Watch, Now, How I Start the Day in Happiness

hello sun in my face

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“Hello, sun in my face.

Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…

Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”

-Mary Oliver

I think I was doing pretty well with my pledge to post every day and then Mia came down with some kind of bug, then that bug found me. It was a pretty mild bug but it lasted for what felt like forrr-evvv-errr.

That little bug also took with it my drive to wake up early and write and if I don’t do this I can pretty much count on not getting much writing done for the rest of the day. This is because it’s usually the largest chunk of the day I can devote to writing. It gets the train moving and sets the tone, writerly wise, for the remainder of the day. So just like that, I fell out of a habit I was only just beginning to form.

But all is not lost! Over the past few days I’ve been rediscovering this little blog I had when Mia was a baby. I hadn’t looked at this blog in years. I started that blog when I was in the thick of the infant days and wanted to feel less alone. I ended the blog after I wrote a post that was supposed to be celebratory, if a bit raw and vulnerable, but I discovered too late that it failed in execution, and the result was exposure at an uncomfortable level. So I stopped blogging and life went on.

When the boys came along a few years later, I was catapulted back to that lonely place. Times two. That exhausting up-all-night-every-night, spit-up-in-my-hair-don’t-care, just-shoot-the-coffee-into-my-veins, someone-needs-something-from-me-every-damn-minute-and-good-God-can-I-please-just-take-a-shower place.

You know the one?

And the whole time my creative itch needed scratching and my mind needed to work some things out the only way it can – with the written word. So around the boys’ first birthday, I finally felt like some fog was lifting and instead of waiting around for life to knock on my door, I decided to rejoin life (my life, anyway) and see just what kind of world I would open myself to if I started writing again.

First, I took a shower. Then, I started this blog.

It didn’t take long to realize that blogging, when you devote yourself to it and keep at it, can create this wonderful, rich, creative, connective world where all the little moments can be magnified and shared, then wrapped up in tissue and preserved until they’re taken down from the shelf, dusted off and revisited, experienced time and again. And the people you connect with become more than connections. They become this community where everyone inspires and encourages each other and you can’t help but marvel at all the ways God brings people into your life.

So after a bit of reminiscing on that old blog (it feels like a lifetime ago), I’m ready to get back to this one. We all need to find our way back to Memory Lane once in a while, and I might republish some of those old posts simply to indulge my nostalgic side, but not yet. Not today. I’ve only been away from this space for a week, but today sort of feels like that first day, that first post.

Today feels like a beginning.

A post a day in 2014, starting now

blog every day

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For a while now I’ve had myself believing that anything written here needs to follow some sort of theme, maybe a moral, all tied up at the end and presented as a package, a gift, whole and one piece. But the truth is, sometimes my mind just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes my thoughts aren’t linear — there is no moral, no grand discovery, merely musings, scattered fragments of my days that made me pause. After all, isn’t this how life goes — snippets of laughter and anguish and contemplation and contentment and joy and sadness and fear? They all make us pause.

The truth is, I wish I was someone who could write effortlessly in the full, round beauty of an essay, but essays don’t come naturally to me. It is only later, after I hit publish and reread it sometime later, that I discover the truth of what I was trying to say, and that I could have pushed it further in order to mold it into something worth treasuring. I’m beginning to forgive myself this flaw as a writer/blogger for the most part. Essays are admirable creatures. They give you something to sink your teeth into, something to turn over and examine and contemplate as you load the dishwasher or fold laundry, but I’m learning that every blog post doesn’t have to be an essay. Sometimes a post can be lighter in content. Sometimes the images can take center stage. Sometimes a post can be an excuse to snatch a bit of time in the midst of a crazy day.

So going forward I’m going to honor these moments, whether trivial or grand, not caring so much how it appears to the interwebs. I began this blog for me, a little carved out space for memory keeping, and I need to keep that in mind going forward. I’ve decided to post something every day for the rest of the year. I’ve gone back and forth about this. I’ve tried to talk myself out of it. I’ve thought about not proclaiming it here and just doing it, but I feel like I need to put it in ink here in order to stick to it. (That didn’t work out so well last time, but more on that to come.)

My posts won’t always be meaty. Sometimes (a lot of the time) they will just be moments from my day: something my kids said/did, a photograph, a book review, something I witnessed or read or discovered. If you read this post, you know that I’ve been floundering in this space for some time, not really knowing the direction in which I want to go with this blog. The point of this challenge is to show up every day, and hopefully at some point I’ll discover why I’m here.