Ask why.

Earlier this evening, my cousin asked me if I was still doing my blog every day. I said I was, but that I felt like my writing was lacking something as of late. I explained that I felt like I was writing about shallow things, things that I was only scratching the surface of.

He asked why.

I thought about it for a few seconds, then told him I just felt like I wasn’t adding much dimension to my life lately. I wasn’t getting out, seeing new places, meeting new people or hearing new stories that would spark a deeper thought within.

That said, I think there are some posts of late that have had more substance than others, especially to me. Writing about something my parents taught me as a child has far more meaning to me than a regurgitated story about how I will eternally be on a mission to find a bra that fits. But at the end of the day, this blog is simply about things for which I’m thankful, and it’s meant to be done daily as part of a greater personal mission and exercise; I liken it to working out each night. But lately I’ve felt that I’m checking the boxes, but not feeling as content as I used to about the material.

Starting a new job has had something to do with this feeling. While I love my new gig, the mental and emotional drain that has come along with learning what amounts to a new trade has left me feeling exhausted. That said, I couldn’t be happier these days. But people I would’ve struck up a conversation with while out running errands are no longer the recipients of any chatty interaction. They get a tired person in the place of a conversational one, a faint smile instead of a, “Hey, how’s it going?” Even that simple question has yielded a reply that has sparked a blog post a number of times before. And I miss it. I barely have enough energy to water my yard and tend to the weeds, let alone sit down and write for an hour or two — a potential recipe for disaster.

After all, who wants a brown lawn and a neglected blog? Not I.

A few days ago, I was online looking at things I could do to jumpstart my interaction with places, things and people once again — ideally in the hopes of getting some energy injected back into my life, not to mention some substance to the writing. Interestingly, I found that I was gravitating toward a lot of farmers’ markets, gardens, parks, museums and arboretums in the area. (How old do I sound right now?) Regardless of the location, whenever we venture out into places that are of genuine interest to each of us, we stand a chance at finding a new way of looking at something — thanks to something we’ve seen and considered in a different light, or thanks to the dialogue with another. We also stand a chance at encountering equally interesting people who share those same passions, and in the meetings with those people is the possibility for a connection of some sort — either for a few seconds, or longer.

Tonight I am thankful for the simple question asked by my cousin, because it started a train of thought that helped me understand why I’ve been less than thrilled lately with most of my writing. Asking why is one of the shortest questions you can throw out at somebody, but the reply and thought process that follows can be most enlightening.

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