santa cruz wharf

04 January 2010

return from absentia

I have no single reason for stepping out of the weblog rotation for the past month.  It isn’t the first time…and probably won’t be the last. There are a couple dozen small, yet viable, reasons and events which would provide explanation for being absent.  But they are tedious…for the most part the minutia of everyday life.

My life and my personality are non-linear.  Like many of you I have the whole “when it rains it pours”  lifestyle.  I hate being “in a rut” but sometimes I pray for a rut to fall into.  The past couple months have been blessed with new and exciting adventures which have thrown any hope for organization into a tailspin. I have been plagued by plans which have gone awry.  I’m not at my best lately.  I function better when my expectations dovetail with my discipline.  I so need to practice being better at rolling with the punches.  

And…my weblog life is out of control….seriously OUT OF CONTROL.  There are four very specific groups of people who have weblogs that I am part of.  By “part of” I mean that I comment on and participate in.  They have a sense of who I am…and I feel a connection to them personally…even if I have never met them face to face or spoken to them on the phone.  Most of you who are reading this are figuring out which group you are in.  

In my Reader…sigh…I follow 244 weblogs.  One or two are inactive.  Many post multiple times a day.  Quite a few are current event, news, political and informational.  But there are really just too ephn’ many. I need to pare it down to a reasonable daily list.  And a few more I read once a week. And maybe a list of blogs I look through once a month or so.  It has gone from overwhelming to unmanageable.  Apparently…More is not better.

And lastly…to my sincere dismay…I have become reticent.

from the Latin reticens,  present participle of reticēre to keep silent,  inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance.

I suppose it was inevitable, given the pervasive nature of “social networking” that the circles in my life crossed over.  When I originally set up this weblog just over three years ago…it was originally intended to be sort of an online scrapbook.  A place for me to jot down the stories I tell…and retell..and overtell…so as not to annoy those closest to me. 

Very quickly this also became a place for my thoughts and feelings and imaginings.  Mostly life stories…a few pieces of fiction.  For a while, I kept it all to myself and my kids, although I believe only Rhiannon reads it (it was her idea afterall.)   They know me and my past and my foibles intimately.  There wasn’t much on here they weren’t already aware of.

However a series of situations…in the natural course of events…made my weblog life quite a bit less private.  I let The Teamster in on the blog’s existence… I felt not to was somehow dishonest…full disclosure and all.   A couple people I know in my “brick and mortar” life have weblogs and we became connected.  For the most part, no big deal.  And then….there is Facebook.  Sometimes I totally enjoy and appreciate the connectivity it avails to me.  And some days I regret the day I signed up and loathe the ways it has connected me.

Through various channels and portals it is apparent that a couple of people who know me in real life have followed the breadcrumbs and ended up here…wading through my stream of consciousness.   

For the most part that would be no big deal.  Upon review, there are only a handful of posts that I would hesitate over.  Most of them involve a painful moment of my past…or one of the many instances of my questionable judgment.  However some people who know me come to “lurk” and neglect to mention they have been here at all.  

While I’ve never been annoyed by strangers who lurk but never comment,  when people I know come by repeatedly and read and have never mentioned they’ve been here…nor have ever commented on a post…that raises my eyebrows. 

Maybe they don’t know that I know they’ve been here?  There is obviously more to this…maybe I’ll try and explain another time.

I miss each of you…and I miss you all.  I miss posting…and I miss reading tremendously.  I am sure I will regret all of what I have missed.

I’m going through my Reader today…with a brutal discipline…making sub-lists to create a reasonable batch of weblogs I can read daily without it becoming a marathon.   I’m going to figure out a routine for my weblog.   I’ll probably make a few changes…introduce a new subject or two.  Most importantly get back to the place where what I write is authentic to me and my need to write. 

So…Happy New Year.
Thanks for coming back.


I, Like The View said...

happy 2010 katherine..!!

the internet and its lurkers. . . the reason I've deleted and started again, cast off and on - a little like in life

strength, dear friend, to do as you please and as you will without judgement (that doesn't sound right, but I hope you know what I mean)

I've missed you, but that only shows how much I've enjoyed getting to know you (in as much as I do)!

peace and love for the new year


Mel said...


What she said.


......whaddaya MEAN 'more' isn't better?!

(((((((((((( katherine ))))))))))))

Donnw/2nz said...

You're preachin' toi the choir Sistah!

I tired to keep up on 200 blogs and ended up hiding on Facebook..which is Blog Uber-Lite..way less filling.

