Sunday Scribblings: Do I Have To?

When I think about the question, I think about a scene in the 1989 movie Parenthood. Steve Martin is arguing with wife Mary Steenburgen about, among other things, having to coach his kids on a losing baseball team after getting fired from his crappy job. When she says he has to go, he responds, “My whole life if ‘have to!”

I think about that line a lot whenever my back’s against a wall and I’m faced with doing something I don’t want to do. Doesn’t matter what the task is, changing a diaper or writing a poem. Sometimes life swallows me whole.

Lately, blogging has felt like a “have to.” And I feel incredibly guilt for not blogging regularly. If readers take the time to visit, then I like to provide fresh ideas in this space. On the other hand, I’m opposed to blogging with nothing really to say. End result, I’ve stepped back it bit to enjoy the summer. Same with poetry. Just haven’t felt like writing. I suspect that I’m not the only one who feels like this when the weather gets warmer.

But there’s one “have to’s” that I’m very excited about: My daughter, Ella, turns 3 years old tomorrow! She is pure light. Making her day special is my mission today. Yet in the midst of getting a cake and finding a present, I’ll take some “me time” to read blogs, write a poem, and indulge in my all-time time waster: Facebook!

Whenever I can seek a little balance, the “have-to’s” don’t seem so bad.

For more "Have To's," visit Sunday Scribblings.


Anonymous said…
If only all 'have to's' could be as fun as celebrating a 3 year olds birthday!
Lucy said…
hi January, I know what you mean about feeling like you 'have' to blog. I also feel I have to reciprocate to my commentors or they may stop dropping by... Which is not at all how blogging should be, right?
happy birthday to your little one :)
danni said…
refreshing to hear that blogging becomes a "have to" to somebody else once in a while - i wanted to knock off this week, then grew some things in my head, and whammo! - i blogged - hope your little one has a very special day!!!
Michelle said…
First things first - happy birthday to your little Ella! Way more important than any comment I could possible conjure up!
I totally and completely agree with the 'have to' feeling that comes with blogging... I want to provide something interesting for people to read, but sometimes I just don't feel like putting forth the effort to write something good - it takes so much time!!!
Granny Smith said…
I'm sure youe will make Ella's birthday a happy one. Happy Birthday, Ella!

I have a poem that I know I should be working on,and I feel guilty that I will probably miss Sunday Scribblings next week. What else do we have in common? Oh yes! Facebook! Sometimes I think that, at 87 years old, I am the oldest Facebook addict. I even contributed one of my dragon drawings to Hatching Eggs (hatchery, fun eggs, fantasy and mythology, blur dragon). If you should like to ask for me as a friend, I am Phyllis Sterling Smith.
Anonymous said…
Well, I don't know about other people, but I have you in my feed reader, so even if you decided to take some time off, I'd know as soon as you came back. ;)

Happy birthday to Ella.
Goodnight, Mom said…
First of all, you quoted one of my all-time favorite movies. A difficult scene, but what a great movie!

I know what you are saying. I find if I take a couple of days off from the blog, I start getting these panic emails of people thinking something had happened to Eva. It is a lot of pressure!

Ahh, Ella Bella. I have ER's present sitting here but promise to get in the mail tomorrow!!!

Gorgeous girl turns 3!
January said…
Kristi, who knew Parenthood would resonate so much to me as ... well ... a parent!

Even though I'm working tomorrow, we have some really fun suprises planned for the birthday girl.

As for blogging, it's funny how much we depend on blogs to get a true sense of what's going on in the world.
January said…
Thanks everyone for the kind words about Ella. She's one excited little girl. Will have pictures later.

As for blogging, I'm happy to know that so many of us have mixed emotions about posting and answering comments.
odessa said…
i totally understand what you mean, sometimes blogging feels like homework to me. its a lot of pressure. but then i always try to remember those months when i first started blogging, i didn't have a single comment on my blog and only very few people knew it exists. i was just blogging for the joy of it.
wendy said…
Happy Bithday to the both of you were an active participant too!
tumblewords said…
So many things lose a little luster in the long haul...but we keep on keepin' on!! Happy birthday to your sweet miss - what fun!! I'm looking forward to photos (no pressure, you understand)!
Beth said…
How well you've written about what's behind a post: a sense of hope, connection, and sometimes obligation. Thank you for persevering as a writer and a reader. Before I came to Sunday Scribblings and Napowrimo, I had stopped writing poetry entirely, but now, even if I can't write every single week, I feel connected to a whole community of writers. Enjoy Ella's birthday. May it be only one of many good days.
Jone said…
Beautifully written. I know that feeling of guilt for not keeping up with blogging, especially in April. I hope your daughter's birthday was fun and fabulous.

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