11 August 2017

Making Up for Lost Time


Hi, everyone. Thanks for showing up to The Daily Coffee.

If you were at my house right now, I would pour you a mug of fresh coffee. (Or tea, or hot chocolate, whatever you prefer.) But I am here, and you are there; a fact for which we are all grateful, considering the current state of mess in my house just now. So, you will have to make do with whatever you happen to have on hand whilst I chat with you.

This blog represents an attempt on my part to resume some creative activities that fell by the wayside when I enrolled in my M.A. program back in the fall of 2012.

Now, I enjoyed graduate school. I really did. As well as training me in my field of study (linguistics), it was very personally enriching. For one thing, a grad program is a wonderful cure for procrastination. This is a decidedly positive thing. (Industriousness tends to come in handy later in life.) You become a disciple of the saying "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today", because you know you can't half-ass your way through grad school like you did through college. (Don't ask me how I know anything about that, please.)

Grad school is an equally wonderful cure for hobbies. The aforementioned wise saying becomes "Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow" where leisure activities are concerned. This is especially true if your hobby has anything to do with writing. The copious amounts of reading, writing, proofreading, and editing swiftly burn through your daily allotted brain bandwidth until, at the end of the day, sometimes there's barely enough left to form a coherent sentence to order pizza.

But I survived this blessed ordeal (mostly) none the worse for wear.

Then, in 2015, I got married. Much to my chagrin, I found myself a one-way ticket holder on the Suzie Homemaker Train, where intellectual pursuits like writing are very much an afterthought, if they ever occur at all. (More on that later.)

I had a revelation one day, while elbow deep in dishwater, that I missed writing -- as well as quite a few other things I had once taken for granted. It was more than a creative outlet; it was my way to communicate with the world, to say things that mattered. By then, though, that part of my brain had been on vacation for so long, I wasn't sure exactly how to go about getting it back. (Plus the domain name of my old blog had long since lapsed and gone off into the wild blue yonder.)

I realized I wasn't ready to let housewifery hold that meaningful part of myself hostage. Besides, I'd just read a rather worrisome health news article (aren't they all that way?) that reported on multiple studies demonstrating a link between lack of cognitive stimulation and early onset of dementia-related illnesses such as Alzheimer's. All the more reason to halt the progress of my mental rut digging itself ever deeper.

And then there was the Parable of the Talents that kept coming back to haunt me: if the unfaithful servant was cast into outer darkness for burying money -- cold, hard money -- what would become of me for burying my living, breathing brain under day after day's worth of laundry and dishes? How ever would I explain that on the day of reckoning?

But all these woes and worries notwithstanding, believe me when I say that it isn't fear that primarily inspires my writing. As with anything worthwhile, Love is the motivation. Love of God, who freely gives us all things -- including letters and sounds and words and a mind to put them all together in meaningful ways (and multiple second chances to get it right if we screw up the first time). Love of my neighbor, who may find something I say helpful. And -- dare I say it -- love of myself as a worthwhile person who hopes to share through these words, if not wisdom, at least a smile.

In this endeavor, as in all things, I'm stepping out in faith.

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