Saving My Bark

Posted on | March 22, 2012 | 18 Comments

For the first time in … ever… I am up before J has opened his eyes for the day.  I have over an hour before we will need to leave for work and the coffee is made, the dogs are fed, and I am dressed, pressed and ready for the toil of lawyering to take place. 

I don’t have a lot of time during the week for reflection.  I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and pound out my thoughts on this keyboard, wondering if anyone is reading and if they are, wondering what they think about this slice of my heart.  But this morning, I have time.  I have coffee and time and an open keyboard… and I have very little that “needs” to be said.  Yet I feel, as I have for a long time, that I “need” to write something.  That I’ve been slack about posting, that I need to continue to share … something… for the sake of I don’t know what.

This morning, as I sat in the stillness of my house, listening to the whine of the crickets from the front yard and the familiar click of nails against hardwood, I also listened to the flurry of yip yap barking from my littlest friend. 

One of the drawbacks of living alone is the lingering fear of safety for both myself and more importantly, J.  Our dog, AJ, is quiet, but when he barks he sounds as though he will eat your face off in two split seconds.  I am never scared when AJ is here because I know he’ll scare the crap out of anyone who happens along.  So when I started to realize that AJ was getting old, I decided it was time for a puppy.  Oh but not just any puppy would do, I told my mom, I wanted a puppy that would grow into a dog with a loud bark.  I specifically remember saying to her that I wanted a loud dog.

Enter Riley.

Riley barks when she is happy.  Riley barks when she is sad.  Riley barks when she is bored and remembers she knows how to bark.  Riley barks… constantly. 

Finally, as I sat here wondering what to type,  I put my hand down and stroked her soft fur.

“You don’t need to bark all the time, sweet girl, just when there’s something important to bark at.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew what I wanted to say here.  I am not a loud dog.  I am not a blogger who opens her mouth or her laptop and the heavens sigh and spill out angels to herald what I have to say.  For a while, when I first started writing here, that was important to me.  I wanted the ads and the respect and the noble cape that says “Super Star” that some display proudly.  I thought and thought about what the right things to say were, the right things to write about, the right things to share.  I wanted to be funny and important and maybe, just maybe, some type of household name.

And then my marriage fell apart and I didn’t care so much about all of that.  I only cared about how this space could help me deal with the whirl of emotions I was desperately trying to sort out.  I didn’t sit down to write a blog, I sat down to just write; when and how and what I felt.  And suddenly, people were reading.  People were emailing and telling me their stories and I love the network of readers and other writers I have discovered through all of that.  But the emotion and heartache has soothed and my posts are no longer full of that angst and despair and longing that made people stop and point and say “Look at that trainwreck!”

I’m busier and happier and much more satisfied with my life than I’ve ever been before.  And in the absence of angst, I wondered if people would still read, would still care what happens to me and J and our silly little life we’re creating.  I stopped writing every day because I worried that no one would care about the average and every day; I thought I had to be sharp and smart and … loud. 

But I think, as I lovingly told my sweet Riley this morning, that it’s most important to save your bark for when it matters. At least, for me, it’s most important that I write when I have something to say… not because it’s Monday and you’re all expecting a post.

So if you’re looking for posts every day that will be full of wit and charm and delightful insight… email me and I’ll direct you to some of my favorite big and loud dogs.  But as for me? I’ll continue to use this space for me… for who I am, what I believe, and what feels right for me.  Writing everyday leads to posts about nothing, thoughts about nothing.  And I don’t have the time to waste on nothing.  I’m a single mom and a lawyer in charge of a department with over 200 active cases and my time is better spent on one or the other of those.

To all of you who have been reading for two years and sharing my heart here, thank you so much.  To all of you who have emailed me your stories and shared your hearts with me… thank you so very much.  This blog is so dear to me, my readers are so dear to me… and I hope you will stick around for whatever comes next.  Even if it’s not dramatic… even if it’s just potty training and exhaustion.  Whatever it is, I promise you this… in this space, you will only get barking when  there’s something I have to say.


