Tomorrow I turn 48 years old. You know, as long as there's a four in that tens column, I still feel young. And in two years when that changes, I'll probably feel young anyway.
I haven't written much in the last year. A post a quarter, maybe two. It's because I've been busy, of course; in my down moments I haven't felt like doing much other than knitting, sitting, watching TV, hugging my daughter. But it's also because this past year has been All About Me, and even though this is my blog, I've never been comfortable treating it as a therapist's couch. I haven't wanted to show up every few days and repeat the same stuff about my mid-life crisis.
But you know what? I think that's finally over. I made the decision to leave administration, and despite some lingering backward glances at the extra money, I'm happy about that every day. I couldn't be prouder of Noel and the awesome work he's doing at his brand new publication. I'm bringing to a close a period in my life where I practiced weekly television criticism, and reclaiming those evenings as time to do something other than work. And I've gotten an immense, humbling outpouring of praise for that work as the series I cover come to a close -- a thousand times more readers than I ever could have imagined, and hundreds of people saying nice things about what the work has meant to them. My promotion application for full professor is making its way up the chain of command. I've even gotten a couple of recent invitations to speak at conferences, related both to my theological work and my criticism. My research excites me, my book is underway, and there's a stack of other projects I hope to get to someday. It feels very much like I've made it to where I wanted to be when I started out.
Maybe it's the end of weekly writing about television that has prompted me to come back here. I've learned a lot about writing from blogging every day for years; I put much of it to use writing on short deadlines two and three times a week. I wouldn't like to see those muscles atrophy. (I'll need them for all the books I have to write.)
And while I've been away, my kids have been growing. I love to write about my kids. They are endlessly fascinating. People tell me they like to read about my kids -- well, about Archer particularly. He's done amazing things while I've been writing elsewhere. I don't want to miss the chance to get the stories down, and to share them. (I'm inspired here by amonthofson.com, Matthew Baldwin's lovely project about how his classically-autistic boy interacts with the world.)
So let's see if we can meet here more often, shall we? Teaching, writing, television, kids, theology, movies, sports, and the occasional self-indulgent state-of-the-Donna report. Hope it turns out well for all of us.