Tuesday, April 7, 2015


The last post I wrote was on May 8, 2014.  That's one day short of eleven months.  I'd like to say it's because my life has been a whirl of exciting adventures in those roughly 333 days since.  Yeah, I'd like to say that.  In fact, it's been the usual mix of despair, joy, heartbreak, laughter, and worry that make up most lives.

The Cliff's Notes version of the last year, following the death of my dog, included my sister having cancer, my brother's dog dying, my children being surly teenagers, us adopting a new dog, my other brother's dog dying, going through a Christmas season when I was so grouchy I really didn't want to put up my decorations, turning 45, and getting a subscription to MLB Network so I can see all the Cubs games this year.  I know other things happened in between, both good and bad, but if you asked me to describe the last year, that's pretty much it.  Nothing earth-shatteringly bad, no lottery wins, just life.  And that, unfortunately, does not explain why I haven't written a word.  My life is always very...lifey, so why the drought?

The Inmates - Easter 2005
I put most of it on my daughter, Foghorn, who has morphed from an obnoxious, loud, difficult, opinionated child to an obnoxious, loud, difficult, opinionated teenager.  Except she's eleven.  And don't think the thought of the next seven years or so don't make me break out in hives.  See, she was my biggest source of material and while many people probably found her overbearing and in need of a good slap, they often found her antics amusing because a) it wasn't happening to them and b) it was happening to me.  Now that she's about half an inch shorter than her mom and in full command of a teenager's vocabulary I doubt people would find her so funny.  What's mildly annoying in a six year old becomes flat out rude, crude, and infuriating in a pseudo-teenager and makes people ask, "What's wrong with you?  Get a grip on her!"  And I can't disagree with them...if only I knew how.  Don't get me wrong.  We're not talking drugs or shoplifting or sneaking out in the night to meet middle-aged-men-pretending-to-be-adolescent-boys.  We're talking insolent and stubborn.  She steadfastly refuses to go anywhere with any of us anymore and on the rare occasions when forced (my birthday party, Easter Sunday at Grandma's), she snarls at everyone and makes sure they know how lame she finds them, which is always very lame.  She rarely leaves her room and is a self-described "hermit," leading Uncle Chester to start calling her Hermie.  And, yes, I now torture her by singing, "Why am I such a misfit?  I am not just a knit wit..."

Foghorn - Easter 2015

So, with my main writing material gone and people not interested in a blog composed of nothing but my knitting projects (I'm not that talented of a knitter), what do I write about?  I'm not overly fascinating.  I don't do a whole lot.  I've become that stereotypical 40-ish woman (I refuse to say I'm middle aged) whose kids don't really need her anymore or, more accurately, have nothing but disdain for her, who raised kids instead of having a job, and now finds herself saying, "What the hell do I do with the next four decades?!?"  The obvious answer should be do all that writing that you haven't done in the last 16+ years because you've been raising children.  Yeah, except I'm not sure I want to do that anymore.  Getting published always was hard (as evidenced by the millions of hours of my life spent writing and the relatively small amount of published pieces I have to show for it) and it's arguably harder now than ever.  I have trouble doing something without a purpose.  No, I don't get paid for knitting, but I have a finished product I can be happy with, that I can gift to friends or relatives (or friends' dogs) or charities.  I'm not just producing something that will sit in a drawer.  My history of writing feels like I've knit 721 scarves...and they're all in Rubbermaid bins stuffed in the bedroom closet.  I'm not sure I have the ambition it takes to try to get published anymore.  It seems like such a sad waste of effort when I could be doing something productive like knitting while binge-watching Mad Men on Netflix.

While I haven't figured all that out yet one thing I did realize is that if I don't write something with some regularity, my ability to put two cohesive sentences together might leave me entirely.  Thus my reason for this post.  Or I may have just wanted to publicly whine about my kids.  I do like to do that...a lot.  No, fear not, my intention is not to turn this blog into endless posts about my midlife crisis and search for self.  I'd write a book about it but, hey, the bookstore shelves are full of those already.  It'll just be my usual blog, but without as many stories of my children.  Hmmmmm...feel free to unsubsribe now.

They never should have introduced me to
Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey


Marcy said...

Hey! Nice to hear from you. I found the adjustment to the teenage years to be pretty difficult. With my older one now deciding on his college, I'm finally starting to get used to the end of the little boy years.

Nancy Susanna Breen said...

Welcome back. I share your angst over the publication scene at this point in the 21st century. With your skill and viewpoint, though, that's not really a reason to stop writing. That's the beauty of a blog. Think of all the stuff you could have commented on in recent months (Ernie Banks' passing, winning CDs TWICE from the Retro Cocktail Hour, having a branch land on your bum shoulder) Your life is FULL of things. (And before you get on MY case about not blogging, please note I'm attempting a poem a day throughout April.)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're blogging again. Always nice to get your somewhat askew viewpoint of happenings in your life and in the world.

Kathie said...

So glad to see another post Shannon!! I'll read whatever you write!