Just short of two weeks ago, I posted Taking a Break and I haven’t posted a word since (well, unless you count Facebook, but seriously, who counts Facebook where 20 words is a long post). That is the longest time I’ve gone without posting since 2009. I was determined to remain on blogging vacation not until I felt I should post but until I wanted to post. Should. My Inner Rebel has always hated shoulds yet my Outer Sensibilities have always believed in doing what I should do. Don’t you hate it when your insides don’t match your outsides? So, how do I know I’m ready to begin again? This morning as I sat in our yard meditating, my mind kept drifting from the sweet meditation music and my mantra to the post I was writing in my head.
An old high school friend (I suppose I should say a high school friend from long ago), Carole, messaged me on Facebook with regrets that she would not have my posts to read (thank you, Carole). She was apologetic for not taking the time to Like my posts and wondered if I was like other writers she knew that just have to write. Indeed I am, Carole. I am always writing … in my journal, in emails, in business. I think like a writer, organizing my thoughts into stories, fiction or non-fiction or somewhere in between. The question was never whether I just have to write … it was do I just have to blog? The answer, I think, is no but for the moment, I want to. That’s where I wanted to be when I started again. And, by the way, Carole, likes and comments need to be the frosting on my blogging cake, not the substance. Still, like it or not, for me writing for others, even the occasional lurker, imposes a higher standard on what I write. I like that.
I realized something during this break or, more accurately, re-realized it (yes, I get to make up an occasional word. It’s my blog). A long time ago, I was doing several marathons and triathlons a year and regarded myself as a dedicated athlete. A friend who’s since drifted out of my life told me she thought I was obsessed with my running. I told her, No, I’m disciplined. With a few more years of self-examination under my bridge, I realize she was close to right. When I look at my car, my office … my sock drawer, for Pete’s sake … the way I take notes and keep records, I know that I am not particularly disciplined. I do have an inclination, however, to be compulsive, and over the years I’ve become proficient at harnessing my compulsiveness to a good cause. And calling it discipline. While my sock drawer remains a disaster. The problem with using compulsiveness in the place of discipline is that eventually, it takes over. In running, that means over-training injuries. In blogging, that meant losing the joy that brought me to the medium in the first place.
So, I’m Back. What that means, exactly, I’m not sure because, while I find it natural to become a Compulsive Blogger, I don’t necessarily know how to be a disciplined one. I know it means NO POSTADAY, although sometimes I may post everyday. It doesn’t mean, No Topic No Post as I once declared after publishing a particularly embarrassing post in January of 2013. If there’s one thing I’ve learned posting here, it’s that pushing myself a bit leads to some surprising (to me) and interesting (also to me) posts. Once again, it comes down to finding balance. Maybe this time, I find it. Hopefully, you’ll stop by now and then to watch.