning and anticipation stage for a few different things.
2. Nostalgia and forgetfulness are at an all-time high this season.Oh, remember the porcelain tree my grandma had? Look, I have one just like it! Oh, it’s December 11th and all gifts/cards should be shipped in the next week. WHAT?!?!?!! I feel like I know it’s time for Christmas, but I’m just not ready still. Maybe I spend too much time hanging out in the anticipation stage and not enough in the preparation. Welcome to what Christmas looks like in our house.
3. Blogging is more than just writing. Doing photography for money is more than just taking photos. Being a musician is more than simply playing music. Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that it’s one and the same with any of these (and likely many other roles). At the core, there is a lot of writing involved with blogging (and so on), which is why it is important to love it and continue to improve the skill. That said, the past few weeks and months I’ve really been pouring into all of the other components that go into a blog, like tweaking the website and being active in the blogging community. Trying to figure out how best to grow my audience or interact with readers. It’s been a lot of work and not nearly as much writing as you would think. I’m enjoying learning more about all that goes into it though in hopes of becoming both a better blogger and a better writer.
In the bustle and flurry of all that is happening, sometimes it’s easy to drown out the big. The big truths, big values, big goals. To be honest, sometimes I’m glad for it. I don’t want to be stuck with quiet and big thoughts looming. Those big things can lead to huge life change or coping with hurts I don’t know how to handle.
While being too busy can overwhelm me, being without enough to do often scares me more.
So then I fill my plate back up again. I ignore the signs that tell me to slow down. To rest. To realize when I’m taking on more than I need to without good reason. Then I’m running (figuratively speaking…I hate actual running) nonstop so that by the time I crawl into bed at night I’m too exhausted to think. Instead of finding self, I’m practically avoiding it.
The world is not about me. My own life isn’t even totally about me. Finding self is not supposed to be a selfish endeavor. I’m not trying to encourage a “me, me, me” culture. But knowing who you are is a starting point. You need to know your downfalls as well as your strengths. It helps you to understand why you do the things you do and why you react to certain things and how to take care of yourself.
As much as I sometimes try to avoid it, wrestling with thoughts and struggles has a certain value to it. It’s how you learn and grow. It’s when you resolve the inner turmoil that’s building and spilling out into your everyday life. It’s then that you realize you can’t do it all. You need the community of people around you. And it’s most when I realize I need God to get me through this life.
Find the time to work through these questions and thoughts and truths. Because these big things matter.
After weeks (which seemed like months) my blog is back in action. Why the hold-up? Well the theme (read: layout and design) was apparently glitching out and causing the whole thing to freeze up. It drove me a little crazy, so I was emailing help support almost daily and got all of the standard, “try refreshing your browser” tips before they finally got to the bottom of it. So a new theme is here for now, but maybe I’ll play around with it some more and get it looking a bit more like me. I’d been wanting to do that for some time, and now I have an excuse.
Okay, housekeeping details aside, I’m so glad to be writing again and not fighting with formatting issues and unresponsive scripts. Oh wait, that’s what I do in my day job. Well kinda, not really. I do test a lot of websites out to find such errors but then hand a long list of problems back to the developers. What do I do now, you ask? I’m still figuring that out and so are they. But it’s a mix of looking through schedules, talking to clients and trying to improve processes. It’s a good fit for me. It’s still a pretty slow start as you can hardly manage projects if you don’t know anything about them. I’m also slowly uncovering all my ping pong skills as that is a game of choice at work. It’s nice to peel your eyes away from a screen and move around a bit.
I’m trying to do a few other things that are a change of pace. Yesterday I wandered into a bead/jewelry shop and walked out after making a pair of earrings. It was a struggle to feel fairly incompetent when it came to bending some wire but still fun to have a finished product by the end. Sunday I walked around the track talking with a friend until we realized it had been five miles while the hubby played ultimate frisbee. It’s doing these small things that take you out of your comfort zone or routine that lets you dream about so much more. Maybe I’ll make half of our Christmas presents this year. Or maybe it’s time I joined a regular workout class again now that my leg really isn’t as much of a problem anymore. Dreaming opens up other dreams like no TV show ever could.
