So Many Somethings

I have rushes of thoughts — intermittent, compelling, and yet often fleeting — that I’ve tried to sort out and produce into written sentences over the last few months. The beckoning of a blank screen, a deserted blog, and a head full of phrases blink like bright lights.

But instead of having one coherent thing to say, I have so many somethings instead.

I have something to say about this blog.

This blog is almost nine years old — a lifetime ago in online years. Since then, things have changed substantially. We’ve moved from an era of comments, responses and shares among a kindred blog community to the collective reduced attention span of viral memes. Online profiles are measured by the ha ha emoji count on a single sentence captured in a frame and re-shared. And that’s fine — but it’s also not really me (just try to contain me to one sentence). And so where does this go, this online vault I’ve accumulated over these years of my kids’ childhoods and a time capsule that I hold dear but don’t maintain regularly anymore? Do I rebrand it? Collect funny memes and call it a day? Keep it as is, if only for myself? Or walk away?

I don’t know. I’m not ready to shut it down, yet, but its future weighs on me.

I have something to say about the shifts within my house this year.

This was the year when we saw our oldest go to middle school and squarely land us in the unenviable dynamic of Three Kids in Three Different Schools (with no school buses in this town). Whose school is texting about a delayed opening? Which one of you has the Monday after Easter off? How are your spring breaks a full month apart from each other? Why does my iCalendar look like it’s weeping? Who needs to be picked up when, where, and WHO NEEDS A LUNCH PACKED TODAY? There is one constant, though — we are all late and just get in the fucking car already. This tri-school dynamic has made things here crazier than usual, which is probably why I can’t even summon up a single sentence meme now and then — I’m endlessly distracted by a calendar alarm telling me where I was supposed to be somewhere between 18 minutes and three days ago.

I have something to say about re-entering the work force. The fact that I’m only able to articulate this a full ten months after starting my job speaks to my level of organization.

After a protracted focus on domestic ship-steering for eight years, I had been thinking about going back to work for a while, but was conflicted about what I wanted to do (and not do), exactly. My husband laughed at my requirements: a job in my field (PR/communications), but not full time, not corporate, and not far from home. Perhaps I was being unrealistic, but I also had not started searching in earnest. Then, last year, without actually looking for it, I happened to see a job posting that was basically an exact list of everything I’d ever done in my professional past. And it was part time. And not corporate. And literally down the road from my house. And so my entire goal was to just land an interview — just the chance to get in the room and prove to myself that I still had some professional acumen. So, when I was called in for such an interview, I was thrilled and ready to check that box as merely a warm up exercise for eventually going back to work.

Then they called me back to come in again. And again. And again. And then they offered me a job. It’s a job that has put my skills to good use, and a job that has taught me a lot about people, their instincts, local politics, and community.

I love my job. I love the projects I work on and the co-workers around me. I love seeing people in action who make a difference and devote their energy to the town where I’m raising my kids. People are amazing.

Mostly.

But I have something to say about the death of civility, the toxicity of keyboard warriors and the way people treat each other online — about the deep divide in which we live and the partisan nature of our interactions. It’s obvious on a macro level but what amazes me is how much this same dynamic plays out locally. It’s one thing when you see that unhinged extended family member (and we all have one [or more], right?) go off the Facebook reservation, but to watch it happen among neighbors is really something. Part of my job involves social media in our community, and it’s astounding to me that some folks I see at school pick up or at my kids’ activities have no compunction about arming themselves with a fraction of the facts, a will to divide, and generous dose of speculation and conspiracy theory in order to spread misinformation. I can’t decide if they completely lack self-awareness or just don’t care. Both explanations are equally galling.

I have something to say about our national political climate (don’t worry, I’m not going partisan). Like many, I have strong political opinions, none of which I ever discuss here. Plenty of people share my point of view — and plenty do not. That used to work out nicely and exist on some “let’s not discuss it” realm of cordiality. That doesn’t seem to hold up anymore as two sides drift further and further apart from each other — and I really have to wonder where this leaves us sometimes. It feels exhausting. I would love (LOVE) to join Team I Don’t Care and just bury my head in the sand — I think I’d live a lot longer. Alas, no can do.

I have something to say about the passage of time, about the role of a child blending with that of a caregiver. My mom has had some health issues lately — and she’s going to be OK. But it’s hard to watch someone you love so much in such a vulnerable spot, in such a state of uncertainty. All I want is for someone to promise her the worst is behind her.

I have something to say about things that resemble medical miracles, regardless of how much or little stock you put into such a categorization. My dear friend Rebecca, who has battled stage four breast cancer for nearly four years, recently received the most amazing news. I will let her words speak for themselves, because they are worth reading and holding dear and taking with you when you need something uplifting and awe-inspiring.

I have something to say about my oldest turning 12 next week, about how proud I am of him going off to a new school this year where he didn’t know a soul, because it would be a better fit for him. To see that risky decision — one that we really struggled with — play out so well and benefit him so greatly is something for which I am grateful every single day.

I have something to say about springtime and its insanity, its beckoning of summer and the season of closure that it brings as it signals the end of the school year in sight. But first I have to find the softball medical clearance form, schedule three physical exams, pick up the dance recital costumes, see who has sandals that still fit, and pay the balance for summer camps. Wait, what was I saying?

All of these somethings — so many somethings — I’m not sure what they bear, if not a peak inside the lid of a brain brimming over and perhaps collapsing from overload.

But they are, for me, precisely what words are for, and what brings me back to this keyboard once in a blue moon to fill the intimidating blank screen for however long I decide to keep at it.

There, I feel better now.

highway

 

 

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