Winter Hibernation

By | March 20, 2016

It feels a bit like awakening from a long slumber. When I took a week off from blogging right before Christmas, I had no way of knowing that a “week” would end up being three months!

Let that be a lesson to you—when something is going well, and you’re doing a good job of sticking to a disciplined schedule, DO NOT STOP! NOT EVEN TO TAKE ONE SHORT BREAK! That “short” break could be the undoing of you.

Blogging—I’ve missed it, and I’ve been extremely hesitant to get back into it. But here I am today, wanting to re-connect with you, with my blog, with my public writing-self.

At the coffee shop, getting my groove back

At the coffee shop, getting my groove back

We have so much to catch up on!

In the three months I’ve been gone, my thoughts have been going 500 miles an hour, but my output and activity has not kept up, because my mind has churned out more doubt and questions than action-items and inspiration.

It started with my trip to Alaska to spend Christmas up there with my family. I had an amazing time; it was way better than I imagined it could be, keeping in mind that Alaska in the winter doesn’t come with a lot of daylight hours. The sun never made it above the highest mountains, staying low in the sky from sunrise at about 10 in the morning until about sunset at about 3 in the afternoon.

Alaska—snow, cold, outdoors, family

Alaska—snow, cold, outdoors, family

But we took full advantage of daylight, doing all the winter activities we could pack in—snowboarding, hiking, skating, sledding, and snowmobiling. It was all family, all the time, for the entire week and a half I was there, and I thoroughly enjoyed it…until I didn’t. Until I realized I was tired of talking about babies and hearing crying and changing diapers. Until it dawned on me that it was hard to be fully Me around my family. My identity gets swept up in the family and swallowed by the demands of the surface-level day to day, and it’s hard to get free of that.

I didn’t know how to write about that when I got home, so I didn’t.

Then it was New Year’s! and everyone was writing about New Year’s resolutions, and I thought long and hard about mine, but couldn’t come up with anything I wanted to fully commit to for 2016. I looked back at some old New Year’s blog entries for inspiration. But I was uncomfortable with putting anything out there, knowing how often I have done that and failed to live up to my grand proclamations. I thought that maybe if I did it quietly inside my head, then I could surprise everyone with what I managed to accomplish.

Simultaneously, I was hating on everyone who was over-sharing all over the Internet, and I didn’t want to contribute to the noise. So I didn’t write anything.

All of a sudden, my sister got engaged, and I was all mixed up with emotions about that. A wedding, in a month’s time, in a foreign country. There is no way I could go! But then I changed my mind and I went.

But first, I had a visit from my brother and his wife and kids. Again, an amazing time! But I realized that I need to work on my knowledge of kid-friendly places where I live, so I can be a better hostess and guide next time.

Kids have boundless energy, especially this guy, my nephew!

Kids have boundless energy, especially this guy, my nephew!

There was no time between their visit and the wedding, so I didn’t write about that.

Then I flew down to hot Nicaragua for four days, which was a whirlwind of wedding shopping and preparation, eating, fishing, horseback riding, and getting to know my new brother-in-law and his family—in my limited and rusty Spanish!

I’m so glad I went. It was an experience that I can look back on with happiness and love, which is way better than the regret and longing that I probably would be left with, had I stayed home.

My sister with my mom and dad, and "Mamita"

My sister with my mom and dad, and “Mamita”

But I had to process the trip and the experience. How to do that? I wasn’t ready to blog about it. So I didn’t. I kept it all in my head, and wondered how I could share my thoughts about the trip. Or if I should. Or if I wanted to.

And meanwhile, my blog stayed silent, and the longer I didn’t post, the more self-conscious I became about what my next post would be.

In the midst of all of that, I was working on a couple other projects.

I had taken up painting again, and was working and re-working the biggest painting I’ve ever done. I got semi-inspired to share the creative process I went through with the piece, but didn’t latch on to the idea, and never ended up sharing.

A painting I recently finished, an interpretation of Hatchers Pass in Alaska with some of my family members.

A painting I recently finished, an interpretation of Hatchers Pass in Alaska with some of my family members.

In between painting sessions, I dusted off a first draft of a novel I’d written a few years ago and started the editing process for that. I took on a few freelance jobs, helping people with their websites and graphic design projects. My day job got busier, as I got a new job title and a little more clarification around my role and job responsibilities. My relationship situation grew complicated, and I couldn’t sort out my feelings around that. I got a new niece. And I took another weekend trip to visit my friends out in the Sierras.

My friends' cabin in the Sierras

My friends’ cabin in the Sierras

I continued to meet with my weekly mastermind group and hosted a second-cousin who was traveling and surfing down the west coast. I spent more time fostering friendships. I tried to build a schedule into my life. I cooked more. I journaled. I took some exercise classes. I wrote letters.

And I kept away from my blog, unsure about my direction, vision, purpose, and meaning. Why am I here? Why am I posting? Why do people read this? Why do I care? I’ve felt pressured to be able to answer those questions coherently and concisely, before I post again.

But what if I can’t answer them? Or what if the answer is too simple? What if I post because I want to? Is that reason enough? Or what if I stick to a blogging schedule to practice being disciplined? Is that too self-absorbed? Shouldn’t my reasons be more reader-focused?


 

Someone recently told me that I think too much. Perhaps I do. I try to make conscious decisions, and in order to do that, I need to think about them. But over-thinking can be limiting. It certainly has been in the case of this blog. Instead of sitting down to write and post, I’ve spent all my time wondering what I would write which led to wondering if I wanted to go public with any of my recent travels and thoughts, which led to stagnation and self-doubt which spiraled into self-pity that I wasn’t living up to my potential because I wasn’t being disciplined—

which then led into wondering if I was being too hard on myself, which led to agreeing that yes, I was being too hard on myself, so that meant I didn’t have to do anything.

And my blog had no new entries.

Well now my long hibernation is over. I’m here. I’ve busted through and finally posted something. After sitting in this coffee shop for a good three hours, I’ve managed to pull something together. And in doing so, I’ve realized that I have good reason for feeling overwhelmed with my life lately. Look at what’s been going on! So many changes! So much family time! So many endeavors!

At best, you the reader has enjoyed getting caught up on the past three months of activities and thoughts in my life, and this is the beginning of another era of blogging for me.

If nothing else, this entry is a record for me to look back on, as inspiration to future-Ev when she falls into her next slump. A reminder that even if on the surface it doesn’t seem like anything is going on, beneath the surface things are happening, life is going on, and something new is bound to emerge.

Have a great day, everyone!


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3 thoughts on “Winter Hibernation

  1. Joyce

    I’m happy to see you’re back on track, Ev. (: I enjoyed reading this post! And I looove the painting. (:

  2. AuntB

    Whew!! After reading all that you have been up to I had to go take a nap!! Lol! Nice to see you blogging again.

  3. Kaye

    Glad you’re back, Ev!

    I’ve been mastermind-less for the last few months between my new babe and our move and I’ve been missing it. You’ve inspired me to think about how I want to get back into one. Create my own? Find one to join? Choices…

    Can’t wait to read more.

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