Saturday, April 26, 2014

Taking Stock/List Vomit

Over the last few days, I've found myself reevaluating my feelings about this blog. I've been afraid to post anything lately and I've been trying to figure out why that is. Okay, to be fair, I was working on a pretty cool little Easter post, but that got interrupted by the small ones. So maybe it's not entirely a matter of being afraid to post, per se, but still the point remains: I haven't been posting much. And part of the reason (the part I'd like to get over and will attempt to do through this post) is that I've become paralyzed by the amount of positive feed-back I've gotten when I've jotted down my thoughts surrounding a controversy or something really, super funny that happened to me.

I know that sounds backwards, but the problem has been that every time anything kind of funny happens or I get kind of opinionated about something, I think, "I could blog about that!" and then I immediately wonder if everyone will like it as much as they liked my previous posts. Well. That's a lot of things. Vain, self-centered, kind of stupid since only about 50 people ever read this blog, and a little cowardly. So I've taken a step back and thought about why I started this blog in the first place. Was it to garner the most comments I could? Was it to gain a large number of readers? No. Mostly, this blog was created to share my day-to-day life with friends and family who might find themselves interested. This blog is also something of a hobby for me. I've always enjoyed getting my thoughts out in written word (I've kept a journal since 2nd grade. I'm not exaggerating; I literally have 15 journals full of my past.) and doing it here allows me to also share my life with people which is something I'm very passionate about. (Life and people. Those are my two great loves)

I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I'd love to become a blogger and be paid for my musings, but that's going to take some serious research, soul-searching, and a level of creativity that  my brain probably doesn't have at the moment since so many of my brain cells have been dedicated to giving other humans life. SO. Conclusion: This blog is primarily a place for me and for my family and friends who so desire to read it. But I'm dropping the self-inflicted pressure and reclaiming this place! From this day forward, I vow to post primarily for my own enjoyment and not to get caught in the temptation of waiting to post until I have something "really good" in order to receive the most attention.

So, without further ado, I present one of my favorite entry-types: LIST VOMIT!

1. If I were to die in an unfortunate accident and become a ghost, doomed to wander the rooms of my home into eternity, I don't think I'd be very scary. I think I'd probably just hang out with whomever lived here and watch movies with them and stuff.

2. Samuel is now 10 months old and has been celebrating getting older by pulling himself up on EVERYTHING. He's very proud of himself.

3. He's also really obsessed with "What Does The Fox Say". He recognizes it the second it starts and the joy he experiences is actually maybe the cutest thing on the face of this earth. I need to record it sometime soon and post it because. Dang. That's some enthusiasm.

4. Luke is a ten-year-old in a two-year-old's body. He has recently started saying "Oh snaps!" and "What the heck?" with an impish grin because he thinks it makes him sound super cool. He wants to ride his scooter all day every day and watches Spiderman and the Avengers instead of Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood like a normal two-and-a-half-year-old. Sometimes I make him watch younger shows just to get a break from all the superheroes.

5. Every once in a while, I still experience a little tiny bit of PTSD from our car accident and have a teeny, tiny, 30-second panic attack that involves my becoming very sure that I'm going to forget what I'm experiencing as I'm driving somewhere and suddenly wake up in the hospital to be told I was in a horrific car accident. I used to get one every day, but they're getting fewer and further between the more that time goes by. It was really disturbing to wake up having forgotten the last two hours of my life. Really. Disturbing.

6. I'm getting healthy again! Slowly but surely. I took a little break from getting healthy a little bit unhealthy-er (are you shocked?) so this week I've gotten back off sugar and have been walking every day. Last night was raining, but it was also date night, so Shem and I got to go walk the mall together. Hooray for meeting goals!

7. It's going to be 97 degrees next Tuesday. Dear weather, thank you for providing me with another reason to be excited about moving to Utah.

8. You guys. I really love music. I mean, I REALLY do. I put on some classical music the other day while I was cleaning and. I just forgot how obsessed I am with that stuff. It's just so good. It made me want to go back and finish my music degree SO BADLY. So that's going to happen. Someday.

9. I took a break from Lord of the Rings to read Meg Meeker's book, "The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers" which I've decided is 'meh'. I mean, it's good, but you know how you sometimes read a book and you really connect with it? This one doesn't quite do that for me. I need to get back to Lord of the Rings because I AM DETERMINED TO FINISH THAT BOOK IN MY LIFETIME, YOU GUYS!

