Monday, August 9, 2010

Please Don't Adjust Your Sets . . .

Thank you for your patience. It's not you. It's me . . .

My third blog-iversary slipped by unattended last month. Three years, and I'm at 657 posts right now. It doesn't seem as if I'm going to stop anytime soon, but as you know, I regularly wonder about the worth of my writing here. While I've achieved some of the goals I set for myself at the outset -- documenting and celebrating the quotidian and the domestic; developing a comfortable, clear personal voice which might occasionally brighten my academic writing -- I seldom find/take the time to burrow into a topic satisfactorily.

I had hoped to do more of that this summer with several thoughts I'd pushed to the back burner. Most of those have simmered dry in the pot by now, although I did manage two or three posts playing with some ideas that arose from this summer's travels (Buildings, Laundry).

I always enter summers with great hopes about what I will do with all the free time stretching in front of me, but then spend the first few weeks getting rested after the end of term. Then a few weeks catching up on all the appointments and tasks and visits that get neglected through the school year. Throw in some travel weeks and some weeks with visiting family and suddenly I'm in August, planning for classes that will start all too soon.

This summer has the added factor of living with someone again after a decade of having my house to myself all week. I'll write more later (ha! back burner simmer, hmmmm) about adjusting to a spouse's retirement, but while Pater is far, far from demanding of my time and company (he cooks, cleans, grocery shops), I have much work to do on calibrating that dial that switches between Self and Others. Much work.

Right now, I've finished three weeks and counting of sharing space with others for most hours of the day: we had my lovely daughter and granddaughter visiting for a week; then our other kids and partners for a weekend; then a road trip wherein I was sharing a very small space for ten to twelve hours a day; a weekend of intense family visiting at a wedding; another day later in the road trip visiting my BIL's family at their lakefront summer house; and finally, these last four days baby-sitting a gorgeous, gregarious 20-month-old. All of it wonderful people time, but during it, I've hit several periods where all that kept me going was the vision of a quiet room, an armchair, and a cup of tea. No, I told Pater, you're not in the room. I'll make my own tea. Thanks.

Today, we're doing a few things I'd prioritized early this summer but haven't got to because of all those family obligations -- the Fluevog retrospective at the Vancouver Museum; the Museum of Anthropology. Tomorrow, it might be back to family obligations again as my mother claims she has no dresses to wear, and Shopping is a skill I should share. But then we're going to head back to the island and lay low for a week before I'm back on campus.

All of which is to say that I'm thinking about how I might use the last bit of relative freedom I have to rejuvenate my postings a bit. I'm toying with the idea of announcing a schedule in advance, thinking that might help me commit. I'm also playing with the notion of a rotating schedule of sorts: Family News, Gardening, Knitting, What I Wore, etc., on various days of the week. Perhaps a month of photo-a-day and brief commentary. We'll see. But I thought I'd let you know that I'm working on keeping it fresh. Meanwhile, for later this week, I'm lining up a few photos I took at the wedding -- don't expect too much as I sadly didn't even get a decent bride-and-groom shot, but there are photos of my sibs and their partners, and you'll get an idea of what to wear to a Northern wedding in a Truck Town in serious summer heat. . . .

7 comments:

  1. Just happy to hear your thoughtful voice:).

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  2. 3 years? Wow! Where does time go? I don't know why but I assumed you had been blogging for a long time before I started( my blogaversary is in October).

    I am so happy you kept blogging and I must tell you that you have been a positive influence on my blogging life. Whenever I start to think of blogging as an obligation I then think of you and your blogging philosophy and it helps.

    Write whatever you want...I love reading whatever you write. And that quiet room alone sounds lovely (I, of late, have had a little too much family time). I hope you get to that quiet place soon and I look forward to seeing what it inspires in you.
    much love,
    belette
    xoxo

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  3. Your summer has been full of wonderful events...anniversary of blogging can easily slip away.

    Take care, and post whatever, whenever...I look forward to hearing your "voice".

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  4. Funny, I so often crave solitude and am full of outrage/annoyance/irritation if spouse works from home for a day and intrudes on my space, but at the moment I feel sad every morning when the family all leave and I'm stuck here, at my desk, while the big wide world happens elsewhere. Or that's what it feels like. Maybe I've just got winter blues ... (my verification word is 'dulnessi' which sounds suspiciously like 'dullness' - hmmm). I look forward to seeing what you do with the blog - I'm sure to love it in any incarnation.

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  5. Thanks, LPC.
    And LBR, that's so sweet of you to say. Nice to think I've had some small influence on your blog, which I enjoy so much.
    HHB: Families do keep us busy, don't they?! Summers might be vacation time, but they're certainly not free time!
    Tiffany: Yes! I've felt exactly those conflicts. Luckily, I did learn to love my own company in the quiet of my own house and savoured it while I had that time. Now I'll have to find ways to get that back from time to time without offending those who have to be removed from the house occasionally! (I'm pleased that someone picked up the part of the post that was actually more central for me -- I was surprised that I'd ended up slanting more toward my sometime dissatisfactions with my posts because the solitude/time issue is really the bigger concern)

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  6. You've had quite a bit on your plate! I always enjoy your posts regardless of the topic; they feel like catching up with a friend. Having seen several bloggers I really enjoy succumb to periodic burnout, I'll encourage you to continue "blogging without obligation." :-)

    I've been struggling with finding the time and mental focus to expand on several topics I've had swirling around in my head. Life sometimes wins out over blogging!

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  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Pseu.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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