Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quiet

Well, hello!

I hardly know where to start, it's been so long since I've been around here. I guess I took a blogging break.

I didn't mean to take a break. I really didn't.

All of a sudden the semester was upon me, and lesson plans and grading took over my life and here I was . . . not writing.

And every day that went by . . . not writing . . . just felt right for a while.

At one point I said to Kate, "I feel just terrible that I haven't written anything this fall." Her response was such grace to me--words I've held on to: "It's O.K., Mom. You're just in a period of quiet."

Yes, I think that was it. A time of quiet. When my heart and my soul just didn't have much to say.

I'm still not sure I have much to say even now, but I've missed writing so much. And I feel I should probably take the advice I give to my students: you have to exercise that writing muscle in order to write anything of substance.

So today I'm practicing and exercising and hoping beyond hope that something of substance will come out of this period of quiet.

I've tossed and turned this around in my mind, trying to figure out why I went quiet for a while, and I've come up with a couple of theories. Choose whichever one fits.

1. Coming off of the busiest summer of my life and jumping right into a busy fall semester of teaching was just a whole lot of crazy and not enough "thinking" space for this introvert.

2. Kate being gone this fall threw me off. (As in, it's easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility myself. Way to go, Mom!)

3. I just didn't have much to say.

I pick either 1 or 3.

(Yes, Kate was gone, and it was weird to have her so far away, but it was O.K. We survived. We even got to see her a few times, so it wasn't that bad.)

So, let's talk about number 1 for a minute. I definitely think that, while my summer was indeed invigorating and that renovating an entire townhouse in eight weeks was somewhat satisfying, it was also exhausting. And, again, while traveling to Europe with my mom was such a special and extravagant experience, it was not restful--I came home as tired as when I left. In other words, I started my semester from a place of exhaustion, which any professor will tell you is not a good place to be.

And number 3. Honestly? I think that's more it than anything. What I really want for this space, this very small blog, is to be a place of substance. What I want is to write something that I would want to read, and, if I'm to be perfectly honest, I haven't always done that. To write with authenticity and vulnerability, all the while pushing myself and my reader closer to God, that's what I'd like to do here.

So it's a new year. Time to throw off the old, to forget about the failures of 2013 (there were many), and to move ahead.

Will you join me?


9 comments:

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I think it's brave and wise to stay quiet when you don't have anything to say. Over the past two years, I've had some periods of not having anything to say...but I kept writing anyway. And the result, more often not, wasn't something I'm proud of or something that helped me grow in my writing. So - good for you...and YAY! you're back! :)

Shelly W. said...

Aww, thanks, Mary! So happy to see you here again!

Lisa Spence said...

I haven't written much either and not just in the fall but in the whole of 2013, or so it seems to me. Sometimes I missed it; most times I didn't. I want to write more in this new year and I am hoping not just for words but also for a renewed sense of purpose, even if it's just for me. Happy New Year, friend!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

This is my first time commenting on your blog , I think, and I just want to say....no guilt or apology needed. Rest up for next semester! Glad you are back!

Shelly W. said...

Lisa! How nice to see you back here. And it sounds like we're on the same page--a renewed sense of purpose. Hooray!

Susan, thank you for commenting! And for your kind words. So nice to see you here. :)

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I like your words. I like the way you think and process and I am glad you are back.

Your summer and fall were indeed busy. You served that townhouse well.

I love new starts. A very happy January to you, dear friend.

Fondly,
Glenda

Carolyn said...

I'm so glad you are back! I've missed reading your posts. I hope your new year is off to a good start!

Shelly W. said...

Thanks Glenda and Carolyn! You are both so kind.

Anonymous said...

yes, colette