Or as a supervisor ages ago told me, “Sometimes you have be okay with good enough.”
So that’s where we are right now. Does this site look at all like I would hope? Nope.
Does it have all the sections I wish it had? Nope.
Does it have the bare minimum to allow me to actually use it? No- wait. That one is actually a yes.
It can house my blatherings. It has a space to add quick links to articles, videos etc. that I find interesting and it has a spot where I can post links to much much smarter people than me (I? see? Point proven). The archives for the longer posts can be, shockingly enough, found under the Archives section. The quick links won’t be archived because, let’s face it, nobody is gonna go looking for those.
So, at this point, if I’m not writing it’s not because the site can’t handle it.
At some point I would like for it not to look like something a 12 year old did back in the early 2000s using Geocities but eh. One thing, or word, rather, at a time.
The downside to neglecting the site, to no longer having as much energy to fiddle around with code and to, well, not really have anyone visiting, is that when something on the back end breaks, it takes me a long time to get around to fixing it. And, if the fix is beyond my basic capabilities, I just hit the reset button. Which blows up the way the site looks but because I have the entries saved in databases I shrug the shoulders and think (and feel) eh. My toxic trait, as the kids say nowadays, is thinking I’ll fix it in a timely manner.
Well, debatable. I’m not sure resetting the site in August of 2022 and finally doing the bare minimum 4 months later qualifies as timely. However, given that in the past going from reset to restart has taken me years - as I said, debatable.
I’m stubbornly holding on to using Expression Engine for the content management which is silly given that it doesn’t come with any preset, easy to add templates. This matters because while I have full entries showing on the main page again, I still have to figure out how to code the pages to allow for the blogroll and any other links I may want to save.
I’ve also pared down the idea of what this space should be. In the past I wanted it to not just be a blog but a place to store my photos, more long-form writing, etc. But, really, given that I can barely sometimes get up the energy to do a quick blog post, and that I have zero interest or intent in having a portfolio of any kind, these grand designs are also quite silly.
The desire to journal is still there though so once again, here we are. We being me and, uhm, probably just me, let’s face it. Having no audience didn’t stop me in the past though so that’s definitely not likely to be an impediment now.
There does seem to be a general feeling of people wanting to get back to some version of blogging so I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes for others. As always, we shall see how it all goes.
I set a goal of reading 30 books in 2022. I ended the year with 67 books read. So the question now is, Do I keep the same reading goal for 2023 or bump it up? I used to read a book or two a week but that was so long ago that I can’t easily claim to be much of a reader nowadays. But I miss losing myself in a book, I miss the feeling of wanting to get done with a task because a story was waiting. So for 2022 I stuck to “easy” reads - so, no, I didn’t make any progress on The Brothers Karamazov. That continues to be my white whale.
Among the 67 books read, these are the ones that stood out:
Favorite reads: Project Hail Mary, Andy Weir; Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee
Most helpful: oh crap! Potty training: everything modern parents need to know to do it once and do it right, Jamie Glowacki
Weirdest: nothing to see here, Kevin Wilson
The YA that reminded me YA isn’t just for the youngsters: The Lesbianas Guide to Catholic School, Sonora Reyes; Lobizona, Romina Garber
The book that reminded me I really need to read more Latinae writers (and preferably in Spanish): The Book of Unknown Americans, Cristina Henriquez
The book that reminded me romance books can be fun escapes and started me down the contemporary romance rabbit hole that greatly facilitated the increased reading: Seven Days in June, Tia Williams
The book that made me pick up a classic I’ve been meaning to read: Re Jane, Patricia Park
The book that I didn’t realize had pissed me off so much until I picked up the sequel and discovered I hated the premise so much I couldn’t possible read past the first chapter: Dial A for Aunties, Jesse Q. Sutano
For 2023 I’ve decided to set two goals: read 40 books and to have many of those come from my own bookshelves. It would take several years reading at this pace to make a serious dent in my personal library but we have to start somewhere, no?
Had some trouble with a recent site update. I’m going to need to set the site back up again. I’d like to say things will be back to normal relatively fast, recent history has shown that day to day energy and focus vary greatly so I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be able to get the site back up completely.
Can you feel grief without also experiencing guilt? While I’ve been fortunate to not have experienced a lot of loss in my life, in my experience the two always go hand in hand. There’s always the feeling of not having done enough. Of not having tried hard enough to stay connected. Of the conversations that won’t be had.
When I was in El Salvador for a week, because of COVID and the kiddo not being vaccinated, I decided we would stay close to home. I also decided, since we would be staying close to home, that we would work on potty training. I didn’t love not being able to see as many people as I wanted, but the low contact seemed necessary. At the time I was also thinking we’d be back for two weeks in December. She’d be vaccinated by then, hopefully COVID would be even less of a problem. I’ll see everyone then, I thought.
That decision gutted me in early July when I found out an aunt died in late June. We had talked about seeing her but it was hard for her to get around and I didn’t want to be on public transportation with the kid because potty training wasn’t going well. I consoled myself with the thought that I’d see my aunt in a few months and she’d get to meet my little girl.
I’m almost 50 years old. You’d think I’d be more aware of the fact that people that have known me all my life won’t be around forever. But that’s not the way my brain works. That can’t be the way our brains work, can it? To constantly be thinking that a visit, a moment, could be the last visit, the last moment with someone. That seems emotionally exhausting.
The last time I saw my aunt was in 2018. When I forget she’s passed, I just think of her living in El Salvador, going about her day to day life. And then I feel that pang of sadness, followed quickly by the guilt, again. I console myself by reminding myself that in those three years I emailed and called her, gave her updates on the baby, sent photos and, during the lockdown that affected all of us, I helped as much as I could. So the three years didn’t pass in complete silence but, still, the decision to not see her a few months ago, for now, seems so heavy that it overshadows the efforts of the last three years.
So it goes. Life goes. Whether we’re ready for it or not.