When I got an email the other day from my ad network (those nice ladies just to the left) saying they'd noticed it had been a while since I posted on Sassafrass, I wasn't surprised. I knew it was coming. I tried to swallow that little guilty girl feeling, like I'd been caught talking in the back of class rather than paying close attention to a crackly projector film of frogs birthing thousands of eggs in a creek or patronizing reminders to stop-drop-and-roll. Or like my mom walked in on me, sprawled across my lavendar daisy comforter, whispering into my pink phone to some boy with a braces lisp and overgrown haircut. I didn't open the email right away, just let that subject and the first line peeking out on Gmail sit in my inbox while the reality of these last weeks sunk in.
I told myself that there has been a lot going on. That I was trying to get my schedule back into some reasonable order. That I needed the break. That I felt frantic, tired, on overload. That it was valid to just want to space out to "Pregnant in Heels" after working furiously long after Lil E's bedtime.That I was trying to sleep more, Skype more, stress less. That I needed to be quieter, especially before (oh yes) returning to court with The Ex. That sometimes folding the laundry is more soothing than spilling my guts about the Not Boyfriend or whispering in Helvetica about the crazy neighbor lady. And then I told myself that the reasons didn't matter, that it was all OK. Perfectly fine.
Then I opened the email and read that my blog was flagged because I haven't written in more than a month. A month? A month. It's the longest this space has ever been silent.
Of course, I was well aware of the passing of time since I last posted. But seeing the calendar date startled me, maybe more than the sweet, secret messages from Facebook friends asking when I'd be writing again and if everything was OK. More than the events and holidays and tiny moments I longed to share but came and went unblogged.
Rather than waste more hours than I already have feeling guilty about something that it is ridiculous to feel guilty about, rather than add bloguilt to the mamaguilt to the bodyguilt to the workguilt to the daughterguilt to the...well, the endless wellguilt, I choose instead to just be here.
With my laptop shut, I really have been doing a lot of amazing things, working incredibly hard and making small steps to take much better care of myself. Now I am ready to fill in the spaces here with some of those stories, lots of snapshots, a few questions, too much waxing on about my boy, hopefully a good laugh and always with shoes.
Soon, this month lapse will be but a blip in the blogginess and we will all look back on this time as my sabbatical. There's no thesis or book proposal or photos of feet dipped into the ocean to prove that. But the single mama making her way through the city with her small child in the Jedi gear is still one and the same, still here.
Just like dragging the overpacked suitcase up the stairs from vacation, it's hard to let go of that time away. But still so good to be home.