Saturday, July 15, 2017

This is now.

It has been so long since I was last here, that I feel like I should explain myself.  But I wont, because that would be boring.  As are disclaimers and excuses.  Where I've been in the last few years will eventually spill out through story.

This is now.  Let's jump in and forget my blog needs a makeover.

Since having our third baby, Benjamin, almost four months ago, I've been working on regaining my fitness.  Though I've spent a great amount of time over the last five years in a Crossfit gym, I've felt pulled to be outdoors on the trail running more often, recently.  There's a different mentality that I encounter while I'm on the trail, than when I'm in the gym.  I lose myself in the rhythmic motion of my feet hitting the ground and the intermittent urges that I have to speed up or slow down.  When I'm in the gym, there's a sense of pressure when the clock starts.  Everything we do is time dependent.  The workout is 12 minutes long, or the workout is an AMRAP--as many rounds as possible in a given time period, or the workout ends when you finish the rounds of exercises.  Then of course, there is the pressure that comes with doing such workouts in a group environment.  Who will finish first?  What movements can I do well?  Which do I struggle with?  If there are double-unders, count on my taking double the time or at least peeing myself.  Will I finish last?  Will I scale down the weights?  Will I ever not need to scale the weight?  Will I throw my freaking back out today?  Lately, I'm just not into it.  It may have something to do with feeling like I'm no longer invincible, like I often imagined I was before baby, but mostly, it has something to do with a deep urge to slow down, to experience the newness of our sweet babe, to watch him smile as often as I can, and to nix any pressure that is unnecessary.

The timing for having Benjamin couldn't have been any better.  I had him late March, and thanks to Nathan, I was able to take maternity leave through the end of the school year.  I've been relishing in the free days and have been intentional with my mothering and self-care.  The worker-bee in me, regularly fights the urge to unit plan for next year's teaching assignment.  I became part of an AP Language and Composition group on Facebook and now it's inundating my news feed.  Last night, I told Nate that the page is a gold mine.  And a time suck.  I keep telling myself to schedule my work and quit allowing it to leak into my every day.

I've been doing a good amount of reading, lately.  I finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert last week, and now I'm reading On Writing by Stephen King.  I'm mainly reading On Writing because I keep seeing it as a recommended read for Lang.  I'm still feeling that book out.  I'm not sure about it, but it could have something to do with me having little to no interest in horror and sci-fi, and feeling out of the loop with all of King's references to his work.  Even still, he's a master writer and I feel dedicated to finishing.  I may come around.  I hope.

With the last two books based on the writing life, I have been thinking about my work as a writer, and its non-existence.  Though my practice of this craft is nil, I'm still carrying with me stories that I must tell.

While on the trail today, my mind concocted a series of writing points for a possible essay.  I guess I should carry a notebook on the trail, because I tell you what--I regularly have writing inspiration hit mid run.  Of course I wrote nothing down when I got home, so I can't remember what I was feeling particularly passionate about while I was sweating bullets in the heat, but I do know that inspiration hasn't fully given up on me yet.  This is the good news.  During my run, I was also thinking over my lack of writing and my commitment to the craft.  Suddenly, I was reminded of an old saying that I love--what's for you, wont pass you by.  They are words that have comforted me many times over the last handful of years through my relationships, work, and opportunities.  Today, they were the same, as I thought over my desire to write regularly and lend some serious time to a meaningful work.  Again, thinking these things while sweating bullets, on a dirt trail, in the heat.  When I returned home, I clicked open my Pinterest app to look for some dinner inspiration, and low and behold, those very words that struck me on the trail, were staring at me from the home page.  God has a funny way of making himself heard.  So here I sit, trying to do some work, to put some time in, and to begin a regular practice.  Here's hoping that inspiration will continue to return, and like Elizabeth Gilbert says, "big magic will happen." All while knowing, I can kill the negative pressure, because what's for me, wont pass me by.

There is much to write about, and it's my hope that I'll dig my heels and get to the real work--of writing to understand, to share stories, to extend the part of me that continuously begs to be shared.

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“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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