Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Navigation, Forward Momentum and Balance

Thank you. Everyone that shared their travel experiences and advice, offered encouragement or just joined me in laughing about being a Chicken Abroad... You make blogging worthwhile. Everyone that joined us in cheering for our children, for Geek Games and Robotic pursuits... Thank you. You make us extra happy with your interest and support. I deeply appreciate all of the comments and emails that come in to Chickenblog.

I have been keeping this blog since May 2002, so it's pretty obvious that I am committed to blogging, to writing and reflecting and keeping an open letter to family and friends, to making new friends in new spaces. There have been many times when I have wanted to, or threatened to, or even promised, to quit, but that ain't happening. I cain't quit you Chickenblog.

I need a break. I think I may be one of the world's slowest writers, because a lot of time seems to pass with me at this desk, neglecting everything else. I have even been told that I look less than presentable when I am immersed and absorbed in my happy pursuit... information I find difficult to reckon with, that gives me pause. Months of crunch mode, robo schedules, spur of the moment travel abroad and regional competitions... on top of all the regular domestic duties and suburban perils have taken their toll on me. As I sit here, amongst the refuse of too much going on, I realize that I need to get things in order... home and school, taxes and laundry, pets, bills, dental appointments, leaking showers, black mold, flooding yard, muffin top, gray hair, and finding my cell phone... all of it, and more, looms above my head and shoulders, makes my heart race, wakes me in the night.

I keep repeating the same six year old story about wanting a home of our own, about hating our rental palaces, landlords, and living in a perpetual state of wait and see, of unsettled living, but those issues have taken over and clouded my entire view... they are no longer merely excuses and speed-bumps, they have grown to a monumental size, clouding and obscuring my view, obstructing my path to contentment, and congesting my spirit. I feel bitter and angry and resentful and sad. I feel small.

My favorite part about blogging is two part... 1. making a record of our journey and 2. the exchange I share with readers and other bloggers. The first favorite remains and is good, mostly... when I am not immersed in a cycle of pity parties, and futile fist-shaking economy-woe rants. Lately I have not had time or made time for my second favorite part of blogging. I am behind on reading and responding, on being in tune with blog friends, and even with real friends (the ones I could walk with and hug). And I even feel behind in responding to Me, to Us, our family. I do not know how to navigate theses waters, this state we are in. I do know that we move forward, whether I am on board or not. It is much better when I am present and on board, when I push away the clouds and light a path.

I think of it like being at a party, but falling asleep on the couch. I should not be at the blog party and asleep on the couch. It's rude and unsightly. It's not interesting. My blogging experience is suffering, my home life is suffering, and maybe not posting for a while will help and maybe it won't make a bit of difference, but I am looking for balance... somewhere. A pause, a new map, a way to be present and capable and hopeful as we move forward. I am not quitting. I am pausing. Catching my breath. Reflecting.

Okay. How cool is Alex on the Segway? How cool was Steve Sanghi for sharing his sweet ride with us? The Arizona Regionals were already an amazing experience that left us elated and inspired, but Mr. Sanghi took it to a whole other level when he gave me and Alex Segway lessons.

Do you know what is amazing about a Segway, besides the ride, the novelty of soundlessly floating across a parking lot? It's easy. No, think easier than you just imagined. In fact it is so easy that if you are "trying," then you are working too hard. Gently lean forward... it is a subtle shift and not anything forceful... suddenly you are moving forward. The momentum is natural and irresistible. Stand straight up, center your weight... do not try to balance the machine... balance in your self, and you will stop. Shift to your heels, shoulders and core leaning back and the machine adjusts itself and you ride backwards. The machine responds so effectively and gracefully, that only your own resistance or over-thinking can make it difficult. It's more than reassuring to put your trust into something and have it respond so well, so kindly... it's exhilarating, gratifying and fun. I don't know about you, but I find fewer and fewer places where I can enjoy an easy and smooth ride, where my expectations are met with what I was promised. I am not looking for an easy ride, but it would be nice to have a few more experiences where work gives good results, and outcomes come close to what was promised.


Anna Banana said...

No worries, Natalie. This friend is with you in spirit. We can walk/talk when I get back from the promised land. ;-)

amy smith said...

oh natalie.
once again, i get you.
i get this.

Judy said...

I know the feeling of not being able to do everything you want to do. Take time to feel in control, then please return here. I have never pictured you asleep on the couch.

judy in ky said...

The comment above is from Judy in KY. I don't know why Blogger didn't show my full name or my photo... sometimes Blogger is weird.

d.a. said...

It's good to step back, pause, take a break. I, among many here I'm sure, have you in the RSS reader, so whenever you come back online your blog will "pop" right back up! Be well...

Laura Jane said...

I understand Natalie. I, too, wonder what i could achieve if I didn't turn the computer on and just attended to ALL. THE. STUFF.

If you saw my house you'd know what i mean.

So I am considering joining you in a self-imposed blog break. I wonder if I can tell Bloglines to opt me out for a defined period....the thought of returning to 1,000+ entries is too daunting for words, yet to unsubscribe would be a complete pain in the nose.

Thinking of you warmly, whether you appear on our screens or not, my dear. Can you feel the virtual hug? (((here))).


Cheyenne -Millie said...

Don't go too far away! I sure your messes aren't as big as my messes!

Tiglizzyclone said...

Oops!! Sorry about that leaving a big "comment deleted" by author! Previous comment was me... also known as "C" (or) Cheyenne... who is really my cat. I do wish you well! Leslie

Missy said...

recharge, refigure, organize...then come back when you can. Children are only little once. hugs and blessings to you.


tara said...

I will miss you. I totally understand about needing a break. I have often thought about quitting my blog but just cant. See you soon.

beginninghere said...

certainly understand your wanting a pause as I have been having a long one myself. but being busy and spent in too many places is different from feeling like we need an anchor for our very souls.

Lesley said...

Hey Natalie! I'm overjoyed to be connected to the internet at long last, and to be able to visit you again! I'm going to take a while to catch up with all your news - an OS trip and all! Laura did tell me you were off doing a recce for a bigger family holiday - what fun!
Thanks for your kind comments when I blogged about my dear old faithful Nipper.
Lots of love from me!

Sara said...

It's good to take a break now and then I my wish for you is that you will get accomplished all that you desire while having time for yourself and your family and enjoy what each day offers; rest and relax too, and we'll see you when you come back to Blogland!