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The End of the Blog as I Know it (and I feel fine)

I was up at 4 in the morning the other day. I brewed a cup of Irish breakfast tea and sat at my desk. I relished the cold, dark morning quiet and spent an hour thumbing through this year’s journal. What. a. year.

Last January I was coming out the worst depressive episode I’ve had since college and I believed I was over the hump of a tough autumn and winter of mental illness. If only I had known that 2016 would be so full of crappiness. This year my grandfather died. Three acquaintances died in horrific ways (a suicide, a hiking accident, and a car wreck). My marriage nearly fell apart and a month ago I was searching for a divorce attorney. My daughter was hurt by a stalker and that is a wound that seems to open up fresh each day. My son had a difficult spring at school and the summer was spent handling violent tantrums and meltdowns that had us visiting a psychologist and wondering how to help. This was the year that we poured close to $3,000 into van repairs and had other costs that sent our budget into the red. We moved, which is always a stress. To top it all off, our country elected a seething hate pumpkin for president.

2016, get thee behind me.

Now, 2016 wasn’t all bad. I had some quality time with friends and I enjoyed focusing on writing. I’ve accomplished a lot at work and was accepted to graduate school. But the best parts of 2016 are the small daily moments: the kids acting silly in the car, hot coffee at my desk, long talks with the teen, and my cat curled up and purring on my chest. Those are the moments when I can feel the weight and burden of this year fall away.

For the past two weeks I’ve been doing some free writing. Simply opening my journal and writing – listing- all the things that matter to me. On that quiet, dark morning a few days ago I looked at those lists of important things. Books. My kids. Social Justice. Graduate School. Marriage. Therapy. Cooking. Sleeping well. etc….

Ya know what wasn’t on the list? BLOGGING. It never even crossed my mind.

A brief survey of my blogging this year tells me that I have talked about my lack of motivation or the pressure I put on myself to blog regularly at least a half dozen times. All of you dear readers are very kind and encouraging and tell me to just blog when the desire hits and to not worry about the rest. The probably is that I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal. This blog hangs over my head and becomes part of a to-do list that is never completed.

So, I’m taking a break. A long one. My “goal” is to not blog for all of 2017 and then reassess. Instead I plan on being on Instagram (@nerdybookgirl), Litsy (@nerdybookgirl), Goodreads and Twitter (@nerdybookgirl).

It is a relief to type this. I feel free. Now I can spend those early mornings reading or writing in my journal and not stressing over blogging.

Yup. I feel more than fine.

 

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Readerly Rambles: 4 April 2016

April TBR show and tell time! Let’s pretend that last month was a marvelous reading month and these are all fresh books. Don’t tell anyone that many of these titles are spill over from last month.

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Not pictured: my audio book (yes, I’m still listening to The Little Stranger) and Willa Cather’s A Lost Lady, which is sitting on my desk at work.

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This is a small selection of the poetry titles I’m dipping into this month. I have more poetry books headed my way via interlibrary loan and I’ll be updating on Instagram (@nerdybookgirl)  and Snapchat (@nerdybookgirl80) as titles come in. Expect a poetry update on the blog early next week.

Of course this does not include my Readathon TBR pile. You have to wait until closer to the 23rd to get a glimpse of that.

Leave me some links to your April TBR glory!