Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I made a mistake.

Thinking I could write this post in the few days I had before my other blog disappears, my self-imposed deadline.

I started several drafts.  Several versions.  Each with a different spin.  Different tone.

What to say?  How to say it?  My perfectionism was rearing its ugly head and leaving me tongue-tied.  Because I knew that this might be my last post.  My final words as Waisting Time.  Maybe as a blogger, period.

My heart told me that I owe you something.  My faithful readers.  My remaining followers.  That, at a minimum, I should share what’s going on with me now.  Or, maybe I should document how I’ve changed in the three-plus years since I started blogging.  And NOT changed.  Writer’s block ensued.  Aaaack.

And self-doubt set in.  Did anyone care?  What would they want to read about, if anything?

Yes, this is how it went.  As I tried another draft.  Another approach.  As I walked away from the keyboard.

So, I decided that I’d leave it up to you.  Tell me what you want to know.  Ask questions.  I’ll either answer in the comments below or via email or, maybe, just maybe, in a future post.  And, if you hope I write more, subscribe to THIS blog and maybe I’ll pop back up.

But one thing I will share, as someone who started blogging in a final act of yo-yo dieter desperation, because I feel inquiring minds might actually want to know… I weigh less now than I did when I started blogging.  I am, in theory, maintaining.  I am, if one doesn’t split hairs, or in this case a pound or two or three depending on the day, at a weight that feels comfortable for me.  Feels maintainable.  Livable.  Feels okay for my middle-aged, former yo-yo dieting self.

After three years of blogging and learning and evolving and struggling and more, progress has been made.  But some things stay the same.

Changed:  I eat kale.  KALE!  And discovered a love for sweet potatoes.  And Greek yogurt.  Who knew?

Unchanged:  I wouldn’t choose to eat vegetables if I didn’t make it a conscious, daily effort.  Changed:  I make it a conscious, daily effort.  I wish I had inherited the “I love veggies” gene from my mom rather than the “I love bread” gene.

Changed:  I CAN eat some of my former binge foods in moderation.  Hello, dear peanut butter.

Unchanged:  Some foods are triggers and best kept out of the house.  Oh, bagels, I hardly even miss ya.

Changed:  Eating protein on a regular basis, particularly for breakfast, but usually at most meals.  And also new is the slow shift in my mindset that maybe I should follow my husband slowly, closer down the path towards less meat.

Changed:  I drink green tea every day.  And don’t even dislike it:)

Unchanged:  My ingestion of artificial sweeteners.  But some things change even as they stay the same:  I’ve switched to what might be a less unhealthy, more natural, option.

Changed:  I can go to a social event and not pre-cheat or post-cheat.  One meal or evening out no longer leads to a whole day or week (or months) of off-plan eating.

Unchanged:  More often than not, I see (or use) social eating as an opportunity to gobble down food that I don’t normally eat nor keep in the house, rather than an opportunity to exercise my increasing self-control to find ways to stay on plan even in the face of major temptation.  There is still an inner battle being waged.

Unchanged – but in a good way:  I continue to be a consistent exerciser.

Changed - but in a bad way:  Thanks to a slew of injuries and aches and pains, I do considerably less cardio than I used to.

Changed:  Yoga.  Unchanged:  A lack of zen in my life, either while practicing yoga (while my mind might be making my shopping list) or during my few failed attempts at meditation (while my mind was off wandering in a million other places).

Unchanged:  My tendency to snack when I’m not hungry.  My ability to overeat even the most healthy of foods.  Sigh.

Unchanged:  I’m still not normal.

Changed:  The realization that I will probably never be normal when it comes to food and eating.  But I have maybe learned and changed just enough that I can adapt and keep myself under control.  I hate that the word control is still part of my “diet” vernacular.  But I have accepted that this really is a lifestyle (yada, yada, yada) and that if I don’t want to ride that old weight roller-coaster again, there are just some things I need to forever do differently and some things I need to give up.

Unchanged:  It isn’t easy.  I wish I could say it is.  Oh, how I wish I could say it is!

Okay, wow, that was way more than I planned to say.  (Unchanged:  I am rather long-winded.)  And all about a healthy lifestyle.  But, there it is.

And, as I said above, if there is something you’d like to know (healthy lifestyle related or otherwise) – ask.  For now, I’m signing off.  With my blogging future still undecided and unknown.  But, one thing is for sure – I’ll miss you.  I’ll miss connecting.  And I’m forever grateful for you keeping me company and supporting me these past three years.  Huge thumbs up:)

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O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Surprise!  It’s me:)

For anyone counting, it has been 144 days since my last post.  You’ve been on my mind, as has what would be my three-year blogoversary this month.  The time has come to say “hello” and update anyone who might still be following the errant life and Waisting Times of the former blogger known as Karen.  So, today I once again bring you my thumbs:)

Thumbs up:  Life is good.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  My disappearance from blogging doesn’t reflect anything negative in my life.  No weight gain (as is so often the case when a blogger of this genre goes missing).  No major stressful life incidents.  No emotional upheavals or crisis.  Just the continuation of whatever cosmic shift brought a sudden end to the words flowing from my fingers to this page.  I haven’t missed it.  Oh, I missed YOU!  And sometimes missed the creativity as I would find myself blogging snippets in my head.  And, no, since several of you have asked, I have most definitely NOT missed social media.  Thumbs up at how much more time I have now and how much less of it I spend online.

