I just realized, much to my amazement, that I haven’t written a blog in months. I’ve written letters galore, articles for the newspaper, newsletters for church–but no blog.
I’ve had lots of ideas. I’ve tweaked recipes and thought they’d be fun to share. I’ve watched people say and do silly things and thought to poke a little fun. I’ve been caught up in reflection about more serious issues and felt the urge to expound a bit. But I didn’t do any of it. I haven’t visited this column-like blog since August.
I feel like I’ve been goofing off–but in reality, I’ve worked on lots of other things. I feel like I’ve stopped thinking critically, or humorously, but I’ve had some good conversations with friends and have kept George laughing when he least expected.
So, what happened? I haven’t a clue. It wasn’t writer’s block, it wasn’t a lack of thought, but maybe, just maybe it was the lack of time, and what an indictment that is. I’m a retired person. I’ve put schedules and timetables and appointment-filled days behind me. Haven’t I? Or–and I shudder to think this–have I become one of those retired people who quickly fills my hours with other kinds of involvements as soon as I punched out for the last time. Have I forgotten how to say no, have I come to think that things just won’t get done unless I do them? I used to say, when chasing down retirees to interview for various stories, that the hardest people to reach were the retired people–and I vowed I’d never be one of them. Now I’m wondering.
It starts out slowly. I volunteered to be a Reading Buddy. Just once a week, for one hour. No big time chewer. I joined the church choir. I signed a freelance contract with a newspaper. I agreed to write a parish newsletter. Then I said yes to serving on the parish council. I accepted an invitation to join a Daniel Plan group. An hour a week here, an hour a week there, all things I truly enjoy. Instead of wearing one hat, I’m wearing dozens, and I have a calendar with very few blank days.
Is my blog-writing a casualty of this slowly escalating involvement? And should it matter? It should, because thinking about things and writing them down is something I’ve done my whole life, first in diaries, then in a newspaper column, and then here, in this online site that I always hope people will stumble across. Writing things down is like breathing fresh air, like nourishing a part of my own psyche. That’s something, then, that should never entirely disappear from the definition of who I am and what I do.
So, I’m back. Facebook can wait, television can wait, and, if necessary, household chores and the laundry can wait. Let someone else’s arm go up when volunteers are being sought. I have a blog to write, and I need to do it often.