Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Finding Inspiration Whenever We Can

What is it about the end of July?

In so many ways, I think it's the absolute best time of year, especially here in the midwest, where it's cold way too much of the year. Those of us living here know these warm summer days are far too limited and we will enjoy every single one of these hot and humid days, dammit! We'll suck the life out of them!

The days now are long and usually sunny. The occasional storms are kind of cool. You can wear shorts and t-shirts all day, which are probably my favorite-of-all clothes. In fact, I feel most at home in shorts and a loose t-shirt and tank top than in anything else. It must go back to my Indiana cross-country running roots. The looser and lighter the clothing, the better! Anyhoo...

The familiar smell of baby sunscreen fills the air. Pink cheeks and new freckles appear anyways.

You don't need to throw on that puffy down coat every time you go out to check the mail. It stays light past, say, 4:30 p.m.

There's a lot to love about July.

But as I like to say, I'm no Pollyanna. Nothing is ever 'perfect,' and July in Minnesota is no different. The mosquitos are livin' large, as well as the itchy buzzy flies. Your kids will get poison ivy and/or sunburned no matter how diligent you are, and yes, you will certainly hear about it. Swimmers itch might happen. Or maybe a yeast infection. Ha! 

Oh yeah, and need I remind parents of preschool and school-aged children everywhere? There's no school.

This means every minute of entertainment, socialization, education, and enrichment falls on us-- the parents. Camps are great and all, but by this time in the summer, I'm missing the lack of school day structure a bit. I like knowing what my day is going to look like, and in the summer months, just about every day looks different.

That's ok. It's okay....breathe... breathe... I tell myself.

I will tell you something good though, my friends: it appears that somehow, somewhere, in the midst of both kids being home, epic puppy-rearing, and a death in the family (we lost one of the kids' grandfathers in June. The loss was a big one), and all the expectations and activity that summer brings, I might have just broken through my epic writer's block.


(I'm actually scared to write this. I don't want my drive to vanish again, but if I can't share it with my readers, then who?)

It's been a rough few months for the writer in me. I simply haven't had the time or inspiration to sit down and write. Nothing has grabbed me and made me pass up, say, shaving my legs in the shower, or taking a solo trip to Target, or going to bed early (basically the things I might give up to write in the past) in order to sit for even a few minutes and type at my trusty keyboard.

A huge part of that is due to the new baby, er, puppy, we got in April. (Puppies aren't for wimps, people!), but I think it's been more than that. I simply haven't felt inspired. I was busy, yes. But who isn't? It seemed like I always had something I needed/wanted to do instead-- from basics like laundry and preparing meals for the family, to meeting with my tutoring clients, spending time with my family, driving to and from events... and did I mention a fantastic but very long little league baseball season? The list of reasons and excuses goes on.

But somehow, in the midst of the mosquitos who are ravenous for my O Negative blood, and the early morning wake-ups my kids enjoy ever so much no matter if it's Monday, Thursday, or Sunday, I've been a bit, yes, dare I say it? Inspired.

I wrote a poem.

No one in the world likely needs to see it, but I did it. It's about my daughter, and it felt cathartic and great. I'll at least print it and put it in a keepsake box for her to read eventually.

Then I surprised myself and wrote an article-- a whole actual article!-- and submitted it to a new publication. Again, will it see the light of day? I don't know. I would like it to, of course, but the fact that I actually wrote something and that I liked and sent it out felt so reassuring. Reassuring to who I am and who I've worked to be.

And now, here I am, sneaking away in the evening as the kids watch a show on the Food Network (yeah, it's a new thing for them and I kind of love it) to type out a quick blog post for my most favorite of passion projects, my original home, my dear, dear blog. And boy does it feel good! [takes celebratory swig of Mango Blue Moon beer and glances at sleeping puppy, wondering when she'll wake up and need to pee].


So that's me this late July evening. How goes it with all of you? Have you felt inspired to get in touch with your passions this summer? Or has it been an unfruitful season for whatever your joy and purpose typically is?

Take heart, sometimes you just need a break. If I'm any proof, maybe we just need to give ourselves a break, try to get some of that elusive sleep, eat some pizza, and trust in ourselves and our abilities, and hope and know it will come back. It may take a longer time than we want or expect, but it will.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama