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14 Years of Words
14 Years of Words

14 Years of Words

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or something like that.

Fourteen years. I’ve been writing Laughing at Chaos for fourteen years today yesterday (the hours get away from me). I think the only other things I’ve had in my life as long are my flutes and the MomVan. Not sure I expected to still be writing today, back in 2006 when I started blogging, and most days I’m surprised to find I even still have words to share. Granted, they’re pretty hard to dig out these days (because a mom of teens who is also a public school teacher has a metric crap ton of privacy issues to navigate), but once they start to flow I have a great time riding the verbiage wave.

I’m a much different person today than I was back then, and I’m also the same ole’ person I’ve ever been. Funny how life does that to us, right? I’m considerably more comfortable in my skin these days, which is a good thing as I have a great deal more skin now than then. Ahhh….midlife weight gain, you da best! I’m more relaxed and less stressed than I’ve ever been, which is a most peculiar sensation when you’ve become accustomed to the feeling of the air around your skin trying to squeeze you like a hungry boa. It just finally hit me that I don’t have to be stressed out to show others I care, and I don’t have to be outrageously busy to convince myself I’m worthy of anything. Took long enough, and I guess if that comes with weight gain I can deal with that.

When I first started writing, the boys were 4 and 1, and I was in the middle of the storm. Hell, the storm was forming around me and building upon itself, and I couldn’t see for the tears. I joke that Andy is lucky we let him live to see age 5, but in every bit of humor there is more than a grain of truth, so yeah, 4 was hard. There are many old posts here I can hardly bear to read, because they are so viscerally raw and throw me back into what it was like during the darkest and hardest days. Today, the boys are 18 and 15, and the storm clouds have cleared. You can sometimes still sense that a bad storm has gone through, but life has that glorious smell of earth after a rain and the air is fresh and light. You know that a storm could blow up at any time, but you also know how to survive them, plus you built a bunker of skills and wine that can weather any storm.

I do laugh at chaos, every single day. I am either the best or the worst person to have with you in the hospital, not kidding, because I will laugh at the absurdity of it all. Gallows humor is my main coping mechanism, for good or for ill. I will joke, I will tease, I will make light of the situation…but always with love and respect. Life itself is absurd, if you really think about it, and laughing keeps the gremlins away. So yes, I really do laugh at chaos, and if I ever get to the point that I stop doing that, someone please make sure I’m okay, because I’m probably not.

When I first started blogging, posts were mainly random commentary on life, the sort of fun nonsense that social media has co-opted. My first professional header showed that off:

That twee little birdie innocently whistling itself into the fray still makes me smile, and the rainbow vortex is now a main element in a lot of my life. It’s echoed in the current design, and if you look closely around my house you’ll see it here and there. But all those words in the header were interests of mine and I wrote on nearly all of them. Some, obviously, a great deal more than others. Hm. Just noticed balance…I shall call irony on that one. I used to write more on current events and politics and the three-ring circus that is modern society; I’d return to those topics, but the world has changed in the last 14 years and I don’t feel comfortable doing that any longer. If you’re dying to know my opinion on <vague yet hysterical waving of the arms> the shitstorm out there, let’s just say I do a lot of screaming at the television and may sprain certain fingers if they keep flying up of their own accord.

I’m a few short years from a new volume in my life story, just working on the denouement of this one. At some point I expect I’ll start writing about empty nesting, college tuition, and the midlife crisis I’ve been enduring for…checks the calendar…awhile. I’m curious to see how it all shakes out, especially as I’ve been reading about a potential blogging renaissance as people grow more weary of the toxicity of social media. I’m also curious to see how my advocacy and writing for parents of G2e kids grows and matures as my spawn head out into the world and I no longer have gold-star level blogging material down the hall.

Fourteen years. Huh. For something that started with a “why not?,” it’s brought so much to my life.

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