Friday, February 6, 2009

The 6-Month Hiccup

Maybe it's a February Revolution, sweeping across the blogosphere; maybe I've finally put enough distance between myself and my other blog; maybe I've finally hit my stride, "only" 6 months into the school year, a period marked by travel, ankle surgery, ups and downs of how to homeschool (yet again... will I ever stop second-guessing myself?), football league, an interrupted soccer season, the usual whirlwind of holidays and my new-found interest (passion? obsession?) in knitting. Whatever the reason--and undoubtedly the hiccup stems from all of the above and more--I was inspired by Lisa Zahn's blog make-over to try again.

For the past few weeks I've started feeling the same urge to write or simply post a picture that I felt when we were in China. Of course there I had a purpose--I needed to keep friends and family up-to-date with our adventures in Hohhot. I think this blog (because it is purely for me and I hardly doubt anyone will read it but myself) has felt a little daunting. I mean, for whom or what purpose am I writing? It seems a little self-absorbed to write for myself, dwelling on bumps on the road of life or else perhaps verging on navel-gazing or self-congratulatory paeans to my family life, but then again, people have been keeping diaries for centuries. Why not do the same? I guess I am hung up on the concept of audience. If I am only writing for myself I shouldn't worry about what I write or how it is expressed. But the very nature of blogging is that it carries with it the possibility--maybe even the expectation?--that it will be read by someone, eventually. It's that self-exhibition that stymies me.

I live a pretty sheltered, self-imposed isolated life, at least in terms of popular American culture. My home is my sanctuary, where I bake, create meals, teach my children, knit, read, and of course wallow in housework. There is much "out there" of which I have very little knowledge: my sole source of news in NPR and even at that I frequently turn it off because sometimes there is such a thing as too much information; we don't have television other than for the occasional football game or as a monitor for DVDs and videos; my kids don't go to public school; and we don't partake of restaurants, movie theaters, churches, or the mall. When football, baseball, and soccer season come around I am always shocked to enter into mainstream life. It's just so jarring and unexpected, but often oddly satisfying because I am reminded that while I may not share the same values as many other people, we have enough of the basics in common to keep me from totally retiring into isolation. And it keeps me honest and from feeling smug about our lovely life. So maybe writing a blog again is the equivalent of starting up baseball season--I'm forcing myself to interact with the world, exposing myself to the unknown but hoping to grow in the process. For if anything is certain, if I slip into the comforting rhythm of my little life here I will most surely become rigid in my thinking and stop learning about life and my place in it.


LisaZ said...

I get hung up on the concept of an audience, too! Sometimes it makes me want to write (soapbox time!), other times it makes me feel I have to write, and other times I wish my blog was only for me...but for the most part I just do what I want with it anyway! I can't really fit my blog into any "box" because I can't fit myself into any boxes. And that's fun!

I like this post. I tend to live a pretty isolated life, too. Too bad we're not neighbors, we could live our home lives but once in a while get out to talk to each other...I hope you keep blogging.

Kitchen Mama said...

Thanks Lisa! It's primarily because of you that I've been inspired to get back into blogging.