So what the heck happened to this blog? Where did it go? Like old friends and favorite stories, Tan/Green is often on my mind – even if I don’t do anything about it. I started this blog as a way to fulfill my need to write. And because I had so much to say about living a “granola life in a fast food world.” And because I wanted to share stories and pictures of my children with friends and family. And because I have important lessons learned to share with my kids. None of that has changed.
Oh, the dangers of the worlds have moved into the mainstream media and I am thrilled that more and more people are thinking about the price of convenience. My babies aren’t babies at all and are getting too old and too aware of the world for me to indiscriminately share the details of their lives (excepting important information like how to detect Coats Disease and retinoblastoma through photographs!) I do still have many lessons learned to share with the boys – though they begin to require details of my and others’ lives be explained and examined which I cannot in good faith do in the blogosphere. I know, disappointing…
Certainly, the time I have to dedicate has changed. And my priorities underwent a shift – many, really. I have been stating things for years – about toxins in our environment, about first phases of motherhood, about lessons for my children. As if I have any authority or expertise. Sometime in the last few months – between work and home and blogging – I have become exhausted of stating things. How to do this or that. The why’s behind every “civilized” behavior or procedural decision. I have been a questioner for years – I like to think things over, research, try to understand deeply. And – in part through the Tan/Green Living Project – I found myself questioning more than ever, sure of less than ever and less confident about what I “know” than ever. And that is just fine. I still have a good head on my shoulders and state what I need to state…and question it all as much as practical.
Then something happened a few weeks ago.
This is a picture of our pet giraffe. Because, we have a pet giraffe, you know, as one does in the suburbs. I was out on a jog one Tuesday. Tuesday is trash day here. And this lonely giraffe was tucked up next to a garbage can and as I strode by I caught a glimpse and stopped, turning to make sure I was in fact seeing a giraffe. I thought, “oh, the boys would love that.” I tried it out for weight. Yep, I could manage this 20# concrete zoo animal for one block! And so I hauled her home and planted her out front. And thinking that randomly finding a giraffe out front might unnerve my sometimes wary kiddos, I better make a big deal about it. I told them as they dressed that we had a special visitor…a surprise! It was easier to get them dressed that morning than any day, ever.
We got ready then snuck around Daddy’s car to find…a giraffe! (Daddy who was with us and had no warning was wondering what in the heck I was up to!) Dante and Gabriel were delighted and after a little nudging they petted her. It was all great fun – Nathan mostly laughed at me for how exited I was at finding a giraffe.
Later than evening as I sat with the boys reading and talking I asked if we should name the giraffe since it seemed like she was staying. Dante calls everyone and everything a she right now – I often go with it. Now my boys have never wanted to get too creative in naming – the stuffed cat is Kitty, Gabriel’s stuffed dog is Bunny (and would have been Dog if it actually looked like one), cars are Big Car and Van…you get the idea. I decided to try anyway. I said, “Should we name the giraffe? What about Susie or Martha or Joy or…” I was cut off by Dante, “YES!! Joy! We should name her Joy.” I was so surprised. And he said this with complete and utter Joy. I felt true Joy at his excitement – that he stepped out if his box and imagined something beyond Giraffe. We have referred to her since as Joy.
Now, this may not seem like much of an event, it’s just that I am not one for whimsy. I just never have been. I felt so out of my box doing something so just for fun as bringing home a glass eyed, probably not weather proof, concrete zoo animal. And it…she…has since become a funny touchstone for me. Something about my severely limited time being dedicated to what brings me Joy. Something about digging deep for all the whimsy I can for these early childhood years when it really delights the boys. Something about shedding the perceived obligations (running 2 miles that morning) for recognizing and seizing the moments that will create a warmly remembered childhood (and marriage and work environment and youth group and…)
I have a lot going on in my life – like everyone. I enjoy my roles as Mother, Wife, Director, Friend, Family Member, Youth Group Leader, Runner, Pilates Student, Knitter, Blogger. When you push so much into so few hours though, sometimes you need more Joy and less dictating; more whimsy and fewer obligations. All of this to say that without meaning to I have taken a break from blogging. I am trying to find more Joy in the everyday. And I don’t know what that means for Tan/Green. I still love writing. I just don’t have the urgency to publish my thoughts the way I have before. Oh I would love to write up some of my adventures in upper middle management or church leadership…there is just no way to adequately protect the identities of the innocent! So, something else will strike me – something that brings me Joy. And then I will start to blog again with regularity.
Until then, thank you to the 100 or so folks that have read along through the years and I hope that you will keep checking new posts when they someday come out. Feel free to make suggestions, ask questions, seek photos, say hi. Stay in touch (one of the real, unanticipated, pluses to blogging which truly does bring much Joy) and be well, Reader-Friends!