Photo: The Husband gifted me a swift and ball winder for Christmas. Whenever I’ve purchased a hank of yarn, I’ve always had to go over my dear friend’s house to turn it into a cake. Now I can make little yarn cakes whenever I want! Oh, the possibilities!
When I look back on the Fall, I’m both proud and confused. I know exactly how I became so busy, yet… I don’t know how I can prevent myself from becoming that crazy again. Some of that craziness came from temporary projects, like the Rector Search, which will eventually end. (Eventually!) Other stuff was seasonal, like NaNoWriMo. Some stuff was optional, like teaching my class. Everything was a lot of work with a lot of reward. I’ve written before that I think that “yes” is a powerful word and is often more fun than “no”. I said yes to a lot last year, and the results were pretty amazing.
But by the time I got to mid-December, I could feel the burnout coming on fast. Hard deadlines were coming, too. I needed the time to get it all done as much as I needed the break for rest.
When I decided to take a break from this space, my chiefest fear was that I’d lose my momentum. I’m deeply grateful for my modest base of regular readers. I’ve never been a great big blog, and I probably never will be. But I thought that whatever gains I’ve made over time would be instantly lost by stepping away. I also thought, frankly, that I’d lose my own way. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t want to come back. Or, worse, I’d want to come back but have nothing in the tank.
I’m very happy, after a week of being back, that I have plenty more writing to do. I’m delighted to be here. I’m also delighted that, thanks to a shout-out from WP Discover, I never lost momentum with visitors, either. Matter of fact, I have gained a bunch of new readers in this past few weeks. It’s wonderful to have you here!
While I was away, I did my best to unplug, but also spent time considering what to do next. I’ve been blogging for six years. I have tried things that have been successful, I have tried things that have failed. I’ve made dear friends who I send Christmas cards to every year and even go to Bible Study with from time to time. I’ve sold two novellas. I’ve had breakfast with Mickey Mouse and other bloggers at the Fairmont Copley. I’ve shared funny things and awful things and triumphant things and gross things. I’ve dreamed about having a third child. I’ve struggled to purchase a house and a van. I’ve mourned my grandmother with a depth and sorrow that still surprises me. I’ve cut ties with my father, to little benefit or detriment. I’ve cooked food and baked bread and fried kinklings. I’ve shared a lot, even when it scared me to do so. I didn’t start this blog with the intention of making money or finding fame. The fun opportunities I’ve had have been plenty of fun and reward.
So what more is there to do? Where do I go from here? I’m not sure.
That’s not a bad thing. I’m not paralyzed or uninspired. I’m just… still. I’m ready for another growth spurt.
I’d like to do more and try some different things. Expect to see more posts from me, different than usual, in the coming weeks. Stuff that’s successful will stay. Stuff that falls flat will go. I’d like to get back to sharing my fiction… I’m not sure the best method for doing that yet, but I will make room for it. I’m not sure how far I’ll go… I’m not like everyone else out there. Is there anything you’d like from this here space, Dear Reader? I’d love to know.
Here is what I do know: I love writing these Quiet Thoughts. I started these Friday posts as a way to look back on my week and find whatever lesson the universe had tried to teach me. Fridays should be for a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of calm, a little bit of stillness. These posts are my most popular. I know that many of you Dear Readers come in just on Fridays. I’m mighty grateful. Thank you. These posts aren’t going anywhere. Fridays are for wisdom and for wishes. Fridays are for a little bit of quiet and calm before the weekend begins. I think standing in the doorframe between here and there is a powerful thing to do sometimes. That tiny space between the here and the there presents a lot of opportunity and possibility. When you take that step over the threshold, leaving where you were and entering into the new area, you’ve made a decision and you’ve set things into motion. Every time. Every threshold. Every room. I love that doorframes offer you the opportunity to stop if you need. “Lean against me if you want or need. Use me to block the way if you must. Peer into your future and choose it if you dare. Turn your back on it all if you’d rather.”
Thanks for pausing at the doorframe between your week and your weekend to share this transition with me, Dear Reader.
It’s a cold night, but a good one. Tomorrow night promises something like a foot of snow and maybe a bit of ice. My house is warm, thanks be to God. I still think of hot showers as a miracle. I still enter the basement with trepidation, a stab of fear that there will be water on the floor or exhaust in the air. It’s heartbreaking to not trust my own house. It will be a while until I can relax again.
Wishes are powerful. We make them because we are alive and because we dream. I don’t think it’s childish to make a wish, and I don’t think it’s selfish either. Open your heart to the idea that something bigger than you is listening for your desires, Dear Reader. Choose, for a moment, to whisper your deepest want into the night air.
I wish you warmth. I learned how precious warmth can be. I wish you physical warmth that never leaves and never fails. I also wish you emotional warmth: the warmth of family or friends or community. The warmth of accomplishment and being wanted and needed and useful. I wish you the warmth of being appreciated for the good works that you do. I wish you great big and scary goals for your new year. Choose one great thing that scares the hell out of you and begin the long journey toward it. Stretch out your arms, stand on your toes and extend your fingers to reach for one wonderful thing, Dear Reader. Start now and see how far you can get by the end of the year. The world needs your great and wonderful thing, Dear Reader. The world yearns for it. I wish you something small and beautiful: a letter in the mail, a cherished memory hidden away and found in a moment of surprise, a whispered “I love you” for no one else but you. May 2019 be the year for cherishing the small and precious things.
This new year will require the fullness of your spirit and, I dare say, your soul. There is so much work to do and will require a fullness and a wholeness of you. Because you are the light that holds back the darkness for other people in your life, you must choose to take care of yourself. This, too, sets the example that others need to see. Drink your water. Get your sleep. Choose yourself when necessary. You at your strongest and your brightest is what we chiefly need, Dear Reader. Do the work on yourself so that you can do your best work for others.
Until Monday, Dear Reader: be warm, be safe, shine brightly, and take care.