Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inner Reflections

I don’t care for looking in mirrors.  Not only the literal ones, where a reflection of your outer self looks back, but the inner one as well.  You know that one where you see inside yourself.  The one only YOU can view?
The A-Z blog was not an easy time for me.  It unsettled the plan that I had put into place at the end of last fall.  The one where I was going to get back to my writing.  It took months to prepare.  I chronicled the time in my very first blog post.  And things began well.  I was writing 1 – 2 blogs a week, following the writers websites that I had searched out and decided on and was developing a working balance of writing and reading back into my daily life. 
Then I decided to plunge in and do the A-Z challenge.  And I challenged myself to the theme of connecting my childhood to my present life with one word from the alphabet as we traveled A-Z.  By that time, I knew the time commitment to preparing and posting a blog and felt I could manage the 26 posts.  I was not prepared however for the “collateral” time.  Unbelievably, I didn’t think about the time involved in reading other’s blogs, in becoming followers of writers that I really enjoyed.  In the time it would take to post comments that reflected the writer’s time and energy they’d invested back to them.  In the amount of time I would spend thinking about what they wrote, comparing their writing to mine and others.  In a word, it was overwhelming.    
I stopped reading.  I stopped following the posts of the writing blogs that I had so carefully researched.  And I lost my focus.  But I wrote.  A lot.  I shared. A lot.  And I learned.  A lot. 
It’s taken a good week into May just to draw a deep breath.  And of course, take a long look into that inner mirror.  It reflected my posts that hit some familiarly fond memories, highlighted a few surprising ones, dusted off a few sad times and exposed a few skeletons.  One reflected the deepest nerve I have.
And there, amidst all the reflections, shone the prism of my mother.  In a word, it was overwhelming.  To see, after the month of posts how much influence she had in forming me, in shaping the wife, the lover, the mother, the daughter, the friend and the person I am…well, it’s unsettling. 
Make no mistake; I loved my mother, sometimes to distraction.  I am quite proud and grateful to carry many of her traits and qualities.  She was a fine, loving, grace-filled woman.  She was also human with human failings.  And there are parts of me, both good and bad, that up to the month of April of my 49th year, I thought were my own doing that I feel her hand in now as well.  No big revelation there, we are all shaped by our parents, our upbringing, teachers, mentors and friends.  I’m just surprised by how much “real estate” I feel of me is her doing at this point.
So I have a plan.  May is my time to step back and regroup.  I’ll revisit and catch up on the three primary blogs I followed before the challenge.  Then I’ll sort through the blogs I found in April.  I can’t read and post on all of them on a regular basis and still write.  I need to relocate the fragile balance I’d begun to develop in the New Year between reading, blogging, writing, working and living my day to day life.
And, there’s the little matter of going back to the mirror to explore this new facet of my relationship with my mother.  Three years gone now, and I’m still learning from her.  I know she wasn’t big on analyzing relationships like I am.  That is one facet of me that I know I own outright.  It’s a good place to start.

19 comments:

  1. The beauty of writing is what we find in our words. I'd say, keep writing and let the story reveal itself to you - whatever the story is to you. You'll figure out your balance. Me, I am always chasing behind reading and commenting on blogs. I do my best, but I always put my writing first, read, then socialize on the internet I eventually get around.

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    1. I do love to see where my writing takes me and I look forward to the story that's coming. Thanks!

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  2. I find it hard to juggle the reading with the writing with every day life. It is a constant struggle for me too. Good luck with that one. I actually took the weekend off mostly and felt extremely guilty for it. LOL Wonderful post. Somehow some way you will find the happy medium.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. I felt that guilt too! I know the balance will come.

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  3. first of all, congratulations on finishing your A to Z challenge, yes it was definitely a challenge. But more importantly, thanks for giving me the idea of revisiting the previous blogs I was following. The idea is nice, it's like revisiting old friends.

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    1. Glad to make the suggestion Jeremy. I have enjoyed your blog and look forward to quite a few of the books you've suggested that have become part of my reading to-do list. (White Lies included!)

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  4. Amy, When I read the part about keeping up and becoming overwhelmed I could relate well. Instead of the challenge encouraging my writing, it pushed me to read more, respond more, and attempt to keep up with an ever growing list of people I like to read. I did keep up pretty well throughout the month of April, but here it is May, and I have been a tad bit reluctant to blog travel... though I did find my way over here again ;-)

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    1. Blog travel - I like that! It is hard to keep up, especially with so many writers/blogs I found that I truly enjoy and get inspiration from.

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  5. don't out run yourself--take the time you need and your writing will flow again---you have a very unique beauty in your writing style

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    1. Very kind of you to say Lynn. Thank you.

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  6. I loved this post! Thanks Amy, you have a beautiful way with words!

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    1. Thank you Michael - I appreciate the kind words and your stopping by!

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  7. oh, you may be entering terrirory I seem to be wrapped up in, for good or bad -- mothers. My mother. It's huge, complicated, emotional territory. But fascinating, when I'm able to take a step back and just not feel so distressed and sad by watching her decline in old age. I look forward to what you have to write.. And having read virtually all your A-Z posts, I would suggest printing the out and seeing what they add up to -- you may have a memoir in the works.

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    1. Thank you Sandra. I too have noticed the similar territory. It's a bit scary isn't it? Thanks for the suggestion-I will do that.

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  8. Amy, you are such a talented writer. Many of us share your feelings of being overwhelmed. I wanted to read everyone's blogs during April but just couldn't keep up with writing mine and reading and commenting on others. It's kind of crazy to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. Please drop by my blog when you get a chance a pick up the award I left for you.
    http://myviewthroughkateyes.blogspot.com/2012/05/woohoo-another-award-and-another.html

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    1. Kat, that is so sweet, thank you so much. It is a crazy pressure and I am working hard to follow through on the promises I made to myself in this post to get back on track. Thank you for your perfect timing of this post and for the award.

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  9. Hi Dear, I gave you the versatile blogger award so come on by and pick it up!

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    1. Sandra,
      Feeling honored at the moment - thank you!

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