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And I Won’t Back Down

“Hey, baby
There ain’t no easy way out
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down”

Hey, baby. There ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. No, I won't back down.

Today, Thursday (at the time of writing this), is my 11 year anniversary of blogging.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. Neither anxiety nor sadness nor gloom of pandemics and politics and pregnancy. Not tension or stress or feeling like I might burst. Not NICU stays, breastfeeding pains, nor little kid and big kid problems. I have blogged through natural disasters, personal disasters, and while my kids loudly and miserably attended Zoom school in our makeshift “classrooms” next to me. The way they walk in and out, in and out, about 17 times since I started writing this. Still, I blog. Still, I smile. I’m not even bursting these days. I don’t yell much, not at an 8-year-old or 11-year-old, and certainly not at a four-month-old. Maybe the in-between years are the yell-y years, and maybe I sometimes prefer them, explosive as they may be. These days it’s the in-between days. So up, so down, and so meh, when you factor in the slow progress of vaccines and humanity and intelligence and the way the clouds certainly take their time moving across the sky and unblocking the sun. Still I smile; maybe nod. Still, I blog.

(I don’t remember why I had makeup on, but it was work related, which matters sometimes.)

These in-between days are the “I’m good, but..” days. When someone asks me how I am, I don’t just say, “Good” or even “Bad.” I say, “I’m good, but..” I’m good, but I have a headache. I’m good, but I have dizziness from anxiety. The weather sucks. I miss people, even in crowds, where you can see eyes up close, and smiles, and smiles that reach their eyes up close. I miss that you can actually smell people, but it’s subtle, and not overwhelming. People are mini worlds, with their own smells and delights, and things that make them expand or contract. Implode or explode.

Collapse or bloom.

Hey, baby. There ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. No, I won't back down.

I miss traveling and ordinary days too. I miss not thinking many people are colossal idiots, but surely I thought so before I saw how they wear their masks, or contest their masks; defend their freedoms that were never taken from them. Or argue on Facebook without reading the articles or thinking about why something might have been canceled or most likely, not even canceled – just maybe held accountable. I miss not being exhausted and weary. And I miss not wearing the weight on my own shoulders, but I also miss when I cared more about carrying others’ weight.

Still, I blog. Through ups, downs, and in-betweens. I don’t and I won’t back down.

dog in Starbucks drive thru line

  • I won’t back down on blogging, because heck if I haven’t yet, I surely never will. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. Neither anxiety nor sadness nor gloom of pandemics and politics and pregnancy. Not tension or stress or feeling like I might burst.

  • I won’t back down on my grief for everyone I’ve lost – even when it seems like an ancient loss – and for my childhood best friend, Sean, who passed away a year ago this week.

And by not backing down, I mean I will face it. There ain’t no easy way out.

Hey, baby. There ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. No, I won't back down.

  • This may be the hardest one to find delicate and respectful words for, but I won’t back down on my family. I always like to joke with my friend Kari about how scary I am when I’m angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry. Trust me. There’s nothing I’m not capable of doing for my kids. And I won’t lose. I won’t back back down on my marriage, which has suffered so, but every time I learn new ways of looking at it, choosing love and kindness, and trusting in myself to help it grow, well, that’s as cumulative as the rough stuff too.

mom carrying baby in ergo embrace carrier with two older kids

  • I won’t back down on this fight against COVID, not even for a measly Sunday brunch, and I won’t back down on helping loved ones get the vaccine, because you know what? It’s that I believe that everyone who wants it deserves access, Facebook Armchair Scientists aside.

(This beautiful, innocent face deserves our fight, like all of them.)

  • And I won’t back down on my politics, and I never have. Luckily, my family, my spouse, and my spouse’s family are all on the same page as I am, which is super important these days.

  • I won’t back down on spreading love with photos and videos, even when I’m feeling down, like I have nothing to add to the conversation. I can always add something like this:

  • And, I won’t back down from dreaming about the future, which seems tenuous at best these days. I still believe in the best of us, and finding better ways to survive and thrive.

Hey, baby. There ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. No, I won't back down.

I won’t back down on breastfeeding, because it hasn’t gotten worse, and is in fact worlds better.

Consider this my vow renewal for my 11 year anniversary to this great, great love of mine. This blog, and what it symbolizes – growth, accountability, and a whole lot of hard work. Consider these my wedding vows, and this post the signing of the Ketubah; the marriage contract. The world burns and scars and heals. It turns itself over, bathing in the light and the promise, before turning over into darkness again. Through in-between days, and the highest highs and the lowest lows. The worlds turns and reveals fresh new wounds and fresh new days. It burns and scars and heals, and, I do too. Through these darkest nights, and always these brightest dawns.

Still, I blog.

Hey, baby. There ain't no easy way out. Hey, I will stand my ground. And I won't back down. No, I won't back down.

“Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground”

“I Won’t Back Down” was song #12 on our birthing playlist.

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9 Comments

  1. I, for one, am glad that you are going to keep blogging. I always enjoy reading your personal blogs and learning more about you. I would be so sad if I couldn’t keep watching the kids grow up, even from afar (although not that far, since I’m just in CT!). Rally on!

  2. I like that you won’t back down and I loved the part about your family. When it comes to my family that is where I too am a little scary if you cross them.Oh boy. I am typically a really calm person, but not if my family is getting hurt by you. Nope. Not ever there.

  3. Congratulations Tamara on doing what you truly love for 11 years and counting! Every week your pictures bring smiles to our faces. Here’s to many more years of enjoyment for everyone from your blogs, and photos and music videos!

  4. Okay your little one is so so handsome and that last picture of him just completely melted my heart ❤️

    I love that you won’t back down and that you fight for your family and the things that are right. It’s the right side of history to be on, and (perhaps more importantly) the right side of humanity.

    Also can we talk about people who wear their masks incorrectly?? What is that? Over the nose, ahole! Lol.

  5. Congratulations on 11 years! I love all the things that you won’t back down on too – what a year the last one has been. Also glad you will continue to blog!! I have been following you for most of those years and feel like you are a good friend even though we haven’t met IRL, 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you’re not backing down on ANY of those things. Also, I can’t imagine not reading your blog, so I’m really grateful you won’t back down on that. And, another also, my son and I went to lunch the other day and listened to the CD with I Won’t Back Down on it, so I had that song in my head, even before I started reading the post!

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