Let's be SOCIAL

2021 Writing Round-Up | Hillsboro Free Press

I didn't publish much on my website this year and I even took a month off from my Lipstick & Pearls column in the Free Press for the first time since starting it in 2008!  

I've spent a lot of time retreating and quiet. I've tried to keep my head down as much as possible, especially in the second-half of the year. I've been emotionally drained, wary and weary. I know I'm not alone in that either. It's been a long year. Sometimes I get tired of speaking. I feel hoarse and unheard and very lonely in this work -- and to be honest, this impacts me greatly. I'm in the process of learning how to care for myself with boundaries and yet, continue to speak out and to advocate. It's complicated in places and I'm learning things about myself that I'm not ready to share. 


here are some things I'm learning that I shared publicly in my newspaper column:

I don't have thick skin. I have a tender spirit and I really am glad for it, though it makes some tasks/jobs difficult, and I needed time to re-set. 

I'm drawn to the idea of community. In example, for the last several years, I've felt increasingly lonely in my work as a writer. While isolation is definitely part of the process when it comes down to writing, I long for teamwork in helping me process ideas and work out observations. I wrote about community at length: Our Stories are Both Individual and Corporate, and A Boatside View of Teamwork.

I truly believe that life is a series of processes and that "it's a process" is true, but sometimes I have a hard time giving myself this grace. This process can also include things I don't want to see.

I've grown in my ability to grieve and lament since my first close-up experience with death in 1998: Mourn the Strangeness of Death, Even Good Change can be Scary, A Message of Advent Needed in September, A Message for the Grieving .   

And yet, I still want to live with hope (Writing Toward Hope is Possible) and anticipation (We're Still Advent People).

What have you learned this year that you're ready to share?


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