Thursday, January 2, 2014

What I don't regret

I read a blog written by a woman who seems slightly insane, but in a perfectly normal way. I think if I met her in real life, I would run screaming in the opposite direction, but then I think about all the people I have in real life who make me feel that way and I don't run away at all although I have been known to scream quietly.

Her blog is here and I don't regret reading it every day. When I read it, it sounds like me talking except that I am not like her at all. Except maybe her pets...

I started to consider why I stopped blogging. First, it's difficult to write regularly. Second, Facebook's overexposure leads me to keeping more of my thoughts to myself. Third, I went to college to write for a living and then didn't do it. I don't regret that decision, which is significant because it seems to me I focus too often on the regretful, poorly thought out decisions I've made over the decades.

But my actual point is that I do not practice writing, so the writing on this blog isn't anything .. to write home about .. I had to say it. I crack myself up.

I don't regret stopping except that I miss Rose in Indiana and I didn't know that a young, newly married blogger also in Indiana died almost one year ago. I also didn't exactly know what all was really going on in the life of Aunt Becky (not my aunt), who is a very kind person and deserving of peace in her heart. And although Facebook has taken over my relationship with Rambling Woods in New York, I miss visiting her blog on a regular basis.

But much like baking, tennis, small talk and crochet, when I don't practice writing skills, things get much worse. Oddly, once I learned how to run, pray, ride a bike and procrastinate, I didn't seem to lose much by way of skill. I haven't written much since 1995, when I graduated and went into sales instead of journalism, so don't expect much by way of technically sound sentences, flowing dialogue and vetted sources. I won't always make sense, either, but I think with the state of the mass media these days, that's probably the norm.

I'm the sort of person who writes something, then erases it because I don't want to regret saying it out loud or putting it on the internet or thinking it in the first place. I don't want to regret writing something poorly or sharing something well done only to read it later and realize it stinks. I think I have a rich, good life, but if I say so, will it sound fake or delusional? My life is full of crap, but that doesn't mean it isn't fantastic at the same time. I like focusing on the fantastic, which I didn't even know how to do in my 20s. I have a lot of gratitude, but in black and white it sounds pretentious. So I stopped writing mostly because I didn't want to regret putting things out there in black and white. I was tired of writing so carefully only to find out that in the end, I offended, hurt someone, or trampled on sensitive issues.

But here I am today and I'll give it a shot. Since it's a new year, I thought I'd start by sharing some things I don't regret:

I like myself most of the time.



I read old, old things and find recipes for odd stuff like hot Dr. Pepper, which is delicious:

Hot Dr Pepper

I give myself high fives a lot even when I'm not alone:



I'm spending a lot more time in church in a way that doesn't involve other people (who may or may not be crazy), which is a good thing (because dealing with a church split is painful):



I stay in touch with people:



And therefore, I end up doing difficult things I don't regret:

Photo

I let my hair go curly again after a few years of straightening it:



I don't regret a dime or a moment spent on these four:

Photo

At times a painful sport, I wouldn't give up running because I hang with people who are so amazing, they accidentally dress like me:



I'm learning a lot about football:



And lastly, for now, I read a lot:

Photo

5 comments:

Jeff Gilbert said...

Nice to see your thoughts again.

Rose said...

Wonderful!!!!! So good to see this post! Now if I will just put fingers to keyboard in the next few days and start again. I would hate to stop blogging just when you have started again.

Alyssa said...

Ahem, I believe it was you who dressed like ME!!

Anonymous said...

Ahem, I believe it was you who dressed like ME!

Rose said...

I meant to tell you I love your curly hair...this from a woman whose hair is always straight as a stick unless I have a perm in my hair.