that could be lame

April 17, 2016

If you hardly ever say anything, do people listen more closely when you do?

I used to say a lot here.

My dad is one of those people that doesn’t talk that much. He is also the kind of person that, because he waits to speak, ya best listen when he does. It’s going to be worth listening to, truly. (No pressure, dad.)

My friend Jean had a stroke several years ago. It took a toll on her body and makes it so that her words come out slowly. Her brain will have it all lined up nice, words flowing to sentences and then paragraphs and pages, but it comes out like the dripping of a slow-leak faucet, or sometimes simply like a person who has had a stroke. This can be terribly frustrating for her.

It is one of the things I adore about her.

Well…that’s…lame…she said recently. And that was it. After quite a rant from me. Well, that’s lame.

She will say something like that, after I have given her a five minute ramble about whatever ridiculously irrational thoughts and feelings I am having. I will shoot words at her all rapid-fire like, and she will listen intently and then…

Well…that’s lame…

or, GOOD. See? You are not a victim.

or, STOP. Just stop.

and that sums it up. She’s right. She isn’t going to waste her energy on wrong. No people-pleasing. No beating around the bush. No manipulating. No polite and carefully crafted rambles to caress my ego.

She was right, you know. That day. When I talked about how I went about dealing with something painful. How I was over-thinking myself into a tizzy. She was right. It was lame and I needed to just stop.

Brevity is good. Saying very little can be very good, too.

I know someone else who says, Show up, shut up and shine.

I like that. I want to do it more often.

In the last couple of years, with more silence here in this space, I have probably said more out loud than in the ten years before that. In meetings, with friends and loved ones, to my children. I have been more present. Sometimes painfully present. When I get those notices on Facebook to look back at memories from years past, I see links to this blog, from 2013, 2011…and sometimes I click over to see what I was talking about back then, right here.

I will think, Hm, that’s odd. I don’t know…where did I go? 

Why did the writing stop?

Well, I could go on and on to explain that, and I mean, I really could go on and on to explain that. But we’ve just discussed how not doing that can be a better idea; how good it can be to say less, so I won’t.

I have not forgotten how to write, but I may have lost the ability to trust myself with words.

That could be lame.

I miss writing.

For today, besides all of that up there, I will tell you just this one small thing:

My two oldest, the boys, they were babies (BABIES!) when I started this blog. Now they are lanky long things, thin and electric, floppy-haired and good. They will soon be eleven and nine years old. They could not speak when I started writing here. Well, I suppose Miles was toddler talking. And now they read and write and have friends over and they are trying to figure out really big life questions and they play Minecraft.

With them, and with their spitfire suddenly almost five year old sister, I have changed just as much.

We are here living so many lives, I don’t even know what to say. In the midst of the movement from one life to another, I have lost clarity. You don’t really know how badly you need that until you don’t have it and then people remind you that you need it.



Marnie April 21, 2016 at 2:29 pm

well, I’m glad to get to read what you write. no matter how much. :)

shayla April 26, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I’m glad to read whatever you write. And know that there are times in life, I think, when we just have to get mixed up in the blurriness of change and growth and that’s ok. I’m feeling this lately, too. I’m glad for the few people around me who can help put it all into perspective, too. ((hugs))

Kate Thompson April 27, 2016 at 7:37 am

I enjoy your posts. You have taken your readers through quite a bit over the years, light, breezy, and deep, personal. You have also gone through many life-changing events and taken the time to describe them for us, which informs us but also gives you a chance for reflection and clarity.
When careers and raising children and running the household take up most of our daily time, energy and attention, it is difficult to carve out time to read, write, think, be reflective. I miss it when I lose too much of it, and the rushing river of activity keeps pushing me along, yet I get further from my quiet side. I want to slow down, be thoughtful, read, write.
Maybe you can treat yourself to some reflection time at least once a week. You may feel like you’ve said it all but after these quiet periods, you will find new topics, discoveries and realizations that you may want to put into words, to share with your readers or just for yourself. -Best wishes!

Krista May 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm

I know this feeling. Funny how we have less to say when we say it all to our kids and listen to them talk non-stop.
I came back here in a round about way from a trip down memory lane and a comment you left on my anonymous blog many years ago (not the one linked here) and I came back to see what was up with you.
When I started blogging my son wasn’t talking yet either and now he’s 9 and has 3 younger siblings. ;)
And I think I’m not as angry as I was back then, or I’ve accepted that this is my place in life for now, and marriage counseling is helping.
Krista recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Bubbles

Linda Seppa Salisbury May 17, 2016 at 5:16 am

It seems to me that we, as bloggers, write in different seasons…sometimes with a great deal to say and process and other times with the words internal and not external. In my own process,
blogging has helped my clarity rise to the surface so I can find it again.

You may imagine that your words didn’t matter to those of us reading them. Not so in my case. I have always appreciated your insights about recovery, your family, and starting a new life with your children. I am grateful that you showed up and not shut up. Whenever you feel like writing again. I want to listen.

Sending love and hugs your way!

Rodney Olsen May 25, 2016 at 12:21 am

“I have not forgotten how to write, but I may have lost the ability to trust myself with words.”

If you no longer truest yourself with words, keep writing. Not everything you write needs to become a blog post but as I’m sure you’ve found for yourself, writing helps to clarify and order our thoughts.

I hope you keep writing, even if it’s just for yourself, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll trust yourself with words again and you’ll share some more of those words here. :)
Rodney Olsen recently posted..Undercover Boss

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