Well, hello, dears. It’s been too long, I know.
There are a myriad of reasons (read: excuses) about why I haven’t written in so long, but they are tiresome. If you are even a titch like me, you are already tired, so reading some writer’s lame explanations about why she dropped the ball probably isn’t in your evening plans. I will leave you with an apology—I am sorry for not persevering more in this space. I strive to do better.
I follow several experts on writing and blogging in an effort to improve my craft. One such expert is Jeff Goins, and if you aren’t familiar with him (and are interested in writing), you should really check him out. He is a great resource and go-to for writing and blogging information, and I’ve taken a lot of his advice to heart. Today, he issued a blogging challenge. Now I wasn’t entirely certain what said challenge entails, but being kinda scrappy, I jumped in anyway. A blogging challenge? Fun! Better my craft? Cool! What could go wrong, right? RIGHT? I threw my hat in the ring. (This simply means that I emailed to confirm that I would participate—so it’s not like I have given away my firstborn or anything like that. But I am taking it seriously!)
Turns out the challenge is seven blog posts in seven days.
Um, wait. I haven’t written seven TOTAL posts. I work full-time, and then mama/wife the other daylight hours. But in addition to being scrappy, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I said I’d do it, so guess what? You’re getting seven posts. You’re welcome.
Today’s challenge: Write a manifesto.
Immediately, images of Jerry Maguire come to mind. (I just dated myself, didn’t I?) A manifesto? Huh—a tricker on Day 1. But after reading Jeff’s explanation, and doing a little thinking on this subject, I might have an idea of how to tackle this thing. Here goes….
This space, Lost and Found Mama, is all about trying to discover my true, authentic self. As I wrote in an earlier post (you can read it here), I am woefully ill-equipped in this challenge. I believe so many of us are. We go from living with our parents—who sculpt us and mold us the best way they know how—to perhaps college (a bit of free-wheeling here, yes), then zip into marriage/career, and then blissfully into parenthood ourselves. If you were smart and/or lucky, you got a grip on your authentic self someplace in there. But me? I haven’t stopped to get a solid idea of who I actually am. And this is frightening, for sure.
I suppose that 37 is not the best age to start figuring this stuff out, but know what? What better age to begin than the age I am RIGHT NOW? It’s not too late, I tell myself. And I believe that. It’s not too late to look inside. It doesn’t matter if you’re 37, or 17, or 57—introspection doesn’t care about your birthday. All that matters is that I am ready to do some digging. I’m in here someplace. I just know it.
The funny thing is that life really keeps us from digging deep most of the time. Digging for authenticity requires TIME, and Lord knows there is not enough of that to go around. It requires commitment, too, in a life that’s already stretched too thin. I am certain that so many of you can relate to this. How can we slow down, look within ourselves, and figure things out when there are 2,847 demands on us every day? It’s seemingly impossible. I get sleepy just thinking about it.
When this happens to me—when I get overwhelmed by the big picture—it helps me to break things down into smaller pieces. So that’s how I approach this idea, too. I can’t figure out how to live authentically in one evening. I will be lucky if I even get close in one lifetime. But I CAN figure out small bits. Just a little at a time. That’s manageable, right? Of course it is. I can do THAT. We all can.
So this space, this little slice of the interwebs, is meant for introspection. How can I take small snippets of my life, examine them, and figure out how they make me ME? Meanwhile, by reading this, I hope you can do the same. My hope is that by reading about my trials, my failures, and my breakthroughs, you will have some of your own as well. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. Granted, he was heading toward execution when he voiced this, and I am heading toward middle-age, but the idea stands true nonetheless. If we don’t slow down and strive to be authentic—WHATEVER that might mean for you—then we just float through our lives, little wisps. We can do better than this, friends. For our babies, and our families, and especially for ourselves. We have got to do better.