I'm now a week into this blog, and it's giving me some angst. So yeah ... we're pretty much right on schedule.
The blog is definitely inspiring me to write more, and to write things beyond my comfort zone. (Perhaps beyond yours, too, but that's not my intention. Just a bonus.) Still, I have moments where I question whether it's distracting me from the more important work, the serious work, the "real" writing I am "supposed" to be doing.
See, when I decided to quit my job, I told everybody I was taking a sabbatical to Write A Book. Of Poetry, with a capital P thankyouverymuch. That felt weighty and important, and much more focused than saying I was quitting because I was tired, or bored, or needed to "find myself." (None of which was true, of course. Especially if you happen to be a potential future employer. I really am very focused and not at all the flighty type. I swear! Please stop reading now and check my references.)
Yes, I planned to do other things as well, like parent my kids more effectively for example. But capital-P-Poetry was my Real Work. But the truth is that since leaving my job, I haven't been inspired to write much of that. And what I have written? Well ... most of it just isn't very good.
Which was making me feel like a capital-F-Failure.
Then I realized: I've done it again. I've gone and made something I do a stand-in for Who I Am.
Funny things happen when I do that. I might, purely hypothetically, get so obsessive about running that I push too hard and injure my knee. (Repeatedly.) I might worry so much about how my parenting looks to others that I stop paying attention to what my kids actually need. I might start spending a lot more time shopping for the perfect Laughing Buddha statue and a lot less time sitting on the cushion. (Where is that cushion, anyway?) Or, I might put so much pressure on myself to produce capital-P-Poetry that I stop writing altogether.
There are all kinds of reasons why defining yourself by what you do is a bad idea, but the bottom line is that it's just plain inaccurate. And as Buddha said, inaccuracy creates suffering. (I might be taking some liberties with the Pali there, but I'm pretty sure he'd agree with me in spirit.)
I am the sum of all I have experienced, of everything I think, feel, and do. As such, I am changing every minute. Every new thought, feeling, and experience creates a new version of what I call "me," with the potential to think, feel, and experience new and unprecedented things. To expect otherwise (of myself or others) is to set myself up for certain disappointment.
So. Right now, I am ... not a Blogger ... but blogging. In a minute, I will be throwing a toy for the dog. In an hour, I will be having lunch with a friend. Tonight, I will be parenting my kids with the fullest attention I can muster.
I hope that soon I'll be writing a poem. But until then, I'm giving myself a capital-B-Break