It’s just a good thing I didn’t overwhelm myself with high cooking expectations for the summer, because I’ve served Hot Pockets for lunch at least 3 times and it’s still early July.
(Yes I did.) (Not Sorry.)
Also, I haven’t written a single paragraph in 5-ish weeks. I would love to say this absence was a result of a personal challenge such as 30 Days of Not Writing in June or something fancy like that.
But it wasn’t. And the best excuse I can come up with is that I’ve just been predisposed in living the material for future posts. Or my mind has been stuck in Summer Mode, otherwise known as Lazy-ish.
It could also be the result of 31 straight days of baseball. (But who’s counting?)
Regardless off any tangible reason I can offer for June’s radio silence, let’s talk about what was going on underneath all that.
Maybe I’m crazy (is the jury is still out on that…?), but I am compelled by an inner drive to be productive at all times. This doesn’t mean I’m constantly on task (just ask Larry), or that I purposefully and effectively accomplish meaningful missions on a daily basis.
What it does mean is that when I’m not doing the things I label as significant, my feelings of worth take a nose-dive. (Yes, I’m well aware of my psychological issues.)
If I perform and produce enough tangible results, then I am enough. The stress of performance alone might be manageable, but top that off with the standard of absolute perfection and hello, issues.
For instance: an afternoon spent by the pool is ripe with thoughts like, “Seriously…how can you be such a sloth?”
Because pools don’t supply the ideal mental stage for such things like, you know, writing for instance. Or studying. Or laundry, but I let that go a long time ago because while I may have issues, at least I know my limits. (I may have discovered a new skill set: personal issues management.) (But I digress.)
Given my writing absence, you can tell I’ve chosen a life of slothfulness over the past month. That sounds pretty dramatic, but let’s face it, you shouldn’t expect any less from me.
While I struggled with the negative perspective on this situation through the better part of June, I recently discovered the good side of it. Namely, I’ve spent more undistracted, laptop-less time with my 10 year old son this summer than I have since he was a toddler who still needed my help with a fork.
(Technically he still needs my help with a fork, but that’s another thing altogether. Let’s just say I’ve threatened to send him to Miss Manners.)
We didn’t spend the month of June doing elaborate things like museum expeditions or trendy things like family camp. But what we might lack in glamour, we make up for in creative versions of Ice, Ice Baby. It just doesn’t get better than that. Luke might deny that in public, but don’t be fooled.
At the beginning of summer, I regularly blasted myself for being such an inconsistent blogger. I looked to the left and right at all the other bloggers and wondered if I would ever get it right.
I also questioned if I would ever learn the art of consistently providing specific value to my readers. (For crying out loud, I may never figure it out and I should probably hang up the towel and focus on something akin to gardening instead. Because seriously.)
At the end of the day, whether I write here or not, and whether you read it…or not…is not a matter of life or death. So there’s that.
I share this with you because I don’t want to hide my struggles. That wouldn’t do anyone a whole lot of good because you would see a glossy version instead of the unfiltered polaroid view. And that’s just not real life.
I can certainly look over my shoulder at the years behind me and celebrate the changes God has worked in me. But I am well aware that as long as I’m living, there is opportunity to grow.
And that feels so free.
Little by little, I’m losing my grip on the things I once thought were so important. God will complete this work He’s started in me, and it won’t be on my timeline; nor will it be based on a cookie cutter template that He’s used for other writers.
Besides all that, if spending this season of time with my son…where I am mentally present…looks a little unproductive, maybe I don’t need to produce as much as I think I do.
For today, I choose motherhood and a summer matinee and baseball practice and basketball in the pool.
Maybe I’ll write tomorrow. Maybe I won’t.
I guess we’ll know when we get there.
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