Essay

Hello world, I’m back; I’ve changed.

It’s been 16 months

–almost the duration of two full-term-pregnancies–since I left the blogosphere.

It’s been an Beyond the Looking Glass wild kind of adventure.

Please forgive my mysterious non-disclosure about the details behind my disappearance. I’m keeping them quiet for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s too freshly painful to recount sensibly and sensitively–memoir needs a lens of distance to achieve objectivity;
  2. And more importantly; it isn’t entirely my own story to tell. I don’t want to infringe on the personal privacy of those who have accompanied me on this journey.

Most importantly:  that story isn’t what this blog is about.

In the post I wrote before I left, I predicted I would return a changed person.

All this has changed:

  • where I live,
  • what I do,
  • how I relate to the people closest to me,
  • how I see and respond to the world around me.

And the tough stuff isn’t over–in some ways it’s just beginning.

This adventure has given me a laser-focus for what I’m doing daily, and what I’m doing here.

This blog is becoming the record of my Joy Quest:

  •  Joy is a literary “movement,”  in the way “Confessional” was a literary movement applied to the works of poets Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and W.D. Snodgrass.
  • Shirley Showalter, with her work on Jubilación (reconceptualizing retirement as joy), is the first influencer in this movement.
  • Okay, I made up the idea of Joy as a literary movement in order to give Shirley the credit she deserves for inspiring me and helping me to articulate what I’m about.

In keeping with this, I’ve updated my pages. Read a brief bit about the new me, and some of what I’m doing now, if you’re interested.

Kind friends, I’ve missed you.

Your voices have enriched my life. I’m back to spend time with you, and to listen.

Tell me — what brings you lasting joy? 

 

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29 thoughts on “Hello world, I’m back; I’ve changed.”

  1. You ask what brings me lasting joy? Well, having you back, of course. It’s so wonderful to hear from you again, Tracy. Obviously, I’ve tried to keep up with you on Facebook, but it’s just not the same. Blogging is my social media preference, so it’s wonderful that you’ve decided to return. ❤

    1. I’m glad to be back. Now that I have a focus and a plan, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. And I’m with you. Blogging offers more of a real connection, like sitting down to tea. Facebook feels like a great big cocktail party, with a bunch of strangers milling around, making ruckus, telling jokes, slamming people, and interrupting your conversation with the person you really wanted to talk to.

    2. I agree. That was the first thing I thought of – having you back! I will SO look forward to hearing from you regularly.

  2. This is such a lovely surprise, to see your post popping up in my reader. Welcome back indeed. Looking forward to some more lively shared experiences, chat and discussions. Have to admit though, my blogging regularity has plummeted of late…but I’m still here, dropping in on everyone else 😉

  3. Lovely to see you back here! I look forward to reading all you have to share in future. What brings me lasting joy? On brief reflection, I have to say it’s creativity, and specifically the act of creation for others, whether cooking a meal for someone I love or crocheting a blanket or hat for one of my granddaughters. And also, being part of a creative community. It was finding a caring, sharing crochet community on Instagram that actually inspired me to pick up a craft I hadn’t done in about 30 years. So there you go, joy!

    1. I agree — creativity is joyful. My life would be so empty without it. I miss knitting, but right now, I really shouldn’t add another hobby to my plate. I have to keep telling myself, don’t do it, don’t do it! But I’m itching to get back at it. When the time is right…

  4. I detect you waited until the time was right and sensibly decided to come back with a monthly (?) post.

    Memoir is my genre too and yours is sitting snugly with about 10-12 others on the bookshelf beside my writing chair, radiating inspiration, or so I imagine.

    What sparks joy? Getting rid of tons of stuff inspired by reading Marie Kondo’s amazing book: http://marianbeaman.com/2016/06/15/review-marie-kondos-the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-a-view-my-dads-shop/

    Last year we moved after 37 years in the same house and hubs and I off-loaded at least 1/3 of our “stuff” – I don’t miss a thing!

    Welcome back, Tracy!

    1. Thanks, Marian! I’m going to get that book for my mother! She has been asking for help in off-loading (I’m really good at it!), and I can’t go to Texas to help her. I’m glad someone wrote a helpful book!

  5. I did a double take when I saw your name pop up on my reader! Has it really been 16 months?! My goodness. I’m so looking forward to reading your posts once again. I’ve always enjoyed your thought provoking topics and will be looking forward to reading more about your joy quest. I think lasting joy is made up of several moments of smaller pieces of joy. A beautiful sunrise in the morning, positive words of affirmation from a friend, hearing a beautiful song on the radio… they all add up to lasting joy for me.

    1. The attitude of gratitude! You’re so right! Another joy for me would be to connect when you’re in Minnesota someday. I saw a photo of you at St. Ben’s. Did you graduate from there? I’m going there for a book group today!

      1. I did graduate from St. Ben’s! We had our ten year reunion this past summer and it was wonderful to be back up on campus. I loved my time in Saint Joseph and have many fond memories there. I didn’t realize our connection was so close Tracy! I would absolutely love to connect when I am back for a visit 🙂

  6. Good to know. How’s the business doing??? Has your husband regressed any since I saw you two?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. Welcome back. I missed you. I have read your new ‘about’ and your new company. What a challenging new direction for you. I have not written for a while so will do so soon to let you know what I have been up to.

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