I thought of something, today. Something that I do not think you know about me:
when I feel most at peace.
If you were ever to ask me this question, I think that my initial, instinctual answer would be something like,
“When my whole family is together under one roof, all safe and accounted for, I feel most at peace.”
But, as I was driving to my daughter’s school this morning,
the fifth time that I have shuttled to and from her school in the past two days (literally five, each way, so that’s ten car rides),
a thought popped into my head. It stopped me in my proverbial tracks.
The times when I have felt most at peace, in my entire life, is when I have been snorkeling.
I can picture myself, on one of our trips to St. John, hopping off of a boat in the middle of some random part of the ocean, and swimming away from the rest of the crowd. I can feel it.
When I am snorkeling, nothing else – nothing in the entire world – exists. I dive as far down as I can go, gliding with schools of brightly-colored fish, and navigating around the intricate coral and pointing to “omg this creature!” and “this electric yellow is the coolest color, ever!” and I get lost. In the good way. I am not thinking. I am just being. The only thing I can hear is the sound of my own breath. It is the closest that I can get to true meditation.
It is when I am most at peace.
And so this morning, as I tried to map out the day ahead in my head, I realize that I am most at peace when I am under the water, with a mask over my eyes and fish on either side of my body…
and that is exactly the opposite of how I feel right now.
I am so far from the cool, blue fish.
I spent a lot of time yesterday apologizing for my absence on here. Yes, some exciting things have been going on lately, but they’re ALL BECAUSE OF THIS. As I tried to explain, I identify as a blogger – and yet, I have not blogged.
It is almost embarrassing.
I am so sorry.
And then, some not as exciting things have been going on. Some of them are little things. Kids getting sick. The power going out for five days. The heat going out for six days. School being closed. Some bigger things, too.
Just, a lot.
Sometimes, when I am feeling a lot of feelings, I write and I write a lot and it is therapeutic and I feel virtuous.
Other times, I retreat. I shut down. I assume it is how people feel about exercise, right? The longer you go without lacing up your sneakers and going for that run, the harder it is to motivate? But, when you do, you always feel better?
That is writing for me.
Over the past 7 years and 9 months I have been known to go on a “wri-atus” at times and that is OK. Or, it has been OK. Lately, though, this has been plaguing me. I have been having that guilt thing. It has created extra noise in my head, when my head is already so filled up with things – like work obligations and school obligations and wonderful book tour dates and “did I get a present for the birthday party today?” and “did I book my train to Boston?” and “did I eat, today?”
The noise can be deafening. I cannot hear my own breath. I am so far from the cool, blue fish.
I am not at peace.
Please accept this blog post as my most sincere apology to you. If we are friends in real life, or if you are reading this in the Czech Republic or Vietnam, I mean it just as sincerely. I am grateful that you take the time to visit this blog and that you carve out moments of your own day to read my words. If I have been slow in returning emails or remembering to send a text or answering a Facebook message (because, no matter how many times I say it or try to fix it, my Facebook messenger thing does not work properly and I end up missing out on SO MANY THINGS and I come off as rude, but I can’t see the messages!) or if I have not had time to nail down that coffee date or phone call or web-interview or Smule-session (babe, I swear I am trying!), I am so sorry. It is not you. It is me. It is not reflective of my love for you. It is not an indication of any lack of respect or gratitude.
It is that I have run out of bandwith.
I haven’t made the time to stop and smell the roses; to swim next to the cool, blue fish.
I have some very cool things coming up. As of today, I have six book events in the next 6 weeks, I have some incredibly exciting opportunities on the horizon and I am still in awe that WE got here; that we get to do this.
And, at the same time, I have a household to run. Kids to care for. Relationships to tend to. Another construction project or two to manage (not by choice – by frozen pipe, thankyouverymuch).
In the past day I packed lunches, drove to and from a child’s school 18 times, worked, networked, volunteered in my daughter’s class as she (so beautifully) portrayed Anne Frank in their Notable People Convention, worked on music, fixed the arm of a broken Transformer, made more meals than I can count, ran errands (THIS IS HARD FOR ME!!!), played referee when my kids had an epic fight about what game to play (Belle wanted to play “Mommy and Baby Christmas” and Beau wanted to play “Mommy and Baby Halloween Parade” and so, finally, we landed on “Spooky Christmas”), paid bills, dyed both my daughter’s hair and a streak of my own pink, and, as I type this right now, I am being beckoned downstairs to be with my family.
And that is what I should do.
Because it might not be swimming by a coral reef in St. John, but this is my home, and the other place where I feel most at peace. I can hear more than just my own breath, but sometimes that is OK, too. Especially when the noise is a child’s joke, as opposed to a shouting match over Mommy Baby Christmas Spooky Parade.
Once again, I am sorry for my absence, I will be making it up to you, and I thank you, in advance, for your understanding. Not to be all Michael Jackson, but I love you.
I appreciate you.
I am grateful for you.
Mad love and electric yellow fish