Monday, February 4, 2008

The Care and Feeding of Blogs

I can't believe I've let an entire week lapse since last writing. I don't mean to go so long between posts, but work, home, family, cooking, unpacking, illness, death, life, etc. all just conspire to get in the way. If I take time to blog while I'm at home, I look around at the boxes I have yet to unpack and the floor I have yet to mop and the bathroom I have yet to organize and I feel guilty and lazy and worthless. If I try to sneak a few minutes at work to blog I look around at the work on my desk and my co-workers hammering away at their own assignments and I feel guilty. If I try to blog at the end of the day while Dear Daughter is up then I feel guilty for taking time away from her.

So, I'm reeling in guilt, trying to justify my need to write something, anything, if only to reassure myself that I have a connection with a world outside my immediate life. I read a lot of blogs pretty regularly. The kind that attract me are usually written by women, mostly other mothers, and a high percentage of those are homeschooling mothers. Some of the better blogs that match these criteria include Derfwad Manor, Fine Old Famly, SunshinyLiving, and Redneck Mother. I admire these women so much--not only do they haul out of bed every morning (this alone can be a trying chore for me some days), but they coax not just child, but CHILDREN (as in multiple, i.e., more than just one--although there are days when I swear Dear Daughter actually qualifies as more than one since I just feel surrounded by her) out of bed, feed them creative and nutritious meals, and then proceed to go about life, love and the business of acquiring knowledge (as opposed to mere education) in an organic and interesting way. These, and other formidable women inhabiting the blogosphere, manage to balance running a household; raising happy, healthy children, along with assorted livestock and pets; and at the end of the day write lengthy, interesting blog posts on an assortment of interesting topics as diverse as religion, politics, home life, what their kid pulled out of his pocket and the everyday minutiae that makes living so interesting..

I'm trying hard to not descend into a rant attempting to justify my life or cast aspersions on someone else's life. Given the opportunity, would I stay home and educate my daughter at home? You betcha. Do I cook? Yeah--and sometimes it's even good stuff. Do I wish my house was more organized and aesthetically pleasing? Well, maybe a little...just enough to be more comfortable having people over. Do I wish I had more time to write? Of course. I also wish I had more time to knit and unpack and hang out with my mom and teach my middle schooler how to ride a bicycle and to practice Scarlatti on the piano and teach my bunnies how to jump hurdles and so on...

I don't grudge these fascinating women their lives. I don't really dislike my own, for that matter. Maybe it's just a case of the grand ennui. I'm in a rebuilding phase. I'm rediscovering who and what I was before I let myself get lost in a long-term love affair. In my defense. I thought this was The One. I thought I could get comfortable and expand my idea of life, home and family. So, for three years, I muddled along thinking I was working towards a Happily Ever After. Turns out, of the six other people involved in it, I was the only adult who actually envisioned that happening.

So, here I am, back at home. Or at least, back at house. Despite having lived here for nearly five years before moving out, I'm still getting my head and heart around the concept that this is home. Of course, truth be told, I never honestly felt at "home" in the house we lived for the past year and a half. I tried to make it home, but you can only do so much with paint and shelf paper. No matter how many times you rearrange the furniture, if the hearts aren't there, it just isn't home.

I walked out in my backyard yesterday. It was an uncharacteristically warm day for February. It was a bit blustery and the ground is still boggy, but it was nice to walk around my own little piece of the world. I didn't see any bluebirds yet, but maybe once I get the garden retilled and the bronze irises come up and my gigantic Lady Banks rosebush blooms, it will start to feel more like home.

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