When you take an unplanned writing hiatus for two months, there’s a pressure to return with some sort of important, revelatory post that blows everyone’s mind. There’s the opening obligatory apology for being away for so long (“I’m sorry!) followed by the promise to be a more dedicated blogger in the future (“I will!”). One cannot simply emerge after two months with a D-I-Y post on necklace holders (though maybe that would be good for next week). No, a post after a long break must sum up everything about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and why you’ve been AWOL from the Interwebs for so long, right?
Oh, and it better be good.
Yikes! “Maybe I’ll write something next week,” became my mantra for seven weeks.
But then I got surly, ate a lot of Christmas cookies, and got snippy with the nearest husband/stepson/Beast. And why? Because, as life started into high gear, my writing stopped. I stayed away too long and got intimidated. Nothing I wrote looked like I heard it in my head. It was terrible—really terrible—because my writer muscle, like my tummy full of cookies, got flabby. Putting two of my own words together, let alone two paragraphs, felt like Sisyphus rolling that rock uphill (or, in my case, a pen). Still, I slogged through uneventful essays on the Beast’s health and his grain-free diet; boring posts about how my mother-in-law thinks her son, the Hubs who purposely calls it “Star Track” instead of “Star Trek,” is a piece a cake to live with; poorly-worded, if well-intended, reflections on my awesome friends, except for that one who popped into town and never got in touch (*bygones*); and TMI posts on my healthy meals that are under constant threat from that box of Girl Scout Thin Mints in the freezer.
And then I highlighted it all and hit “delete.” Ah, better…maybe. So here goes:
What happened? Why did I stop writing? What was Camille Dewing doing all that time?
The short story: I had a family emergency. Everything is fine now.
The longer story isn’t so pat—I still can’t quite wrap my head around it. But it’s much more engrossing, filled with moments of fear, buoyed by grace, and ultimately transformative—starring a cast of amazing folks. It might make a great book one day, just as soon as I can get everyone to sign off on it. For my part, I found myself at one of the most vulnerable points in my adult life—likely helped along by too little sleep and not enough food. I felt raw and real.
And aware. For every challenge I encountered—not just in December, but maybe all of 2012—I noticed that there was some sort of…um…blessing that came with it. Now, let me be clear: I hate the word “blessing.” It’s carved into too many Precious Moments figurines and spoken by too many beauty pageant queens for me to feel comfortable using it. Maybe “miracle,” “boon,” or “the Force” might be better descriptors. The point is, every agonizing low I experienced came with something positive, something supportive. Like how a poisonous plant in the woods has its antidote yards away, my great heartaches were soothed by an abundance of Grace, and I realized that I had unbelievably wonderful people who carried me through—some in ways they may never even know. I’d elaborate, but, with my writing still not up to speed, my existential words start to look like an Escher drawing after awhile.
So, if 2012 was the year of life lessons—and, believe me, I learned a lot—2013 is the year to put all those lessons into practice: Living in the moment, letting go, being grateful. You know what? I should repeat those (and often):
- Live it the moment
- Let go
- Be grateful
Easier said than done, I know, so I won’t dare say that I’m now armed to take on all that lies ahead. There are still monsters under the bed, boogeymen around the dark corner. Luckily, I can see there are nightlights and flashlights almost everywhere in case I need them.
So, now the obligatory post is done and I can get back to the business of dewing. I’m sorry for being away so long. I promise to write more in the future. (And better, too.)