Help

The sky is full of glories these days.

Hi everyone.  It’s Sunday morning, and I woke up to a glorious sunrise which turned the white shades on that side of the house pink. One of my regrets about our house is that I don’t have a good angle to photograph the sunrise.  My instagram feed is a parade of sunsets.  What does this mean?  Am I oriented towards the endings of things?  I am not sure.  Could be coincidence.  Could not be.

I am writing to ask for help.

This is sincere, though I’m worried it will seem trite.  For the first time in 10 solid years of blogging I’m considering stopping.  I feel like I repeat myself, over and over again. I can’t think about anything other than time’s drumbeat passage right now.  It might be because Grace is considering high school options.  It’s probably mostly because Grace and Whit are growing so fast I can barely keep up.  That’s not new, of course: they’ve been growing like that since they were born.  But now, all of a sudden, the finish line’s in sight and every single moment is filtered through the reality of how numbered are these days.

I don’t want to keep writing a relentless series of posts about how sad I am.  I am actually not sad – I’m acutely aware, and sensitive, but not sad.  I’m intensely grateful, too.  But anyway.  I know that’s repetitive and dull.  I have also been wriring less and less about Grace and Whit, as they grow older and their stories are more and more their own.  So I need input from you.

What do you want to hear about?  I’m running out of steam, and I hate admitting it, but it’s true.

Help.

 


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36 Comments

  1. janie
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    How are you starting to re-shape your life now you can see it will stop revolving so intensely around your children. This will be a work in progress for many years as your children twine differently through your household and life.

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  2. Ari
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I hope you will write whatever you want to write … whenever you want to. It does not matter whether anyone thinks it is repetitive or not. I really hope you write for yourself and continue to write for yourself (or stop writing because you don’t want to). Totally understandable that your children’s stories belonging to them.

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  3. Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Lindsey,

    I understand much of what you write in this post. I too feel my daughter’s emotions, feelings, stories belong to her and she has explicitly asked me to keep certain parts of her life private.

    But our children are only one aspect of our identities. You’ve taught me how to appreciate the ordinary and reflect on subjects I never considered. You’ve introduced me to new books, quotes and countless reflections on your observations of life, nature and the passage of time. Although you may feel like you’re repeating yourself, I learn so much from you. Ultimately it is your decision to stop writing in this space, but I hope you don’t. I am certain there are several readers like me who are still listening and paying attention to your honest and raw wisdom. xoxo

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  4. Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve pondered ending my blog, also – and yet can never quite pull the plug. I have let myself off the hook of trying to figure out what I’m “supposed” to write, and I just write – or don’t – as it feels good. Write, or don’t, for YOU…on any given day.

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  5. Vani
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Lyndsey

    I really hope that you don’t stop, however I understand that if you stop also. I see my self in you and and I religiously come back here to check are there any post. The beauty of your writing is your honestly and I respect that. Hope you figure out what is stirring you.

    Cheers
    Vani

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  6. Posted February 20, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I hear you. But I don’t think of your posts as just sad or just sensitive. I think of them as you. And I love knowing this is a space I can come and find something of you.

    I’ve thought of ending Catching Days as well. Sometimes it just feels like a weight. And except for the How We Spend Our Days introductions and essays, I recently posted nothing for a year. But now I have something to say again.

    Maybe throw the required posting away and give yourself permission to get off schedule, to show up here only when you want to. I believe the numbered days of your life with children at home will give way to something extraordinary, and I imagine you will be glad to have this space to work that out. As for me, I’m looking forward to your next 10 years. xo

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  7. Nadine
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I cannot speak from the perspective of a writer or blogger, but I, too, think that ultimately it is up to you if, when and what you write. This is your space, and we’really so glad you share it, but it ultimately belongs to you.
    I’ve been reading your words for five years now, and always, always found them insightful, helpful, an inspiration. I don’the care if you repeat yourself, because I think so much of our lives revolves around central questions that remain the same in one way or another.
    But your writing needs to serve you first and foremost, and bring you joy and connection. Whatever you decide it will be right for you. And we’re lucky anyway, to have shared in a part of your journey. Much love!

