Second Day Doubts

Is it too early for yesterday’s optimism to be fading? Here are some glances into my inner dialogue this morning while I was driving to work:

—You quit blogging for a hundred reasons. What makes those reasons less valid now?

—You do not have time for this self-indulgent nonsense. Children to raise! Businesses to run! Sanity to maintain!

—Introverts don’t put personal stuff on the internet.

—What if (insert ten different names here) reads it and judges you?

—Is the weird high you get from writing even ethical?

—There are children starving in Africa and refugees around the world who cannot find asylum and you want to write a blog. Adorable.

—People don’t even use the word blog anymore, do they?

—Maybe if you had a theme. Or a goal. Or a plan. Even better, what if you had a pseudonym?

What if, what if, what if. I could go all day.

I’m going to write anyway.

When I met my husband (a story you are dying to hear, I’m sure), he came with a lot of stuff, including, but not limited to, a vintage rock and roll t-shirt bearing the image of Snoopy doing LSD, the ashes of a dead friend’s dog, and his grandmother’s filing cabinet. When he was moving in, I took it upon myself to sort through the contents of said filing cabinet, thinking it all just needed to be tossed out.

I was wrong about that. His grandmother was a prolific writer of letters. She kept carbon copies of many of the letters she wrote and filed them meticulously away for later reference along with the response she received. I never knew this woman, but oh how I love her and her compulsive recording of things.

My husband was what one might call a “trouble child” as a teenager and from thirteen on spent his time in boarding schools up and down the East Coast. I had known this about him but only in a really abstract way. My only information about the kinds of people who get put in boarding schools came from the Gilmore Girls, okay? My data was pretty limited.

Until I found his grandmother’s letters. This woman. She was a delight. She obviously loved her grandson. She wrote letters to anyone and everyone associated with his keeping (even his dentist). Even if she spoke with them on the phone, she went ahead and wrote a follow up letter to them to summarize their conversation in case they might have forgotten what transpired. I told you…. a delight! 

Sorting through that filing cabinet was such a joy to me. Beyond learning about my husband’s many misadventures through the eyes of this small woman who fiercely loved him, I also learned what sorts of things she was making for dinner, what she was planting in her garden, what books she was reading and what was happening in her various civic activities.

I also felt a sense of sadness because the odds are that my kids or grandkids will never stumble upon any written record of my life beyond some recipes stashed in a binder maybe. Any meaningful life communication has happened via email and messaging and I certainly have never taken the time to print those things off. Plus, let’s be honest—all the best bits I’ve deleted in rash moments of “letting the past go” (is that even really a thing?) or “freeing up storage space” or “I can’t believe I made such an egregious typographical error.”

At any rate, the buck stops here.

I will write.

I will print.

I will archive.

Some one, some day may find these things in my filing cabinet and have a good laugh… Or maybe you will find them here and have a laugh now. That’s cool, too.

xo

Jamie

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