In need of a fix-up?

At the first thousand or so glances, I didn’t get the unintentional visual pun. Yes, it’s odd to have several signs hawking online dating sites in the broken window of a long-abandoned paint and wallpaper store, but where’s the punchline? It wasn’t until last week that I got it: it’s all about fix-ups! Online dating is about getting fixed up, and paint and wallpaper stores are about fixing up, too. And judging from the broken windows, this place itself is in need of a good fixing-up. How about you? What in your life needs fixing-up these days?


Regular readers here may have noticed that I’ve been posting far less regularly than usual over the past few months. On one level, I haven’t been blogging much for purely practical reasons: between teaching full-time at Keene State, teaching part-time for SNHU Online, moonlighting as a dissertation and creativity coach, and generally trying to have some semblance of a life, there often aren’t enough hours in the day for blogging. Yes, in the past I’ve juggled the same commitments and still managed to post here nearly everyday, but right now that juggling act seems beyond me. At any given moment, if there’s not even time to do everything, you make a choice (conscious or not) about which ball to drop. Recently, blogging has been that ball: it doesn’t pay my rent, and I don’t feel the same sort of ethical responsibility to my readers as I do to my students.

On another level, I find myself being more protective of my off-line life, which these days means actually trying to have a life away from my computer and not necessarily blogging every moment and detail of said life. As a teacher who sometimes teaches online, I already spend too much time virtually, holed in my office or curled with my laptop in bed communicating with students I’ll never meet. As a writer who blogs, I’m always exploring the question of what to put here in cyberspace and what to put between the private pages of my offline notebook. What is wholly mine, and what stuff am I willing to share? In the past, I’ve perhaps erred on the side of too much self-disclosure, and these days I find myself gently and almost subconsciously pulling back, putting less of myself “out there” on the blog and saving more things as “only mine.”

Overnight alien eye

I wouldn’t go so far as to say my relationship with blogging was “broken” and in need of a fix-up, but it has changed over time, and recently I’ve become more conscious of that evolution. Sometimes fix-ups aren’t sudden, intentional things; sometimes you simply move away from something that wasn’t working and gradually settle into something that does. I don’t know if my current approach to blogging is here to stay: I suspect that blogging might be a seasonal thing, something that’s easier to do during summers when I’m under-employed versus winters when I’m over-committed. Whatever the summer might bring on the blogging front, I trust that will take care of itself when the time comes; for now, I continue to carry a camera with me wherever I go, and I trust that spontaneous, unbidden shots like the glance of an alien-eye on the side of an overnight delivery truck will appear without me even trying, no fix-up necessary.