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  8. BettyYang
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’m a mom with 2 teen-girls. It’s not easy, yet, seeing them growing into two beautiful adults itself rewarding. Yes, our children are only one aspect of our identities.

    Your posts, whatever topics, have been my inspirations for so long. I do not mind them being repetitive. I just love reading your posts which contain wisdom.

    I support whatever decision you will make though I would love keep reading your writings.

    Best
    Betty Yang

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  9. Lee
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’m a new reader so none of it seems repetitive to me. 🙂 I started reading because you write from the heart and you make me think. So, if you decide to keep writing, I would say write about what you are thinking about and caring about. As you do.

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  10. Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    My tenth blogiversary is next month, and my kids are 13 and 9 now. While my blog has never been just about them, it does have a lot to do with them. My pace is considerably lighter than it was years ago. Maybe that’s the trick, to only write here when you really feel compelled to do so? I hope you won’t give it up completely. While I don’t have the same disposition as you do, when I read your posts, it often reminds me to slow down and take a beat. You are providing something for others that you might not find as useful right now, but I don’t think you should stop.

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  11. Jenn
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Lindsay. We’ve never met, though we have a friend in common – KEBM – and I’ve read your blog for many years. My one quibble over the years is that you seem reluctant to claim the title “writer’ as part of your identity – as though you have to pass some sort of official bar to merit that title, a feeling I, too, struggled with. As a writing coach told me, many years ago, anyone who writes regularly is a writer. I believe you are one, whether or not you keep up with this blog or take a rest or turn your talents to other creative pursuits. To echo what some others have posted already, I think it’s really more a gut-check for you personally and less about us, the audience. Are you all written-out at the moment? Have you explored the main themes of your emotional and daily lives enough for the moment? Could you shift to writing essays for publications and other websites, as you’ve done occasionally? Or does this daily practice carry so much meaning for you that giving it up would feel unnatural? Do you want to start another blog where you are not “out” in your real-life identity, and therefore can be more searingly honest and exposed, without fear of spilling secrets or hurting others? I have really enjoyed your beautiful words and musings, but I know that writers evolve, and what is right for one stage of life is not always right for later stages. Whatever you decide, I hope you do continue writing, for it is clearly a big part of who you are and needs to find its outlet for expression and connection. All the best, Jenn

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  12. Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    as your children grow so do we and there is a certain disconnect as they become less the focus of our lives. It is easy to feel this disconnect as I have nothing new to say or do because the next phase is looming and frankly it is an unknown that is hard to contemplate sharing, but It would be wonderful if you did. Uncertainty of you own place, and what You do with your time other than being with the family is a personal growing stage, not necessarily an easy one and I think you will find a lot to say. Just be easy with yourself and as other commenters have said write when and what you feel you want.

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  13. Janet
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Please.Don’t.Stop! I’m with other posters that this is your space and you should write what you want when you want. And certainly if you want to take time off to be immersed in the kids and hubby and other pursuits. But, honestly, writing is in your blood and I don’t see you walking away totally. At least that’s what I’m hoping…

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  14. Cheryl
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Keep sharing your life! How are you handling your children growing older and not needing you as much as they did when they were little? How do you fill your time during the day? What are your plans for the future? What are you passionate about? What are the things you cannot live with out? What books are you reading or would recommend? There is so much in life to write about and I have never found your posts repetitive. Keep writing and we will read!!!!!

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  15. Posted February 20, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    When I started writing it literally saved my life. That was five years ago and there are times now when I too get tired of blogging. I sometimes ask myself, what else do I have to say? Who cares what I have to say?

    I definitely hear a sadness in your writing, an ache for things you can’t control, and there is a certain amount of belaboring it.