Thumbs down:  My health.  So the big news is that I’ve been recently diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus Vulgaris.  Basically, my body is attacking my skin, specifically my mucous membranes, and for me, the symptoms were all in my mouth and throat.  I found it incredibly ironic that someone who has struggled with food and eating for so long should suddenly find herself in a position where her mouth becomes the focus of her life and every swallow hurts.  I could have blogged volumes about the mental aspect of suddenly truly appreciating true physical hunger and food as fuel and nutrition.  Thumbs up that from what I can tell, my diagnosis came much earlier than most.  Thumbs up that I have responded to medication amazingly fast and with minimal apparent negative side-effects to a heavy dose of Prednisone.  I will continue to take it for months to come, maybe indefinitely, along with a recently added antibiotic.  Thumbs up that I have never had as much willpower in my life to stick to a healthy eating plan, bound and determined to stave off what seems to be an almost inevitable weight gain from steroid use.

Thumbs up:  Getting smart.  A phone, that is.  After (four days short of) four years of faithful service, I retired my still-working dumb phone and copied my husband in his purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S iii.  I cannot say enough about how much I love my new phone.  Oh, the continual joy and convenience from this shiny, inanimate object.

Thumbs up:  Number one son.  My oldest seems to have settled easily into life in the real world.  He is established in his new state (halfway across the country from me, but, thumbs up, he has many friends near him).  He seems to enjoy his job as much as any recent college grad can enjoy any job that rudely interferes with what was so recently a life filled with free time and limited scheduling.  Thumbs down that he’s decided not to spend his vacation time at home this month.

Thumbs up:  Number two son.  Just turned 20, thus my inability to continue to refer to him here as “my teen.”  He is comfortably ensconced in his frat house and was recently elected to an executive position for the coming 12 months.  He has already been snowboarding this season and plans to spend part of his winter break in CA doing more.  Thumbs down that his major is still up in the air.  But he at least thinks he has a possible direction now.  Thumbs up that I am doing very well at “letting go” and not being a long-distance helicopter mom.

Thumbs down:  WordPress.  Really?!  It just logged me out in the middle of this post.  Thankfully it had been auto-saving as I typed along and I didn’t lose much.  That might have really put me over the edge of never blogging again!  And while I’m thinking about WordPress, I wonder if I can import all my content from this self-hosted (i.e. costing money) blog into my old  WordPress.com (i.e. free) blog.  Hmmm.  I can!  Done.  Someday when I shut down this blog, the old content will still be here.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Still enjoying it.  Have finally almost conquered the register!  (Amazingly, after nine months, I still sometimes encounter something new, like having to modify the tax rate for a return from another state.)  Have gotten past the constant backaches from standing.  My feet don’t even hurt unless I do a longer than typical shift.  (Remember – I get to wear my workout shoes to work!)  Thumbs up that I have exerted self-control and not spent every measly dime I earn on clothes.  Thumbs up that working makes me appreciate my time spent NOT working all that much more.

Thumbs up:  Yoga.  Still going.  Twice a week when my schedule allows.  I like it a lot.  For me it is about the flexibility (of which I have very, very, very little) and the strength of holding the poses.  Thumbs down that my mind still wanders and I probably should pay a lot more attention to my breathing.  I still think about being zen, now and again.  But not very often.

Thumbs down:  My body.  I have seemingly entered the “my body is falling apart” years.  Thumbs up that my calf injury from last year has finally mostly healed although it was close to nine months and some starts and stops before I really got back to doing consistent cardio again.  Thumbs up for cardio!  Thumbs down that I woke up one day in July with an apparent pinched nerve somewhere between my neck and upper arm.  That brought me months of discomfort, finally leading me to see a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Thumbs up that said nerve is much better now, although not totally resolved, thanks, I think, to time, since the chiropractor, to her surprise, wasn’t able to improve things over the course of a month.  Thumbs down that the two therapeutic massages I tried didn’t improve things either; I’d have loved an excuse to pamper myself.

Thumbs ironic:  Blog offers.  In the months I’ve been missing, I’ve gotten a slew of offers related to my blog.  Crazy, that.  Some have even been ones for products I’d have tried if I’d been posting.  Oh well.