Sometimes when I start dreaming about one thing, I realize it’s not actually my dream. Like when I spent a weekend learning all about food trucks or spent a month researching teaching overseas. It’s worthwhile to go down those trails just to find out it’s not your dream. In both cases, I realized what my actual dream was instead. In the case of teaching abroad, it was soon after that we realized we wanted to move but within the U.S. Instead of a food cart, I bought my own url. Right now the dream is to write. Maybe not a book or a billboard, but to write where I’m at. To write about life and hopefully, to help other people through it.
Whew. That was quite the blog. How that started to get where it ended is somewhat of a mystery. It’s good to be back.
It’s here! It’s finally here! That week of crazy we’ve all been waiting for!! Work has been nuts-o, school has started, we’re moving and why not throw a couple of curve balls in there? Bottom line, God is good.
1. Writing allows me to work it all out. Saturday I got the chance to go to a half-day more or less writing seminar. It was good to get a little nudge to keep doing what I love and maybe even dream about using my voice beyond the Thursday Three and my 15 faithful readers (you are the best though, of course). An author from Nashville gave some pointers and had some good things to say, but mostly it was just good to have a little time to think and dream. I was surrounded by others who had a passion and a voice and somewhere in there, I have that too.
2. Station wagons continue to be my dream car. Okay, practicality aside, I’ve always oddly loved Jaguars. Not really sure why, maybe it’s that tiny little leaping figurine at the hood of the car, but regardless, it ain’t in the cards. Hence, the station wagon. As long as I can remember I’ve thought it to be the best of both worlds and the car for me. This week, dreams really do come true, as we have borrowed someone else’s to move boxes across town to our new little abode. All of our dishes seem to be in one place while all of our clothes are in the other. Good luck guessing which is which. Slowly, we’re chipping away and trying to ready ourselves for this weekend which I lovingly call, “major haul” during which the remainder will be toted over.
3. Everywhere I turn, it’s back to school! Granted, yes, I work at a school. But still. The hubby starts his class this week, my sister started at her new university, my sister-in-law started teaching at her local college this week and a few friends are going back for various programs, classes and degrees. If all goes well, I might be joining in next week with one night class on nonprofit management. I figured I might as well get a graduate level course under my belt, and I’ve gone back and forth between excitement and apprehension. It’s only been a few years but after seeing the syllabus and realizing the homework I’ll have to add to my routine I wasn’t sure what to think. I’m hoping though to learn a little and gain some understanding and just take it one step at a time. Who knows what life will bring.
Yes, I’ve said it before and you can hardly deny it—I write. I won’t claim whether or not it’s good. I’ve certainly read books and blogs with far superior writing than my own. I just can’t help it though, when I learn and think and grow, it pours out of me. It’s been a continual hobby and passion. It’s what allows me to think through thoughts even further and then later reflect on where I’ve been.
So now the question is, how can that be used? What might I be called to use this hobby and skill for? Because rooted down in me, I know this cannot only be for my own good. There’s got to be something more. Until I know what that is, I’ll just keep writing. That way I’m ready for whatever is in store.
I write. You can’t deny it. Whether you think it’s good or bad is not the point. Regardless, I write. I write when I’m thinking through something or learning new lessons or fighting my fears or fleeing from life’s many mysteries. I write to sort through my thoughts and sometimes even to share them with you. It’s an expression and an art form, yet it also remains one of life’s simplest tasks. You don’t need to be a published author to write a to-do list. Nor a famous blogger to type out your daily activities. There’s something I love about that. And something about it that I detest.
I love writing. There’s so many things I could say about it yet still barely scratch the surface. That’s just it. How do you express what can’t be put to words? How to describe the clarity of colors? Or how to go on about the desperate desires of the heart set to song? Sometimes I wish my form of expression wasn’t something also found on a mere post-it note at work. But, oh how I love post-it notes. I love using a pen to jot something down as it emerges from a flitting idea into a coherent thought. The moment you escape the present and get lost in a realm of possibilities.
Writing makes you pause. You have to consider the appropriate word, and even reconsider it, before moving to the next. What is it? How to organize the countless thoughts that are running through your head? Which one takes precedent? Scream and shout. Whisper and murmur. It all looks the same on paper.
I think I could write an entire book about writing without really saying anything at all. Consider this my attempt at abstract art—a mess of colors that can only be truly understood by its creator, if even so.
One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.