Thursday, November 27, 2014

A working Thanksgiving.

I can't say I was thrilled to work today. I love Thanksgiving, and despite the fact that we had our own miniature Thanksgiving last night (it was a very Trader Joe's Thanksgiving), I couldn't help feeling a little bitter as I cleaned blowouts out of seat cushions (oh wait, that was most of the moms that didn't work today, too, wasn't it?). I'm just kidding, it was actually a great day at work, as far as work is concerned. I had a very nice assignment, there were plenty of treats throughout the day, and so on. The point of this post is not a complain fest, as that would in fact be completely negating Thanksgiving. I guess what I'm trying to convey is that it wasn't my ideal Thanksgiving. However.

As I took care of my sweet primary patient and the adorable baby that was my other patient today, I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that I don't have any family members in the hospital. I felt grateful that I am able to eat food, instead of having custom concoctions of amino acids and vitamins pumped into my veins. I felt grateful that my universe wasn't contained in a tiny, isolation hospital room. I felt grateful that my legs walk, that I can get up and use the bathroom, that my blood can be trusted to carry oxygen, fight infection, and staunch a wound.

I am grateful that even though my car wouldn't start after work, someone jumped it and I got home. I'm grateful for the toys on the floor reminding me of my little boy, who is visiting with his cousins a few hours up north right now. I'm grateful that I have a fridge full of leftovers, a shelf full of books, and an hour before I need to sleep. I'm grateful for the promise of a few hours of "me-time" on Saturday morning, before my family returns from their Thanksgiving road trip. I'm thankful to have a job, even though sometimes it seems like the root of all my stress.

I know that I take a lot for granted, that I find it easier to complain than to rejoice. I'm hoping this year I can hold my thanksgiving a little closer to my heart. One of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving as a very little girl is listening to Christmas music on the 5-hour drive home from Idaho Falls after Thanksgiving. I'm indulging in a little eggnog and Pentatonix right now, and that Christmas-y feeling is starting to blossom around me. It really is this palpable feeling to me, something that I can't reproduce any other time of year but that always returns after Thanksgiving dinner, familiar as though it never left. Christmas is special because it is about rejoicing -- rejoicing in the hope of salvation, despite the fact that life can be grim. Thanksgiving is such a perfect invocation of the spirit of Christmas. It is easy to get caught up in the stress of the season, and I know every year we make the same resolutions to remember the Savior, love, and family, more than Toys 'R' Us ads and holiday parties. But I hope each year I can do a little better.

So -- I'm grateful. I'm grateful for everything I have, even the things that aren't always comfortable or easy. And I'm grateful for this season of joy before me. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A renewal.

I have started many, many blogs. Like, maybe 7 or 8. (3 are live right now).

I haven't been writing in any of them. I haven't been writing much of anywhere.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Like working full time, and being a mom, and having a husband in graduate school, and the holidays. Obvious reasons. There are also not so obvious reasons, like being fearful of others' opinions, and being unsure of where the line is between touching honesty and an overshare. As well as the fact that I felt stretched thin -- unsure of whether I should post on this blog, or that one, or keep it to my journal.

First things first -- I have to share a quote with you that explains my reasons for getting back to blogging, regardless of where. This month, my book club read the book Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. To say this is a powerful book would be an understatement. I found myself adding post-it notes to a good percentage of the pages, and because it is a library book, I've just spent the better part of an hour typing out my favorite quotes into the ever-lengthening Microsoft Word document where I dump every good quote I find, often never to look at it again.
If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write. Write as a gift to yourself and others. Everyone has a story to tell. Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the “right” words. It’s just about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice. When you write your truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone. (Glennon Doyle Melton)

She goes on to say that even "bad" writers should write, because then maybe we will give courage to others to write, to share their truths even if their sentences aren't Pulitzer-worthy.

And the truth is that I miss blogging. I've always felt like nothing is real until I've expressed it in some way. I compose blog posts and book reviews in my head and I think it's time to set them free, even if my writing goes unread.

But I want to make a few changes. For a long, long time I have written a book blog, The Story Girl Book Reviews.  I love this blog -- I used to post book reviews daily. I'm not deleting the blog, but I am laying it aside for the time being. I just don't have the time to write full-length reviews or devote myself to its upkeep anymore. However, I can't stop talking about books. So for now, I'll be talking about them here.

Secondly, I have felt prompted for several months to write for new moms, in part because my own experience with new motherhood was so traumatic and unexpected and I feel this desire to smooth the path for others in any way that I can. I had a blog all planned out -- domain name reserved, blog design planned out, column ideas penciled into my planner -- but I just haven't been able to start on it. I think part of me believed that it had to be perfect to begin, and so it has remained an idea and nothing more.

I can't say that I'll never start that blog, but for now, I can't put my energy into it. It is already being siphoned off in too many other directions. However, I do want to write content that is specific to that earthquake of change and love and tenderness that is postpartum life.

What I'm saying, in essence, is that this blog is going to be a hodgepodge for now. I have been trying to find some direction for it for a long time, making up little columns in the past like "Mama Monday" and "Foodie Friday," that are not currently in my plans. I've tried experimental posts, free-writing prompts, sticking only to family updates. I still haven't found exactly what I'd like to do. But I am going to keep writing, if only to exercise this little writing muscle that starts to twinge and nag at me if I ignore it for too long.

I could fill this blog post with Glennon Doyle Melton quotes, but there is one that seems particularly relevant.
Reading is my inhale and writing is my exhale. If I am not reading and writing regularly, I begin to suffocate and tend to climb the nearest person like a frantic cat, clawing at the person’s eyeballs and perching on his head, desperate to find a breath of air. This is why my husband is supportive of my writing, because he is generally the nearest person. So Craig and I think it’s imperative for a girl to have a place to inhale and exhale. Some place safe to tell the truth. (Glennon Doyle Melton)
For now, this will be my safe place to exhale.   
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