Thumbs up:  I loved LA.  (Sing it with me now.)  Hubby and I went out to visit our son for Parent’s Weekend at his university.  This trip we stayed at a condo instead of a hotel, complete with a view from the balcony of the Hollywood sign.  We saw our son briefly each day (dinner out, parent’s tailgate at the frat, Costco run, Lakers’s pre-season game) but spent most of our time playing tourists.  Fun.  Thumbs up for frequent flier miles.  We’ll make the long drive out to visit our other son in PA some time this spring.

Thumbs up:  Vacations.  I’ve got two great ones coming up.  I had not intended to leave you with a cliffhanger in my last post about next summer’s big trip.  We are going to Alaska.  With my brother and SIL.  Small cruise ship on the inner passage, then a day in Anchorage before we head to Denali National Park.  Thumbs up that I got my first pair of hiking boots (after spending an hour and a half in the REI store in LA) and am very slowly breaking them in.  Thumbs up for my return to Canyon Ranch Spa (thanks again to my mom) in February.

Thumbs up:  Purple.  Long my favorite color.  I wear it often.  I even have incorporated it into decor in my home.  (Okay, let’s call that eggplant or, hmm, aubergine.)  And now, a new purple love – sweet potatoes.  YUM.  My SIL, an amazing gardener, brought me a sampling of sweet potatoes when she and my brother recently visited.  Some were purple skinned but light fleshed; one was dark purple through and through.  They were so delicious that I’m almost inspired to take up gardening for myself.  Almost.  Maybe I’ll finally try purple cauliflower:)

Thumbs undecided:  Blogging.  In the back of my mind I am still considering starting a new blog.  I have no idea what I would write.  But the words for this post, once I finally sat down and started typing, came so fast and felt so good flowing out, just this little bit of creativity again.  If I do return to blogging, I think it will be a new home with no connections to this blog.  If you would like to know my new URL, if it happens, please tell me in the comments below or via email (since I do not intend to link or publicize my new location here).  And I’ll be in touch when/if I start anew.

Thumbs thankful, joyful, peaceful, wishful:  Life is good.  My boys were both home for the Thanksgiving.  I was actually so much more aware of being thankful on the holiday this year.  Funny how having something bad happen can make you so much more appreciative of all that is good.  Thank you for being here.  I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and the best of everything in the new year.

 

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Thumb-thing’s Missing

Thumbs down:  Gone missing.  I’m still here:)  Barely.  Still haven’t made any decisions about my blogging future but I did accidentally think of a possible title if I go with a new blog.  Mostly, I haven’t had the urge to write ANYTHING.

Thumbs up:  You.  For your kind words and shared wisdom and continued support as I waffle and ramble on about blogging.  Or not blogging.  Thank you:)

Thumbs up:  Long-distance mothering.  My son, now officially a resident of a state halfway across the country, reminds me now and then that it’s nice to be still needed.  Last week he called to ask how to get chocolate out of a shirt.  This past weekend he texted several times to get details about a recipe.  He seems to be settling into his new life just fine.  Thumbs down that when I hugged him goodbye, after spending almost a week helping him shop and set up his apartment, I broke down into unexpected tears.  I guess it finally hit me:(

Thumbs confused:  Too much of a good thing.  My other son, on the other hand, is still home, although we mostly just see a trail of pizza boxes and dirty clothes since he sleeps until the afternoon then stays out until the wee hours of the morning.  Recently we had him take a sophisticated (which also means expensive) aptitude test to see if it would help him with his struggle to change college majors.  It didn’t much because, drum roll, he’s pretty much good at everything!  Makes it rather hard to narrow down a direction.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Going fine.  I’m enjoying it.  Mostly.  The register still confounds me.  I’m shaking my head just thinking about it.  Thumbs down.

Thumbs up:  Summer reading.  I’ve been really going to town on books lately.  Two of the ones I’ve most enjoyed are Gone Girl (despite a thumbs down on the ending) and the Steve Jobs biography (despite the fact that I have never owned an “i” anything).  Thumbs down that it is still a constant battle to not mindlessly snack while I lay supine on my couch with a book propped up on my mid-section, my favorite reading position.  Thumbs up for the book I just finished, The Stonecutter, which I wouldn’t have even started since, yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, or at least, by the “inside flap,” had my mother (aka book supplier) not known me so well to think to call me to tell me that I’d like it.  Sometimes mother really does know best.

Thumbs up:  Summer TV guilty pleasures.  Two of my favorite shows right now are Design Star and Food Network Star.  Pure fun with no concentration or thought needed.  Thumbs up at getting caught up on chick shows while my guys were out-of-town.  Thumbs down at the brouhaha over House Hunters being staged.  I wish it wasn’t, but I still enjoy watching.  And speaking of brouhaha, thumbs down that the world cares so much about TomKat.  Or that the media thinks the world cares so much!