    I find some of the most pleasurable things I write are about the world around me. When I write about hikes I take, new places I visit, people I meet while sitting at a bar or a coffee shop, it helps me put myself and my problems into the bigger picture. It gives me perspective and makes me realize I am not alone. When I find one of these stories, a lightbulb snaps on. There’s a blog, I tell myself.

    I think of the stories I most enjoyed writing. A woman I met at a rest stop in Nevada who was moving to Utah to help her 45 year old daughter die from a horrible illness. This mother’s optimism and strength inspired me and our chance encounter was a revelation.

    There was also a boring afternoon at a temp job where I had to recreate a travel log for a truck driver and it somehow turned into a blog of the trucker and I traveling cross country. As I filled my Excel spreadsheet with the miles he traveled from the Florida panhandle to Tucumcari the afternoon rolled by like the endless road trips I have traveled.

    I actually have an entire series of blogs about gas stations. There are stories everywhere. Your writing is beautiful. Maybe it’s just time to look outside yourself and write about the world around you.

    I am currently reading Bill Hayes’ memoir Insomniac City-the story of his love affair with Oliver Sacks and with New York City. It is pure inspiration because i feel we are kindred spirits. He too can find a story anywhere-at a skateboard park, on the subway, outside the window of his apartment. Sometimes just one line from an overheard conversation is all it takes.

    Looking outside might help with your struggle to turn down the drumbeat of time and to live in the moment. I know it helped me keep my eyes wide open.

    I chat with a few writers about the struggle to be heard, to get our stories out there to a wider audience, and the constant search for inspiration. I like to brainstorm and connect. You can contact me on my blog if you like. I’m going to be 60 in two weeks!! and I find it’s helpful to read about your Gen X struggles. It’s all a part of eyes wide open, and new perspectives. Your blogs prompt memories of my years raising pre-teens. Here’s the story of the afternoon at work and it also happens to fall into the category of Stories about Gas Stations. I think you’re at a crossroads and it’s time to take a new direction. But definitely keep writing. https://sheilablanchette.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/it-could-be-worse/

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  16. Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I read your words every day even though I don’t always comment and I will miss your words HORRIBLY if you stop. However I get that this is hypocritical because I stopped blogging:)

    Do what feels right to you. I don’t think you are repetitive at all!!! And if this blog adds true nourishment to your days, keep going! But if your heart isn’t in it, then stop.

    Remember you can always come back and we will welcome you with open arms!!! Or don’t stop and we will be greatly relieved. ❤❤❤

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  17. Charlene
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    From an older reader, who wants you to know how important it is to me to read your blog. It encourages me to know that there are strong, intelligent, yet porous women, like you out there to make the world a better place and to be a role model for my granddaughter. Please continue writing.
    Charlene

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  18. Posted February 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t start writing on a daily basis until our children were grown and flown. Even before that happens for you, I know you’ll find plenty in daily life and the musings of others to share what you think and how you think — we all would greatly miss your sometimes raw and always heartfelt experience of each moment. Perhaps it will no longer be writing about your children but it can be about your own growth into the next phase. Once again you’ll be writing those words that articulate how others feel. Blessings, Emily

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  19. Elizabeth
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Lindsey,

    I don’t comment much these days, but I do read often, and I wanted to echo what Cynthia said above. Perhaps you should give yourself permission to step back for awhile – or forever, if need be. Write when you feel compelled to, or when you feel you have something urgent to say. I don’t think it needs to be an all-or-nothing proposition, or that you need to make any grand proclamations about shuttering your site. It’s okay to take a break for a little while – or a long while. Or to write in feverish sprints with fallow periods in between. Listen to your need to refresh your writing spirit, if it’s calling to you. I know the idea of stepping back can’t be an easy thought, after so many years; trust that readers will always be here to read your words.

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  20. Sue
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    There will be so much for you to write about as your children grow even older. I prepared myself for two years through therapy and a spiritual practice before my twin boys left for college (#3 and #4, my last two children). After experiencing the first two children leaving I knew I had to prepare myself better. It’s a gut-wrenching time and that’s when I started writing – a lot. Hearing how you’re dealing with that experience will help a lot of people.