I'm miserable over there because I thought man are these people lazy? They just use those vapid apps and nobody really writes anything. Then it occurred to me that most of these folks would never blog. Some of them are overwhelmed being there!?

Luckily I have a few bloggers there but I still cannot fathom how to get to everybody's blogs...and I want to...but I know that it is physically impossible.

So far I am trying to visit about 20 blogs a day according to the currency of the posting. If you figure out a solution please let me know.

katherine. said...

ILTV: I DO know what you mean...thanks. I'm looking forward to this year!

Mel: smile...I thought more was better...laughing...{{{{mel}}}}

Donn: I have no solution. sigh. Discipline I guess. Twenty sounds good. What do I do with the other 200?? (don't get me started about FaceBook)

I, Like The View said...

good! (sometimes words don't come out quite right. . .)


Sandee said...

I hear you. I've culled out tons in my reader. It's that overwhelming feeling you get when you open the darned thing and it's 500+. I also mark all as read when I've been to the boat for the weekend. Way too many and it stresses me out. It just has to be manageable. Good for you for cleaning house.

I hope you and yours have a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Big hug to you and The Teamster. :)

Bond said...

I also have real life friends who read...never comment and never mention they read...since my mom and dad read, I have always censored myself and some days wish I had never told them about The Couch.

then recently I was told the ex sometimes reads (which is interesting since she never had any interest in my blogging when we were married)..and it was suggested I watch what I say about my new response was a string of words I will not use here...hell, if I think mom and dad can read it then if she gets upset - Tough T***ies on her!

Miss your words here as you do spin a mean tale indeed!

Linda said...

So many times I have wished that there was a blogging law that stated that "thou shalt not post more than once per day" as it dismays me to no end to finally get my Google Reader down to "0" unread posts and next thing I know, someone who has already posted three times in one day, posts yet again! Aiyeeee!! I've actually gotten better at not feeling guilty about reading all of the posts and have hit "marked all as read" several times. I just can't keep up otherwise.

Blogging is, I guess, a discipline as well as an outlet for thoughts and feelings and a place to attempt to occasionally be a bit creative. When it starts being a chore, it's time to step back and regroup - which I seem to have done several times this year. It can all be too much from time to time but when I'm not blogging I find myself really missing those people whose lives have become connected to mine through this wonderful thing known as the Blogosphere.

Facebook doesn't offer that same sort of thing - it's like a text message or something - not an actual story or meeting, as it were. However, it does give me silly games to suck up my time that could be better spent doing other things (like taking down the Christmas tree which is what I'm supposed to be doing today but haven't made a move towards!).

I've missed your posts here as I love trying follow your stream of consciousness when it takes its twists and turns and jaunts off to places unknown and I'm glad to see you back - even if just for a day or two.

Just remember - this is your blog and if those lurkers don't like something you wrote then too bad, you didn't invite them over, they came over to eavesdrop on their own and very rarely does eavesdropping lead to good things.

Don't stop being you!

Linda said...

Oh - and one more thing that I forgot in that lengthy diatribe above - I am honored to be in Your Tribe! Honored I tells ya! Now come out here for a visit and go to the MoMA with me - I can get you in cheap!! ;-)

The Teamster said...

i read and don't always comment...

but does that count as I sit next to you and "filter" through you what I want to say?

Keep writing and write without any self censorship...everyone enjoys (including me) your insight (I'm getting better at you being right) and everyone misses when you disappear..

"how's that sound?"

Mags said...

Minutia gets the best of us...welcome back. I missed reading your thoughts. They always inspire me and make me think. And your words just have a beautiful way about them...

Travis said...

You have explained exactly what I've spent my hiatus trying to figure out about my own blog. Maybe it's a 3 year old thing?

I know I need to write more on the topics that make my writing stand up off the page...or screen. I'm going to do that this year, soon.

Jeff B said...

Holy Guacamole Batgirl...200+ blogs in your reader?!? That's a lot of plates to keep spinning.

I've always enjoyed coming here to read. Hope you find the groove that keeps you motivated and inspired.

Matt-Man said...

That's one of the reasons that I don't use Reader. I just visit off of my link list and visit others I see on the sites I go to.

I admire your discipline fo rir something of which I have little. Of course, I seem to thrive better in chaos so it's not a bad thing.

Anyhoo. Remember...Writers write everyday...that's what they do. Cheers and Happy New Year, Kat!!

katherine. said...

