OK, I admit it: my dismal blogging lately is due only partly to the fact that I've been really busy; there's also the more troubling fact that I've gotten out of the habit.
There was a message my mother communicated to me early on: it's important to develop good habits, because good habits support your ability to do everything else you want or need or like to do, and generally make your life easier. She didn't phrase it that way; she just made me do things every single day, like make my bed very shortly after getting out of it so that it looked neat and tidy all day and the sheets felt "rested" and smooth when I got it in at night, or brush my teeth before I go to bed so that I didn't have to spend lots of time in a dentist's chair having cavities filled (unfortunately I ate too much candy as a child for that to work as well as desired), or hang my clothes up neatly so that they looked good when I took them out of the clothes, or do my homework as soon as I got home so that I could enjoy a leisurely evening. I learned this lesson so well as a small child that when it came time to go to college I already had impeccable study habits, and my money-managing habits are pretty irreproachable as well.
For over a year I blogged three to five times a week, and it was a habit that helped me feel like I was keeping my writing skills honed, staying in touch with friends, reserving a few hours every week for something that entertained and informed me.
And then my life got really hectic and something had to give, and blogging was what I decided to let go.
For a little while I felt kind of triumphant. I have a couple of friends who gave up blogging, "released themselves from the tyranny," as one of them put it. "I can give it up, too!" I crowed to myself. "I'm not an addict."
But now I feel empty and sad when I think about how I used to blog, and overwhelmed and hesitant when I think about blogging again, because I've let it go for so long, neglecting not only my own blog, but the blogs of my favorite fellow bloggers, and it seems like I'll have to work very hard to reestablish my habit, and get caught up on all that has transpired in my absence.
Still, I'm going to try.