Making Space for Writing; Saying Bye to This Blog (at least for now)

I knew this day would come. I just didn’t know when. Or why.

It’s time to say bye to this blog, at least for a while. In truth, it’s been a while already – a half-year since I last posted. Ugh. It’s with a heavy heart that I acknowledge my new reality: I simply don’t have enough time to write reflective monthly posts.

I began this adventure in March 2017. At that time, I wasn’t teaching. When this blog was one year old, I decided to seek teaching recertification, went through the recertification process, applied for jobs, and started teaching again.

Oh my goodness. I love my students! They are everything that is good and right in this world.

I’ve enjoyed blogging more than I thought possible. A place for me to slow down and regroup from life. I met my goal of posting monthly… until this past fall which I’ve deemed the busiest of my life so far.

A teaching job that increased in hours and responsibilities. Long-standing volunteer commitments. A daughter who’s a high school senior applying to colleges. Two daughters involved in so much music that they had a combined nine performances (not counting rehearsals) even before the holiday performances arrived. Below are pics from half of their performances between September and December. Great stuff; just a lot!

In the midst of everything, this blog and you, reader, were ever on my mind. Not that you were waiting with bated breath–ha!–for my posts (except maybe my mom). But still, I felt a sense of commitment.

I sighed each time I turned the calendar page. I consoled myself: I’ll blog after the school year gets rolling. After I move classrooms. After I get to know the new reading programs. After I finish report cards and parent-teacher conferences. After I hand out the high school band dresses. After my cat recuperates from surgery. After I get over that nasty head cold. After Liana submits her Early Action applications. After school pauses for the holidays. After Christmas shopping and cards are done.

After. After. After. And just like that went…

August.

September.

October. 

November.

And December.

Teaching Space: Before
Teaching Space: After
Poor Howie. He’s all better now!
Liana was rear-ended Thanksgiving weekend while waiting at a red light. She and the other driver were uninjured. So grateful! The other car was totaled.

I’ve relished this holiday break. It’s been so…

Uneventful. Quiet. And Lovely.

Wall-E and Howie

Most of all, I’ve been enjoying quality and quantity time with my family. 

Other than that, I’ve been dealing with things that have been piling up at home over the last few years. Things that I’ve had to ignore in order to get other things done; I could ignore them no longer! Like, three big bags filled with important papers that need to be shredded, recycled, or filed. Belongings that need to be thrown out, donated, or stored. Closets and cabinets that need to be cleaned out. We’ve made a decent-sized dent.

Below is a photo from 2016 of my girls’ art and science cabinet, a fixture in our kitchen since they were toddlers. Now that most of their lives have migrated to their bedrooms, we finally cleaned out this cabinet. Bittersweet, but I’m excited to have more space now for my kitchen gear! As you’ll see below, Wall-E isn’t too excited.

Woo-hoo! That was fun!
I can’t believe they got rid of all that fun stuff.

Oh, and here’s a pile of The New York Times from the fall. The growing pile had been sitting in my dining room teasing me. Now, after many glorious hours of reading, the pile is gone! So many sad stories, but just as many glimmers of hope. If I could read only one thing a day, it would be this newspaper (and you know how much I love picture books).

And I’ve made time to write – HOORAY! — which, along with blogging, I did not get to this past fall. I missed both so much.

As I’ve told Liana, whose commitments are bursting at the seams this school year: Sometimes you have to say “No” even to things you want to do. (Oh, if only we didn’t need sleep!)

Sometimes it’s hard enough for me to say “No” to things I don’t want to do (although the older I get, the easier it gets). But things I want to do? Things that bring me joy and meaning? Now. That. Is. Tough.

But I gotta do what I gotta do. So, I start this new year and new decade with some new intentions:

I’ll keep writing and pursuing publication, because not doing so is, to me, like not living. With time so tight these days, when I have some of that precious commodity, I need to write, query, and be involved in the writing world to whatever extent possible.

To that end, I’ll let some things go… including this blog–meaning that I won’t set any time goals for it. I may end up posting this summer or in a year or never again. Circumstances change and with them, so will my time and priorities. I’ll have to see how life goes. I hate to sound flaky, but I don’t feel I can make promises. In any case, this blog has been a precious experience for me.

When my younger daughter, Miya, was 11 years old, she helped come up with the name of this blog: Writing With The Heart in Mind. It’s a little cheesy, but it captures what writing means to me. Letting this blog go feels like letting a piece of my heart go.

Blogging initially felt like a leap of vulnerability for me due to its public nature. My husband, Rob, reasoned with me: “It’s not like your posts are going to end up in the mailboxes of everyone in the world.” Oh, right. People would need to subscribe, make a point to visit, or just happen upon it. Phew. With millions of websites and blogs out there, mine would be just a speck in cyberspace.

Surprisingly, this blog became for me a safe, comforting place to reflect on whatever rose to the top of my thoughts. I hope that if you’ve read any of my posts (which I’ll leave online), you’ve found some connections to your own life.

If you’ve been a subscriber, thank you for making space in your crowded email box. And thank you for taking this journey with me and for your support along the way. I appreciate it all! I plan to keep my website up and running, so feel free to reach out via my website email.

If you sense that I’m letting go of this blog kicking and screaming, YOU ARE RIGHT!

And yet, in the end, I feel lucky to have so many things that I want to do. It’s a very good problem to have.

I look forward to this coming year of…

teaching,

Returning a wonderful library book I shared with my reading students

writing,

Howie resting his head on my arm, making my task a bit more challenging!

raising kids,

Hanging with Miya in Old Town Alexandria in September 2019
Having fun with Liana before Homecoming in October 2019

and living life.

Celebrating in Richmond over Thanksgiving weekend with “Hamilton,” a highlight from our fall

I wish you

a year

a decade

a life

filled with manymanymany moments of joy and meaning.

Until we meet again,

Amy

2 thoughts on “Making Space for Writing; Saying Bye to This Blog (at least for now)

  • January 5, 2020 at 11:55 pm
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    Sorry to see you go, but Enjoy your life with the kids. (Yours and your students.)
    It was great hearing of your adventures with the girls! Have a wonderful year!🙋🏼

    Reply
    • January 6, 2020 at 2:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi, Paige, and thank you for your kind words! I appreciate your reading my posts. A wonderful year to you, too!

      Reply

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