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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unfinished Diaries

When I was a growing up, I always wanted to keep a super-secret diary, like the intrepid Harriet from Harriet, the Spy or the heroic, yet tragic Anne Frank or even whiny Margaret from Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. So I did... kinda. I mean, I hid a journal between my mattress and box spring. And I wrote oh-so-important messages inside of it, from "I (heart) Andy" to endless soliloquies detailing junior high friendship angst to wailing about how I'd never get boobs.

And yes, I am aware this makes me shallow.

Some things never change.

Only I never seemed to stick with my diaries for very long... because somehow every! single! one! had two-thirds of its pages blank. What exactly was UP with that? Especially since that trend seemed to follow me through into adulthood. Seriously, the journal I kept during our China trip to adopt the Tongginator? I wrote in exactly four pages of it. *blush* I'd like to say that I stopped writing because the trip felt so challenging, but - to be honest - the Tongginator was truly a dream during our entire two week trip.

(Don't hate me. I promise that once we arrived home... well... THAT was a different story.)

Looking back, I AM glad I didn't publicly journal during my first few years as a momma. Some people manage to never cross the line during difficult times, but I don't seem to be one of them. I over-share way too often, even in real life, and I also don't always remember to edify, uplift and encourage others when I'm stuck in the muck of the day-to-day.

I'm also glad I didn't blog when the Tongginator was younger because it's convenient to rewrite history at times. During my blogging break this past week, I shared several long coffee visits and a few marathon phone conversations with some close friends and becoming-close-friends. And it was interesting to compare notes, looking back on those very hard years, but it's also convenient to blur the memories because yes, there ARE some things that are nice to forget.

Who really wants to relive bathroom walls smeared with poop? I mean, really?

But it's also nice to keep a daily journal.... because some memories fade with age, memories you don't want to slip away. If you journal, you can go back, polish up the memory and relive how it felt during that exact moment in time. When it's a small memory that would otherwise disappear amid the hustle and bustle of life, it can be a beautiful thing.

I realized something during my blogging break this past week: I've been blogging for just over two years. Two. Years. That's a heck of a lot better than a diary that's not even half-full. And, although I wasn't sure last week, I now know that I actually don't want to stop blogging. Because I LIKE to write... I like to record our memories. Which means that sometimes things DO change. For some strange reason, I've stuck with Our Little Tongginator. And I miss it when I walk away from it. Which means it's good to be back, even if I only disappeared for a few days.

(Wait... you didn't even notice that I was gone? Harrumph.)

I don't know what's kept me blogging for the past 25 months, but I can only assume it's y'all. Because history shows that my private diaries just seem to sit, unwritten, between my mattress and box spring. But my public diary that is Our Little Tongginator? Well - as y'all can see - I can't even manage to walk away from it for a week before I'm back. So thank you. Truly... THANK YOU. For reading. For walking through life with me. For commenting (hint, hint). And yeah, I realize that requiring public affirmation to motivate me (this is your cue to compliment me!) makes me shallow... superficial... petty.... arrogant.

As I said... some things? NEVER change.

Although thankfully, I DID finally get boobs. (For which the Husband is also thankful.)


Sherri said...

Welcome back, TM!

I missed you.

Aus said...

Well - clever post - and as a guy I was considering asking a question in my commnet but was dancing around that (lest I cause TD to fret) - thanks for resolving that before I had to ask (made ya blush?)

Blogging is like that - it's good to know that folks read - adding a counter and / or location tracker is kind of cool too - our blog is getting on average 50 hits a day (even tho no one ever comments!)

Anyway - missed you, glad to have you back....and sharing life (good / bad / or indifferent) is what it's all about!

hugs - aus and co.

Johnny said...

Well your 3 posts suddenly popped all at once: Curling-Taking a Break-Hey I'm Back. So, it was a bit disorienting.

But you had me a "boobies".


(but I'm a dude, that's pretty much true for all dudes)

Chris said...

I really and truly missed you these past few days!!!

I was starting to get worried!

Actually I was going to email you this morning....to ask how you were & if everything is okay.

