Monday, August 9, 2010

Please Don't Adjust Your Sets . . .

Thank you for your patience. It's not you. It's me . . .

My third blog-iversary slipped by unattended last month. Three years, and I'm at 657 posts right now. It doesn't seem as if I'm going to stop anytime soon, but as you know, I regularly wonder about the worth of my writing here. While I've achieved some of the goals I set for myself at the outset -- documenting and celebrating the quotidian and the domestic; developing a comfortable, clear personal voice which might occasionally brighten my academic writing -- I seldom find/take the time to burrow into a topic satisfactorily.

I had hoped to do more of that this summer with several thoughts I'd pushed to the back burner. Most of those have simmered dry in the pot by now, although I did manage two or three posts playing with some ideas that arose from this summer's travels (Buildings, Laundry).

I always enter summers with great hopes about what I will do with all the free time stretching in front of me, but then spend the first few weeks getting rested after the end of term. Then a few weeks catching up on all the appointments and tasks and visits that get neglected through the school year. Throw in some travel weeks and some weeks with visiting family and suddenly I'm in August, planning for classes that will start all too soon.

This summer has the added factor of living with someone again after a decade of having my house to myself all week. I'll write more later (ha! back burner simmer, hmmmm) about adjusting to a spouse's retirement, but while Pater is far, far from demanding of my time and company (he cooks, cleans, grocery shops), I have much work to do on calibrating that dial that switches between Self and Others. Much work.

Right now, I've finished three weeks and counting of sharing space with others for most hours of the day: we had my lovely daughter and granddaughter visiting for a week; then our other kids and partners for a weekend; then a road trip wherein I was sharing a very small space for ten to twelve hours a day; a weekend of intense family visiting at a wedding; another day later in the road trip visiting my BIL's family at their lakefront summer house; and finally, these last four days baby-sitting a gorgeous, gregarious 20-month-old. All of it wonderful people time, but during it, I've hit several periods where all that kept me going was the vision of a quiet room, an armchair, and a cup of tea. No, I told Pater, you're not in the room. I'll make my own tea. Thanks.

Today, we're doing a few things I'd prioritized early this summer but haven't got to because of all those family obligations -- the Fluevog retrospective at the Vancouver Museum; the Museum of Anthropology. Tomorrow, it might be back to family obligations again as my mother claims she has no dresses to wear, and Shopping is a skill I should share. But then we're going to head back to the island and lay low for a week before I'm back on campus.

All of which is to say that I'm thinking about how I might use the last bit of relative freedom I have to rejuvenate my postings a bit. I'm toying with the idea of announcing a schedule in advance, thinking that might help me commit. I'm also playing with the notion of a rotating schedule of sorts: Family News, Gardening, Knitting, What I Wore, etc., on various days of the week. Perhaps a month of photo-a-day and brief commentary. We'll see. But I thought I'd let you know that I'm working on keeping it fresh. Meanwhile, for later this week, I'm lining up a few photos I took at the wedding -- don't expect too much as I sadly didn't even get a decent bride-and-groom shot, but there are photos of my sibs and their partners, and you'll get an idea of what to wear to a Northern wedding in a Truck Town in serious summer heat. . . .