Today is one of those days for which I'd like a do-over. I won't enumerate the various frustrations and annoyances, the behaviors I wish I'd changed, the actions I regret taking, the moments I lacked patience, but they are there. Ugh.
Unrelated to my desire for a do-over is some blogging-related angst. I've had this blog for almost four years now, and over the past few months, it's been a struggle for me to find things to say. Once I moved out of my condo, leaving the space in which I'd started blogging, things stopped clicking. Plenty of blog-worthy stuff was going on; I've never, for example, written much about what it was like to share a home with another single parent, and there's been no dearth of bloggable kid stuff going on, not to mention the details of my move. But leaving my Boston condo and making the decision to start shedding my old cancer-infested life seems to have taken the bloom off the blogging rose for me.
What's funny is that I sorely miss having blogging be a regular habit. I miss the creative outlet. I miss framing events in my life as blog posts as they unfold. The framework in which I fit my life, though, has changed, and I'm struggling to define the new perspective enough to support my posts.
When I started blogging, I was a mother-to-be and a widow-to-be, and those two lenses colored everything I did, said, wrote. Then I became a mother, and then a widow, and those have been the roles that have defined me over these past few years. Clearly, I am still a mother, and I'm finding that as Maddie and Riley get older, it's a role in which I feel more comfort and enjoyment than I did during the emotional tumult that was their infancy. But while I do often write about parenting and kid antics, I've never thought of myself as a mommy blogger. For me, the mommy blogging has been mostly incidental, a way to document Maddie and Riley's life, but not the real reason I blog.
It's the grief that's been the soul of blogging for me, first the anticipatory grief of living with a terminally ill spouse, then the real grief of John's death and the related mourning of the life we didn't get to have together. Clearly, I'm still a widow. And losing a spouse, losing a child, losing a parent, losing anyone close to you, it's something that you never forget or get over. I'm finding, though, that my grief no longer defines me the way it once did. The years of John's illness and the time between his death and when I decided to sell are home are starting to feel like scenes out of a movie. I'm more grounded in the present and less focused on the past.
I'm neither happier, nor more sad, and I'm still grieving. But I'm also working at a fantastic, challenging new job, living in a gorgeous home, and back in a city to which I've always wanted to return. In general, I'm more relaxed and patient than I've been in a long, long time (my need for a do-over today notwithstanding). The time I had with John and living through his illness and death have fundamentally changed me, and I feel like I'm just now at the point where I can start to figure out exactly how.
I have no plans to stop blogging, and I sure hope that this self-indulgent navel-gazing helps to get me back in the saddle. So much has happened that I haven't told here. Help me. Where should I begin?