So, over the past couple of weeks, several people have asked me where the blog’s been and if I’m going to start writing it again now that I've been dragged (kicking and screaming) back into Corporate America. Because I can’t resist a good chunk of irony, I thought I’d blog about whether or not I’m going to go back to blogging.
The question of where the blog has been has a multi-faceted answer. For one, my life changed. I had a baby. It’s important to note that I had a BIG baby – a ten pound, six ounce baby. I was pretty good about keeping up with Ten Happy Things through most of my pregnancy. Then I got to the last three months and I just wasn’t in the mood. I wasn’t an unhappy pregnant chick but let me tell you, carrying a baby that big around in your body when you’re just over five feet tall is friggin HARD. I was SO tired and moving around was SO cumbersome that I just didn’t feel like sitting and writing. Then the baby came and I didn’t have time to sit and write. Then a week before I was supposed to return from my maternity leave, I got laid off and I wasn’t in a situation where I was sitting at a computer several hours a day. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t have anything to write about because I sure did. I mean, I brought forth spawn and said spawn was marvelous so I could have easily produced ten or twelve Ten Happy Things a day. I just didn’t have the inclination, and then I didn't have the time, and then I didn't have the availability. I think at some point everything merged and I didn't have all three. I don't really remember. Anyway, that’s the first reason.
The second reason is that the basis for the blog in and of itself kind of became irrelevant. Or maybe moot. Can a basis be moot? I think so. Moot. I digress. If you’ve read the “But Why?” section of Ten Happy Things, then you know why I started the blog in the first place. If you haven’t, well, here’s the Cliff’s Notes. I was internally cursing the relentless summer heat one day and realized that our soldiers in the Middle East (relatives of mine, at the time, among them) were running around in much hotter heat whilst carrying over 100 pounds of gear in an area where they ran a fairly decent risk of getting killed. They didn’t have nice, safe, air-conditioned offices to go to and they didn’t get to go home to their families at the end of the day. That realization prompted me toward the idea that I needed to focus on the things that made me happy instead of the things that didn’t. As an exercise, I started keeping a monthly list of random things that brought me joy or made me laugh really hard or something along those lines. I turned it into a blog on MySpace (gasp! MySpace!) and it took off. Then I moved it to Facebook when MySpace went the way of Betamax. Then I moved it to its own site when I realized the blogging feature on Facebook is my ass in a hat. The blog was for me more than anything but other people seemed to enjoy it. Probably because I’m funny as hell but whatever. Moving on. When 2010 rolled around, the bad news train started barreling through Merland like its head was on fire (and, no, I am not going to discuss whether or not trains have heads). The company I was working for was in a bad way and it didn’t seem likely that I’d have a job there in the long term. After moving here from New York to live with my mom, my Grandmother got diagnosed with cancer and died six months later. I waited for YEARS to have my Grandmother near me all the time and when she finally got here, all I got to do was watch her wither away and die. During the tenure of her witherment, I got pregnant and then subsequently lost the baby in a process that was both emotionally and physically challenging and culminated in anesthesia and operating rooms. These were hard things…..but I managed them. I managed them like a friggin champ, man. I managed them like Donald Trump on four cups of coffee. I didn’t get mired down with grief. I saw them for what they were, processed them, found the positives where I could, and moved forward. I managed that shit so well, people thought I wasn't managing and that I was all in denial and whatnot. Oh no! That shit was MANAGED. That was when I really started to see that maybe my little monthly lessons were working. I could have been negative about it all, but I wasn’t. By September 2010, I was pregnant again and the following May, Jack was born. Like every mother, I can be totally obnoxious and go on and on about my boy until the next ice age comes. I can, but I won’t . I accept that the populace in general doesn't care about my baby as much as I do. Or at all. All I’ll say is that he rocks. About three months after Jack came, the bad news train decided to make one more unscheduled stop. I’d developed some odd pains in my lower abdomen along with a protrudence under my belly button. (Yeah, that's right, I said protrudence. English degree, bitches!) After some various consultations, it was determined that I had an umbilical hernia that was a direct result of being a short chick who was behemoth-style pregnant with a monster huge baby. I figured as much and was prepared for the doctor to say things like “hernia….surgery….lapriscopically….no big deal.” That’s not what he said. He said hernia. He said surgery. And then he said severe abdominal separation, and major surgery, and large pieces of mesh in your body, and no more babies. No more babies. Now, I wasn't planning on having a brood. One more, maybe two. Definitely more than one total. I’m a fertile bee. I can get fertilized if my husband smiles at me the right way and there's a strong wind from the east. So here I am with all these eggs and all these baby-making hips and there’s this doctor telling me “no more babies.” Foo. In the first ten minutes, I was kind of a lunatic. I was dazed and I cried and I hyperventilated a little. If you’re not a woman, you can’t really understand this but there is something very hollowing about having issues with the one thing that your body is designed to do. Miscarriages, fertility problems, nursing problems….these are all things that weigh heavily on women because even if we don’t want kids, being told that we CAN’T have them makes most of us feel like we’re just broken and wrong. What is a woman that can’t have babies? It’s some painful shit. Knowing what I know of myself, news like this would normally level me. LEVEL. But it didn't. I stopped and I processed and I decided that I had one awesome baby. I acknowledged that there are many childless women all over the place who would give their eye teeth to have just one baby and can’t. I’m not going to look at the blessing God gave me and see what I can’t have. I’m going to see what I DO have. Ladies and gentlemen, lesson fully learned! If I can process all that muck like a positivist, I don’t need to keep a running list of happy things to remind myself to have some perspective. I got that shit.
So, here’s my pickle. People seem to want to read what I have to write but I don’t have the need to write a list of happy things. Here’s what I’m thinking. I don’t think it’s good to wallow in negativity but I do acknowledge that sometimes you just need to vent. Sometimes you're trying to live you life and some dumbass comes along and hurls his jackassery all over your hot fudge sundae and you just need to get mad or make fun of it or pee in his shoes or something. So, how about this: how about I do a blog that is like a yin and yang. One venting thing with one happy thing with the rule being that the happy thing has to be good enough to cancel out the venting thing. I’ll even let you all vote with every entry to decide if my happy overrules the vent. I’m also open to other ideas. I put it to you – since you lot want a blog back, what would you like to see?