Warning: Woman Working through personal stuff ahead

Took the girls to an author event for the One Community One Book celebration here in our town last night.  I’d been home all of 30 seconds (after an hour drive and before the requisite trip to the bathroom) when the request came to take them. But, of course, I had to spend some time talking with my husband about the demolition and remodeling in our basement, so by the time we were ready to leave we had all of ten minutes to drive through somewhere, eat, park and get in the auditorium.  Which we did.  Uncomfortably, but done nonetheless.

Already suffering from teen-drama hangover from the night before, I wasn’t in the best of moods when asked.  But I knew how important it was to one child, in particular, and how the whole “one community/one book” thing had been to me over all the years, and so we went.  Perhaps it was the teen-queen hangover, perhaps it has something to do with eating a whopper jr in 2.5 minutes while driving with my knee, perhaps it was just that I’m feeling the same pressures that everyone else in the world who has a JOB and KIDS and a HOUSE and a SPOUSE, but I walked into that place in a sour mood.

And then I saw Michelle and Alan who chair the one book event, and they greeted me warmly and by name, and then the woman they were talking to turned and smiled brightly and said “Oh, I’m so glad I get to meet you.” My daughter’s lit teacher.  Nice lady.  Why would she want to meet me and how would she know who I was before I introduced myself?  Because she read my column, for years, and she was thrilled to find out that the girl in her class with the same last name was, indeed, my child.

It was, well, it was not quite a bittersweet moment, but the writer in me can’t think of a better phrase to coin at the moment.  I suddenly had a name for that depression and mood I was feeling.  Damn it!  I’m still missing the goodbye!  Am I regretting my decision to quit writing this particular column?  Not on your tintype, girly girl.  But I am realizing what not writing has done to me, to my mood, to the family dynamic.  Maybe it was the switch to TV talk that started the anger ball rolling down the depression slope.

After the event, the teacher and I talked more and I thanked her for her kind words and mentioned that I wasn’t writing any more (she was complimenting me in the present tense), and she said, “oh, I noticed.” I think she was being kind to not say anything, like when your friend has a ginormous boil on her neck and you are kind enough to NOT say “What the hell IS that?”  I told that the TV thing just wasn’t working for me and she shook her head and furrowed her whole face (not just her brow) and said, “no, I didn’t think that was a good fit for you, either.”

So, I’m sitting in my pity pot right now.  Not just on it.  IN it.  That’s what I’m doing.  So I need to get out of it.  Right now! 

I started with the paper by chance and for free, much as I’m doing here.  And, what freedom I have here.  I can even cuss if I so choose!  I can talk about war and politics and religion and whatever the heck I want, however the heck I want–WHENEVER I want.  Right?  Right. 

So what’s missing? What’s missing besides the closure and the goodbye?  The deadlines, of course. And the pay (not that it was much).  It’s that tactile, “actual” world thing, where I could imagine 10, 20, even 30,000 people seeing my face each Sunday, reading my words while sipping a cup o’ joe.  I guess I didn’t realize what a mood-enhancer the thought of lots of people reading me each week could be/was.  Now I do.  And recognition is 9/10 of cure, right?  Okay, I’m making that up, but I do know that once I’m aware, actually paying attention to how something is affecting me, then things start to change.  So, here’s to getting out of (and maybe even off) the pity pot.  Here’s to being aware and creating change.

And here’s to this: my final goodbye to my column. Can’t wait to find out what’s next.


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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7 Responses to Warning: Woman Working through personal stuff ahead

  1. So – Imagine me checking the feeds I subscribe to every day, your blog among them, with a cup of coffee at my side. I only ever read your column on your blog, and I don’t watch TV much – I like the other stuff you write!

    And, yeah, the working through stuff? It just keeps going on…

    blessings of the day to you


  2. uuMomma says:

    Wow! Thanks, Kare and Suz for these wonderful words of encouragement. And Michigan–thank you for making yourself known here and for your wonderfully kind comments. Okay then: go, set, ready! Here I come, even if a bit backwards.


  3. Suz says:

    Like so many other people, i have always enjoyed reading what you have to share. Your blog is fairly new, still. Give it time, you’re readership will pick up and then you’ll have all sorts of interactions with people. I don’t know if you’ll be meeting up with them at Sheep & Wool Festivals from time to time like i do, but there are other gatherings.

    I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey leads you!


  4. Michigan ME says:

    Well, this is a good time to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. And if you were a columnist in my local newspaper, I would really miss you. You are so insightful and you often express thoughts that I have, but don’t articulate. Not to mention that you’re a UU!

    Even if the newspaper doesn’t tell you how much they appreciated you, I am sure there are many, many readers who enjoyed your writing and wonder where your column is or assume you’re coming back. (They probably think you’re still on spring break)

    Anyway, thank you for enlightening me everytime I read you.


  5. Karen says:

    You can imagine me (and limitless numbers of others!) reading this publication every day instead of your column once a week. And now you get to interact with your readers. Removing the limits on your writing is going to be an amazing thing for you!


  6. uuMomma says:

    already the latter! And feel free to do the former! Thanks for the vote, too.


  7. Kaleigh says:

    Are you saying that you want us readers to hold you to deadlines? Because I could totally do that.

    Or are you about to become an obsessive stat-checker? Because I’ve done that too.


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