    I don’t consider your posts to be sad. I consider them to be honest. Many of us out here are the same way and we love feeling connected to you.

    Ultimately, of course, it’s up to you. But I hope you remember that we’re all still out here, rooting you on, rooting us all on, and enjoying whatever it is you post. And by the way, I LOVE your book recommendations.

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  21. kim
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    http://tracybleier.com/older-kids-newer-blessings/

    please, please read this.
    I know you know tracy.
    please find what works for you.
    we will be here.
    you are blessing to so many.

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  22. Posted February 20, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Write because you love to write when you feel moved to write about the things that matter to you. And I agree with some of the other comments. You might be surprised by a renewed energy and creativity as your children go off on their own adventures. ❤️

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  23. Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Write for yourself. As long as you still want to write, don’t worry about whether others will read it!

    Selfishly though, don’t stop. I’m very curious to see how your writing will evolve as our kids reach the age of adulthood.

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  24. Carey
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, I agree with the commenter above who said it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Take some time out if that’s what you’re feeling. Write what you want when you want. If you’re in a fallow period–and a life transition–you may actually find that stopping for awhile and/or writing less will eventually create a space for the next thing–starting up the blog with a fresh perspective, or a fresh start altogether.

    A few years ago I read a beautiful book by Dominique Browning called Slow Love, about leaving her corporate career and starting a new life–basically a midlife transition. Here is part of a longer passage I loved that, to me, expresses some part of what you’re experiencing:

    “One adventure is over; it is time for another. I have a different kind of work to do now. I am growing into a new season. At the water’s edge, watching the tiny, teeming life of that mysterious place between high and low tides, the intertidal zone, I begin to accept the relentless flux that is the condition of these days. I am not old and not young; not betrothed and not alone; not broken and yet not quite whole; thinking back, looking forward. But present. These are my intertidal years.”

    xo – Carey

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  25. Jennifer
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Oh no! I hope you don’t stop. You are a wonderful writer. I don’t find your posts repetitive or sad. I am also sensitive, and I find your writing very beautiful and meaningful. I just recently found your blog after I read, “Not that kind of mother” on Susan Cain’s facebook page. I am a new mom and an introvert and I found that piece comforting and encouraging. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, and I always enjoy reading your posts. I hope you continue writing here.

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  26. July
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Hi Lindsey – I don’t comment very often, but stumbled onto your blog about 6 years ago and your words provided a lifeline for me as I embarked on my journey as a mother. Not only could I relate to your postpartum depression, but also your view of the world (which my father calls a little “melancholy”, or my mother “oversensitive”, but to which you refer to as just being more porous). By reading your blog posts, and some of the other books and articles you’ve suggested over the years, it is the first time I’ve found others who share that same perspective. I’ve always felt that there was something wrong with feeling the way I feel, and now I don’t. It’s a gift, so I thank you for that. In terms of whether to continue or not to continue your blog, maybe you’re at a point in which you need to take a break for a little while…post only when you feel like it (or at least keep posting “Things I Love Lately” :)). If you feel like you’re running in circles with your writing, then maybe you need to stop and take a moment to step back and continue to observe your life as it unfolds. Maybe then, you will see your next step!

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  27. Laurie
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I found you and your blog many years ago and continue reading because of your writer’s voice. I believe that by now I could recognize it beyond the blog, and would miss it if you decided to stop writing. While i am older and my daughter has recently graduated from college, it does not mean that your words don’t resonate or that I can’t find myself in what you write. However, I feel negligent in not having written to share my sense that while there are many lasts in parenting, there continue to be new beginnings and that the sadness of those endings can often be overshadowed by the joy found in the beginnings. And it is because of that that your writing and your thoughts can resonate with a mom whose daughter is beginning a new chapter in her life. I understand your current feelings and thoughts and would love to hear how they grow and change as your children do the same. Please know that your words contain wisdom and insight far beyond the present and far beyond your own life. Whatever you decide, it’s a pleasure to read your thoughts and to connect them to both my past and present.

