hills and valleys and such.

September 2, 2015

This is probably going to be a really basic, boring post. I’ve really been shooting for the goal of publishing a post per week, but lately I’ve been feeling like there isn’t that much to write about. My days aren’t amazing, nor are they terrible. They’re just…routine. The same. I hug and kiss my kid. I hug and kiss my husband. I write. I read. I cook dinner. I crave random things that I can’t find in Riyadh, like wild berry Pop Tarts (no, I’m not pregnant). I miss my mom and dad (am I allowed to say that again? I know I talk about it a lot. But the truth is, I do miss them. Very much. Especially since we had a bit of a health scare in this past month. Thank God, everything is absolutely fine now, but that sort of thing can sure shake a girl up). I have conversations with my toddler while she sits on the potty, patiently waiting for something to happen. I get super excited when it does. And then she gets to flush the toilet, which she considers one of the greatest honors in the history of the world. BUILT-IN POTTY INCENTIVE. And to think there are kids who require a candy reward for doing their business in the toilet. How did I get so lucky?

I’ve got a few blog-related projects and plans in the pipe (down the pipe? In the pipeline? Down the pipeline? Why can’t I get this saying right?), but for the present, it can be a struggle to cobble together a post full of things to say, even on a weekly basis. You know what they say about how life is full of uphills and downhills and valleys (that doesn’t sound quite right, but you know what I mean…seriously, I’m really having trouble with idioms right now)? Blogs are the same, I think. Right now I’m in a valley (or maybe, I’m slowly trudging uphill? Idioms and analogies are really not my strong point today. But to be fair, English is really weird about these things. Like the way “it’s all downhill from here” means that it gets easier, while “it all went downhill from there” means it got worse and worse. Ugh, my brain hurts. No, literally–I have a headache as I type this). Sometimes I’m just firing on all cylinders and other times I can’t even get the engine to turn over. So not only am I in a valley (or going uphill, whatever makes more sense), I’m parked there.

Truthfully, if I wanted to, I could probably crank out a social justice rant every week. There’s so much to write about on that front. But sometimes I sit down at the keyboard and start letting my thoughts fly, and then I start backspacing, like that scene in You’ve Got Mail where Joe is trying to compose an email to Kathleen to explain why he didn’t meet her. It just all feels silly and pointless, especially because everything I want to say is surely being said elsewhere on the great wide Internet, and by writers who are much smarter and more articulate than me, and it’s not like I’m going to sit down and write a blog post and change the world. The world is a messed up place. My blog gives me an outlet to help me work through my thoughts about that, but it sure won’t cure all (or any of) the problems. And when writing about those things feels less like an opportunity to vent my frustration and more like a source of it, then maybe, just right then, it isn’t worth it.

But it’s not just the blog. My motivation to get things done in general has been minimal lately. I pick up my laptop and manage to knock out a few words on different projects before I just feel…tired. I’m not sure why. (No, I’m really not pregnant.) I’m ready for this egg-frying hot weather to be over and to finally have some much nicer days that permit going out in the hosh without feeling like you’re being cooked on a spit. I’m guessing that my vitamin D is low, since I’ve been cooped up inside for most of the summer, and also because I haven’t been sharing Lavender’s vitamin D drops lately like I usually do. I guess I should fix that.

I don’t know…I usually take advantage of Lavender’s afternoon naptime to get some things done, but lately I just want to take a nap right along with her. (No, I swear, I am not pregnant!)

I promise I’ll get back to posting more substantial things. But for right now, for this post, I’m feelin’ a little down, and I’m just going to allow myself to feel that way. That’s part of life. Hills and valleys, man. We all have our Eeyore moments. This too shall pass, as my momma always says.

So, since this is a post about nothing, here is a gratuitous picture of my kid playing in sand. You’re welcome.


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  • Risi MC

    And here I thought you were going to tell us you were pregnant…

    • http://thesamerainbowsend.com/ nicole

      i seem to be getting that question a lot lately, so i just wanted to make sure i was clear. 😉

  • Ayrton

    Everyone has them — dull times, slow times, lost times — and you’re right to just ride the wave. Trust the creative process.

    Meanwhile, not that you asked, but I’d rather have a quality post every now and again than a forced one more frequently. Who told you that weekly was necessarily the way to go?

    As for subjects when you run dry, although I can only speak for myself, I’m always interested in details of other expats’ lives, very mundane things in their lives they’ve found different in their adopted country — like food, shopping, ettiquette, raising children, or running a household, for instance. You’ve already written much of this sort of thing, I know, but just saying that those are the posts I find the most compelling.

    • http://thesamerainbowsend.com/ nicole

      thank you so much for your feedback, ayrton! no, i didn’t ask for it, but i honestly think i should. i think i will post on facebook and ask folks what they would like to read about. maybe getting that feedback will jumpstart my motivation and give me ideas. :)

      for awhile, as the blog got bigger (not that it’s huge or anything now, ha!), i started reading a lot of blogging how-to stuff and it seems like the cardinal rule is that you MUST post at least once a week in order to keep your audience. that blogging how-to stuff can be super overwhelming. :) i’ve started drifting back away from the stupid “rules,” because i kind of realized that the blog grew to where it is now without me following any stinkin’ rules (again, not that it’s anything super special, but it’s definitely more widely read than any of my other blogs have been). but i’ve felt like the “at least one post a week” rule is a good one for me to try to keep, because with the few other blogs before this one (more as personal journals than anything else…you know, stuff that only my best friends and my mom would read), and each one kind of faded away because i just felt like i didn’t have much more to say. i don’t want that to happen to this blog; i love it too much. i still use it as a bit of a personal journal and i don’t see that changing, but this blog is different than my others in that now, i do want to write things that others find more interesting, as well.

      that being said, i’ve been here in saudi arabia for over three years, so at this point, some of the very mundane parts of saudi life seem so normal now that it can be hard to discern if they’re really different enough from american life to warrant a blog post! 😉 i guess that’s how my other blogs faded away; it became hard to find things to say that fit with the rest of the posts. but instead of letting this blog die, i’m working on figuring out how to let it evolve while maintaining its essence. blog growing pains, i guess. and that’s all new to me. :)

      sorry, i’m sure you didn’t intend for me to respond to your comment with massive amounts of word vomit…but there it is. thank you for reading. :)

  • Sweet Pea Y Del Sol

    Nicole you should share some recipes with us….Easy but different. Something you didn’t think you would like or even know where to begin when you first started cooking for your husband.

    • http://thesamerainbowsend.com/ nicole

      thanks for that! recipes and other food-related posts are something that mr. mostafa and i have been discussing. 😉