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It is what it is.

In the car the other day, the kids were taunting each other with a baseball cap in the only way kids who are strapped into five-point harnesses can, reaching out across the chasm of the back seat and waving the item of the moment their brother's face, then yanking it back just before the other one can grab hold in triumph and elicit screams of agony. Because Quinn is younger and smaller, Bryce continues to assume that he'll always have the physical advantage, and this assumption is causing much strife. In this particular instance, Quinn's formerly slower, less sophisticated reflexes seemed suddenly cat-like when he reached out and clutched the baseball cap before Bryce managed to pull it back to safety. John and I have been working on our reactions to the kids' fights and screams, and so rather than impatiently sigh and slap my knee in frustration about Bryce's wailing over his loss of the baseball cap, I just said calmly, "well, I guess next time you won't wave your things in front of Quinn's face." Against all odds, Bryce quieted down and about 30 seconds later John and I heard a deep, gleeful "ahaHA!" from the back seat: "Mom, YES! I got it back! I nabbed it like a duck nabs popcorn!"


There are countless of these stories to tell, but I haven't been telling them here much lately. It's true that I'm busier than I can ever remember being, but I think that has become an excuse or some kind of cover-up for something that might be writer's block or a desire to pull back into myself. There are funny and frustrating and annoying things going on with the little kids as always, but there are also dangerous, life-changing, depressing, frightening, and mind-numbing things going on with John's older kids right now. I could write about them, I might write about them, and when I come here I feel compelled to write about them because in the past that written expression has felt like some sort of self therapy or some other new-agey type of benefit, but I deal with all of it every waking moment as it is, and the thought of re-hashing it here, therapeutic as that re-hashing may be, basically and frankly turns my stomach. As a result, I go days or weeks without writing anything at all, then throwing something brainless up about the new house or my crazy kids.

My job has become more and more challenging over the past several months, and one of the phrases that gets batted around with too much ease and non-chalance is "it is what it is." No matter how ridiculously inefficient something is, no matter who is or isn't being held accountable, no matter how much re-work and wasted time is being disussed, "it is what it is." Ho hum, we're just here to do a job. We rolled the rock up the hill and it tumbled back down. It is what it is! Let's roll it back up like we've done every day for the past year. Look at our peaceful, Zen-like attitude. It is what it is! I railed against this for a long time, calling people out and stating the obvious, that the only reason this is our stance is because we have absolutely no control over what we're doing. We just say this phrase over and over like we're some deep, patient, collective wise being. After a long enough period of time went by, though, the phrase wormed its way into my consciousness and it seems to have found a permanent home on the tip of my tongue. At first I only used it sarcastically, but then I started to see its value for areas of life besides work. Rather than picturing myself with blank eyes and a sheepish shrug to the world every time I uttered the phrase, I started recognizing the truth behind it, as simplistic as it may be.

Sometimes there is just nothing to say, nothing to write, nothing to solicit feedback on. I experience the madness and the chaos and I might not want to share it or even think about it beyond the minutes, hours, or days of the actual events themselves. And when I do, those words exist as I completed them, but I may not intend to re-visit the subject(s) beyond the substance or time of their original formation. My brother recently posted to his readers begging his "real life" friends and family not to re-visit blog posts with him in conversation. I think this is because he wants the posts to exist as they are; there is no intent on his part to post a story or random set of thoughts as a conversation starter at the bar. There is obviously a balance between cognizant outward expression and the journal-like nature of a personal blog, but for the most part, I think writers have an expectation that their "publications" (whatever the nature) are complete works. Comments may be posted and may exist as readers' own thoughts or responses if they feel they need to offer them, but the writer won't necessarily feel compelled to reply or converse because to the writer, the piece exists just as it was intended to; it is what it is.

I may avoid writing about certain topics or experiences because I don't want to end up in a conversation about it with a friend or family member who has read it and wants to ask me for details. It shouldn't really be that way. What is here is not my communication with people who know me "in real life." It's just one aspect of my existence and one small, inconsistent space where I express myself. There may be exaggerations here solely for story-telling purposes, there may be stories here that I'm not really ready to delve into details over. What's here should, for the most part, just be taken for what it is, and nothing more. Having said all that, I have no idea if this means I'll start posting more or if I'll continue to whine about how busy I am and how I never have time to write. Hey, it is what it is!