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My Gift, Not by the Sea

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Could a brain dump be interesting to read? Daily musings and memories pecked out in Georgia typeface at my dining room table.

Would anyone else, in their right mind, find it of interest? The inner workings of a woman with three nearly grown children, a husband, dog, cat … living in an airplane bungalow in a Midwestern city. Could that be so real, so true to life, that it might indeed speak?

Look at Gift by the Sea. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote a book in 1951 that still resonates with women today. So why not? Why not write? As my dear friend Tamara says, “It feels good to write.” I know that to be true. So why not wallow in it for a while and just see?

We all have our stories. I’m going to try to keep mine rather short. It may be a story about this minute or another moment in time. Maybe something I’ve dreamt up today, or something I’ve been whittling away on for a while and finally decide to untether.

I’ve been writing for a pretty long while, but it’s been just for me. It feels different to write in a space where other people might read it. Especially people I might know. My self-edit kicks in. That’s why I haven’t wanted to blog. But then I’m reminded of something my mother used to say. I think she said it just to me: “You don’t have to tell everything you know.” My mother was long gone before I figured out what it was she was really saying. I still find it almost impossible advice to follow. But I’m going to give it a shot.

So here’s my rather short story for today. I’ve been given a gift—although not by the sea, a gift just the same.

The time to write. I am gainfully unemployed for the first time in a long time, and it’s by my own choosing. I have two sons away at college and one daughter in her last year of high school, which means my mom job is physically changing. My husband is in love with his career and even more in love with me. So I’ve been given the time to write.

It’s not that I won’t be working. There is work to writing. It takes discipline from distraction. Quiet solitude. Focus from the family, the phone, the buzzer on the dryer. Steadying the soul. And that’s what I crave. The weight of my heart in my chest. The chance to type for a while, then put my hands to other work, while my mind works out what’s next.

It feels frivolous and I struggle with knowing how much time I’m allowed to spend. I struggle with not knowing what it is I’m actually producing. But I’m going to write. In between filling out the FAFSA, feeding my young, sucking up pet hair, and keeping myself fit, I’m going to write. If you find it worth reading, and want to comment, I’d be grateful. But for now that’s neither here nor there, because I’ve been given a gift. Now is my time to write. We’ll see how it goes. 


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