Thumbs still waiting:  Personal training.  As some of you already know, for years I have been working out every week with my mom and a trainer.  FUN!  But not for the past month while our trainer is between gyms.  I miss it and I miss seeing my mom and catching up twice a week.  But thumbs up that I’ve been pretty consistent with getting to MY gym (where I also do yoga) for strength training group classes.  Thumbs up that it doesn’t even cost me anything since my fee pays for unlimited classes.

Thumbs down:  The weather.  Hot.  Hot.  Oh, did I mention it’s been hot?  And dry.  So dry that the gas line leading to our friends’ house broke in the dry ground.  We spent time hanging out in their yard, waiting for the “gas man,” after we dropped them off from dinner recently, because an observant neighbor smelled the gas outside.  Thumbs down that I ended up with a slew of mosquito bites and right now I am ITCHHHHY.  And, thumbs down, apparently I’m allergic.  To the mosquito bites, not the heat.

Thumbs down:  Car trouble.  Almost the minute my husband (aka liaison to all things car related) left town, the check engine light came on in our minivan.  Thumbs up that thanks to some internet research, I discovered an auto parts store nearby that would check it for free and read the “error code,” even on a Sunday evening.  Thumbs up that it ended up being nothing serious.  The irony was that as my teen left home (for the overnight trip to take the aptitude test mentioned above), he admonished that I should NOT drive his car while he was gone; for a few hours there it looked like I might have to!  Thumbs up that he’s pretty excited about his new (used) wheels and that his college roommate will be flying here so that they can make the long drive out to California together.  Thumbs up that I’m only just slightly worried about two teens in an SUV taking a road trip cross-country.

Thumbs down:  Food.  For the last month I have eaten more crap than, well, than in a really long time.  There are several reasons, or call them “excuses,” but I don’t plan to write about that stuff anymore.  Just want to be honest, given how and why I started this blog, and say that, yes, oops, I did it again.  But I am once more back on track.  Thumbs down that it is very clear to me that I will ALWAYS need to be diligent to not slip into old habits and to not lose focus of the new ones that serve me well.  Thumbs down that I really should feel motivated to write a blog post about that habits stuff, but, nope.

Thumbs up:  New recipe.  The vegetarian and the “good carb-er” happily met in the middle with grilled, marinated portobello mushrooms.  Meanwhile, the carnivore, aka our teen, had a steak.  Thumbs down that our son has been getting lots and lots and lots of Chinese food while he’s home.  I’m pretty sure that even the healthiest sounding of options are not actually healthy.  Probably even the broccoli that I nibble from his dishes (heaven forbid he ingest a vegetable) is laden with sugar and salt and…

Thumbs to be determined:  Blood pressure.  Whenever I see my internist, as I did last week for my annual exam, my blood pressure measures high.  I’m used to this anomaly so I have gotten smart and track it for a while at home before I go in, so that I can show her the very good readings that are typical for me.  This year she wasn’t taking my word for it and wants me to bring my home machine into her office to be sure it’s accurate.  Meanwhile, my husband’s pressure, which he also tracks at home, has been reading above normal for a while so I’m happy to report that I think he finally is accepting that he should implement some lifestyle changes to see if he can bring it down before his own appointment in a few months with the same doctor.

Thumbs up:  Future plans.  I have something very excited planned for next year.  A fabulous trip.  A “my nest is finally empty and I’m going to splurge and say I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday so I don’t feel guilty spending all that money” trip.  I don’t want to say more about it yet until dates are officially chosen and deposits are paid.  But if I actually had a bucket list, this would be one of the top items on it:)

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?  Read any good books lately?  How’s the summer treating you? 

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Thumb-thing's Missing

Thumbs down:  Gone missing.  I’m still here:)  Barely.  Still haven’t made any decisions about my blogging future but I did accidentally think of a possible title if I go with a new blog.  Mostly, I haven’t had the urge to write ANYTHING.

Thumbs up:  You.  For your kind words and shared wisdom and continued support as I waffle and ramble on about blogging.  Or not blogging.  Thank you:)

Thumbs up:  Long-distance mothering.  My son, now officially a resident of a state halfway across the country, reminds me now and then that it’s nice to be still needed.  Last week he called to ask how to get chocolate out of a shirt.  This past weekend he texted several times to get details about a recipe.  He seems to be settling into his new life just fine.  Thumbs down that when I hugged him goodbye, after spending almost a week helping him shop and set up his apartment, I broke down into unexpected tears.  I guess it finally hit me:(

Thumbs confused:  Too much of a good thing.  My other son, on the other hand, is still home, although we mostly just see a trail of pizza boxes and dirty clothes since he sleeps until the afternoon then stays out until the wee hours of the morning.  Recently we had him take a sophisticated (which also means expensive) aptitude test to see if it would help him with his struggle to change college majors.  It didn’t much because, drum roll, he’s pretty much good at everything!  Makes it rather hard to narrow down a direction.

Thumbs up:  Work.  Going fine.  I’m enjoying it.  Mostly.  The register still confounds me.  I’m shaking my head just thinking about it.  Thumbs down.

