pressing pause

Sunrise over Boston harbor, February 20 2019.  I chose a sunrise on purpose.

Starting today, I am going to pause writing regularly here.

It feels strange to write that.  I’ve been writing here for twelve and a half years (with a few weeks off here and there, but mostly between 2 and 5 times a week).  Every January I have the previous year’s blog posts bound into a book, and those take up more than half a bookshelf.  I have written a lot, and I am really starting to feel like I’m just saying the same things over and over again.  My “real life” has gotten busier than ever and those two things, combined with my perception that fewer and fewer people are reading, leads me to think this is the right moment to take a break.

I may come back.  I don’t know.  In the meantime, I hope you will find me on Instagram.  I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s Instagram that I like the best and where I’m most present.

I began this blog on a whim in September 2006.  I could never have imagined the world I would find through this portal.   This blog has opened doors I never anticipated.  The practice of showing up here day after day, week after week, has taught me that writing is the true work of my heart (and it showed me what I think and feel, in so many cases; Didion comes to mind: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking”).  I still hope to write a book someday.  Most of all, this blog has led to connections with so many wonderful people, many of whom I call friends.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

August Break

As I have for many years, I plan to take August off from this space (and I guess I’m starting on July 31, next Tuesday).  I’ll be back in September!

I hope everyone has some downtime in August, as is my wish for my family.

The last month, in observations and quotes

It’s been an eventful month.  I’ll write more about what happened, but March was full. Grace, Whit, and I went to Rome (see above), Grace and Whit both decided to leave their current school for new frontiers, Matt settled into his new professional situation, I did some writing, I did some reading. I thought about this blog a lot.  There were two quotes that kept running through my head.

The first: practice, and learning to write.

The mere habit of writing, of constantly keeping at it, of never giving up, ultimately teaches you how to write.

-Gabriel Fielding

It is this blog, and the practice of showing up here day after day, that has taught me to write. I still feel uncomfortable calling myself a writer, but I’m totally ready to say I write. I do. And I learned a lot of what I know here (the rest I learned from a handful of teachers, whom I met through this blog).  The act of doing has taught me a tremendous amount.  For someone who sometimes lives in her head, there’s a lesson in this. That’s a big part of why I personally don’t want to stop. And why I won’t.

From now on, I will write here twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Thursdays will be, mostly, quotes.  That’s definitely a new, slower pace, but I think it feels right right now.

The second: new horizons.

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

— Meister Eckhart

This is a time of tremendous change for our family.  Both Grace and Whit are headed to new schools in the fall. The fall of 2016 was busy in part because they were both applying out, and we heard decisions, revisited, and made decisions in the last month. This next step is an inexorable step towards the future and a reminder that both children are moving away from me in ways big and small but, unquestionably, permanent. One thing I’ve learned is that apparently-contradictory emotions can coexist within me, even in a single moment, and I’m living that now.  I am delighted by and sorrowful about the changes at the same time.

Matt and I are both in new professional situations.  2017 has been eventful so far and while all the news is good, there is a definite sensation of the ground shifting beneath our feet that is as unsettling as it is exciting. I’m trying to trust in the magic that these beginnings represent, but that’s never been easy for me.

I am clear that it is the right time for all of these new developments, but I’ve never liked change.  The truth is, I feel strapped into life’s roller coaster in a way that makes me fearful. It is beginning to look like spring out the window (photo below was taken at 7:05pm, 4/2/17). I’m trying not to let the reality of what’s coming cloud what is right now. This is not a new challenge for me, but it is without a doubt the defining one of the next several months. Wish me luck. Here we go.

Some thoughts on next steps

Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you for all the thoughtful responses I received to last week’s post about feeling lost.  I can’t tell you how much every single message meant to me. It’s gratifying, of course, to know that my words touch people, even a few.

While I feel heartened and touched and deeply grateful, I’m still a little lost.  I feel like I’m repeating myself. That argues for a break, clearly. At the same time, I know that the near-daily ritual of sitting down and writing something has become hugely important to me.  I worry that stopping will be catastrophic because I’m so aware of the benefits of the practice. That argues against a break.

I’m going to split the difference which is either a happy hybrid or a total cop-out.  I’m going to take the month of March off, with a plan to return in early April.  The month of March also includes a week of family travel and some other stuff that is going on which I’ll write about soon.  So the timing is good.

I’ll be reading and watching the sky and I look forward to returning here.  Please know how much every single message means to me – both last week and in general.  I mean that.  Thank you.

See you soon.


The sky is full of glories these days.

Hi everyone.  It’s Sunday morning, and I woke up to a glorious sunrise which turned the white shades on that side of the house pink. One of my regrets about our house is that I don’t have a good angle to photograph the sunrise.  My instagram feed is a parade of sunsets.  What does this mean?  Am I oriented towards the endings of things?  I am not sure.  Could be coincidence.  Could not be.

I am writing to ask for help.

This is sincere, though I’m worried it will seem trite.  For the first time in 10 solid years of blogging I’m considering stopping.  I feel like I repeat myself, over and over again. I can’t think about anything other than time’s drumbeat passage right now.  It might be because Grace is considering high school options.  It’s probably mostly because Grace and Whit are growing so fast I can barely keep up.  That’s not new, of course: they’ve been growing like that since they were born.  But now, all of a sudden, the finish line’s in sight and every single moment is filtered through the reality of how numbered are these days.

I don’t want to keep writing a relentless series of posts about how sad I am.  I am actually not sad – I’m acutely aware, and sensitive, but not sad.  I’m intensely grateful, too.  But anyway.  I know that’s repetitive and dull.  I have also been wriring less and less about Grace and Whit, as they grow older and their stories are more and more their own.  So I need input from you.

What do you want to hear about?  I’m running out of steam, and I hate admitting it, but it’s true.