I'm not sure how it happened, but over the past years, I feel like I've become a watered-down version of the person I once was. Last night, as Husby and I chatted over the sushi appetizer on a restaurant crawl, I shared with him that once married, I seemed to stop doing so many things that made me "me." I went onto explain that the creative person in me no longer creates; the cooking enthusiast/novice foodie no longer obsesses over a recipe to try; the scholar quit reading and writing; the planner no longer invites people over. Somehow, at some point, complacency set in.
I don't at all think it's because of marriage. It seems that seasons of busyness piled on top of each other, creating seasons of harried-ness. And when this happens, the introvert in me withdraws--preferably on the couch. At one point, I'd be happy on the couch reading something off of my ever-growing Amazon wishlist. Or catching up on blogs. Or the latest Real Simple, Food & Wine, or Country Living. But now? I have a stack of new magazines in a pile; I agonize over how many books I haven't read this year; I realize it's been weeks or months since reading a favorite blog. The time suck, and likely a huge reason that I've become less "me"? Social media.
I am ever-connected to a people through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Although it is great to stay in touch with [some] people, I'll be one of the first people to warn that social media gives a false sense of relationship. Many times, I have to give context when I say, "friend." It's Facebook-friend or Instagram-friend or blog-friend. And though I love that I've "met" new people through blogging and Instagram and the like, and I believe that if given the chance, we could be friends, it is still not an ideal way to create or maintain friendships.
The easy fix for finding me would be to create, cook, read, write, connect. I mean, how hard is that? But I think at this point, I need a practical way to do these things that I love, the things that make me, "me." My goals over the next days and weeks:
Create: I began following Her Southern Charm on Instagram. She illustrates/doodles her journals and planner. So, I don't have a journal (mostly because I'm not disciplined enough to write in it except on occasion), but I do have a planner (that I actually made!). Last week at work, I broke out our tub of markers that I hadn't touched since I started my job 4.5 years ago. I brought such joy to make my planner colorful and whimsical! I'll continue to do this.
Cook: I recently bought a cookbook, Practical Paleo. Each week for the next month, I will cook a recipe from this book. Please note: over the next three weeks, I will be in town nine days. I'm just realizing that this is a bigger deal than it seems.
Read: By the end of the year, I will read four books, including: Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, In the Garden of Beasts, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and A Year of Biblical Womanhood.
Write: Over the past months of my unintended hiatus, I've wondered if I should even continue blogging. Do you know how many blogs there are? I don't. But it's a lot. I wonder what I have to share that is different from others. More than anything, it's a way for me to write. Writing is something I'm [sometimes] good at. (Especially when I don't end sentences with a preposition!)
For me, if I read, then I'm able to write. The more words that go in, the more come out. Although my next few weeks are well-planned, my goal is to write four times a week on the blog.
Connect: I'm thankful for the upcoming holiday season since my next few weeks are so very busy. While holidays are typically busy, working at a school means I am able to have a week off at Thanksgiving and two at Christmas. So there's time to rest and connect.
Next weekend, Husby and I are hitting up Ft. Worth for "An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert." Although it may not be super-exciting to a vast majority to hear chefs talk about food, it thrills us! While there, we'll visit one of Tim Love's restaurants. (Side note: what celebrities are to most, chefs are to me.)
Mid-month, I'm heading to Dallas with a friend for some shopping and eating and to see the folks from Young House Love while they sign books at West Elm. The next day, Husby and I are heading out to visit a BFF couple in Granbury. I'm planning to stay in my pajamas for as long as possible each day we're at their house.
So that's my plan. I hope to report back at the end of the month--or possibly throughout--with the intentional things I do help me find myself again, find the the things I love to do, the things that make me, "me."