18 Responses to “Saving My Bark”

  1. Atlantamom
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    I really appreciated your post. Sometimes writing can be about making your “voice” heard, but mostly I pray, especially for PPD Mamas that it’s just about catharsis and hoping to help others who can relate to know they aren’t alone. Best to you!

  2. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    Exactly. I have loved being there for other men and women going through divorce. I love hearing their stories and reading their emails. But I’m not just a divorced woman… I’m happy and growing and learning how to just be me. So I can’t keep blogging about divorce just because it’s what people want to read. 🙂 You do good work, friend.

  3. Denise
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 7:56 am

    I think that is a wonderful way to use a blog. I don’t think I could ever post everyday. I would rather write when I feel like saying something.

  4. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Agreed. Otherwise you’re just blogging because you have a blog. And no one wants to read that crap. 🙂

  5. Lawmhcgirl
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00 am

    Thanks Law-momma. I’ll keep reading! Love your writing and your honesty. Glad you are healing and finding a good balance in your new role.

  6. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Thanks so much! It’s nice to feel happy again.

  7. Alexmommy626
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    I will keep reading because I feel like we are somehow friends despite not ever meeting. I’ve read about little baby J (who is only a few days older than my Alex) grow up into little boy J and I love reading about the new happenings in your sweet little boy’s life. I’ve also read about a once unhappy LawMomma grow into a strong, butt-kicking woman who I admire. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life with us.

  8. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    We ARE friends, lady. And I will continue to share… I just need to stop forcing myself to write when there’s nothing to say.

  9. Jackie Henson
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    this blog is your outlet & not for anyone else & as long as you hold true to that, that is what draws people to you, your honesty, kindness, not afraid to say what is true & be okay with getting it out there. its a breath of fresh air. at the end o the day it has to be whats best for you & for J as you have to be the best for you & the best for him, though I know it sure isnt easy you are doing a wonderful job even when its hard or mundane :0)

  10. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    Thank you so much! 🙂

  11. Heather Griffitts Clark
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    Goodness…how long have I been reading your blog? Since before things unwound for you….and I’ve loved every single post – because at some point in my life, maybe not this moment, but at some point I’ve felt the feelings you were having and been, in some way, where you were.

    But this post, by far, is my favorite. You have so come out the other side….and done it so very gracefully. Even if things aren’t healed, they aren’t as raw. You’ve figured out what you want to let go and what’s important to you. You’ve moved on and have made an amazing life – even though it’s hectic and busy and sometimes not so fun.

    Good for you, darlin. Good for you.

    Those of us who’ve been here for awhile will still be here – and are ready to talk about the less dramatic things 🙂

  12. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    Thanks… new Facebook Friend. 🙂

  13. Jennifer
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    I just want you to know that I don’t read your blog each day looking for some witty comment or for you to say something profound. I read your blog because I feel that we are kindred spirits. You are REAL and that is what is so interesting about you. Don’t worry about impressing anyone. Even though, you do all the time!

  14. Lawmomma77
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    Aw, thanks. I love this blog and love being able to share slices of life with all of you!

  15. Kreeper611
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    I am so very glad to read that you are happy!!! I read your blog before the angst…that wasn’t why I kept reading. I read because I like the way you write, what you have to say, and because I can relate at times. Writing daily is insane anyway…I look forward to the posts you do want to share.

  16. Abigail Gorton
    March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

    I love your blog! Still reading, even without daily drama. Thanks!

  17. stephanie
    March 23rd, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Just chiming in as another person who will continue to read. I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped me as I struggle to figure out motherhood, and then balance it with work. (Or try to.) Whether I’m laughing with your stories, gaining encouragement, or taking away a different way of thinking about something, I really appreciate how genuine you are and your amazing ability to take a post about “everyday life” and make it read like a story.

    It’s great that you’re making this blog work for YOU instead of working for the blog!

  18. Jess
    March 24th, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    I absolutely love this. I couldn’t have said it better. You always manage to put things into words with such grace.

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