New year, another January, another blogfest

Another year, another bunch of head-scratching contemplation on where the old one vanished, and a bubbly little hope that this one won’t vanish as quickly. So yes, a happy new year to you and everyone (me included) and not just for this year, but for every year to follow.

Over next, to what “new year” means: “resolutions”. In my younger days I would typically come up with impressive resolutions that faded away unsung, unnoticed as the months passed by (though they proved useful starting points for the next year’s resolutions). Now, I don’t do any resolutions except one: my January blogfest. For the past three years, I have blogged through every day of January.

TIll a few days ago, I was swinging back and forth on the idea of attempting a blogfest for January 2012. See, I’ve been blogging quite regularly these last few months of 2011. I know regularly means different things to different people, and some people blog multiple times a day; to me, regular means one weekly blog, often a serious one averaging over 2000 words. And so I wondered, do I really have anything to say each day for 31 days in a row?

The first time I did my January blogfest (2009), I was new to blogging and just trying to get into some sort of flow, especially as I had hit a dry pocket as a writer. I managed the 31 entries, many introspective, some more factual, and most of them, but not all, related to scattered thoughts of a caregiver just coming to understand what life was all about. I did a more introspective set of 31 blog entries in 2010, and my 2011 blogfest was a sort of a walkthrough across the years through the role of dementia and care in my life, and I used it as a sort of recap and closure.

When I was considering the 2012 blogfest a few days ago, I had almost decided in its favor. There is something to be said for having only one resolution for a year and for getting over with it by Feb 1, celebrating with dark chocolate (well-earned) with the rest of the year stretched out long before me, free and targetless.

I wasn’t bothered that I had no theme in mind. I thought I’d just pick up any top-of-mind idea and do a short blog on that every day throughout January. It could be about anything (hey, that’s what blogs are supposed to be like). I’m a dementia caregiver and a volunteer, and that occupies a bulk of my mindshare, so I may end up sharing some episodes that pop up, or some observation or philosophy related to that, but I’m not trying to get down to understanding stuff or drawing conclusions. Just exploring. I may end up with conclusions one day, and with counter-conclusions another day, and just unashamedly meander about weird and irrelevant stuff on a third. Stuff like jigsaws. Stuff I see when walking down a road. My claustrophobia, my fear of social interactions. Dark chocolate. Writing stories, and having stopped writing them, and struggling to resume.

In a way, all this serious work I do keeps me so busy that I sometimes forget to let in irreverent thoughts and new dreams, and irreverence is needed, or what is life for! Maybe I needed a pick-what-comes-first-to-the-mind type of shakeup. And so I thought I’d go with the flow and wondered what would emerge.

Then yesterday evening, New Year’s Eve, the attendant who looks after my mother got the news of a personal tragedy, and for the hour as she wept, I remembered my own bereavement on that day, 14 years ago, and wept alongside in my heart. I tried to convey my empathy sans words, as my Kannada and her Hindi are too basic and functional for such communication. Then she packed and left for her village, and hubby and I were back at the 24×7 care for my mother.

Care for a bedridden patient takes time and energy, and added to our already-made January commitments, what stretches before us is a packed and tiring January. I’ll also be confined at home. When I rememebered about the blogfest, I thought, hey that’s something I can chop off.

But I didn’t, and here’s why.

I have worked from home for over twenty years now. I work to self-imposed deadlines, using self-imposed discipline, accountable to myself, driven by myself. And as I thought through last night and today morning, I realized I owed it to myself to give the blogfest a try. So it may not be the best blogfest, so what? Maybe I’ll end up skipping a few entries or taking shortcuts on some days and posting one-liners. And if someday I can’t think of anything, I may just post a picture; after all, a picture is worth a 1000 words. All of this is better than not trying. And at the end of January, I can step back happy that I gave it a shot. (As against feeling bad that I didn’t even try)

So yes, the year is new and fresh (and fragile and ready to bend one way or the other, depending on where I take it), and so yes, it promises to start off really busy, but that’s okay. I’ll give an update on my mother tomorrow, because it’s been ages since I did that, and then I’ll let randomness take over. I’ll flow along, snatch fun and happiness as they come. My 2012 January blogfest begins.

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

2 Responses to New year, another January, another blogfest

  1. I’ll look forward to reading your entries Swapna. So what if they are about random thoughts, or even nothingness……it is a journey neverthless from point A to point wherever. You do travel. and hopefully some fellow travellers and companions you gather on the way.

    But you just seem to have been bombed by one of my worst nightmares. Caregiving helper’s absence. Suddenly Iam left with this heaviness. How do I explain to people, how do I get things done, HOW DO I LIVE???

  2. Swapna, my planned 2011 NaNoWriMo never met its mark, but inspired by this post, I am going to attempt a Blogfest 2012 too. Here is to keeping the little joys in life close to our heart. Good wishes to you dear friends:)

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