Old habits, new thinking

Last night

I felt the need

to justify myself

My partner

told me

My life has been stitched together with explanations

Men do not feel 


Old habits die hard. 

*Trying out Suleika Jauoad’s Isolation Journals prompt for today- elimination/blackout poetry on my own quick paragraph (below). 

Last night I was composing an email to a foster puppy mom, stating my partner and I would like to adopt her foster dog after meeting it briefly earlier in the day.  In the original draft of the email, I felt the need to justify myself, explaining that although I wasn’t an experienced dog owner, I have faith in myself and my resources to give this puppy the best life it could have.  My partner, whose line of work resides in the business world, told me I did not need to justify myself, instead, I could state we would like to adopt the dog and that was that.  I was blown away- my life has been stitched together with explanations and justifications.  Men do not feel the need to sew their thoughts into emails as I do?  I just could not fathom how much anguish that eliminates. Old habits die hard.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

10 thoughts on “Old habits, new thinking

  1. I love this and will now need to look up what blackout poetry is.
    “My life had been stitched together with explanations” You are preaching to the choir. Why do we feel the need to explain ourselves? Honestly, it is exhausting!


  2. That’s a habit I need to break as well. I love this idea of using blackout poetry for a blog post. Thank you for sharing not only the poem, but the original paragraph.


  3. I love this post! I haven’t made a blackout poem in a while, but it is so fun. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never thought about doing it with something I’ve written. Great idea!


  4. I love this black out poetry exercise and will put it to use sometime this month. Your analysis is spot on…all of the time I spend justifying when a simple request or statement will do.

    Puppy ownership?? Fingers-crossed!!


  5. Brilliant. So fascinating to see the before and after to see how effective it is. I’m with you on the justifications–but I’ve recently started questioning when I should and shouldn’t provide one, so your post is perfectly timed for my reflections. Also, I hope that puppy is heading your way without or without an explanation!


  6. Thank you for this great idea! I had never done blackout poetry with my own writing. Ingenious! PLUS, I love the back and forth between your partner. This timely line resonates with me- “My life has been stitched together with explanations.” I often have to edit (ie. CUT) my blabbering. No explanation is necessary; just state it! This will be my mantra as I spend way too much time overthinking everything. Thank you for this spot-on post.


  7. WOW!! I love how you wrote a slice and then turned it into poetry. When I had trouble reading and writing during this pandemic, the Isolation Journal prompts were what really helped me! I also can’t wait to read her book. I am saving it for Spring Break so I can enjoy it on a long day of reading! Also, fingers crossed your letter is accepted.


  8. Wow! Meg I love this post! I I will definitely bookmark your writing as a mentor text. I love Suleika Jauoad’s Isolation Journal…sometimes I use the prompts, sometimes I just enjoy reading the stories that accompany the prompt! Thank you so much for sharing this brilliance.


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