Thumbs up:  Summer reading.  I’ve been really going to town on books lately.  Two of the ones I’ve most enjoyed are Gone Girl (despite a thumbs down on the ending) and the Steve Jobs biography (despite the fact that I have never owned an “i” anything).  Thumbs down that it is still a constant battle to not mindlessly snack while I lay supine on my couch with a book propped up on my mid-section, my favorite reading position.  Thumbs up for the book I just finished, The Stonecutter, which I wouldn’t have even started since, yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, or at least, by the “inside flap,” had my mother (aka book supplier) not known me so well to think to call me to tell me that I’d like it.  Sometimes mother really does know best.

Thumbs up:  Summer TV guilty pleasures.  Two of my favorite shows right now are Design Star and Food Network Star.  Pure fun with no concentration or thought needed.  Thumbs up at getting caught up on chick shows while my guys were out-of-town.  Thumbs down at the brouhaha over House Hunters being staged.  I wish it wasn’t, but I still enjoy watching.  And speaking of brouhaha, thumbs down that the world cares so much about TomKat.  Or that the media thinks the world cares so much!

Thumbs still waiting:  Personal training.  As some of you already know, for years I have been working out every week with my mom and a trainer.  FUN!  But not for the past month while our trainer is between gyms.  I miss it and I miss seeing my mom and catching up twice a week.  But thumbs up that I’ve been pretty consistent with getting to MY gym (where I also do yoga) for strength training group classes.  Thumbs up that it doesn’t even cost me anything since my fee pays for unlimited classes.

Thumbs down:  The weather.  Hot.  Hot.  Oh, did I mention it’s been hot?  And dry.  So dry that the gas line leading to our friends’ house broke in the dry ground.  We spent time hanging out in their yard, waiting for the “gas man,” after we dropped them off from dinner recently, because an observant neighbor smelled the gas outside.  Thumbs down that I ended up with a slew of mosquito bites and right now I am ITCHHHHY.  And, thumbs down, apparently I’m allergic.  To the mosquito bites, not the heat.

Thumbs down:  Car trouble.  Almost the minute my husband (aka liaison to all things car related) left town, the check engine light came on in our minivan.  Thumbs up that thanks to some internet research, I discovered an auto parts store nearby that would check it for free and read the “error code,” even on a Sunday evening.  Thumbs up that it ended up being nothing serious.  The irony was that as my teen left home (for the overnight trip to take the aptitude test mentioned above), he admonished that I should NOT drive his car while he was gone; for a few hours there it looked like I might have to!  Thumbs up that he’s pretty excited about his new (used) wheels and that his college roommate will be flying here so that they can make the long drive out to California together.  Thumbs up that I’m only just slightly worried about two teens in an SUV taking a road trip cross-country.

Thumbs down:  Food.  For the last month I have eaten more crap than, well, than in a really long time.  There are several reasons, or call them “excuses,” but I don’t plan to write about that stuff anymore.  Just want to be honest, given how and why I started this blog, and say that, yes, oops, I did it again.  But I am once more back on track.  Thumbs down that it is very clear to me that I will ALWAYS need to be diligent to not slip into old habits and to not lose focus of the new ones that serve me well.  Thumbs down that I really should feel motivated to write a blog post about that habits stuff, but, nope.

Thumbs up:  New recipe.  The vegetarian and the “good carb-er” happily met in the middle with grilled, marinated portobello mushrooms.  Meanwhile, the carnivore, aka our teen, had a steak.  Thumbs down that our son has been getting lots and lots and lots of Chinese food while he’s home.  I’m pretty sure that even the healthiest sounding of options are not actually healthy.  Probably even the broccoli that I nibble from his dishes (heaven forbid he ingest a vegetable) is laden with sugar and salt and…

Thumbs to be determined:  Blood pressure.  Whenever I see my internist, as I did last week for my annual exam, my blood pressure measures high.  I’m used to this anomaly so I have gotten smart and track it for a while at home before I go in, so that I can show her the very good readings that are typical for me.  This year she wasn’t taking my word for it and wants me to bring my home machine into her office to be sure it’s accurate.  Meanwhile, my husband’s pressure, which he also tracks at home, has been reading above normal for a while so I’m happy to report that I think he finally is accepting that he should implement some lifestyle changes to see if he can bring it down before his own appointment in a few months with the same doctor.

Thumbs up:  Future plans.  I have something very excited planned for next year.  A fabulous trip.  A “my nest is finally empty and I’m going to splurge and say I’m celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday so I don’t feel guilty spending all that money” trip.  I don’t want to say more about it yet until dates are officially chosen and deposits are paid.  But if I actually had a bucket list, this would be one of the top items on it:)

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?  Read any good books lately?  How’s the summer treating you? 

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Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

There were so many great songs running through my head as I wrote this post.  Which is not surprising to me, a person who has often bastardized song titles for the sake of blogging.  Sometimes the song drives the post; other times the post drives the song.

