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The Next Chapter

Just over my shoulder, the sun is beginning to set behind a thin cloud cover in muted, grayish pinks and oranges over the snow-covered landscape of my neighborhood.  The cold almost-colorlessness of it all makes the world seem to be asleep and on pause, yet the calendar declares that a new year has begun.  And as tempting as it is to be lulled into complacency by appearances, I feel compelled by the calendar to seize this new year, this new day, and yes, this new chapter.

I’ve been blogging on and off for just about a decade now.  And interestingly, with each new major change in my life, I’ve felt the need to start fresh.  I’ll pick a new name, a new theme, a new perspective.  Because as we all know, life changes.  Perspectives shift.  Priorities shuffle.  And when this happens, what we’ve written before sometimes doesn’t seem to fit us anymore.  I guess, for me, blogging is like shedding old skin.  When what I’m wearing doesn’t feel right, I put on something new.

I last blogged in early June of 2012, over 6 months ago now.  At the time, I was living in Tennessee with my little family, and enduring an illness that would only get far, far worse before it got any better.  Because of that illness and for other reasons as well, my husband and I made the decision to move our family home to Indiana, despite not having a job here.  It was a leap of faith…and we’re still mid-leap.  In fact, an excellent way of describing our situation is that we are very much up in the air.  Marty works in Tennessee during the week while I single-parent our two children.  We all live for the weekend, and honestly, sometimes there’s just too much pressure on our weekends to be full of love and bonding activity.  Sometimes the pressure puts us in a bad place, because we resent it, because we are fed-up with the situation.  But everytime we talk about the chain of events, we agree that we would have made the same decisions again and again.  There even seems to be something of the inevitable about what happened this year.  And for two people who like control, and who can’t be described as anything resembling passive, this has been tough to swallow.  Yet, here we are.

The truth of the matter is, we have given this whole journey to God.  And no matter how hokey this might sound, we feel very much that God has asked us to do this hard thing.  For some reason, Marty and I need to grow, as individuals and in our marriage, and this is the path of that growth.  We accept that.  We don’t love it — we fight that resentment feeling — but we do accept it.

I’ve handled some hard things in my life.  I once battled infertility.  I’ve been laid off.  I’ve been divorced.  And each time I’ve been given a hard thing, I always go through a period of processing, grieving, and ultimately letting go, choosing to make the best of things and even reinvent myself as necessary.  This time is no different.  I can’t tell you how easy it would be to just sit in the unfairness of things and wallow in self-pity.  But I know from experience that it gets me nowhere except deeper down a dark hole, and I’m a girl who loves to live in the light.  I gravitate toward happy.  So when it’s not given to me, I create it.

Which brings me to this blog, this next chapter of sharing.  Writing makes me happy; participating in blogs makes me happy.  I’ve read more blogs than I care to admit to reading, and there’s a rainbow of flavors out there, including girls who take their blogging so seriously that they want to create a brand and make their lives a business.  I have no problem with that (to each her own!) but that is sooooooooo not me.  I’ve always thought of blogs as sort of a kitchen table.  Each blogger has her own table, where she shares her thoughts and invites her readers to discuss and share in return.  That’s it — that’s all I want from my blog, anyway.  I’ve never had a huge following on any of my blogs, but I have made some amazing friends and connected with other women on a level that’s unique to this medium.  I miss it, and I crave it.  So here I am, back to blogging, ready to write this next chapter.  I hope you’ll come to my kitchen table!

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