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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Kate from Kate Takes 5 has a weekly link up where she provides a topic for a top 5 list. I always mean to participate in her listography, but for some reason I don’t seem to make it in time. Last week’s topic was Decisions and I’ve been ruminating on the topic for days, and naturally missed my chance to link up to it before the new topic for this week was posted. But it got me thinking a lot about some of the decisions that have shaped my life.

Like everyone else, I’ve made good decisions and bad decisions, hard decisions and easy decisions. Here are a few of the most  influential decisions I’ve made, the good and the bad.

1. Leaving High School

I don’t actually like to admit this often, but I went to boarding school. It was the norm for kids from my middle school to go away to boarding school for high school. (Did that sentence have “school” in it a lot or what?) Anyway, it was not for me. I hated it vehemently. I hated the culture of my school where the hockey team ruled and even the teachers seemed to be divided into cliques. During my junior year we had a parents’ day and I was in a sour mood. My parents asked what was the matter and I rashly lashed out that I hated my school and was miserable. “So what are you going to do about it?” my dad asked me. Huh?

This was the first time I was handed the reigns of my life. I could do something about this? I decided to apply directly to college as a junior, and skip my 4th year of high school entirely. I did not have enough credits and did not take any kind of equivalency exam. I was like any other high school junior. Several of my top choice schools firmly let me know that I need not apply until I graduated like a normal person, but some were open to my application and I was accepted into a handful. Then I had a difficult choice to make: leave my friends and the comfort of the familiar? Separate myself from everyone else on the planet by not having a senior year of high school? I did it. That decision empowered me and at 17 I learned that I was in charge of myself and could drive my own life.

2. Giving Up

I found myself as a previously sheltered 17-year-old in the bigger than big world of Giant University. My dorm my freshman year had over 1600 students. Believing I was a uniquely talented and bright individual, like I had always been told, I applied to a competitive writing course. I submitted my short stories, full of teen angst and trite drama (this was waaaay before Twilight). I was not accepted. I received a letter explaining that I should work on my writing and reapply as an upperclassman.

Devastated, I concluded that I actually had no talent for writing whatsoever. Too humiliated to sign up for any other kind of writing course, I hung up my pen. I decided that my parents were right, writing is a hobby, and I should take a bunch of science courses so I could be employable some day instead. Easy decision to make. Giving it up was so easy. But what if I hadn’t? I could potentially have some fulfilling career instead of a history of random jobs, a Master’s degree I don’t care about, and no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

3. Studying Abroad

Most people consider taking one semester to study abroad or at another university, for a change of pace and fun opportunity. I did it 3 times. I knew that college provided me the unique chance to do this. That one day when I was a grown up saddled with a grown up life I would not be able to spend 3 months in exotic places like Nepal and Kenya, or living outside in snow caves in the Rocky Mountains. I was so fortunate to have these opportunities at my fingertips and I could not pass them up. Each of these experiences left indelible impressions on me and shaped me into the adult I would eventually become. The only hard thing about these decisions was where to go and what to do. Palau or Kenya? That was a tough one.

In my current life as a SAHM to two little kids, it refreshes me to remember my younger self roaming through the streets of Kathmandu; living with a family in a mud and thatch hut in rural Kenya and speaking Swahili expertly; or how strong and hard my exhausted muscles were after digging out another snow cave to spend the night in. These memories are a world apart from my current reality, but it was me, I did it. It reminds me that life is a series of events and stages, that this one is just another stage, and that one day I’ll be looking back on all of this. I had better try to appreciate all it has to offer.

4. Marrying T

This was maybe the easiest decision ever. I’ve suffered more indecision over shoe purchases than whether or not to marry T. From the moment I met him I felt connected to him. We actually almost got hitched after only knowing each other for several months. We faced some inconvenient visa laws and the fact that he’s an alien from far far away land. We had 3 choices: get married, move out of the US, or break up. We call that day “stress day 2000.” In the end we decided to both up and move to far far away land rather than get married for the wrong reasons. So we did. 3 years later, we were back in the US (legally!) and he proposed. Of course I would marry him! I never had cold feet.

5. Kids

Another easy decision to make despite how huge it was. Suddenly one day I felt ready to have a kid. T and I had been married a few years. Our life was fun. But I felt kind of done with it and ready for something new, the next phase. Luckily T was on board and soon we had our gigantic baby L. (He was 10 lbs 3 oz.)

Nothing in the universe was cuter than L when he was 1.5 years old. This was a lucky thing because he was not easy. At all. But he was a bouncing boy full of exuberance, energy and serious cuteness. So cute that I just had to have another. Again, an easy decision that T agreed with. The time was right and having L be an only child was never really in consideration. It amazes me how easy these huge, life changing decisions were to make.

