white chick on grass

Y’all…I have to apologize to you for not keeping up with my writing more this year. 

I received a call quite out of the blue a couple of months ago from a long-time reader who lives in another state. He was calling to make sure I was alright since the blog had been largely silent. He was worried about me. And I really appreciated it. 

I had to admit to him that, when it comes to writing, I just haven’t felt very inspired. It happens. All this staying at home doesn’t provide much interesting fodder for blogging, and this blog isn’t my therapy, as my friend and fellow blogger Javacia is fond of saying. Y’all don’t want to read a bunch of whining, and, quite frankly, I don’t want to write it. I view this blog as a space to lift you up, to make you think, and, more often than not, to make you laugh. 

But even though I haven’t been doing much blogging, I haven’t just been sitting around either. 

I’ve been working on some other creative things. Many of you know I also paint and draw. I’ve finished a couple of oil paintings and played around with making watercolor cards and some other little doo-dads. 

I’ve also taken up biking. I wrote about that here. And since that post, I’ve upgraded my bike to a better one, which makes riding even more fun. And this January I resolved to walk every single day this year for at least 30 minutes. So far, I’ve stuck to it even when it was raining and cold, and it’s been 125 days so far!

Even though I haven’t been getting words down on the page myself, I’ve been teaching writing (virtually) through UAB’s Alys Stephens Center’s Artplay and encouraging others to do what I haven’t done. The old “do as I say not as I do” method of education! I’ve also spoken to several private groups, and I got to travel down to Montgomery last week and be the featured writer for Trinity Presybyterian School’s annual writer’s workshop. What a talented bunch of high schoolers they have!

Trinity Presbyterian School Writer’s Conference

And I actually did write one essay — an op-ed actually — that got published in The Washington Post. You can read it here. Just between you and me, I like to have DIED a natural death when The Washington Post reached out to me to ask me if I wanted to contribute. I was so excited!! 

This last year has been a real challenge for all of us on a lot of levels. As the months have passed, this terrible virus closed in on my inner circle of friends. It seems like every day for some time now I’ve extended condolences to someone for the death of a loved one. It’s hard to keep your spirits up when you still see so much loss and grief even as things continue to get better.

But this coming Monday, I’ve got to go back to work in my office full time after nearly 14 months. As an extrovert’s extrovert, I hated working from home in the beginning. And I wrote about it here, here, and here. My little plans seemed to have worked, however, because now I actually enjoy working from home a lot! And I sort of wish I could keep on working from home forever. Who’d’ve thunk it, right?

But I’ll be with my friends and co-workers again, albeit from a three-foot distance and from behind a mask. And as more people are vaccinated, things are opening back up and we’re able to resume some activities (if you haven’t gotten your shot yet, do your friends and family a service and go get it!) I’m mostly looking forward to venturing out more, although I have to admit I still feel weird if things get too crowded. It’s going to take us all a while to get back to whatever “normal” will be.

My husband works at an elementary school and every day for the last week he’s come home and given me a report on some baby chicks that one of the classes hatched from eggs they incubated. I think that’s how I’ll feel going out in the world again — like a skittish little bird that pecked through its protective shell to tentatively venture out into a new and sometimes scary world. But I hope that I will also be filled with as much wonderment at being out and about as these little chicks are when they come running up to this big, strange creature who stops to check on them every day. 

I guess we’ll see! 

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