This is the first year I’ve put a garden to bed. Not surprising, as this is only the second year I’ve had a garden. When it comes to gardening I really don’t know what I’m doing, but (also not surprising) I’m going for it anyway.
I don’t feel I must know how to do something perfectly before I actually do it—I’m more of a hands-on learner. I find I can’t actually grasp the numerous details and explanations laid before me until I have some experience to compare them to. For example, I can follow gardening instructions more easily once I’ve actually been in my garden.
What I gathered this year is, putting your garden to bed in January (because you were too busy writing books to do it earlier) is not recommended. It turns out that the ground freezes hard (as do the bags of fertilizer you buy from the farm store), which makes putting it to bed almost impossible. Still, I put it to bed anyway, for the practice, and next year I’ll know to do it sooner, i.e., I’ll do it better.
I’ve never once said, “If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all,” for if I did, I would get approximately nothing done.
“Doing the thing” is part of “learning the thing.” “The thing” is a category of various attempts, each one allowing me to compare an instruction to my experience and, oh yes, of course, see how a slight adjustment makes a difference. “Doing the thing” gives me context for the instructions. Without actually doing the thing, I just mull and rearrange the instructions in my head. I end up not doing the thing, and sometimes I look back to find that I inadvertently spent all my time “learning about the thing” without ever doing it. The thing, I mean.
After that last paragraph, the fact that this is my final Katy Says blog post should bring you a certain amount of relief.
As many of you longtime readers know, writing a blog is one example of my learning while doing. When I first started blogging, I was writing for people in my courses. The posts were sort of shoddy and sarcastic. I didn’t know that much about communicating with a group via writing and I wasn’t always clear on what I was trying to communicate. I had to get writing in order to learn how to write. Now, ten years later, I’d like to think I’ve learned quite a bit about communicating my ideas—how to give not only a more concise presentation (i.e., with better word choices) but also a presentation that reaches people with varying backgrounds (and not just students in my course).
In my enthusiasm for thinking and thus writing about movement, I’ve often had to be still. Despite a dynamic work space, having “blogging” on my list alongside “post daily lessons on social media,” “write eight books in five years,” and “record your bimonthly podcast” has resulted in more stillness (and indoorsness, and screen time) than I require, as I’ve gathered from the aforementioned thinkings and writings on movement.
Understanding movement (in the academic sense) is my job. And the more I’ve come to understand movement, as well as myself, the more I recognize that I must do the thing in order to learn the thing. My ability to move is limited by a perception I have, that my job to understand movement is more important that my need for movement. It has taken me a long time to recognize that learning and thinking about movement was my personal way of avoiding it, but now that I see it, I’m ready to take action. Meaning, I’m taking blogging time (and the indoor/screen/out-of-nature time that comes with it) off my plate.
After reviewing my personal mission statement, I’ve found that I can continue to serve others via movement education in less sedentary ways while better serving myself. And while the blog was the garden for many of my ideas, I have to align myself with these other ways. #stackyourlife (Or am I really just getting out of blogging before they become a series of hashtags? #jkjk #oramI #whoknows #nottelling #okaymaybe.)
Here’s what I’m planning to do going forward:
- Leave all past articles up on this blog
- Better direct people to the numerous books I’ve written
- Take a social media break later this year (I’ve put out SO MUCH CONTENT in the last five years, there are hours upon hours to keep keeners occupied)
- When I return, take a critical look at my “teaching on social media” time and pick the single-best platform and give it my attention a handful of minutes each week (I suspect it will be Instagram)
- Teach movement by moving me and my students (see Virtual Class Membership)
- Write my monthly newsletter
- Record some podcasts
- Write a few more books
- Move more outside this next year than in any preceding year
This is feeling like a long goodbye letter. What I should really write is this:
This isn’t really a goodbye letter at all; it’s just me getting into better alignment for the outcomes I desire. Because of YOU, the Katy Says blog changed my life for the better. I’ve learned from you, and your contributions were fertilizer for all my bookflowers, complete with petals, stems, and the occasional thorn. I’d like these bookflowers to bloom for a while before they perish. When they do eventually perish, I will squat down and gather those bent and battered flower-parts and use them as the soil for any new ideas. Perhaps someday I’ll even come back here and plant blogflowers. But for now, this blog is being put to bed in 2017, so I can more easily move through the world. So I can grow myself.
P.S. I am unable to write a piece that does not contain at least one “P.S.”
P.P.S. Hang up.
No, you hang up.
I love you.
I love you more.
I love you the most.
Ok, we really have to hang up now.
Are you still there?
For realz this time.