It’s been a fun exercise to look back and think of the biggest decisions I made which brought me to where I am today – steadfastly ignoring my children while they wreck the house so I can selfishly reflect and blog about it.

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I’ve slipped to #12! Please help me stay in the top 5. Thank you!!

Repost: Help a Girl Out

Have you noticed my requests for votes at the bottom of many of my posts? What’s that all about? I’ll tell you what it’s all about. Top Mommy Blogs is a site that lists (can you guess?) blogs written by moms. There are a number of categories ranging from Multiples to Humor to Adoption to Cooking to Crafts and several blogs within each category. TMB ranks the blogs according to how many votes they receive*. Readers can vote daily by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button displayed on their favorite blog(s).

So, what does getting votes do for me? The higher the ranking I have on Top Mommy Blogs, the more exposure to new readers I have. I don’t get any money or rewards or anything, just a stoke to my ego. As a blogger, by definition, I love readers. More readers=more love. Already committed to voting for another blogger? That’s OK. Voting for me doesn’t affect your votes for anyone else. I vote when I visit other blogs.

*The folks over at Top Mommy Blogs have some secret, complex algorithm for averaging votes received. This means that my number of votes can actually fluctuate up and down, which means that my ranking can fluctuate up and down. Let’s say that on a particular day (today, for example) I ask my readers to please vote for me and I get a bunch of votes. But then the next day I don’t get any votes, my ranking may not change despite that one great day of so many votes. Frustrating, right?

Here’s the deal: I will write the best posts I can and in return you’ll click on the TMB button each time you visit my site. Sounds fair, right? To vote you simply need to click on the button over there in my sidebar, or the one below. Your click counts as your vote, and you will be redirected to Top Mommy Blogs. Once at TMB you can look around and find other interesting blogs to read, or simply hit your back button and come right back here.

Thanks for your help!!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

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There is someone out there who likes me enough to put my writing on her blog. This person is JD from Momagement Matters, who I recently got the chance to hang out with at Bloggy Boot Camp. Over post-conference drinks we hatched a plan for me to write a guest post for her blog, which deals with the particular challenges of a working mom. She writes with humor and heart, she’s super cool, and is totally adorable. I guess the last one doesn’t really directly affect her blog, but it’s worth mentioning.

So go check out Momagement Matters, become a fan like I am, and read my post which answers the age-old question: who has it worse SAHMs or WOHMs?

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I don’t really think I suck, and I don’t really think that I’m fucking up my kids (any more than every parent fucks up her kids, anyway). I wrote yesterday’s post immediately after blowing up at L so I was feeling maximally emotional about it. I pounded it out on the keyboard while L screamed for me upstairs and S screamed for me at my feet, while my throat still smarted from my own screaming. I’ve written a few posts in similar situations and they always seem to resonate with other parents.

The first post I wrote in the middle of a bad moment was scary, (read it here). I hit “publish” and then thought, “well, there goes my blog!” certain that revealing my real truth would repel any readers my fledgling blog had acquired. But the opposite thing happened, and it took my blog in a new direction.

I started blogging thinking I’d write wildly funny posts about parenting. It started out that way, but then I ran out of funny and was left with L shitting his pants (it took under a month). So I hit publish and I learned something: it’s one thing to read about a bad parenting moment after the fact, once the writer has regained a cool level head. It’s still nice to read about it, still relatable, but it doesn’t have the same oomph as something written mid-tantrum.

I love the responses I get to my angsty posts. I feel so low and angry and then out of thin cyber air comes tons of support, empathy and others willing to admit that they’ve been there, done that. For that I thank you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am, and how lucky I feel to have this platform and my readers.

So Motherhood, WTF? isn’t the uproariously funny, side-splitting blog I imagined I’d write. Instead it’s much more honest. I’m not always funny. Sometimes I’m pissy, or upset, or bitchy, or angry, or feeling out of control. Sometimes the responsibility of parenting weighs heavily on me, and other times I can see it all as a huge prank the universe plays on us and I’m just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out laughing “haha, you should have seen your face!” So, I’ll start another day stealing myself for the former, and hoping my hair looks nice enough for the latter.

Like this post? Vote for me! Just click on the link below. Thanks for your support!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

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Have you noticed my requests for votes at the bottom of many of my posts? What’s that all about? I’ll tell you what it’s all about. Top Mommy Blogs is a site that lists (can you guess?) blogs written by moms. There are a number of categories ranging from Multiples to Humor to Adoption to Cooking to Crafts and several blogs within each category. TMB ranks the blogs according to how many votes they receive*. Readers can vote daily by clicking on the Top Mommy Blogs button displayed on their favorite blog(s).

