You Have Three Hundred Seventeen Unheard Messages...

So, okay...haven't written in a while...really sorry about that...don't mean to be inconsistent...so on, so forth...blah dee blah dee blah dee...

Why do I assume I need to apologize to you when I haven't written in a while? Do I really think that everyone but me is not busy AND lives and breathes by whether or not I have blogged AND stands waiting to hurl fists full of mud my direction for being a blog poser or some kind of slacker?

No, not really. Except for the slacker part. And I don't really think you think I am, but I think you will think I am and that stresses me out.

I don't answer my phone. Like, ever. In fact, I DAILY lose (at least temporarily) my phone; in couch cushions, under the bedspread, in the car, shoved down in one of what seems like five bags that accompany us at any given time.

I think this looks is slack.

I also don't always get back to people in a "timely fashion" with emails or messages. I even mark them "unread" so they'll stay bold and grab my attention, propelling me into response mode.

It doesn't. That seems is slack.

Last week my phone spent two consecutive days at KakiBlackBarry's house, forgotten twice. Poor dear friends, hearing it ring incessantly while Ma Luffin' Mayun and I tried to find it by listening for the tone. Once it was recovered Ma Luffin' Mayun lovingly said, "You've got to tighten up on that. I know you hate talking on the phone, but you've GOT to tighten up".

Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuu. Yeah. I know.

There's a lot that can be rightly concluded about me from my aversion to phone calls: I'm generally pretty content with solitude (if you call me plus a seven-month-old plus a two-year-old "solitude"); I'm trying to focus my attentions towards the FabFive and Costa Cottage and don't carve out much time for anything else. There's always a meal or a hiney or a project or a mountain of laundry that's being prepared, consumed, wiped, winnowed, or tackled at any given moment. By no means am I self-deluded into thinking this is my plight and mine alone. Everybody's busy, busy with something. It just is what it is.

I really do strive to live this life...this wife-mommy-full-time-ministry-daughter-sister-friend life...well. I was the baby growing up. It was just me and SisterFriend. And growing up I was regularly admonished for being "irresponsible". Never berated, just corrected. I hated that. In a whole lot of ways I was, I was irresponsible, and I hated that. I think because of that sort of general notion about myself I have tried really hard as an adult to "make up" for having been thoughtless or irresponsible as an adolescent. I am a responsible adult. I have been in a beautiful, healthy marriage for thirteen years, we're raising three great kids, I manage a home, keep a budget, prepare bills, stock the shelves, feed the family, yada yada yada...

So why do I still feel like I have to apologize? A LOT?

Well, because what my not answering the phone conveys is that the people trying to reach me aren't worth my time. It gives the appearance that I can't be bothered; not by my mother or father, sister or friend. It raises more questions in the hearts and minds of the callers than it answers. "Is she okay? Is she busy? Is she talking to everybody but me? Is she depressed?" It suggests that I don't need the community of the people calling, that I'm an island.

Some days I feel like an island.

I love my life, I really do. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my family and my friends. I love who I have grown to be (mostly), what I know about myself almost thirty-three years into this thing, what I am now and not anymore. But I'm telling you, it kicks my butt some days. I think my golden friend said it best when she left me a comment a couple of years ago. She wrote, "Becoming a mother may be the most wrenching, identity-forming/altering event in our lives." Two more kids later from when she first posted that and I can say, "few truer words have ever been spoken".

I get lost under all this sometimes. I get lost in the functional. I get buried underneath the daily minutia. Sometimes I'm treading water; certainly not for survival or peace or even joy, but treading water just to remember my whole person, my integrated self. And a lot of times it's from that place that I don't answer the phone. How do I break off and have a conversation when I can't even carve out a time for me to pee in private?
Boy, that sounds melodramatic, doesn't it?

The reality...the truth... is I don't have time not to connect and commune, in small ways and in big, with the people I so dearly love in my life. My Touchstones. My Battle Friends. The People Who Knew Me When. I realize that they remember exactly who I am in those times that I can't even spell my name. I understand that they seek not to drain but to draw close. And there isn't one among them that couldn't handle a fifteen-minute phone call versus the hour I think I have to carve out to connect with each person in my life.

One more apology...

I'm sorry that I presume myself to be busier than you, if not in my thoughts most certainly in my actions (or inactions). I'm sorry I forget that the name that pops up on my phone isn't a "contact", but rather a comrade or a confidant.

I'm not irresponsible, and I'm not an island. And there is slack.

I guess that leaves me with nothing more to do than follow a bit of wisdom and "tighten up".

Thank God for messages awaiting replies and calls to return.

By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.


  1. I'll print this and give it to Ma !!
    Love you, PP

  2. I haven't checked my messages in 2 weeks. Brandon finally did it for me and put it on speaker phone so I could hear them while I changed a diaper.

    I'm not sure what my point is...

  3. I love love love you!! and I know that you love me.... even if we can't touch base as much as we'd like.... :)

  4. Anonymous11:20:00 AM

    I often get teased by many of my closest friends as the girl who "never" answers her phone... i can relate-.

    melissa beach


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