“In This Moment”: it could be mean anything and nothing. It could be one of those things people say without much thought, making you cringe on the inside as you think, yeah, yeah, words to say. That was part of my fear when I first began blogging several months ago, not to mention the knowledge that the title was neither catchy nor especially witty. But I felt adamant that whatever title I chose, it needed to hold truth and it needed to fit me.
It felt like I was trying on a new dress. The title “Finding Words” felt like it tugged too much at the “I’m a writer! Look at me!!” neckline, making it showy. That certainly didn’t fit. The titles “In a Foreign Land” or “Across the Ocean” felt confining: a dress that is a bit snug at the beginning of the evening, turning me into a stuffed sausage by the end. At home I race upstairs and tear off the defending dress, where it hangs shunned in the closet for an interminable amount of time. This I did not want to happen with my blog. It should not lie around anywhere being shunned.
Having decided on a title I felt fit, but couldn’t have explained why, it was time to get to work. I knew I needed regularity to posting on my blog. For me it meant having a goal to work towards and I felt for my possible readers it might be something to look forward to each week. Friday became my posting day. And it worked. I soon found a rhythm where I carried a topic with me over the weekend and into Monday, Tuesday I began writing, Wednesday I got serious with it and hopefully by Thursday the new post would be written so that I could post Friday morning. It was exciting to watch an idea develop inside my head and eventually take shape in written form. In that moment it was exactly what I needed.
In November I began to feel frustrated – I’m sure those nasty November blues didn’t help – but I also knew it was more than that. I couldn’t help comparing myself to those “big bloggers” who have thousands of readers and followers; to bloggers who are constantly posting something new; to bloggers who seemed to have something to say that people wanted to hear. My initial enthusiasm waned and instead doubt crept in. I knew some were reading, but were my writing topics and how I was writing it even interesting? Should I be focusing more on what my possible readers want to read? I was plagued with questions and misgivings. Maybe I should just stop – no one would notice anyway.
During those weeks I was forced to visit my chiropractor more often than usual because of the severe headaches I suffered and a particularly disagreeable kink in my neck. I asked almost pleadingly why I was such a mess. What could possibly be making all these adjustments necessary?
“What’s changed? It’s probably stress.”
I shrugged my shoulders unable to identify anything in particular that had changed in my day-to-day routine, oblivious to what the stressor could be. Only weeks later in a moment of clarity did it come to me: the rigor of my self-imposed blogging structure had become a corset pulled too tight. Being “forced” every week to come up with something new and exciting all the while questioning the purpose in it all revealed itself. In that moment of realization I felt release and sadness. I let go of my rigidity and hoped to quiet my guilt. Had I already failed?
When the death of a loved community member rocked our peaceful time of Advent, it was my blog that I returned to. It was there that I attempted to put into words the depth of my mourning and admiration of that family’s journey with death. And it was there and in that moment that healing in many different aspects could begin.
And it is again in this moment and in this New Year that I return, learning as I continue this path that each moment is indeed so different. It is only the tap of a child’s footsteps or a final hug from an elderly mentor and then life changes. It is the moment of my ever-changing reality that I hope to even inadequately catch. And I’m glad you are along for the journey. As I questioned and wrestled (and certainly will continue doing), I was so often surprised and encouraged when someone commented on a post out of the blue or just nonchalantly mentioned how much he or she enjoys reading my blog. My husband was even stopped at a store to ask why I hadn’t posted on a certain Friday. Thank you. I am grasping that my writing serves as my processor of the world around and yet, it is so much fun to know others are processing with me.
As it turns out the title of my blog “In This Moment” has turned out to be a pretty good one. And I can’t help but wonder: where are you in your life in this moment?