It has been a long time, hasn’t it?
I blogged weekly for more than a decade. I wrote every Sunday, possibly missing five weeks in that whole time.
This fall, my blogging fell off the rails and I still haven’t decided what’s next.
I know a few things, though. Therefore, bear with me as I indulge in a 15-minute free write.
First: My life is smoother when I am periodically writing things out. The various ups and downs I have had over the last few months have stuck deeper, engrained themselves in my psyche and led to a set of “meh” emotions more than is the case when I have an outlet. I realize I could have an outlet privately, without sharing in a published blog. I think, though, that one of the benefits of a published blog is being able to bounce things off of others. (I even mean you, commenter, who asked in a comment I just located, “What’s wrong with you?” It’s still hard to have a thick skin when people are negative on social media, but that’s part and parcel of the deal. If only she knew I’d be willing to hear her out over coffee (not that I think she is going to change her mind.))
Second: I haven’t written about my dad, who died on August 13, 2022. There’s a lot to say there, of course, but it’s still percolating. This percolation may take a seriously long time. I do want to share an observation, though. You know how many people who share a last picture of themselves with their dying loved one post a picture of their hands clasped? You see the relatively younger hand grasping an old, aged, veiny hand that may or may not have an IV in it. I’m here to tell you that I’m happy for those folks, but not getting that picture doesn’t equate to a symbol of your relationship (hopefully). I half thought of taking one of those pictures as my dad was in his last days, at his assisted living, where he was getting hospice care. The one time I grabbed his hand, he swatted mine away. I imagine it was just a reflex, but it also gave me a wildly conflicted feeling of, “Wow, is this some kind of last statement about our relationship?” mixed with the feeling that this action totally fit with his sense of humor.
Third: I visited the International Rescue Committee office here in Tallahassee yesterday. I’m still overwhelmed thinking of these refugee families trying to assimilate in Tallahassee. There are so many obstacles. I (in general) don’t love the “Facebook birthday fundraiser” mechanism. I tend to think it’s the one time of the year when we can just genuinely wish each other a happy moment … that it isn’t always the ideal time to ask for money. BUT …. two newborns of refugees are expected in January and need clothes, diapers and wipes. They also need portable whiteboards and index cards for people getting language tutoring at home. I’m sorely tempted to appeal as part of my birthday on Nov. 28.
Fourth: One thing about blogging, when you’re also an editor, is the constant feeling that there are undoubtedly multiple mistakes in what you’ve written. I rarely have someone read my blogs in advance. It also can be a chore to do all the extra things (write the meta description, add images (and alt text – PLEASE ADD ALT TEXT!)), add categories and tags and in other ways try to make your post as SEO friendly as possible. As you’ll see with this post, I’m not doing much of that for the foreseeable future. Words, screen, publish. I apologize in advance if there are typos and grammar errors, and if I haven’t optimized the post. I think I just need to get the words out.
Fifth: Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. So far in 2022, at least 32 transgender people have been murdered. It’s probably more than that (because of reporting deficits). I went to a TDOR service at a new-to-me church this morning. It was such a lovely, accepting group. AND I ran into someone who I needed to ask forgiveness for related to something that happened in college (thanks, universe, for throwing that opportunity my way). I can’t change minds with one or two sentences (but maybe I can with the way I live my life). However, if you feel hostile toward someone because they prefer to be called “them” to align with the true self they feel they are, try try try (please) to think that through again. I grew up with all kinds of messaging about how wrong it was for people to be gay, or to be a man who wasn’t a “real man” or to be “butch.” I’m so grateful for the people in my life who helped me undo that programming.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.