Okay, so maybe it doesn't seem like all that much of a break, but I needed it. I needed to a) warn you all that I wasn't going to be around much, and b) realize that since I didn't owe it to anyone, I could - gasp! - not blog. I know, I know - it's a strange concept, but it's true. I needed some time to remember that I don't have to blog. It's true that there is a sort of "social contract" (as HBM often calls it) that bloggers make with their readers, an understanding that we are a part of a conversation, an acceptance that it takes effort on both sides to make this work. But at the same time, that contract wasn't signed in blood, and shouldn't require putting this blog above, well, life.
I saw this on Simple Beauty a few days ago, and while it seems silly, it really explained - to me - what my break was about:
Now, as I said in the comments of the last post, my break wasn't motivated by a lack of ideas; I'm not looking out the window because I have nothing to write about. But I started to get a little annoyed that being a blogger was beginning to get in the way of being a human being. I'm not the first to experience this problem (and I won't be the last), so excuse me for a moment if I start to sound a little bit repetitive, like you've heard this all before. If you read a number of blogs, you probably have.
Life is for living - plain and simple. It is not for watching, looking for blog topics. I had convinced myself that I needed to keep up the blog, post regularly, don't let it slide for too long, don't let it get stagnant. So there I was, keeping my eyes open, spending a little bit of every day on potential posts, just to make sure I wouldn't fall behind. And let me tell you, it was really starting to get to me.
And then, for a couple days in a row, I sat at my computer to get a post out, and I thought, "Ugh, I just don't want to blog." Almost 72 hours of feeling guilty, like, "I need to blog, but I just don't want to," and I finally woke up and told myself, "Then don't." I didn't start this blog for fame or fortune, I started it for me. Forcing myself to write when I didn't want to was just going to turn it into work and make me resent it. And I hold this site in a really special place in my heart - I would hate to start resenting its role in my life. I want to blog because it's good for me, because I enjoy it, because I like having a conversation with all of you, the people who've been here for me through it all.
So I ran away for a bit, told myself I didn't have to blog if I didn't want to, and tried to figure out how to break this funk that now surrounded the whole idea of blogging. And then Amanda, an amazing woman and a dear friend, put it so simply, so perfectly, so clearly:
"Go fall in love with life again."
It's exactly what I needed, to fall in love with life again. To remember why life is worth the time I spend writing it. To see the good things around me without thinking about whether they are interesting enough to share with my readers. To experience, without explaining.
Holy crap - I should have thought of this sooner.
The few of you who see my status message on Gmail might have seen that lately I have been "falling in love with life again." And some folks have asked what happened to make me so happy. But that's just it, right there: I realized that nothing has to happen for life to be worth loving. Nothing changed about my life in those days after I declared a break, and yet I fell in love with it just the same.
I fell in love with the simplicity of it, the routines and the comfortable nature of knowing where and who I am. I fell in love with the weather, both rain and shine, and how the world is changing around me. I fell in love with my friends and family, the ones who've been there all along, but who've gone by unnoticed, except when they're blog fodder. I just fell in love with it all.
And really? That was all I needed, just that little flip, that new perspective, to come back refreshed again.
So I'm back. Thanks for waiting for me.