Today it’s The Clash.  And Old Blue Eyes.  Who did it his way.  With few regrets.  Who saw it through when there was doubt.  Who at it up and spit it out.  Who faced it all.  Who loved; who laughed; who cried.  Who had his fill.

“And now, the end is here, and so I face the final curtain…”

As I ask myself, “Has my blog run it’s course?”  “Do I have anything more to say?”

For over two and a half years I have defined myself as a blogger.  Happily.

And in the past when I read other bloggers questioning if they should continue putting words to keyboard, I would share my philosophy with them – that we should blog for ourselves; that we should blog if we get something out of it.  Whatever that something is (because it might be different for each of us).  And we should blog if it makes us happy.

And every time I said that, and throughout my life as Waisting Time, I couldn’t image not blogging.  It was my happy place.  I had tons of ideas for future posts.  The community warmed my heart.  Playing with words was fun.  So I renewed my domain name; I renewed my hosting contract.  Life went on.  I was a blogger.  Happily.

But somewhere along the way things changed.  Slowly.  Maybe unnoticed at first.  Then questioned but ignored.  Then ignored but questioned.

So, today (and for the past several weeks that it has taken me to finish drafting this post) I ask myself what, if anything, I’m getting from it.  Why am I blogging?  Do I still enjoy it?  Do I want to write more, and, if so, what do I want to write about?   Does it make me happy?  Do I still have things to say or am I talked out?  Have I done enough over-thinking about writing about my over-thinking to last a lifetime?!

The big shock of recent discovery, when I thought the sky was falling, didn’t bring this on.  It only made the questions more urgent for me.  And added more questions.  What did it make me question?  Everything and nothing.  Because not only did I now wonder if I had anything to say, but I also had to ask myself what I’d say if someone I know might be reading.  Or, maybe more importantly, what would I NOT write if someone I know might be reading.

The bottom-line truth here is that I don’t know what I want to say – i.e. write.  I’m not even sure I WANT to write.  Or talk.  Out loud.  With a potential audience.

It occurred to me that I’m having the blogger’s version of a mid-life crisis.  Or identity crisis.  But as I write that I realize that a crisis would mean some urgency to my emotions.  Some angst.  Nope.  None of that.  More like complacency.  I feel, well, dispassionate, detached, disinterested.  My blogging mojo has got up and gone.  Will it return?  Do I care?

See – lots of questions!

And then, every so often, I think about the blog.  This blog.  MY blog.  I think about writing.  But thinking doesn’t translate to action.  (Aha, rather like how it so often happens with healthy living!)  So, I have just let it be.  (Okay, add the Beatles to the list.)  And waited.  And wondered.  And lived life outside of cyberspace.

Have I missed this world in the almost-three-weeks since my last post?  Not so much.  Certainly I have NOT missed Twitter and Facebook and Klout and all that stuff.  Maybe I’ve missed YOU.  And your comments that only come if I actually publish something!  And the sense of being part of a community, the connections, the friendship, the warm fuzzies.  Yep, I’m smiling just typing about it.

If I stop blogging will I regret it?  What would I leave behind?  Will I miss it?  Or would I be happily living life without Waisting Time.  Without wasting time?

How do I want to define myself?  Have I had enough?  Has my blog served its purpose and now it’s time to move on?  Is there something still out there for me in cyberspace?  This blog?  A new blog?  No blog?

Lately I’ve been thinking about evolution.  And change.  Everything evolves.  Changes over time.  Sometimes slowly and almost imperceptibly.  Sometimes drastically, obviously, quickly.  Certainly my own life has changed in the past months and year, with my return to work after 15 years and my empty nest.  But as much as some things change, some things stay the same.

I think my “need” for blogging has changed.  But has it, could it, evolve into something else that still keeps me blogging?  Or has it evolved into extinction?

I started this blog for motivation and personal accountability.  At times it has given me that.  In spades.  And so much more that I never expected.  But the motivation and accountability aspect has diminished.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Once I needed this blog, these words, your support and advice and companionship on this journey.  And while I still LOVE the community and connections and friendships and laughter, maybe I don’t have anything left to say.

And isn’t that what it really comes down to, after all?  A blog is words.  And thoughts put to paper keyboard.  It’s not that I’m NOT thinking (and over-thinking) anymore (and, yes, I know that’s a double negative), it’s just that I’m not sure I have a need or desire to make those thoughts public.  To put those thoughts into written word.  To say or write anything about them.  Here.  Or maybe anywhere.

“Should I stay or should I go now?… This indecision’s bugging me.”

Oh, hey, wow, look – I wrote something!  Okay, I wrote a lotta something.  And I kinda enjoyed it.  Hmm.

P.S.  Much thanks for your comments, emails, concern, compliments, support, friendship, and so on and so forth.  In truth, if I stay, or if I recreate myself in a new blog, it will be as much because of YOU as it is because of me.  And if the winds of change do blow me over to a new URL, I’ll be sure to let you know, here, in case you want to make the move with me.

