I have a buncha files saved on in MS Word named variations of “Blog Blog Blog.” I have more than a decade’s blogs saved up there. It is actually verging on ELEVEN YEARS. About a fourth of my life. I have written these blogs in three different houses on three different computers in two different cities.
Beautiful Maisy was a toddler when I began. She is about to be a teenager. Sam the grade schooler is halfway through his junior year. A pirate cat and a demon-infested cat have both shuffled off their mortal coils to ravage the mice-infested high seas of heaven and to rule in the bowels of hell, respectively. (Don’t worry, Boggart is FINE in hell. He owns real estate and has a great job torturing the damned as he once tortured us, the living. Boggart, I have NO doubt, ADORES life in hell—that’s how contrary that little butthead was.)
I have gained and lost more than ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS—that is a WHOLE PERSON—-mostly in five or ten or (on bad years) twenty pound increments, see-sawing up and down. I have converted rabidly to and then abandoned the South Beach diet, Raw Eating, Glycemic whatnot, some crazy thing about eating spoons of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, Paleo, and My Fitness Pal.
I wrote six novels. I almost died. I went to France. I lost all my grandparents and a friend. I made a friend—maybe two. I joined a book club. Believe it or not, in this decade, I mellowed. My husband mellowed, too; he shaved his head, grew a beard, AND BOUGHT A PAIR OF FLIP FLOPS.
(If you think “bought a pair of flip flops” doesn’t belong on the same list of life changes as “I ALMOST DIED,” then you do not know Scott.)
We thought we were Anglicans, but we moved churches as we moved geographically. We became Methodists, communist Presbyterians, and are now Quasi-Communist Baptists. We learned we want a place that feels connected to serving community. A place where the doors are open to all—even weirdos like us, and we don’t care what the sign over the door says.
I blogged all this.
My first file of blogs, cleverly named BLOG BLOG BLOG, became SO huge and unwieldy that when I opened it, my WHOLE computer would say , “Ummmmmm, NOPE!” and go Blue Screen of Death. I split it into three files and got a new computer, because if a WORD file can crash you, it is time. Especially if you are a novelist.
After that, I started marking them by year. I have files named Blog Blog Blog 2008, Blog Blog Blog 2009 etc etc, all the way through to Blog Blog Blog 2013. This is the first page in a file I JUST made called…you can probably guess.
Most of those files are ONE HUNDRED to ONE HUNDRED AND TEN THOUSAND WORDS LONG. Each year’s worth of blogs are as long as one of my novels. 2012 is a little lighter—about the length of gods in Alabama, my shortest book.
2013? Barely a novella.
I want 2014 to be different. I miss cataloging my life via blog. But 2013 was TOTAL CRAP. Hard to complain, when it was the year I spent a couple weeks lolling about France. And yeah, FRANCE was a life high point, but not so much a ribald pleasure as it was a desperately needed oasis of rest and joy in what has otherwise been a year of Jackals and Suck.
I think I have been so SWARMED with life-eating metaphorical devil bees and so damn sad I couldn’t find the voice of the blog. I have been sad. SAD. WAHHHHH SADDDDDDD.
I am done with it.
I AM DONE WITH IT.
Life is terrible and sad and fragile. Life is hard and full of heaps of just Godawful crap. This is what life is LIKE, and I KNOW this, and I knew this all along, so what has changed? I think it was one too many bees, and I fell under, down into the bee-pit, and there I squatted, resentfully being stung and declaring all of life to be made of bees.
Done with it. Hear me? Done. Because all life is not made of bees.
I just killed a character in my WIP progress and you know what? I AM UNKILLING HER. I just AM. She doesn’t have to be mortal today.
Neither do I.
I am going to be happier, and one way I am going to be happier is to stop staring into my sad naval with its sad sad depths of sorrow, and remember how freaking BLESSED I am. I have the best husband on the planet. I adore my kids. I am involved in a passionate relationship with a puffy yellow cat who makes my heart to sing. I love my church, I love my job, I love my town, I love my house, I love my dogs. I have some REALLY good friends who have stayed close enough to see my blackest and most chewy most awfullest insides and then said, “BUT LOOK I STILL LOVE YOU AND THINK YOU ARE GREAT!”
Yeah yeah, all these things are all mortal and passing and ephemeral. But I am a person of faith, so the very WORD ephemeral can pretty much suck it. I am also a person of yoga, trying to abdicate before and soon in favor of now.
With this in mind, I am resolved to GO OUTSIDE and catalog the funny good bits here, as I ALWAYS have, for a decade now. I am going out in active search of that which is delightful and ridiculous and hopeful and broken in interesting ways and intensely, beautifully human—OH! there are SUCH GOOD BITS— I look at the earlier blogs and I remember OH YES! SO MUCH GOOD BITS happen! I am going to find them, and dwell in these good bits, and tell you about them.
And that, Oh My Best of All POSSIBLE Beloveds, Oh my delicious baglets of tasty candy, my darlings, my dear ones, my beautiful goats on the spring hillside (wait, I think those are bosoms? Never mind) THAT is my singular and single and only and lone New Year’s Resolution.