I’m Back

"Life is very simple. What I give out comes back to me. Today I choose to give love."
-Louisa Hay

Here I am at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio on my first plane trip since Covid. I felt ten feet tall, which is still much smaller than this greenhouse's soaring roof. 

Hi.

 Remember me?

I'm that person who used to write here, day in and day out, faithfully recounting my daily adventures in my home and in my world, which mostly involved walking my dog and cooking dinner. 

Oftentimes, I would share stories about my house. 

But something happened. Somewhere around five years ago, I began 

to pause, 

to hesitate, 

to second guess myself about the stories I considered telling. 

Writing became a struggle. I would draft out a perfectly fine story, in my head or on my screen, but then something would just not feel right and I'd delete it and let another day pass before trying again.

Days turned into weeks and sometimes, entire months would pass without a whisper from me.

I missed writing. And I wondered why I was finding it so hard to write again. 

Now, in this last month of silence from me, I've connected a couple dots that are helping me understand what has happened. 

This strange disconnect first began about five years ago, when both my mother and father had recently died. And as fortune would have it, both left me a generous inheritance.

Now I'm no swanky heiress and I'm not about to quit my day job, but this money has been a wonderful gift. I've made no trips around the world nor suited myself up with any sports cars but I have carefully chosen to invest some of that money in our house.

New roof.

New windows.

New floors. 

New patios. 

Some new furniture.

And a fresh exterior paint job. 

While I feel really good about these much-needed acquisitions and regret spending the money on them not at all, I feel very uncomfortable revealing these new purchases on the internet.

Because that feels way too much like bragging to me. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CXTZthX-ycV-LGkmLSPw_4K3a9s5DnZL

Our Seattle summer set records for sunshine and lack of rain, which was all fun and games. But when the drought finally broke in mid-October, I celebrated with a hearty bowl of steaming pho. 

In some strange way, I miss the days when the lack of money for big projects forced me to find creative work-arounds, and apparently I place more value on those kinds of stories, rather than writing, "And then I hired a team of professionals to come in and do all the work for me, and wrote them a big fat check." 

I painfully remember how I felt when I couldn't afford these kinds of big ticket items and I would never want to make a single one of my readers feel the sting that comes from recognizing that my spending was beyond their own reach.

So I did the safe thing. I stopped writing. At first, I just cut out all reporting on my big ticket home improvements, but as months and then years went by, I edited myself further and further until every topic seemed to ring with some sense of privilege that made me cringe. 

Something as simple as sharing  my dog's clever antics sounded braggy and full of conceit. 

Reporting on my experimental eating habits rang with diet culture snobbery.

Telling a story about a particular math student made me worry that my other students, about whom I was not telling stories, would feel overlooked and left out.

I had backed myself into a corner of doubt, and didn't quite know how to pull myself out. Until now. 

Gracie continues her adventures as an avid hiker, with the requisite traces of drool and the look in her eye that tells me she'd gladly barrel down this cliff to get to the beach if only I would snap off her leash. 

I sit here tonight with a pocketful of perfectly lovely stories about 

  • my September road trip to five lesser-known national parks, 
  • an update on how I trick myself into doing the most unpleasant chore in my life, and 
  • the six new winning soup recipes that I've tried this fall,

and I've simply decided it's time to start telling them again.

I'm back. 

And I hope you will join me as this adventure continues.