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  28. Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I only wrote seven posts last year, and I wrote my first one this year yesterday. I was feeling a lot like you are and needed to write when I had something new to say, but not all the time. I’ve found it to be so rewarding to have new standards for myself and how often I write. But I also miss chronicling the little things along the way. I say take a break — be it a week or a month — and listen to your heart. That’s what makes your writing so special, after all.

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  29. Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I echo others who say – I’ll keep reading, even if you keep writing about the same things. I love your wise, honest words. But I also think taking a break can be good. I’m also struggling with whether to continue blogging, or how often. So much feels so private and personal right now. xo

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  30. Eileen
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Oh Lindsay please reconsider and take heed to the above posts. It is obvious that there are a lot of us who look forward to your posts . I for one am not a parent yet your sensitive outlooks reminds me to stop and reflect . I found your post via huffington post during the Boston bombing and was compelled to join your blog ! I love your “things I love lately” and your Friday quotes ! I have shared you with others hoping that others follow you . Keep writing please ! Btw I found other blogs via you ! So you are also a networker!

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  31. Posted February 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, as someone who is also always questioning my direction, I read your post and ALL of the comments with great interest. The fact that so many commented and with such thoughtfulness and detail says so much. Your words touch people, but more importantly, those words to keep nourishing you. I agree with many who suggest a middle approach for now–perhaps not forcing yourself to post on a certain schedule?

    One thing I’ve done that has kept me going when I feel like stopping is to allow myself to experiment with topics and to let go of whatever isn’t feeling right. I may intend to do a whole series, for example, but after two posts it’s just not interesting me anymore. And that’s okay! These are our sites and nobody is attached to them as we are. (For better or worse.)

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  32. CC
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Lindsey,

    Just before I read your post, I was thinking about you, Aidan, and one other person whose blogs I read. I don’t have a blog and wondered how you all could keep up such a commitment over many years. I’ve loved reading your writing and am eagerly curious to know more about how you are and how your life and your family’s are going. I don’t have kids but have always thought parenting is the hardest job in the world, bar none. Everything you write about mothering makes me jealous I didn’t have a mother like you who is aware on so many levels of your and your family members’ fragilities and strengths. I tremendously respect your trying to make sense of the world and resonate with the complexities you write about negotiating. I do hear your sadness, alongside your clinging to hope, your noticing and caring about things others might not. I’m sensitive, too, and admire that you go public with your thoughts.

    All in all, I’ll read whatever you write, and if it’s time now for you to step away, I’ll know that your instincts for self-care, especially during times of change, are exactly right. Take good care of yourself.

    Love and respect from elsewhere in Cambridge.

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  33. Amy
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I love everything you write and selfishly hope you do not stop writing. My favorite posts are your quotes on Friday and your book recommendations but honestly all of your reflections are beautiful. Good luck with your choice. XXX

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  34. Sarah
    Posted February 27, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Lindsey, you are so intuitive, self-aware, and sensitive to your own needs (as well as those around you). I think the fact that you’re asking for help proves how self-aware you are and, while you can take any and all advice offered, you probably already know what you need deep down. Read the comments from your lovely friends. Then take time for you. 💕

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  35. Sally Fitzpatrick
    Posted February 27, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I hope you don’t stop blogging … over the years you have put so many of my thoughts into words. I would say 90% of the books I have read came from your recommendations. Please, please, please reconsider – I never comment but I am a faithful reader!

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  36. summer
    Posted February 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    hi there,

    i never, ever comment, but i need to now. please stop blogging if your gut/heart is telling you that it’s time. but don’t stop writing. even if it’s just for yourself.

    sidenote – you could always try using instagram (or the like) for your “blogging” outlet. i follow along there as well.

    you have such a gift with words, and i love the way you look at the world. you may think you’re doing nothing but repeating yourself, but your individual outlook speaks to the universal in so many ways. i am so grateful for your thoughts bc they are mine as well.

    take care.

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