Back to that wholesome family-oriented post.

Some of you may be wondering why I suddenly asked you all
about the improv posts.  Well, I had a
number of things gel for me during our vacation that spurred the question.  The gelling wasn’t focused on blogging, per
se, but this blog has ended up being, by the usual cascading effect of life,
one of the symptoms of my (healthy or diseased) world. 

If anyone is thinking I’m going to change the direction of
this blog, I’m not.  It’s more that I
noticed the blog has changed direction on it’s own over time, which should be
expected and completely natural.  However,
I’ve noticed changes especially in the last year.  Even though I scatter my posts with general
goofiness, my writing still tends to reflect my overall mood of what’s going on
in life.  Honestly, the last six months +
have been really stressful for me and at times depressing.  When I feel stressed and depressed it is very hard for me to write (besides
venting), and I felt myself struggling with the blog. 

Because, frankly I was struggling with things in life.

In late June we finally got an initial professional
assessment completed for Chance, and after some visits and finishing all the
forms, the response back was, “Well, I’m not going to say he has ADHD… but I’m
not going to say he doesn’t have
ADHD.  Come back in six months.”  Even though we got quite a few helpful recommendations,
including one to do counseling that would focus parenting techniques for Chance,
I felt like I was in same place I had been six months ago.  Oh, and I got another suggested book to read.

So I took a break.  I
was tired of thinking and worrying about it all.  Of planning contingencies all the time.  Of trying to get pregnant (though I’m making
my peace with that).  Of feeling guilty
because I wasn’t getting more done because I felt too stressed/tired to get
anything done.  Our at home vacation was
already planned and I just let everything else drop.  Usually when Keen takes time off just to be
at home, I’m still working, but we didn’t do that this time.

Keen took the week of July 4th off and I cleared
my schedule completely. We had no day-to-day inconveniences to take care of,
such as sudden plumbing problems.  
Instead we did family outings or lazily watched movies.  I did some gardening (because I find it
relaxing).  We played in the
sprinklers.  The heat and wildfire smoke
cleared out briefly so we had some beautiful days.  On July 4th our neighborhood
organized a parade and festival, bringing back a historic tradition for this
area.  It was lots of fun. A true
old-fashioned parade, with classic cars and kids riding their bikes, a bunch of
local organizations and businesses with floats, the high school marching band,
everyone waving flags.  And at the
festival there was lots of socializing, lots of eating.  Then in the evening we sat on our front porch
and watched the only-partially-obstructed view of the city show, and the
completely unobstructed view of our neighbors shooting off illegal fireworks in
the street.  (I love our neighborhood.)

That week became, truly, a vacation.  I felt much more
relaxed than I have in a long time.  We did a lot of activities and, except for a
few minor irritations (a.k.a. unnamed older relatives), we enjoyed ourselves as a family.

Over our vacation, I was also reading back through some
early posts and I just liked the tone
of what I was writing better back then. 
Those posts felt happier, more carefree. 
Sometimes a bit off the wall, but I like that.  More productively creative, because I do a
lot of writing outside of this blog (which I haven’t done lately!). 

I want to get back to that state of mind.  For this blog, for my mental health.  I want the sense of vacation to have a bigger
part of my life, even while I’m working. 
And one of the ways for me to do that is to write those improv
posts.  It’s kind of a reversed creative
exercise… usually in writing workshops, when you get stuck they say, “draw from
life!” – but instead of always drawing from life, sometimes you can write
silly, carefree pieces that have nothing to do with anything, and those in turn
help you deal a little better with actual life. 
It’s not as if the problems are going to go away, but it’s a small way
to detox and unstick the problems.  (We
all have our methods.)

Maybe I should start first but not using so many mixed
metaphors, eh?

          – the