Whew....glad to know all is well!

Taking a break is always good...sometimes it can give you a new perspective on things.

But boy, oh boy, am I glad you are back!!!! :)

Stefanie said...

You WERE so missed :)
And it's great to hear you've got some wind in your sails to KEEP on bloggin'!
It is a personal diary of sorts, and like you, I've never been a good journaler. But blogging is just better somehow ;)
Glad you're back!!

Soliloquy said...

I've told you eleventy hundred times that you're an awesome mom.

Want me to tell you again?

You are an AWESOME mom. And a great friend. And an engaging blogger.

Hey - we've been blogging for the same amount of time! I started in February 2008. But you've been more consistent than I.

See? ANOTHER compliment.

You're welcome.

Football & Fried Rice said...

Can I say an AMEN? On everything - the re-writing our kids' early years, the forgetting, the journaling (or lack there-of)..and even, yes, the boobs :-)

I try to start a new journal most years (more chocked full of prayers, prayer requests, etc - than my intimate desires and crushes - Oh MY!) But alas, they end up in a storage container by February!

I have felt like tossing the blog into a storage container a LOT. Abut every 3 months - I get sick of being happy, or sick of whining, or tired of waiting - whatever it is - my funks - make me want to wrap the whole thing up! But, like you, I keep that baby because it's the only journal I have ever kept for so long :)

Welcome Back, Mama!!

bbmomof2boys said...

Welcome back.


Magi said...

Welcome back!

I also started many diaries when I was young, but never kept up with it. The blog is different somehow.

Logical Libby said...

I used to keep journals when I was a kid. Then I would find them and re-read them, and systematically destroy them so i never had to deal with my patheticness again. Well, until I started another journal...

Sharie said...

I'm so like you when it comes to journaling. The only one I ever kept long term was my senior year in high school when I was required to write each week during religion class - yes I went to Catholic school. I'll tell you that journal is one depressing page after another!!

My China journal - also only a few pages, but I was blogging in China and yes I did share too much information. However there are things that I didn't blog and once in awhile something will remind me of that time and I'll think "Man am I glad I blocked that out." Because who really wants to remember how horrible it is not to sleep for 6-months straight...or thinking about their daughter sucking her blanket because it's likely her milk spilled on it, or that she would eat so fast and so much that she would get sick...I mean really...

Dawn said...

You were missed! And, I would have staged a huge internet protest had you chosen to give up blogging.

Ok... maybe not HUGE... but I was gonna email you today to check on you.

Glad you're back! Love your blog and your heart!

Be blessed.

Debra said...

So glad you are back. I really like what you have to say.

Andrea said...

I noticed! My week just wasn't the same without towers of snow, poop smeared walls and outings in jammies.

Patricia/NYC said...

Welcome back!! You were MISSED!!!
Glad to hear you will keep on bloggin'...and you & I have much in common re: the journaling thing ;) If I didn't blog, there would be no journal! And, I too have exactly 4 pages written in a beautiful journal I took with me to China...sigh...what high hopes I had...oh well, at least the first 4 days are documented!

prechrswife said...

Glad to see you back! :-)

Jboo said...

I wondered where you were! So glad you're back!! Has your snow melted yet?

Have a great Wednesday!


jen@odbt said...

You say it so well. I too started so many diaries/journals but this is the one thing I truly enjoy maintaining/updating. I'm glad you do too :) And I'm glad you got your boobies. I'm still waiting for the original Karate Kid to come whisk me away. ha!

mumma to many said...

Oh Man
Does this mean I should update my blog!
As for hard parenting actually Number 3 in some ways has been the hardest!
Off to read a book and I so love the fact we got Boobs as my kiddos would be lost without mine and I never breast fed! They like just as much as DH but at least his love is consistant! Those Kiddos grow up and no longer feel the need to slip their hands down my front any more one down two to go!

a little leprechaun said...

Crack me up! Glad you are back! Have you had your blog printed up?? Just curious. My friend has done it a couple times with her blog. I haven't tried it yet. I plan on using it as our 'baby' books. Because the baby books are not very filled out. At all.