10. Today is Saturday, so to celebrate, we're going to make a fancy (healthy! -ish-) breakfast. Hooray!

OH! Bonus thing:
11. We've started a comment war on one of Michelle's Facebook posts that has now accumulated over 1,100 comments. All involved feel a sense of accomplishment.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm sure I'll be back at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An April Fool's Day Controversy and Why I Won't Take The Bait

Being as I pretty much adamantly hate controversy of any kind, and that I typically do all that I can to avoid it entirely, it's a little strange that I've decided my big blogging comeback should be so steeped in it. But I just can't take it anymore. I'm so beyond annoyed with this new-fangled 'campaign' slash 'agenda' that this past April Fools Day brought on that I have to get the thoughts out or I might implode. Literally. My body will be sucked into nothing and the only thing that will be left behind is a black hole of my aggravation which will devour everything in it's path. So ultimately, this blog entry will be doing the world a favor. You're welcome.

I've always been a border-line fan of April Fool's Day. I both enjoy being made to look foolish and making others look foolish. I find harmless, clever pranks highly entertaining, even when I'm at the receiving end. So you can imagine my dismay when I logged onto Facebook to find that several of my friends were posting a blog entry entitled "The Joke is Over" which is a very well-written entry responding to what the author believes is a very prevalent problem in social media: the posting of pregnancy announcements as April Fool's jokes.

I don't remember seeing this idea around last year. Maybe it was introduced prior to yesterday's festivities and I just happened to miss it, but from what I can remember, this is a new principal that many seem to be embracing this year. Several of my own Facebook friends got on the platform and stepped up to defend those amongst us who have suffered  infertility and child-loss and who are, undoubtedly, cowering in their homes, living in mortal fear of encountering this most offensive practical joke.

Okay. Disclaimer: OBVIOUSLY infertility and child-loss is no joke. I've already written about how much I fear experiencing those life trials. My heart experiences such an enormous amount of empathy for mothers who walk through these struggles, that I have literally been kept up at night, worrying and shedding tears on behalf of the people I've known who have known this type of loss. Therefore, the status update that would truly be in poor taste, would be one that purports to suffer these trials, only to reveal that (April Fools!) the author truly is expecting.

I won't mince words here: pretending you are pregnant on April Fool's Day is in no way an affront to those who cannot conceive. 

Let me say it in a different way, and I'll try and type slowly: It. Is. A. Joke.

Jokes can sometimes (virtually always, actually, depending on the listener) be offensive. But since when has our society taken the responsibility of other people's emotions into their own hands? Why is it our responsibility to molly-coddle and protect EVERYONE'S (completely varied) sensibilities?

We shouldn't talk about God in school. How would that make non-believers feel?
We shouldn't have Christmas trees in public. How could non-Christians possibly handle the attack?
Don't offer an expectant mother wishes that she will have an healthy child; that's an offense to those who aren't blessed with 'healthy' children.
And on that vain, if you use the word 'retarded', we're pretty sure there is a special circle of hell designed specifically for people like you.
OH! And please make sure your child brings enough allergy-free valentine's day treats to share with the entire class because we don't want anyone to have hurt feelings if they get fewer cards than the popular girl.

I mean, the list goes on and on and on and on...  If we are to ever truly achieve perfect kindness, we should simply never speak. Or have opinions. Or reward excellence. Or tell the truth. Or make a joke.  So... that sounds kind of boring. Also a little bit oppressive. But don't worry! I have a solution to the problem. Are you ready? Here it comes:

How about if we take ownership of OUR OWN SENSIBILITIES? 

Let me break this down for you in 2 easy steps:

1. If you don't like it, don't look at it. Example: If you don't like April Fools Jokes in social media, don't log onto social media on April 1st.

2. If it offends you, get over it. I know this one may seem kind of extreme, so let me give you a quick example from my own life: I was driving home the other day, listening to the comedy station on the radio (because I like the lolz). It just so happened that the routine that was playing was a very offensive and un-true attack on motherhood. The comedian asserted that mothers are ultimately lazy women who have taken 'the easy way out'. He claimed that the 'hard work' we are always alluding to is essentially just popping in a new DVD every few hours. (And why wouldn't we need a break after such an exhausting day? /sarc) I had two options: I could either whine and cry about how much he hurt my feel bads and undermined my entire life's work; or I could move forward, remaining confident in the knowledge of my reality and not give him power over me by allowing him to manipulate my emotions.

Why are we handing our power over like this? Why not, instead, claim control over our own emotions? Why are we allowing other's completely well-intentioned, harmless jokes to cause us such extreme distress that we have mommy-bloggers running to our aid and attacking those who post such an obviously politically incorrect prank?

Let's reclaim power over our feelings, shall we? Let's stop demanding that society take care of us. Let's take responsibility for our own lives and relish in the freedom that refusing to become offended will ultimately grant us.

And thus I have spoken.