So, fellow bloggers, if you are inclined to share, here or privately, I’d love to know why YOU blog.  And how, if at all, you’ve evolved.  In blogging or in anything:)  See any changes coming for YOU down the road?

 

 

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That’s the Sound of My Worlds Colliding

I had always intended to blog anonymously.  Heck, when I started this venture, I didn’t even use my name.  But I also didn’t have any expectations that anyone would be reading.

My, how times change.

A few people in my real life have known about my blog almost from its inception.  For different reasons.  My husband.  My mom.  One of my sisters-in-law.  Sometimes it impacted what I wrote – made me feel censored.  Mostly I forgot that they were reading and wrote for myself and for you.  Mostly.

But just over a year ago, shock waves struck.  I almost fell out of my chair when I got a Facebook message (to my personal account) from a “real” friend and neighbor, who wrote:  “… so I was crusin’ the web… and what did I find? I found Waisting Time! … What a surprise to find it!”

What a surprise indeed!  I was flabbergasted.  I was scared.  If she found me, anyone could.  And who might she tell?  Eek!  I might be walking down the street (okay, not really, but maybe walking down the aisles of the local grocery store) and the person who waved as they passed might have just read my blog.  Or even worse, might be examining (and judging) the contents of my shopping cart.  Aaack.

Eventually I calmed down; came back from my freaked out place; asked myself, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?”  And continued blogging.  In my sort of anonymous fashion.  Maybe for a moment the fear of discovery impacted what I wrote.  Mostly I forgot about it.

And a year passed.

With more posts and more readers and more exposure in cyberspace.  With me ignoring all the warnings I had given my sons to be careful what you put online because you never know who is reading and because it’s there forever and because you are giving up control.  To think twice and not post things you wouldn’t want your mother to read.  Parenting caution in a dangerous new world that, for the most part, I had not myself heeded.

Those warnings came back to haunt me.

There I was, in my son’s new apartment, halfway across the country, no thoughts of blogging in my head, heading out the door to a late dinner, when my son asked, “Mom, what’s the name of your blog?”  What!?  Why is he asking?  Why does he want to know!?  “Just humor me,” he said.  So I told him.  And then he told me… something I never in a million years expected to hear.  Facebook, once again, was the vehicle for my outing.  As a “friend” posted on my son’s wall that, “I found your mom’s blog accidentally while searching for a quote from the commencement speech…”  And for just a fleeting moment, he posted a link.

And just like that, my worlds collided.  And I freaked out.  Just a bit.  Okay, maybe a lot.  According to my son (from what he told me AND from what he posted on the Facebook thread), my reaction was “hilarious.”  Funny to him, maybe!

Let me just tell you that it was the longest restaurant meal ever!  All I could think about was getting to a computer and performing damage control.

(And in case you were wondering, other “friends” did comment and “like” the post on my son’s wall.  I don’t know if they ever saw my blog though because the person who originally exposed me to the world realized that maybe my son wouldn’t be “cool with everyone having the link” to his mom’s blog.  Long Facebook conversation story short, the link is gone but the thread remains.  Hmm… maybe I should ask my son to remove THAT from his wall.)

I’ll be totally honest and tell you that my initial over-reactions thoughts were to shut down this blog immediately!  Permanently.  And I did.  Sort of.  Removed the “offending” post so that it wouldn’t be there for anyone to search and put my blog into “maintenance mode” while I thought things through.

I’m still thinking.

About the potential loss of all anonymity.  About my sons and the people in their lives and the people in my life reading what I’ve written.  About what I still might or might not have left to write.  About whether or not I care who reads my words and who connects the real me to the blog me.  About calling it quits.  About what I might regret if I keep going or if I stop.  About maybe even starting over, fresh, with or without anonymity.

Because, coincidentally enough given the timing, maybe Waisting Time is wasting time.  Maybe my blog has run its course; served it’s purpose.  Maybe I’ve run out of things to say and creative juice and the need to say anything at all.  (I actually had a blog post drafted about that already!)

Maybe I’m done in cyberspace.  For now.  Maybe I’m not.  Maybe I don’t even know the questions to ask myself to decide what to do next.

Maybe for once, over-thinking is a good thing!

So for now, I’ve shared this part of my tale with you, and had a chance to at least let that resonate in my brain while putting words to keyboard.  And I realize, with the initial shock worn off, that I should go against my action-oriented nature and give myself some time to think this through.  To see where it takes me.  To be flexible.  To be patient.  (Stop laughing, family.)

And I’ll admit to you, that there is much that I haven’t shared in this long-winded but much shortened story, because of exactly the issue at hand – I don’t know who is reading it and there are just some things that I can’t or won’t put out here because, well, for reasons that are exactly the problem – too private, too revealing, too embarrassing to share.