Aunt LoLo said...

If your Super Secret Diaries could talk back, I'm sure you would have kept writing in them!

I'm also pretty sure that would make you a Witch or a Wizard (Gryffindore?) but....yeah. Heh.

Glad you're back. ;-)

Shawnstribe said...

perfectly perfect as always!!!!!
i've stopped blogging, the pain was so great, overwhelming in fact....maybe one day i'llpick up again....somuch to share, to say, tocherish....but maybe in solitude for a while
i love your writings though
always a fan
ps the boob comment was funny :)
i'd give mine away if i could : )

Debbie said...

Of course we notice when you're not around. And we are happy when you come back!
I never could get the knack of a diary or journal. I tried though.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

You never disappoint me...NEVER!!! I just laughed so loudly when I read your last sentence...that Pat came running in the room!! I have a rather good response, but I am not sure I could leave it here for all to see....I am not that brave, so maybe I will email you:)

As for blogging.....I am so thrilled your little break made you realize how much you love writing and journaling your daily life.....because we certainly love reading and following along!!

Welcome back TM!!!



Briana's Mom said...

Glad you are back TM. The blog world isn't the same without you! :) But I'm even more glad you missed US. LOL!

I've never been a big journal person either, but I do love to scrapbook. Blogging is the best of both worlds for me now.

Cavatica said...

Hmmmmm, I have a large box full of journals - 50, I think. I finally stopped (no self-help group required, thank you very much). Now blogging, which is also very addictive for me, but adds the outsider component of which you speak. I have very few readers, but I had none during the early years. Comments are motivating, but that's not all it is. Now I wonder about what to do with all those journals. They aren't pretty - no, not at all and I don't think I'll read them again. To burn or not to burn, that is the question.

Oh, and congrats on the boobs. I never really got any (well barely).

Annie said...

So glad you are back and by the way, I am still waiting on my boobs!!!!! Where did you find yours??? LOL!!!!

Colleen said...

Well welcome back!!!! Hey I loved Margaret....that was one of my favorite books ever!!! I think I read it a billion times over!!! Judy Blume rocks!!!! So happy you got boobs....and I am even more happy that you are not leaving us!!!!! : )

Janet said...

I LOVE looking back at the things I have written on my blog. It's so neat to relive things that have happened that I had forgotten about. NO regrets for me.

PS-I'm glad you got boobs. ;-)

Carla said...

Hey at least your paper journals were 1/3 full...I think I made it a typical 5 pages or so...LOL

I think someone needs to invent transporter technology so that I can finally meet some of you in person.

I did miss you...greatly.

Patty O. said...

You're lucky. My boobs never did really blossom. I'm still in the double A sized bras I wore in jr. high. And you say YOU over share. HA!

Anyway, I am glad you are back. Yours is one of my favorite blogs for too many reasons to detail. You're funny, down-to-earth and reading your blog makes me feel like I am hanging out with you in your kitchen shooting the breeze, something I know I would totally enjoy in real life. Also, you share things in a positive way even when things totally stink, so that reading your blog always leaves me feeling more hopeful, if that makes sense.

And as for blogging vs journaling, I am the same way. There is something about the interactive nature of blogging that makes it much more gratifying than writing in a journal no one may ever read. And I don't think that makes you petty or superficial. It means you thrive on the bonds that you make with people, which means you care.

Love Letters To China said...

So glad you didn't leave the blogging world. I love to read about your everyday antics. They are always putting a smile on my face. :-)

Wanda said...

I knew you weren't leaving leaving. Just taking a breather.

Interesting how this "diary" has kept going. Me too - I never filled a diary or journal.....didn't even write a word in China except for my blog and e-mails. Suppose it's a pen aversion. What, no spell-check?

Welcome back! (And such a relief about the boobs comment at the end. Saved me from asking!)

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Suzie said...

Welcome back from your short hiatus! You were missed!

I'm not good at journaling. Or blogging for that matter. My posts are few and far between but I'm hoping that some day when I finally get my girl that I'll have a lot to say!

thegypsymama said...

Missed ya!