There was a time when I sat here and splurged out my feelings and our comings and goings and doings. The internet used to be a safe place to do so, relatively speaking. There were days when I could splurge out my feelings and make reference obliquely to things that were going on where I would get some support (and occasionally disgust I suppose) but didn’t need to fear viral or flame or worse, my children reading things I preferred them not to know. I always thought I wouldn’t stop blogging but it has got harder and hard over the last little while. First came their privacy, then came the need to make money, then came my need to keep private my own anxieties and feelings from them, then came a total death of me – just an exhausting, mind numbing combination of physical busyness alongside a mental shutdown. And on top of all that a whole set of circumstances and changes I couldn’t blog or talk about because of the impact they might have on staff or friends, or places I help out or even people I work with.
It leaves such a void. I feel as if I am all about nothing these days, too tired to do anything, learn anything, say anything, contribute anything. And all that leaves nothing to write about either, or only things to write that can’t be published.
And I miss this space. I don’t miss desperately trying to unpick what I could say with what I should say or what might be interesting. I liked blogging better when I just wrote for me and when it was my safe place to unpick my mind. I think now that writing after Freddie was my swansong in a way. I will (I hope) not have to blog so terribly again and I think and fear my ability to write that way is gone now.
These last two months have been a period of unpicking and reflection and facing new challenges. Max has gone back to work, I’m running our business again. Josie has left school and will be returning to home education. Bene is growing up. The girls no longer want to have their life so public but complexity being the nature of The Puddles, I think they also miss being able to look back on what they did. Managing that has taken more thought than I have spare to keep going. Josie needs me to blog her new journey in a way that will inspire me and her – and that no longer feels like something I want to do here. My heart needs time spent on it because, to coin a phrase from MammyWoo, I am ‘very unwell’ at the moment and part of the problem is not having the space to unpick that. As well as mentally unwell, I’ve had a series of very frightening health blips too, which I need support about but can’t publicly ask for. And I’ve disliked commercial blogging because family finances depended on it, which is so very different to doing some posts and reviews because you want to and because it enhances a pocket money fund. Yet I love a goal and success and notice – and those things all conflict until I run away.
Blogging is not what it was when I started, it is not even what it was when I poked my nose out of my burrow and discovered ‘mummy blogging’ had taken off outside my riverbank. But I always liked a communal ‘tell it all like it is’ space, which was why home ed blog morphed to grief blog and grief blog morphed to family blog and family blog morphed gradually to commercial and crochet blog. It told it like it was to be me – and maybe that is okay.
And now it is not. Plenty has been said recently about slow blogging, stepping back, finding more joy but no one should do that any more because it is the new trend that the ‘big people’ are doing than they should follow any other trend or niche or fad.
I never wanted niche blogs but now, perhaps against the flow, or perhaps inside it, I do. I’m not who I was 5 years ago and the new me doesn’t want to write those thoughts here any more. I want this to be beautiful, artless, perhaps only skin deep. I want it to be who I want to be, what I do and not what I think. And honestly, I think that will sometimes continue to include commercial because that is who I am – I’m not happy without money of my own, it gives me a buzz to have that. Now the business is ours, not mine, I don’t get that from work. I want this to be crochet, crafts, making my house beautiful and family and future. Nothing deep with the exception of thoughts on Freddie, who started his story here and who will always be here.
But deep needs a place and so does the women who is not well at all and who misses carefully crafted words and darned up hearts and considered vocabulary and writing…. writing which I miss so much and is slipping away from me. So I’m going to take her back to MerrilyMe.
And Josie, Bene and home ed need a space too, which is no longer here… so I’m going to take that side of me to MuddlePuddle and see if I can write them a story they will be glad to look back on.
The truth is, I’m just not one person any more. I fractured far too far back and I can’t tie all of her into one place any longer. I don’t want to. Sometimes I need to step out of one persona and into another. Perhaps blogging is just as easy a place to do that as any. One thing I do know is that without this outlet, I’ve been slipping away.