Sandee: I have the love/hate Reader syndrome. I haven't been able to just hit "mark all as read" until I at least scan the post titles. We either have to lure Linda back...or get together without her!

Vincent: I do find it a bit odd that I don't care as much about strangers reading my words as I would my MOTHER laughing...

As for you ex... You should totally make sure she knows how absolutely wonderful your life is now. What would she do? Ask for more alimony? Bad mouth you more? I've always held with the old adage, "Living Well is the BEST Revenge"

Linda...I would have a blast being a tourist in your neck of the woods! I love reading about and seeing all the photos of the places you go!

Thanks for the kind words and wisdom. Your weblog is an amazing combination of personal, historical, pictorial, et cetera-ical. It never disappoints!

Teamster: you've always been supportive and allowed me to expose you and us...and I appreciate it greatly. "It sounds about right"

katherine. said...

Mags: I've recently caught up on your life. You have really been on a tough path...and I am very honored to be able to read through your journey. Thank you!

Travis: The Three Year Itch? could very well be. I'm looking forward to seeing where your writing takes you...and I hope you still follow DWTS so I have a place to confide!

Jeff: too many to keep spinning for sure...although many are informational...not ones I comment on. Ever since I started there has been at least one of the Bach brothers on my list. I hope there always is.

Mateo: My discipline kinda comes and goes...I let too much of it go there for a while.

In some circles the opposite of chaos is control. In some chaos is control.

I do need to write everyday. Otherwise my brain overloads. Then it explodes. Dangerous.

Spadoman said...

I don't remember how I found your blog. Maybe I saw a comment and I clicked on the name and it brought me here. I don't remember the first post I read here, but I came back.
I don't always comment, but I come and read and because you are slow to put up new posts, I get to read them all. Some of your stories are fantastic. I know I linked to the Letter Box story and mentioned it should/could be a movie!
With that said, with all due respect, do what you need to do. Do what makes you feel good. Those that are judging you by whether or not you go to their blog and read or comment aren't worth the time.
I would love to get a bunch of comments, I'll admit it, but that isn't reality. I accept me anyway. I write to leave a legacy for my Grand kids to read long after I'm dust.
Good luck in whatever you choose. Have peace in your heart.

SierraSnowSoaps said...

Katherine-I got your blog addy from mom when Keely and I were down in AZ and I added it to my favs. I really like your set up and see how Teamster was able with your help to set up such a nice blog. So I have been one of the visitors without a comment at least once. If this posts it means I remembered my google acct. info.
Michelle in NV
nope I did not remember my info

Desert Songbird said...

Oh, my friend, I can and do commiserate with you on your dilemma. To blog or not to blog; to read or not to read; to clear or not to clear the Reader. In some ways it feels....disloyal just to hit "mark all as read" and must do that sometimes to give oneself a tabula rosa.

When "brick and mortar" life invades our cyberlife, it can be thrilling, jarring, or disheartening. I have found somewhat of a refuge more on Facebook than in blogging, but as someone else said, it's blogging lite, and it does not give the satisfaction that one gets from blogging. It is difficult to imagine that I would choose one over the other now, and I never thought I would "take" to FB as I have, and yet....there are times when I need stuff and fluff and not the full-course I get on blogs.

Perhaps it is because so few of my brick and mortar friends actually read my blog. They do not, for whatever reason, feel that this is their world, their preference, and so I connect with them through FB. I have found it an easy way to exchange tid bits and such with far-flung friends across the land and even the sea.

I walk a tightrope, though, because my cyber persona is one where I can show sides of me that I don't reveal to too many people in some of daily interactions. People at church don't know that I can swear like a longshoreman; people at the school don't know that I have a wild streak and sometimes get a bit crude; people in my family don't know that I can get scared to the point of incapacity, albeit briefly.

It's ironic that a small circle of my online friends (you included, and you know the rest) probably know more about the multi-faceted me than most of the people in my family or daily "brick and mortar" life. It is, as you said, though, the reason that people like us use blogging: to record, the vent, to think, to contemplate. Once committed to written word, it is as if the demons are exorcised, and we can proceed to function in our day to day existence.

I have felt honored that you have allowed me to be part of a circle with you; as Steven Covey says, to get to know someone is to "walk on holy ground." I hope we continue to walk the holy ground for a long while yet.

CrAzY Working Mom said...

I know exactly what you mean! I've been doing the same thing lately. I've had troubles keeping up with all of the "social networking" as well. In fact, I posted about it a few days ago. It's rough to keep up, not to mention the fact that we have REAL lives as well...

