I don't know if anyone else notices this, but I seem to go through little phases or patterns here on this blog. Sometimes I get into a photo kick, sometimes a writing challenge, sometimes everything is sad, or reflective, or about things I'm doing around the home.
I like thinking in "themes" and sometimes it helps me to push myself when I'm not feeling particularly motivated. So the photo themes push me to get out there and see what I otherwise wouldn't. But there are times when this kind of patterned or thematic thinking is oppressive too-- like when I really feel dried up with not much to offer, and the parameters seem stifling, or paralyzing. Yet, one of the things I enjoy and can appreciate about blogging is that it can offer a place to develop a habit- a habit of regular writing. It can do a lot of other things to, but the most important ones for me are this writing habit, as well as a way to have a creative outlet with photography or other projects like knitting, cooking, etc.
Right now is one of those dried up, unmotivated times. I notice this happens when there is not a lot of input going into my creative places. Less reading which means less material to chew on and spill over into other areas (thematic thinking, remember), less time for creative projects , less time spent just enjoying my surroundings and life and more time spent on the logistics of life.
So here we are, heading into our final six weeks here in Qingdao. Suddenly I am in moving mode, having to clean out under beds and go through storage and cupboards. There are so many logistics to think through with the timing of our move and packing our things up to be trucked across the country while we fly home to the States for the summer. At the same time, I don't want to think about those things at all, wishing the time would trickle by so I can see all my dear friends at least twenty more times and savor each one of them, but instead the calendar is filling up with final coffee dates and dinners together.
Then there is the summer which we have been trying to plan for what feels almost like 2 years now, and still the dates and events are constantly changing. Part of me relishes the idea of my kids running around in my parent's backyard in the height of summer, and seeing all our old friends and family. But this particular summer is also a bit harried, with the Man being in Beijing for the month of June while I fly ahead with the kids, and then month of July being absolute back to back traveling from one end of the country to the other and barely a moment's breath in between, until the last hurried moment when we rush back from a reunion to board a plane for China... and our new city, new job, new family and friends to learn.
The reason I share all this is to say that I'm tempted to almost shut down and not write anything at all for the next six weeks. I look at my camera and have almost no desire to pick it up. I don't know exactly what to say. But I can also see that the next several months are only going to get more stressful than they are right now, so instead of shutting down I want to travel through it well, if that is possible for someone like me to do!
I remember years ago thinking that I was quite flexible and resilient during times of upheaval or stress. This was before I had ever really experienced any I think, because now that I have a bit of background too look back on, I realize I actually respond with impatience, annoyance, and often a mild form of depression! This morning, as I sat and read and looked out the window thinking of the coming months, I really just prayed that I could learn to walk through all this differently, maybe even in a way that the people who live with me could enjoy. I was immediately given the opportunity to practice, when the fourth member of the family came down with the stomach flu and our washing machine flooded the bathroom twice in a 24 hour period.
I actually had a sweet day with my kids, while the Man lay passed out in the bedroom. They were entertained by the strangest things like a mummy sleeping bag I pulled out from it's hiding place, an old mop on the porch, hunting the first flies of the season, and wrapping yarn around our living room like a spider web. Scout continued her A-game Goading with "you're a girl and I'm a boy!!!" which never fails to ruffle the feathers of her four year old brother. Every. Single. Time. It's quite comical actually, especially when he argues with her, but gets it wrong himself.
So maybe in these next few weeks, I will just write about the little things, like dirty mops and sleeping bags. That sounds more appealing right now than anything else, and it may be all I have to offer. If we're lucky, it may even be something worth reading.
And if you're here, thank you for sharing my moody blog moments with me!