I started blogging in May of 2008. With the waning of the summer of 2021, I realize that I’ve been at this for thirteen years.
My early entries went via email on a list serve for solo and small firm lawyers in my home state of Missouri. After a year or so, I took that effort to a blogspot and the Saturday Musings came to life. Each Saturday morning found me in front of my laptop, telling stories from childhood, ruminating on my week, or talking about people I had met and places that I found particularly memorable. Eventually, I moved from Blogspot to a page on my own website, continuing the Musings through the first month of my move to California.
I started this blog in January of 2014. For over seven years (7 x 12 + 8 = 92 months), I have been pursuing a state of being in which I can matriculate without voicing complaint. At first, I wrote something every day. In the last two years, my entries have waned as I struggled to recreate myself on the western seaboard — or at least, seventy miles inland from it.
My son once entered me in a contest run by the Kansas City Star to find the luckiest person in Kansas City. I didn’t win but the newspaper did write a story about me. They interviewed me in the office I had made in our breakfast nook, a sort of Les Nesmann office, a pass-through with my desk, bookshelf, and memorabilia in which others did not intrude. Later they set up their equipment and photographed a family meal, complete with my son and his best friend, Chris Taggart. I have a faded tear-sheet of that article somewhere, assuming it survived the purge. I felt very lucky in those days. I had recovered from a critical illness. I had a husband, a son, a home, and a close group of friends.
I wrote from the heady glow of love in those days. As my life took many turns, I started writing from an urgent need for understanding. I could barely get the sentences out fast enough. Five decades of observation honed my voice. But now my focus seems to have slipped from my grasp. The golden flow of writing slows as the starkness of living overwhelms me.
This blog has accomplished its purpose to an extent. My urge to voice any sort of dissatisfaction with others rises to the surface less and less. Behavior must violate a fairly egregious level before I open my mouth. Even then my heart pounds. A new mantra beats in my spirit: Wait wait wait wait wait. I give everyone a thousand chances. I whisper to my inner self: just wait. Just wait. The potential for resolution hovers. It flutters on the edge of every confrontation. Its fragile wings stir the air. I close my eyes and lift my face to the softness of its gentle motion.
The vacuum left by the absence of bickering reveals true blessings. However, as the air clears, the shapes of heavier burdens emerge. I had avoided confronting their contours for an eternity but I still recognize them. They never left. They hid within the fog of smaller troubles.
I call myself walking on a long but deliberate journey to joy. That might be so. My motivation for commencing this voyage fell away almost before I started. Nevertheless, I kept walking. Along the road, I have taken on new causes: The cause of healing, the cause of growth, the cause of discovery. These days I walk more slowly and stumble more often. But I continue. I’ve seen the underbelly of the darker choice. I have suffered the pain which that choice inflicts on those left behind. So I shall continue; and one of these days, I will come to a place where I can rest.
It’s the seventh day of the ninety-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.