And that, dear readers (and cyber-snoopers) is exactly what led me to freak out in the first place!

Photo credit: [Cody James]

 

91 Comments

Filed under blogging

That's the Sound of My Worlds Colliding

I had always intended to blog anonymously.  Heck, when I started this venture, I didn’t even use my name.  But I also didn’t have any expectations that anyone would be reading.

My, how times change.

A few people in my real life have known about my blog almost from its inception.  For different reasons.  My husband.  My mom.  One of my sisters-in-law.  Sometimes it impacted what I wrote – made me feel censored.  Mostly I forgot that they were reading and wrote for myself and for you.  Mostly.

But just over a year ago, shock waves struck.  I almost fell out of my chair when I got a Facebook message (to my personal account) from a “real” friend and neighbor, who wrote:  “… so I was crusin’ the web… and what did I find? I found Waisting Time! … What a surprise to find it!”

What a surprise indeed!  I was flabbergasted.  I was scared.  If she found me, anyone could.  And who might she tell?  Eek!  I might be walking down the street (okay, not really, but maybe walking down the aisles of the local grocery store) and the person who waved as they passed might have just read my blog.  Or even worse, might be examining (and judging) the contents of my shopping cart.  Aaack.

Eventually I calmed down; came back from my freaked out place; asked myself, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?”  And continued blogging.  In my sort of anonymous fashion.  Maybe for a moment the fear of discovery impacted what I wrote.  Mostly I forgot about it.

And a year passed.

With more posts and more readers and more exposure in cyberspace.  With me ignoring all the warnings I had given my sons to be careful what you put online because you never know who is reading and because it’s there forever and because you are giving up control.  To think twice and not post things you wouldn’t want your mother to read.  Parenting caution in a dangerous new world that, for the most part, I had not myself heeded.

Those warnings came back to haunt me.

There I was, in my son’s new apartment, halfway across the country, no thoughts of blogging in my head, heading out the door to a late dinner, when my son asked, “Mom, what’s the name of your blog?”  What!?  Why is he asking?  Why does he want to know!?  “Just humor me,” he said.  So I told him.  And then he told me… something I never in a million years expected to hear.  Facebook, once again, was the vehicle for my outing.  As a “friend” posted on my son’s wall that, “I found your mom’s blog accidentally while searching for a quote from the commencement speech…”  And for just a fleeting moment, he posted a link.

And just like that, my worlds collided.  And I freaked out.  Just a bit.  Okay, maybe a lot.  According to my son (from what he told me AND from what he posted on the Facebook thread), my reaction was “hilarious.”  Funny to him, maybe!

Let me just tell you that it was the longest restaurant meal ever!  All I could think about was getting to a computer and performing damage control.

(And in case you were wondering, other “friends” did comment and “like” the post on my son’s wall.  I don’t know if they ever saw my blog though because the person who originally exposed me to the world realized that maybe my son wouldn’t be “cool with everyone having the link” to his mom’s blog.  Long Facebook conversation story short, the link is gone but the thread remains.  Hmm… maybe I should ask my son to remove THAT from his wall.)

I’ll be totally honest and tell you that my initial over-reactions thoughts were to shut down this blog immediately!  Permanently.  And I did.  Sort of.  Removed the “offending” post so that it wouldn’t be there for anyone to search and put my blog into “maintenance mode” while I thought things through.

I’m still thinking.

About the potential loss of all anonymity.  About my sons and the people in their lives and the people in my life reading what I’ve written.  About what I still might or might not have left to write.  About whether or not I care who reads my words and who connects the real me to the blog me.  About calling it quits.  About what I might regret if I keep going or if I stop.  About maybe even starting over, fresh, with or without anonymity.

Because, coincidentally enough given the timing, maybe Waisting Time is wasting time.  Maybe my blog has run its course; served it’s purpose.  Maybe I’ve run out of things to say and creative juice and the need to say anything at all.  (I actually had a blog post drafted about that already!)

Maybe I’m done in cyberspace.  For now.  Maybe I’m not.  Maybe I don’t even know the questions to ask myself to decide what to do next.

Maybe for once, over-thinking is a good thing!

So for now, I’ve shared this part of my tale with you, and had a chance to at least let that resonate in my brain while putting words to keyboard.  And I realize, with the initial shock worn off, that I should go against my action-oriented nature and give myself some time to think this through.  To see where it takes me.  To be flexible.  To be patient.  (Stop laughing, family.)

And I’ll admit to you, that there is much that I haven’t shared in this long-winded but much shortened story, because of exactly the issue at hand – I don’t know who is reading it and there are just some things that I can’t or won’t put out here because, well, for reasons that are exactly the problem – too private, too revealing, too embarrassing to share.

And that, dear readers (and cyber-snoopers) is exactly what led me to freak out in the first place!

Photo credit: [Cody James]

 

91 Comments

Filed under blogging