A Pregnant Pause

My blog writing, even the relatively undemanding monthly-wrap-up-with-a-few-photos, experienced a pregnant pause. You might not have noticed, but enough time has passed to birth a donkey, alpaca, camel, zebra or tapir, all animals whose mothers endure gestations of around 13 months. It could be worse. There is the even longer gestational period of an elephant, a java rhino or a shark. But I digress. Other than updating header photos and posting “sticky” posts according to the season, the blog has experienced a brief suspension, languishing in my benign neglect.

Initially, there was a temporary stop because the media library storage reached the limits set for the free version of WordPress. The obvious choice was to buy some storage, but self examination seemed reasonable before taking that route. On impulse, I launched this blog when we set sail for our homeschool adventure with The Daughter.  She was a fourth grader, and #1 Son was attending a local high school. Now, she is a junior in high school (Form V for the CM folks) and #1 Son has graduated from George Mason University, so it’s been quite a few years.

Time changes everything
except something within us
which is always surprised by change.
Thomas Hardy 

As a short-term solution to the storage issue, I went through older posts and deleted extraneous photos and some that no longer met my standards. As I did, I noticed a sameness to the monthly posts, to the events, and photos. At first dismayed, I soon realized it’s a good thing. The sameness was a reflection of our family rhythms, the church year, our season of life, and special times and events with American Heritage Girls and Young Musicians of Virginia. These rhythms are hard-won, and I am grateful for routines that work and traditions that nurture memory. I cherish my family and God’s gift of the good friends with whom we share space in the squares on the calendar.  Still, I wanted to ponder the whole blog thing for a while, so there was some temporary inaction due to my uncertainty.

The only way round is through.
Robert Frost

In the years that I’ve had this blog, I’ve never been overwhelmed with feedback or readership.  My friends probably aren’t even aware of it. My most avid readers are The Daughter, and Mr. Garner, and my favorite Aunt.  🙂  A few of the homeschooling posts are reliably read each month, but it was never my goal to monetize, or write to a particular “market.” Knowing my limitations, I resisted the urge to advise others on faith practices or parenting or decorating or cleaning or baking or reading or organization or homeschool or Charlotte Mason Educational Philosophy. I’m hardly an expert, and the risks of faking it do not exceed the rewards.

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve;
nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of self.
T.S. Eliot

Really, I just wanted to share ~ my thoughts, news articles, quotes from books I’ve read, field trips, our experiences with homeschool, things that worked, things that didn’t work,  our impressions of some of the books that we have read together ~ and perhaps have a conversation with like-minded moms.  Committing to homeschool, especially in the beginning, required a severe reduction in social activities. I really missed conversations with friends over coffee and the joyful conviviality of Bible study and women’s ministry meetings. Initially, I hoped the blog might be a way to keep the conversation going with old friends, and perhaps to make some new friends. That hope was never realized, but I did enjoy the mental exercise of putting together posts and sharing about our journey.

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

As I was pondering the purpose of the blog, the Daughter was making the case for an Instagram account. Of course as a vigilant parent, that means I got one as well.  Instagram is fun! It’s where I have spent the majority of my social media time over the last year. Of course, it is much easier to snap a picture and post it on Instagram than to write a blog post.  And, honestly, I really enjoy the feedback I receive on Instagram. It’s very encouraging. A few of The Daughter’s friends are always kind  enough to *heart* my images, and I’ve found some Instagram community over the year. As for the blog, though I did finally spend the money for a .blog domain and some extra media storage, I couldn’t get back in the habit of writing. I had to wonder if it was time to quietly tiptoe out of the room and turn out the lights at Garner Goings On.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Alexander Pope

The impetus to get back to the blog came from a podcast discussion that reminded me of how lazy I was becoming. Years ago, as a college intern, I wrote and edited a short radio program about Virginia travel for the local public radio station in Harrisonburg, VA.  On-air radio, back in the day, required tight writing and to-the-second editing. Learning to edit is a humbling but vital skill. You can’t keep everything you’ve written, you have to choose the best and cut the rest.

Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

I love podcasts, but I have a strong dislike for the huge chunks of wasted time while unprepared amateurs crack lame inside jokes and impose awkward opening conversations on their audience before getting to the topic described in the show summary. One day as I was suffering through too much introductory filler on a women’s faith podcast, the hostesses discussed how much “easier” it is to set up a microphone and just talk about stuff, than to actually write, edit, find photos for and then publish a blog post.  They discussed getting back to their languishing blogs, but lamented that it was just so time-consuming, and so much work.  Something about that exchange made me decide that I needed to get back to the blog ~ for the work of it.

Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
Madeleine L’Engle

The monthly posts stuttered after Savoring March of 2017.  While rather a lot has happened in the last year and a bit, I haven’t quite decided what form any sort of catching up will take, or even if there will be any sort of catching up. And, since I felt a sameness to them then, I hardly think it will be any different now. So, the thought of 13 months, well okay, let’s say 11 or 12 months, of backdated posts…Um. No.

You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.
C. S. Lewis

A pregnant pause implies a birth. And, as all mothers know, new birth reminds us that the quiet of pregnancy is over. We suddenly have a new life to attend to, an utterly unique life, whose urgent needs and behavior are unpredictable, and whose personality is entirely God-given.  I will be trying a few new things, and returning to some of my original ideas for the blog and Who knows, really, how it will all turn out.

I dwell in possibilities.
Emily Dickinson



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