Blogs and blogging are on my mind this morning (among the usual dozens of other things whizzing around in my skull) and it occurred to me that part of the attractiveness of writing a blog may be that your readers hold you accountable for the commitments you make. “I’ll _____ and report back” is a line I’ve read more than once in different blogs.
Why do we need an audience with undivided attention keeping track of whether we’re keeping our New Year’s resolutions, or following through with that huge project we announced that we will complete this year?
There is unmistakable appeal to having a cheering section there for us whenever we need one, but isn’t it always a little difficult to accept the constructive criticism no matter how much sugar sweetness is offered as wrapping? Why would anyone want it?
To become a better person, perhaps; to improve upon ourselves and be the best we can be. Let me take that a step further and offer that we’re also bonding with our critics and drawing them out in the open with a specific invitation to share their thoughts and opinions. “You are important!” we cry out to them, “I value your beautiful mind and intentions and want you to share them with me!” Isn’t it lovely to be wanted and needed?
Blogging fills many needs deep within our psyche that were filled by family in a time when families all lived together in the same house, on the same chunk of land, or in the same village. There was a time when Grandma held you accountable for whether or not your prayers have been said, and Uncle Fred made sure you followed up on your mention of wanting to learn how to rope a calf. Grandpa taught you how to change the oil in your truck and Aunt Louise taught you how to can pickles. Cousin Jim…well…let’s not go into that.
One of the appealing things about moving so many miles away from my family was the freedom to be as lousy a person as I wanted to be without the interference of my family trying to keep me on the straight and narrow. My mother would DIE if she had any idea how horrible I’ve actually been. So immoral that it causes me nausea when I remember those stupid moments.
Had I stayed there, close to home base so to speak, I wouldn’t have ever started smoking and I most certainly would never have been drunk. I wouldn’t have yelled at my children and I wouldn’t have stepped out onto my porch or swam in my pool buck naked (not that there’s anything wrong with this, of course). Because you never knew when she’d be there, right around the corner and ready to catch you in the act. On a lighter note, I hope I never forget the day she walked in the back door of my house (when I did live close to her) and I was drinking a cold beer out of a bottle. That is one memory of her being shocked and disappointed in me that actually makes me chuckle every time it crosses my mind. The look on her face was, truly, priceless.
She’d have never survived seeing me chug whiskey out of the bottle.
Right there under her wing I would have become an amazing mother and would have learned so much more about life through her instead of crashing through life with stubbornness my only teacher and each lesson learned the hard way. What a profound waste of time, money, and other precious resources.
I’m dying now. Literally. At the ripe old age of 50, my heart is worn out and I now have an abundance of time to sit and ponder all these things. It’s likely I won’t live long enough to know my grandchildren. My mom is a wonderful grandma. She’s a wonderful mom, too. I wonder…if I had stayed close to home base, would I be dying now? Or would I be still full of life, working happily and full steam ahead, taking care of my family – and my parents – as I always dreamed I would one day do?
With a heavy sigh, I have to admit I don’t know the answers. All I know is that I am so grateful for those that would read my writings, offer their insights, and share a little bit of themselves with me so that I can become the best person possible…in the amount of time I have left.
© Maria R. Conklin and Journey Of A Tired Heart, 2015-2016