So, what does getting votes do for me? The higher the ranking I have on Top Mommy Blogs, the more exposure to new readers I have. I don’t get any money or rewards or anything, just a stoke to my ego. As a blogger, by definition, I love readers. More readers=more love. Already committed to voting for another blogger? That’s OK. Voting for me doesn’t affect your votes for anyone else. I vote when I visit other blogs.

*The folks over at Top Mommy Blogs have some secret, complex algorithm for averaging votes received. This means that my number of votes can actually fluctuate up and down, which means that my ranking can fluctuate up and down. Let’s say that on a particular day (today, for example) I ask my readers to please vote for me and I get a bunch of votes. But then the next day I don’t get any votes, my ranking may not change despite that one great day of so many votes. Frustrating, right?

So, how do those top 3 bloggers stay in the top 3? I have no idea. Somehow, they’ve committed their readers to voting daily. So here’s the deal: I will write the best posts I can and in return you’ll click on the TMB button each time you visit my site. Sounds fair, right? To vote you simply need to click on the button over there in my sidebar, or the one below. Your click counts as your vote, and you will be redirected to Top Mommy Blogs. Once at TMB you can look around and find other interesting blogs to read, or simply hit your back button and come right back here.

I started the year as #10, but have slipped to #12 over the last couple of days. My goal is to get into the top 5. Thanks for your help!!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

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Blogging has changed the way I live my life. I used to just live it. But now, as I’m living it, I’m thinking if the moment is blog-worthy, and how to phrase it. Can I describe it properly? Is it one of those times when you just had to be there? Or is it something that can be translated into text while still preserving the spirit of the moment? Is it funny? Is it too personal? Is it about someone else who I don’t really have the right to write about? Does it make me look like too bad of a mom??

I try hard to balance my woes as a mother with humor. After all, if life isn’t funny, what is it? Wanting to write funny things helps me see my life through a lens of  comedy, which helps me live it without pouring wine over my breakfast cereal. Actual funniness does not always or even easily follow trying to be funny. But, if I try and try and try and try and try and try to be funny, I may succeed once in awhile. (And I apologize for all the posts where I didn’t.)

There is no better thing for someone who wants to be funny than making people laugh. Success! I can’t tell you how many real-life failures I’ve had – jokes landing on deaf ears, cocktail party guests’ blank stares. I was recently at a party where I’m sure the few people I was talking to misunderstood me and were totally appalled. Didn’t they know I was talking as the train conductor? Those were his thoughts, not mine! And, really, if you think about it, it was funny in context. (This is one of those times when you had to be there.)

Anyway, all of this is a preamble to a huge thank you to Nicole over at Ninja Mom for bestowing me with an award. THANK YOU!

Making readers laugh is really reward in itself (gag). No really, I should have piles of gold. But until those piles arrive at my door, I’ll settle for virtual recognition. The only rule for this award is to pass it on to 7 funny blogs:

These blogs have made me laugh and brightened my day when my day needed brightening. Go check them out for a chuckle.
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

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They Like Me!

I’ve always thought of myself as versatile. I can get all pissed off about such a wide variety of things! I’m not limited to just my children, but also house guests, my cat, the UPS guy who thinks it’s a good idea to ring my bell 27 times at 1:30 PM just to leave a package on the porch anyway… At last, my open-minded, hair-trigger temper has been recognized and appropriately rewarded.

Thank you to Cyndi over at My Convertible Life for naming me as a recipient of this award. I am honored that a real blogger such as Cyndi reads my blog, likes my blog and comments on my blog.

Now the hard work. As the rules of this award go, I need to list 7 things you may not know about me, and pass the award onto other deserving bloggers to share the love.

 

Here goes:

  1. I did not graduate from high school, nor do I have a GED. (But I did go on to higher education.)
  2. I have a problem with authority. (OK, if you know me in real life, this isn’t exactly news.)
  3. I once quit a job, in part, because my boss used the word “resolution” as a verb: we need to resolution this immediately.
  4. I have about a million Grateful Dead bootleg tapes.
  5. I am a reformed neat freak. Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the other direction. I’m very, very reformed.
  6. I love camping.
  7. I’ve been in love with Johnny Depp since 21 Jump Street and he can still make me swoon.

Phew, that was hard. There are many blogs that I read and love which have already won this award. Here are a few deserving blogs that make me laugh. We can all use a laugh, so check ’em out! And if you don’t read My Convertible Life already, you should head over there too.

Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva
Growing Up Guarro
Playgroups are no Place for Children

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