This post marks two blogging milestones for me:
(1) Today is the 2nd anniversary of the start of Ken’s Back Home blog (yay!)
(2) This is the 50th post on Ken’s Back Home blog (double yay!)
I know many other blogs are much older and much bigger. And much more widely read. But honestly, I’m kinda tickled at how far my little experiment has come. As chronicled in last year’s Yearly Checkup post, Ken’s Back Home blog got off to a shaky start, and I really didn’t know how long it would last. Along the way though, I’ve learned a lot, connected with people all over the world, and gotten a lot off my chest. So it’s something to celebrate.
And I’m excited about all that. I really am. But as you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting much lately. In fact, I went most of April and all of May with nary a post on Ken’s Back Home blog.
Remember how in the last line of this year’s Easter post, I smugly remarked that the difference between bad news and good news is “all a matter of perspective”? Well, ever since Easter, our family and friends have been hit with a run of bad news that has left me with the uncomfortable choice of either finding some of that perspective, or eating my cocky little words.
Pass the ketchup, please?
It’s hasn’t all been terrible. In the midst of the mess, we’ve managed to squeeze in a friend’s wedding and a wonderfully relaxing vacation in the Smoky Mountains. But overall it’s been an emotionally exhausting few months, and I just haven’t felt up to writing. Especially about pursuing dreams and living in the present moment. Because a lot of the time, the present moment was the last place I wanted to be.
March to mid-April is always crunch time at work, with deadlines to meet and everyone pulling on me, needing this or that “ASAP”. I’m not even thinking about “living the dream” during that time. I’m just trying to juggle the flaming swords as they are tossed at me. By the time it’s over, I’m pretty burned out. I need extreme self-care. And I usually get a short breather in May to recuperate.
Not this year.
Starting Easter, the bad news started coming in, for both family members and close friends. And frankly, I just had no more to give. The only thing I could do is try to meet the minimum requirements for a caring response, while all the time my inner child was screaming, “What about me? When do I get a break?”
In light of that, I’ve had to stop writing for a while and think hard about the next step. I’ve had to ask myself how I let my heart get this empty in the first place. I suppose I need to start dreaming again. But there’s a big difference in “living a dream” and “living in a dream”. And there’s nothing like having my chain jerked a few times by Life on Planet Earth to bring me down out of the clouds.
After all, if my dreams can’t survive the bumps and bruises of real life, they are only illusions of my ego, not the dreams of my heart. The heart can persevere. The ego will just go crouch in the corner and pout. I need a dream that doesn’t require constant tending to a bed of roses. A dream that can still be beautiful, even when there are a few weeds in the garden.
So I suppose if there’s any “good news” here, it’s that Ken just got spun around and shown just how far away from “back home” he’s gotten. Now I’ve got some work to do. Each moment, good or bad, offers me a spark of Divine wisdom. About what’s real and what isn’t. About what will pass, and what will remain. The good news is, I get to choose where to place my focus. Whatever I do, I can’t let the bad news choose for me.
All this is easy to say, of course. Doing it is another matter. But at least I’ve got my freaking perspective now, so you can put away the ketchup.
Starting today, I need to make the words in this post a catalyst for real change. Otherwise they will likely be served up to me along with barbecued crow at the third annual Ken’s Back Home blogaversary party.
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