I was going to blog, but…

my dog ate my computer.

Okay, okay. I don’t have a dog.

I was feeling guilty for not being able to fit in a proper blog for nearly a week, but as I caught up with my blog reading yesterday some of that guilt lessened…it seems everybody is writing a post similar to mine. Unless you are a food blogger about ready to lose your mind over spring asparagus (and this is not meant to be derogatory – I link to some food blogs), my little corner of the blogging world seems pretty quiet, mainly because of franticness elsewhere.

What has been keeping me away from blogging? My novel, partially. Laziness, mainly – or rather, laziness at ten o’clock at night, when I have time to blog. I think I underestimated how demanding this job would be, for one. Also, S.’s graduation from law school arrives next weekend, and the planning and coordinating of friends and family has been time-consuming. The day after his graduation I fly out on another business trip. Then S. moves his stuff down to Pittsburgh, but not his actual self, because he’s going camping with my brother. And then S. moves down properly. And then I have another business trip. This summer overflows with riches – important birthdays, family weddings, graduations – the bar in July for S. (The bar exam. Not the bar-bar. That may come in August, though!)

My lovely friend J. came down to visit last weekend to celebrate our birthdays, which we’ve been doing for six years (hers was the 15th, mine this Saturday) and we spent a lot of time discussing different ways to balance our lives. There never seems to be enough time, ever. And we don’t have children…just jobs and husbands and apartments. I should cook more, I said. I love to cook but I don’t take the time. I should go to the museums in Chicago, said J. But mostly on the weekends I want to have brunch with my girlfriends, said J.

It’s not just blogging I’m ignoring. My photos still aren’t put in albums, my novel moves at a snail’s pace, I can barely keep the apartment clean. Now, I know that in many ways I just need to cut myself some slack…after all, much is happening and I did just take a new job and relocate and all, but I also know that some of it has to do with my relationship to time, and that could use some work. There is – there should be – enough time even after working to have a lovely life. I do not want to be, in fact, I often roll my eyes at – those people who adhere to the Cult of Being Busy, who have to check their planners for breakfast two months from now. But it is up to me to change my habits if I’ going to avoid becoming one of those people.

The first habit I’ve changed since moving here is enjoying a nightly glass of wine. Oh, I’m no teetotaler and if fact am going to a beer garden with co-workers tonight, but I don’t sit down to a glass of wine after a long day anymore, because I noticed that if I do I am worthless for anything else. Just one glass can cause me to fall asleep if I’ve popped in a movie. I’ve taken to drinking organic pomegranate juice cut with sparkling water. This means I’m actually interested in sweeping the floors at 9:00 last night…or, rather, not too tired to do so. My maternal grandmother, she of the four-martinis-a day habit, is frowning up in heaven over this, I have no doubt. I was raised, as it were, on cocktail hours.

The second habit I must change (and certain friends of mine may want to stop reading now) is watching television. I started watching television regularly in graduate school, after long days of reading and writing. I never felt badly about it…it is hard to feel bad about watching Alias when one has spent five hours working T.S. Eliot allusions into her manuscript and another five reading Middlemarch. It’s a hard habit to break – one I did successfully in MI but picked up again after moving to Pittsburgh. Last night as I idly listened to some crime show, I realized if I stopped watching television probably I would go to later evening yoga classes, read, or at least flip through cookbooks. So I’m going to see if I can go without television for a while, with the exception of a couple half hour sitcoms I enjoy – ie, 30 Rock with Tina Fey. I admire Tina Fey – I’m going to see her movie this weekend, too. The other sitcoms I won’t bring up here as I’ve already sullied your thoughts of me enough for one day.

I’m hoping these two changes will help me approach time differently. I have more time now, much more, than I did in MI. And I’m not one to sit around and bitch about how working takes away from my writing time – as J. and I discussed this weekend, despite the demands of work we enjoy being contributors to this world, in doing what we can to make the our corners better places. We just wish the pastries would stop showing up at breakfast meetings. Hmm. I wonder if a food/work post is in order? Because really why the need for gigantic donuts at every breakfast meeting? Why? I HATE food at meetings but really, there is no way around it. People freak if it isn’t there. And yet we are in the middle of a food crisis….okay, I need to stop now and return to this later.

So, a couple of changes. The thing is, I could easily give up blogging and eliminate the guilt but I don’t WANT to. I love blogging. I love bloggers. I love reading blogs. In the NYTimes on Sunday I read one in ten people have blogs and I thought, good for them! Blogging is fabulous! I love how it covers so many different subjects, and I truly believe in it’s cathartic abilities for many people. Stay-at-home moms, frustrated teenagers, struggling writers, voracious readers, cancer patients, immigrants, foodies, fathers – all have blogs. Hurrah!

Before I wrap this up (and for some reason I do have to write these catch up posts once in a while, before I can turn to better content), as I noted, my birthday is on Saturday. Blah blah – I turn 31. It’s no big deal. I am not celebrating until S. moves here – we are celebrating our birthdays over together over Memorial Day. But it is my dad’s 65th birthday as well, which I think is a pretty big damn deal, and I am extraordinarily excited about that. He is not, but what are you going to do? I adore my dad. He doesn’t read this blog – in fact, he thinks that by blogging I am contributing to our naval-gazing, self-indulgent, it’s all about me culture – but happy 65th, dad. No girl could have asked for a better father.

Oh! I’m getting a bike for my birthday. I AM extraordinarily excited about that.

But I can’t end all of this without a bit of a last year wrap up, can I? But then again, not all that much has changed. Let’s see…I’ve given up frappuccinos and straightening my hair in the last year. Since moving to Pittsburgh almost all of my anxiety has dissipated despite the transition and I attribute this to walking a minimum of three miles every day (I took my pedometer with me yesterday) – it is hard to be anxious when you receive that much natural exercise. On a similar note, almost all body aches and pains disappear when one walks, and goes to the gym, and practices yoga. I have never felt better, which is good because otherwise I tire more easily, can’t drink caffeine after noon, and can’t hold my liquor. I have both gray hairs and a colorist I have to book months in advance. I have less tolerance for cable news coverage and more compassion for the people surrounding me. I am developing theories about what it means to work. Every day, I shed more and more of twenties me and embrace this still new decade. Really, I have no choice, and the mere thought of twenties me exhausts me.

So, um, that’s it. Hazaah. Possibly a more interesting post next time. Possibly.

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10 Responses to I was going to blog, but…

  1. I’M cutting you slack, Courtney. Cut, cut, cut. I think your life, and achievements and ideas sound wonderful, and I also think it’s possibly healthy when blogging doesn’t come first. However, as writers, we like to reflect life, and that’s probably why you’re tough on yourself when you’re not blogging.

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like you’re loving your thirties and I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful decade for you.

  2. Andi says:

    That was a fantastic post! No apologizing and promises of a “more interesting” post next time.

    I’m absolutely in LOVE with the idea of pomegranate juice and sparkling water. Will be picking up both of those things on the way home.

    As for blogging, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. The upsides of it–how it’s absolutely enriched my life. Both writing a blog of my own and reading the blogs of others. It’s astounding the sheer number of them and the topics covered. Something for everyone, for certain!

  3. LK says:

    Must*not*igve up* blogging. Make that your mantra.

    I’ve been slacking too, but my life has been really intense. So, I gotta cut myself some slack. (That has happened with my exercise routine, and I’ve gained 9 pounds. But I have to just get my strength back.)

    For your birthday, give yourself a gift: Do what you want, when you want. And let’s strike up a bargain to get our writing on track! If you want, you can email me at writerlylife@yahoo.com, and we can figure it all out.

  4. Make Tea Not War says:

    I’ve also had thoughts of giving up blogging what with busyness and juggling and being pulled in a million different directions- but I’m not going to and I hope you don’t either because it adds a whole other dimension to my life of people I’d have no contact with otherwise. Instead I’m embracing the casualness of the medium and treating it as an opportunity to write occasional low key notes to friends rather than as something that needs my best writing efforts. Maybe when my life settles down a bit (ha!) I’ll have time for thoughtful posts again.

    Happy birthday!

  5. yogamum says:

    Can I get in on that writing bargain, LK and Courtney? yogagumbo (atsign) gmail.com

    I have been juggling too, but I won’t give up on blogging. It’s just too much fun and too therapeutic. But I need to spend some time on my novel again.

  6. Stefanie says:

    Happy birthday! A new bike sounds like a great present.And please don’t give up blogging. Even if you only post once a week, you write so well it’s always a pleasure.

  7. Litlove says:

    Everyone’s overwhelmed with work and stuff at the moment. But one of the great things about blogging is that you can write about it and it’s fascinating and true and valuable for us all to share. I hope you have a wonderful birthday on the weekend and never forget how incredibly YOUNG 31 is – I wish I could be 31 again!

  8. Charlotte – I think you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head…I like the reflection and thinking-through-of-things blogging allows me, and so it’s really for my own benefit that I do it – and it is something I miss when I am unable to.
    Andi, also try the pomegranate juice with lemon sparkling water – it’s lovely! I make several different combinations of organic juices cut with sparkling waters. Tonight (FRiday) though, it IS chardonnay!
    Ms. Make Tea – I like the idea of informal notes to friends…I may adopt this attitude at least through the summer…
    LK – Okay, it’s a deal. I will email both you and yogamum early next week. And I won’t ever give up blogging – I actually didn’t mean to give that impression at all! Is it totally pathetic if what I actually want to do on my birthday is clean my apartment???
    Stefanie – thanks for the kind words! And I am super excited about my bike…I just need S. to get here with the bigger car so we can pick it up!
    Litlove – you are so right…there is tremendous value is sharing the less glamorous aspects of our lives. You wish you could be 31 again? I will be sure to cherish this age, then, because there is not one age yet that I would return to, so this may be it!

  9. Happy Birthday to you and Dad! I’m on the second half of 31 (32 is coming in October); it’s been pretty good to me I’d have to say 🙂

    And congrats to S for conquering law school from a fellow survivor 😉

  10. smithereens says:

    Happy Birthday Courtney! Don’t worry about schedules and guilt and being overwhelmed by work… we’re always happy to hear about you.
    Mmh, btw, I must get pomegranate juice. Seems like such a good idea!

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