More than two months ago, I announced here that I’d be letting out a little slack in the blog, to free up mental energy for a busy work season. I was buckling down to pressing obligations and, until those were tended to satisfactorily, there’d be no time for frivolous writing. Big mistake.
If you’re wondering how my September 23 resolutions turned out, I indeed completed the work, meeting all deadlines. To top that off, I pulled off the largest closet cleaning in 20 years.
Then, I erected more barriers. Believing I couldn’t clear my head enough to get my blogging groove back if obligations remained, I addressed, signed and stuffed 230 Christmas cards and finished 95 percent of my shopping. I even have most of my out-of-town packages ready to go in the mail.
But every time I sat down to tap out what used to be a free-flowing daily ditty, my skin itched. My teeth clenched.
Oh, sure, I’ve sneezed out a handful of posts this month, but they’re not my best work. And they’ve troubled me all the more for their awkward sparseness.
In an attempt to reverse my blog atrophy, I spent yesterday afternoon re-reading my blog posts of last November and December. I didn’t even recognize the writing.
This setback has proven the validity something my father once said. Over the last few years, people asked if he had considered shifting his writing and performance schedule into a lower gear. His answer was always that part time doesn’t work. The frenetic schedule kept him sharp and productive and able to maintain the rhythm. I see now that he was absolutely right.
(To give equal time, my mother suggested that, if I cleaned out my closets, things might flow more freely in other areas of my life. She too was right.)
Today is the first Monday of the season of Advent. Yesterday our priest encouraged us to take up renewed discipline—of the spiritual kind. I do intend to do that and, now that I’m ahead on many of my Christmas preparations, I might even have energy left to artificially resuscitate my inner Erma Bombeck, William Safire, Roseanne Roseannadanna, or whoever else I feel like being this season. Maybe even myself.
Did I really begin with “Now then?” That makes no sense.