I say do what you feel is right for you and the rest will fall into place. :)

Desert Songbird said...

Dang! I just came back and re-read my comment; I realized that it's a blog post in itself! I may have to "plagiarize" myself and post it to my blog.

Dana said...

I can identify with so much that you've written here ... yet it seems silly to say I understand ...

Let me instead say, "Happy New Year!"

Mimi Lenox said...

I hear you loud and clear.
I applaud your candor and the thought that must have gone into this "stream"....The whole public/private blog issue feels to me like an inevitable colossal mess about to happen. Not many folks in my "real" life read my blog at all. I am happy with that arrangement. It allows me to write uncensored (as much as a pencil skirt can) but I know the day will come when I won't care what spills from pen at all and someone secretly reading will gasp.

I based Mimi Writes on the word "vulnerability"....trying to find that authentic space through my words. It is too precious to me.

I do have lurkers and a few bona fide stalker-types. Not one comment in three years and yet they are there daily - sometimes more than once. Recently, I've noticed a few from my area and I have no clue who they might be but my sense is that they know who I am. A bit unsettling. I wish for them to speak up!

I have noticed people fishing through my archives, reading up on my relationships mostly. That is a double-edged sword and one I will think twice about before I plaster some of that on the blog page again.

Blogging one relationship caused me an enormous amount of pain once the fallout began. You never know a person til you become "the ex." I've started many times to just delete those posts - because once the friendship was murdered, the sweetness of the memories wrapped up in those posts were ruined for me. It saddens me only because there is no honor or respect in that kind of unnecessary ugliness - and though not of my doing - I don't know how to fix the stain on the page. But I suspect I will end up leaving it as is.
He - they - can deal.
(I hear you, Vinny)

I won't be tip-toeing around my own house again.

I guess what I'm trying to say and using the hardest blog situation I've EVER had to deal with as an example, is that it all boils down to your own authenticity. What you want your space to be and how you intend to live in it.

If you write from a true place and own your words, that is all you can do.... and you should have to answer to no one but the person in the mirror.

(end of epistle)

Mimi Lenox said...

Epistle 2:

We miss you when you're not here.
(although I hear a bzzzz every now and then - grin) and we always look forward to your posts. It doesn't matter to me that you post infrequently. I know when you do return, you will have something of substance to say. I will be amused or moved or taken on a photographic wonderland in the great coastal west. Delightful. Always.

Blogging friendships: Never more true for me than this year. It is my privilege to share in one of your "groups" and I do feel an absolute bond (no pun intended!) with those I've come to call "extraordinary friends"...You are dear to my heart as well and I'm enjoying getting to know the lovely person you are.
I hope to meet you and The Teamster this summer face to face as well as other bloggers in Atlanta.

And like Travis and all of you, I've had to make peace with the Google Reader (Oh! that's a great blog post title!...taking notes) and mark all as read. Oh, I can beat your 200, Miss Katherine. Peace Bloggers are my friends and I just can't delete 'em. Nope. But I can't keep up with them either.
I am paring down and re-structuring and grouping as well.

This year I've made a new NO BLOGGING ON WEEKENDS rule (as in posting). It's working beautifully so far. Contrary to popular belief, I do have a life and need to spend offline time with moi, Baby Boy and a couple of budding romantic possibilities (yes, we must talk). If last year's personal hell taught me anything, it was to take care of my health and R.E.S.T. ...You can't do that if you there is a laptop burn on your thighs 24/7.

Blogging can be insanely addictive and feel more like a job than a joy. I want the joy back.
Offline and on.

(end of epistle 2)

Mel said...

<-- am liking the epistles.

(((((((((( katherine )))))))))))

You have a circle of friendships to surround you.

Pffffffffttttt on stalkery people guys.

I don't know how to tell if I have ' it's all good if you're asking me!
Which you weren't--but in case you were, you now know the answer. whatever the question was..LOL

Okay. That's IT.
MORE coffee!

Marilyn said...

I know people from my real life have been to my blog and not said anything about it, but I pretend I don't know that they have and that's okay with me because I try very hard to be open and honest about everything in my life. Still, I kind of hope my mom doesn't read my blog and I'm a little creeped out that my aunt has just become my FB friend, as I know she is a staunch moral majority sort of conservative and she will disapprove of me even more now. Still, I try to remember that it's not my problem that she disagrees with me.