Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Your Average TV Tray

It’s funny how much I used to love blogging. I mean, I actively looked for things to blog about. When I had a bad day, I’d think, “Well, at least I can blog about it.” Learning to laugh at things (and hoping other people found comfort in laughing at them, too) used to totally make my day.

Since Sam’s birth, I’ve lamented the loss of blogging, the loss of my valued self-expression. There was never enough time, or I was dog-tired from work. But something interesting has occurred over the past few weeks. Sam has gained some level of independence (which I love), and Brett has (on many occasions) taken snuggle time with Sam before bed, so I am actually left, all alone, out in our living room.

At first, I reveled in the alone time. Why, I could watch a show I wanted to watch. I could read my book! The strangest thing is that I found myself NOT wanting to blog. And even though I love my novel, I found myself not wanting to work on that, either.

I struggled within myself, since I am a writer, and in my heart, all I want to do is write. I mean, lock the doors, shut out the rest of the world, and write solidly for hours at a time. That, to me, sounds like a little bit of heaven. And here I was shying away from something I have loved from the moment Mom put a crayon in my hand.

I floundered for a while, until I realized what the problem was—a TV tray. That’s right, a plain wooden (cheap, cheap, cheap) TV tray that held our laptop. It was old and shaky and the thought of pouring my heart out on it just made me want to weep. I realized in that moment that I was an abject failure. My heart pounded, galloped, as I thought about having to write on that crappy TV tray.

You know I have not mourned the loss of our house from the bankruptcy. I have wished on occasion for my own washer/dryer, extra storage, a fenced-in backyard, but that giant albatross, that millstone about our necks, is not missed by me. Oh, but what I realized, I DID miss was my desk. The precious space that was all mine, not organized (because hey, I’m still me), but the space that housed old love notes from Brett, letters from my high school best friend, Tania, and framed photos of the bunnies and other family members that boosted me through those wordless plateaus (few as those were back in the day).

Our apartment has a desk, but it’s Brett’s desk. It’s piled high with clutter, receipts, his wallet, assorted keys, old calendars, reference books, phone books from 1994. You can take the clutter out of the house, but you can’t take the clutter out of my packrat (God love him).

The truth is I made a deal with Brett that if he could contain his clutter to his desktop, then I wouldn’t hassle him about how messy his desk was. That agreement has failed, as I know it would, since my sweet and caring husband (of this I am sincere!) just can’t help himself, and spreads clutter and trails tiny pieces of paper as sure as Pigpen spread his dust among the Peanuts gang.

This clutter has spread to the kitchen table, our countertops, and the three other TV trays, end tables, and bookshelves. Yet, somehow, I’ve managed to clear spaces here and there and make our home a place I can put up with – not love, because a clean and clear space is what I would love. But I know my own reality, and “put up with” is really quite a blessing and definitely good enough for me.

So, it was no wonder, as I stared at that dumpy, lilting tray, I felt failure staring back at me. My majestic hero cannot rise from a TV tray. He would be insulted, in spite of his own humble origins. And somehow, pouring my heart out felt like the least of my worries.

I know it’s silly to miss a desk. I know it’s ridiculous to get sentimental over a TV tray. But, I realized it was true. That stupid tray was holding me back. I purposed in my heart that I would longer be bound by flimsy fiberboard.

In the past week, blog posts have finally started pouring back in my head! My connection has been restored with the mother ship. I can’t guarantee this blog will be any better or even on par with my old posts. I’ve lost valuable brain cells to childbirth, and I don’t think they’re coming back. But, I’ll do my best.

Coming at you live from the stupid TV tray in my living room.


Juliet said...

Welcome Back..that is to writing.

Perhaps Brett should give you the desk and he can have the TV tray! I can hear you just say, "Like that's going to happen real soon."

Well, you can say I'm not trying to be of some help.

hann said...

We would like to replace our current wook countertop with a kitchen countertops. We are looking for a cheaper stone top and a place that wont rip us off. The Countertop is L shaped and about 10' on the sink side and 6 ' on the stove side minus the stove.