If you’re a steady reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you may have noticed I’ve been on a writing hiatus for the last couple of weeks. The evidence is a lack of written posts with only two Wordless Wednesdays showcasing a couple of my photographs instead.
The hiatus wasn’t intentional. I didn’t just decide to take a break from blogging. No, instead life happened. Real life sometimes gets in the way of blogging life. And you might just say, today I’m keeping it real.
As soon as this new year of blank pages arrived, my calendar started filling up with events and appointments and lists of things needing accomplishment the way life demands and…well, you get the picture.
Both weeks found me trotting off to school as I was scheduled to substitute teach two and a half days one week and two days the following week. One week I taught middle schoolers everything from language arts to science and the next I subbed in learning support and worked non-stop with students from kindergarten through fifth grade in reading and math.
But wait! Just like the infomercials on TV, that’s not all! Bible study resumed, so a lot of reading ensued and thought-provoking questions needed answering. Several meetings also required my attendance and church activities increased because in a weak moment, I said yes. Not just to one new obligation but two!
I agreed to become a committee member for a church commission responsible for education of our children, teens, and adults and then because one of the Sunday School classes desperately needed a teacher, guess who is now also teaching young teens in 7th and 8th grade? I mean who could turn down that opportunity when one of the young girl students specifically requested me?
So that meant acquiring curriculum, and checking it out thoroughly, preparing lessons, and because there’s that teacher side of me that insists a classroom should be just as stimulating as the lesson, I rearranged the dull-looking church room, added some visuals, and made plans to enhance the space more while spending way too much time on Pinterest looking for additional ideas.
In between all of that, home chores to accomplish, phone calls to return, friends to check on due to illnesses or just because they were going through a tough time, prayer chain requests to lift up to the Lord, and to be honest, a little worrying done over the safety of my world travelers (who, by the way, finally returned home safely from their three-week grand African adventure), and concern for the health of my pregnant daughter also grabbed my attention.
When it came to carving out time to sit down and write for my blog, I thought that either: a. I didn’t have time or b. I was just too weary/distracted/unmotivated to think coherently let alone write a decent sentence. If I did snag a little block of time and sit down at the computer, I found myself just vegging out by scrolling through Facebook to see what I may have missed in the lives of friends and family instead of writing a blog post. Yeah, I know….not a productive use of my time…but mindless which is what I needed I guess.
And that’s where I ran across this little gem. If you’re addicted to social media in any way, you may find yourself taking these inane quizzes that pop up on your newsfeed. You know the ones. What flower are you? Or what kind of house are you? Or what country are you?
I usually pass by those but every once in a while I fall prey to one and succumb to taking the quiz. I admit they are pretty ridiculous and random and I’m fairly certain the answers you get are random as well. But occasionally, the results of one of those idiotic quizzes makes me think “Hmmm, that kind of does describe me.”
I know. Silly.
If you’ve read much of my writing, there is one thing I do think that stands out. I do try to be genuine. I attempt to be frank and authentic in my writing and I’ll use that buzz word that seemed to be making the rounds for a while – transparent.
In other words, I try to keep it real.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? During this ‘off’ time away from writing blog posts, I answered one of those Facebook quizzes named “What four-letter word best describes you?” (That sounds a little risky, doesn’t it?) The resulting four-letter word could have been any one of these: hope, calm, kind, love, or real.
And this is what I got: “REAL. You are a very sincere and honest human being. You’re very much in line with your values, and you always try to be a better person for yourself and for others. As a person with integrity, you are principled and you keep it real like no other. You don’t just talk the talk, you actually walk the walk every single day.”
While I’m not totally convinced that description really does fit me, as a believer in Jesus I do strive to be the kind of person described in the above paragraph. So, I could explain my blogging world absence by saying I was taking time to concentrate on so many other areas of my life or that I was just so preoccupied with activities and events, I just couldn’t find time to write.
But you know what? I’m keepin’ it real. The truth is that my life is no busier than yours is. And I’m certainly not perfect, nor do I lead a perfect life or keep a perfectly clean, tidy house. The trash can is overflowing, dirty dishes are piled up in the sink that also needs a thorough scrubbing, and the carpet needs vacuumed. That’s reality.
But the truth is sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it all.
So why didn’t I write anything during the last few weeks? Here’s the truth. I just didn’t feel like it. And that’s keepin’ it real.
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder