Tag Archives: blogging

Time Out

“Mom.” From the hospital bed, Marika shamelessly waved a foot at me and flashed a pathetic frown. Foot-rub time.
“It has to be a short one. I have to write a paper for my class,” I said.
“Why don’t you pull the cancer card?” she yawned.
“Cancer card? What’s a cancer card?” I asked. She smiled with closed eyes, and wiggled her toes in anticipation of the foot-rub.
“Just tell your teacher your daughter has cancer, Mom. Then you won’t have to work so hard.”

There were times I did “pull the cancer card,” and later, the my-daughter-died-of-cancer card. Like once when a cop stopped me for speeding. Like several Decembers, when I wanted to get out of shopping for gifts, knowing gift-giving and holiday music could trigger major emotional meltdowns.

It has never been easy to simply give myself a pass, even if it’s a long overdue or desperately needed break. Like the Energizer Bunny, I keep busy, kick myself outta the house to keep going, going, going…. But sometimes one just needs to call a time-out. Especially when your head gets whacked.

On Thursday I got whacked. I allowed a stupid disappointment to immobilize me for two days. I blew the whole rest of the week off because someone blew me off. No warning. No message, no returning my calls. There was no way to sit still and write. The only thing I could do with any volition at all, was eat.

Still reeling from the experience, I need time to recharge. My cancer cards have expired; too many of my friends are dealing with cancer now for me to be excusing myself like that. So I’m pulling a new mini-crisis permission slip, to get myself out of trying to produce a masterpiece this week. Hopefully it will also cover me for why this photo, an oldie but goodie, doesn’t match what I’ve written.

 

Got any tricks to offer for how to relax and cut loose once in a while?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Blog?

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photographs a green fern in the forest at Lime Hollow Nature Center in Cortland, NY.“Why do you do this blogging thing?” a friend once asked me. After tearing up a half dozen different dirges I wrote this week, I came back to this question. Why blog? Why would anyone want to blog?

In June of 2012, a year after my daughter died, I was writing a memoir. I created a website in order to show potential literary agents I could gather and grow an audience. Each week I wrote my heart out. Soon the benefits of writing became clear and my reasons for blogging changed. Now, four years later, I have not missed a single Monday morning blog.

Blogging adds structure to my life. I pretend it is work. I force myself to get out and do stuff so I can have things to write about, and I block out time at the end of every week to type up my report. Then, on Monday mornings, when everyone else goes off to their jobs, I sit at the computer and publish “my work.”

I blog because I love to work. And I love the pride that comes from producing something.

I blog because my daughter blogged. It is a connection to her, one of the ways she continues to shape my life.

Blogging is a weekly evaluation, a review of my current emotional state. It’s an opportunity to remember what made me smile that week, what hardship or fears I overcame.

I blog to know I’m not alone. To reach out. To hopefully offer comfort to someone else. To hear from people and make new connections in a world where I was once, simply and happily, my children’s mom. Like so many others, I’ve had to reinvent myself. “I’m a blogger and photographer,” I say now, when asked what I do.

Mostly, I blog to remind myself, and others, that even when we’ve lost what we thought we could not live without, there is yet more joy and beauty and love to sustain us. “I’m looking for joy,” I tell my friends, as I search for the highlight of my week. Something fresh, and green. Something that stands out and slaps my heart awake. Blogging keeps me on the lookout for people, events, and moments that make me feel alive. If all I find is sadness, I write another lament. But when I discover something joyful, however small, I celebrate it. I love the heck out of it. And then I share it with you in a blog.

Thank you for being out there and listening. What do you do to keep moving forward?

 

 

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