The End
September 17th, 2013

Perhaps it was telling that I recently wrote about the impermanence of most things in our lives.  As I wrote that post I didn’t see it as a foreshadowing of any kind.  Yet, it was just a few weeks later that I came to the decision to quit blogging.

When I started this blog nearly four years ago I had a not-very-demanding job, an equally undemanding one-year-old, and an abundance of spare time.  I felt that the orbit of my life was small – rarely extending beyond my own day-to-day existence.  I was looking to stretch myself in some capacity; to expend my time and energy in ways that would enrich my life and that of those around me.  I was searching for something, but I didn’t know what.  To put it quite simply, I was bored.

After reaching out to my husband, my sister, and the person who would become my best friend in the online world, I settled on a pair of endeavors that I hoped would add to and glean from my life something of value.  I began volunteering in the NICU of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  And (with Aidan’s encouragement), I started this blog.  I covered everything from C-sections to robots, ­­­­vegetarianism to feminism.  I looked at the world through a new lens, considering my own perspective on all manner of topics that might make for interesting blog fodder.  And all along I relished in the opportunity to come here and explore those topics, rarely seeing my posting schedule as an obligation rather than a privilege.

However, my offline life has marched on, ushering in two new children and some big career changes.  There may or may not be a second adoption on the horizon.  And I’m confident that – at least for the next 17 years or so – life isn’t going to get any quieter.  Reflecting on life is a crucial component of living it well.  But reflecting on it twice or thrice weekly in thousand-word essays is a luxury.  And for the moment it’s a luxury I cannot afford.

Perhaps my departure seems abrupt.  I haven’t ever (even during breaks) equivocated about my desire to blog.  One thing about this blog, though, is that it was never about me.  While I find myself quite fascinating, Dickensian I am not, lacking either the tragic or comic qualities that would make me a worthy subject matter.  Certainly, I discussed bits and pieces of my life as they related to other topics.  But writing about myself was never my intent.  In fact, it was something I generally sought to avoid. And that is how it is that I have arrived at a place in which it is very clear to me that it’s time to log off, yet without any warning to you.

As I think about it, this blog is one of the things in my life of which I am most proud.  I am proud of the range of topics I’ve covered.  I’m proud of the quality of the writing I’ve produced and of the quality of the conversation it has generated.  And I’m proud of my dedication to the entire project over time (this year’s absences notwithstanding).  I am a bit sad to give up this part of my life, but mostly relieved.  I haven’t been very good blogger this year, and if the hard truth of the situation is that I must choose to do this poorly or not do it at all, I’d rather not do it at all.  Also, I hope that with this obligation cleared from my schedule I will find more time and renewed energy for other interests that have been crowded out bit by bit.

So here you have it: my last post.  It is not my most interesting work – no thoughts on the sequester’s hideous effects on Head Start, no reflections on the upcoming change of seasons, no exploration of the idiosyncrasies of Francis and Claire’s marriage in “House of Cards.”  Just my honest confession of time constraints and prioritization.

This blog will remain live at this site until sometime in mid-December when my hosting package expires.  In the meantime I will have the entire thing – every post and every comment – converted into hard copy, so that I (and perhaps someday my children) can come back to it and experience again this thing that was such a big part of my life for a time.

Finally, I must thank you.  Thank you for coming here and reading.  Thank you for commenting – for challenging and supporting me.  Thank you for being a part of this experience which I have treasured and which I will cherish every time I think back on it.  I know there will be days when I long to come here and explore my thoughts on a topic that interests me.  But on those days I will talk with my sister on the phone, or a girlfriend over lunch, or my husband in the evening.  I will continue thinking Ten Dollar Thoughts, even if only in the confines of my mind.

13 Responses to “The End”

  1. anne Says:

    Well, I think I (we) owe YOU the thanks. Thanks for being a blog in the sea of bloggers out there who made me think with her posts. For tackling subjects that people don’t necessarily want to think about. Thanks for being yourself on this blog, even when you weren’t delving into your personal life. But thanks for being touching as well as thought-provoking. It’s been great to read you, and I’ll miss that. But yes…pick up the phone any time. Or write an email. Congrats on a great project.

  2. kelly Says:

    I will miss your eloquent and enlightening musings. I’ve been spoiled for 20 some odd years with them and it’s fascinating for me to think about our respective journeys. Hope your ever-growing family is well! I suppose if we don’t have time to be penpals anymore we will have to settle for the occasional email or Christmas letter. Hugs to all the kiddos. Xo

  3. Beverly Ebright Brejcha Says:

    You should publish your entire series of blogs through, or some other self publisher. I, for one, would buy your book. It would be a shame for the rest of us to lose your writings, and I, for one, can’t afford to print off all the ones I’d like to save!

  4. Aidan Donnelley Rowley Says:

    Gale. These words, like you, are honest & wonderful. Our friendship has transcended the online world & become very real. Like others I imagine, I wish you would stay here, among us oddballs in the ether, but I respect your choice tremendously. May we all have the instinct to follow our hearts, and heads, as you do. Best of luck with everything & whenever you have the urge to explore things, I selfishly hope you do it at ILI; your words have enhanced the place immensely. Come back & visit us (& John Mayer) soon! Xox

  5. Meg Says:

    Welcome to life with 3 babies- I’m scaling back my extra activities left and right these days. It makes the days so much more enjoyable.

  6. Lindsey Says:

    I will miss you. I’ve learned so much here, and have been reading even when I was quiet. Good luck and enjoy what sounds like a very full, rich life. xox

  7. D. A. Wolf Says:

    You should be proud. Very proud. You have always tackled subjects that encourage us to think and question, something I personally respect enormously.

    And this: “But writing about myself was never my intent” – it’s exactly what has made your talent for putting forth social commentary so compelling. This sort of reading and writing is too rare around the web.

    I, too, will miss you online, but I know that what is ahead for you is an extraordinary journey, for all of you. I suspect we’ll see you and hear from you again, when you can grab some of those precious moments to capture them. Meanwhile, enjoy living them.

    I will never forget your kindness and your help, when it counted so much. Will stay in touch…


  8. Cheryl Perlmutter Says:

    Gale, you are a wonderful writer and observer. I honestly don’t know how you had time to do this to begin with though!
    Luckily I will still get to listen to you in person!

  9. Mom Says:

    Gale, you never, ever, fail to impress me and I have enjoyed reading your Ten Dollar Thoughts. You are an excellent writer and a lovely, sensitive, thoughtful person. And I’m completely unbiased. Well, maybe a little, but you are!

  10. Anna Says:

    Well, that is good news for you, but bad news for those of us who have REALLY enjoyed reading about whatever has struck your fancy. Thank you for putting in the effort to give us your words and thoughts; you really are a talented writer. Best of luck with the future endeavors!

  11. Kristen @ Motherese Says:

    Like the many others here, Gale, I will miss your thoughtful, penetrating voice, but your reasons for stepping away from the blogosphere resonate deeply with me. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. May all of your thoughts and adventures be ten dollar ones!

  12. ayala Says:

    Good luck to you and I wish you all the best.

  13. Heather Says:

    You will be missed, but I wish you and your family the best!