// December 13th, 2011 // Comments Off // blogging
… for a week, forever, or somewhere in between.
In lieu of an actual post, a quick update that may or may not hint at future post topics.
Tommy – Every semester is a fog of not knowing until final grades appear, so we are stuck in a holding pattern.
Sarah – For an assortment of reasons, including some that she won’t admit, Sarah has decided that she wants to graduate high school early. I am waiting to hear the school’s response to her application for early graduation before I make a lengthy post that is guaranteed to annoy Sarah.
Noah – He who should be known as man-boy has outgrown every single item in his closet. Except his shoes. He melted his shoes in a campfire. Anyone have spare flour sacks he can wear until he stops growing?
Amy – Has become a pop music jukebox whose music preferences take on a whole new meaning when they are coming out of the mouth of a tiny 7-year-old.
Evan – Fell asleep while sitting at the table and nearly bit straight through his lip. It was horrible and hysterical at the same time, just like Evan.
Doug – “Accidentally” punched me in the face when the dog scared him. Now he knows what to do for my next birthday.
Me – Sitting on the sidelines and laughing at the current wave of marketing directed at Mommy Bloggers.
One dimensional people are perfect. They must be perfect, because aside from the results of their “What Muppet character are you” Facebook quiz, the way they present themselves in public is more filtered and phony than the SEC could ever dream of becoming.
One dimensional people never talk about what a married couple does when they have ten minutes alone. They don’t voice opinions that are different from the people around them. One dimensional people don’t take risks or change their plans. They never need anti-depressants. One dimensional people are more interested in how they appear to others than in how they feel.
One dimensional people’s children never have bad skin or psychological growing pains. Their children may be six or seven years old, but they are handsome young men and mature young women. One dimensional people’s children never do stupid stuff. Their children are the very best at all academic and athletic endeavors.
Our family is composed of real, 3-dimensional human beings. People who know our family in real life know that we are a big,*loud, messy family who love each other completely. We learn from our mistakes instead of denying them. We care about our schools, community and world. We don’t ignore the things that are broken. We share opinions and ideas in an effort to cooperatively make things better. We are able to laugh when we fall down and kick ourselves if we don’t get back up again. Being the same person when someone else is looking, as who you are when you are alone, is quite liberating.
When I hear about one-dimensional people intimidating people who are speaking out to make things better, it makes me angry. The courage and conviction to speak will do far more good than superficial pretentiousness. Don’t hide yourself from the world. One-dimensional people have equally flat and phony relationships with others. One dimensional people want to flatten you into a cartoon caricature of a person. They want you to be one-dimensional. You’re better than that. You have opinions and ideas and a desire to grow as a person. You care about people other than yourself. You have a real personality. You are 3-dimensional.
*Some of us are louder than others.
Non-profits quietly and thanklessly work to improve the lives of people and the world in which we live. Yet, most people don’t know that they exist. Non-profits need to dive head first into the social media pool. Use every possible opportunity to tell the world who your agency is, what you do and why you do it. Every time there is a story in the news that is connected to your cause, point that story out to people. Post updates to any legislation that is important to your cause. Give your cause a human face. Educate by broadcasting facts and stopping rumors. Be a cheerleader, a town crier and an unrepentant flag waver for your cause.
Be a human being instead of a robot. If someone replies to your posts, answer them. It’s great to link to other people’s writings. It’s good to post about other things in your life. If your writings are entirely about something other than your non-profit, you need to create a separate place for whatever that other thing is that is so important to you.
Don’t write only on your own site. Be vigilant in monitoring online for any mention of your agency or your cause. Listen to what people are saying and let them know you are interested in their input. Talk about events before and after they happen. Encourage others’ to share their stories, pictures and videos.
Non-profits need more money. Everyone knows this. Please don’t let your social media presence become pan handling. Avoid the temptation to ask for money except for one tiny window of time when you have a full-blown campaign to meet a financial goal. After a year of making your cause relevant to new supporters, 48 – 72 hours of intense fundraising will have a much bigger impact than endlessly pimping your PayPal account.
Don’t stop trying. The world needs you right now. Thank you for everything that you do.
third verse: anti-social
Let’s just pretend this is a post about what is right and wrong with Knoxville. Imagine it is insightful and edgy. I used words with more than two syllables and lots of economic, education and cultural references in my pretend post today. It irritates you and you agree with it all at once. Doesn’t everyone gets one imaginary post a year?
My desktop went haywire last week and I spent most of the week relegated to my cell phone during the day and the laptop late at night. Every day I would mentally compose posts and every night I would sit down with the laptop in our bedroom and stare at the blank screen. I would like to blame my inability to compose a sentence on exhaustion, but I never had a problem tip-tapping on the keys into the wee hours of the morning when I was using the desktop. The problem was clearly our bedroom. It is a basement room with unfinished walls and zero windows. The temperature has not gotten above 50 in our bedroom. When we began the great bedroom switch, Doug emptied the storage room INTO our bedroom. Instead of four half-completed walls, our room is now a mountain of old paint cans and construction equipment. So, I could blame my inability to write on the cold, the clutter or exhaustion, but I choose to think that I just need a window. Since the walls aren’t finished, maybe I’ll hang an empty frame and paint an outdoor scene. Then again, I could just stop trying to write in bed.
At 9 a.m. this morning, I settled in my little nook between the kitchen and living room. I needed to get one important e-mail sent before I moved on to my regular list of things to get done. The e-mail should have taken 5 minutes to write and an additional 5 minutes to add in some links. After I pressed send, I was ready to begin my day. Unfortunately, it was after 4 p.m. when the e-mail finally traveled down the series of tubes. Five billion pointless interruptions and the only thing I accomplished today was a single e-mail. Tomorrow will be better. Right?
I am as frustrated and ready to move beyond this election as everyone else is right now. After YEARS of blogging without haters, I have gotten it multiple times this week. Instead of dragging it out over multiple posts and different social networks, let’s just make a few things clear so that everyone can have a single place to band together and tell me what’s wrong with me.
1. I voted early for the first time in my life. I voted for Obama and I am very happy with that decision.
2. I don’t care if I hurt the feelings of a blatant racist. I don’t write anything that I wouldn’t say to your face.
3. If we had two cars, I would drive to one of the many Vote NO on Proposition 8 rallies. Two consenting adults who love each other deserve to marry and live without prejudice.
4. I believe the electoral college needs to be abolished.
5. I don’t believe in vouchers for private schools.
Put your anger here and let’s return to having a sense of humor. Please. I am not the monster that I have been called this week. I’m really just a barefoot pacifist.
Overheard in the high school band room:
“My mother blogs everything. You might find yourself on the Internet.”
Overheard through child’s bedroom door:
Tween reading my blog out loud to his friend, followed by, “My family is funny.”
There are mountains of blogs detailing the adventures of pregnancy and parenting UNTIL those children become teens. At that point, many bloggers turn their focus to personal hobbies or quit posting altogether. The reasons are valid. They don’t want to tell the stories that their children could someday tell for themselves. The things that teenagers do just aren’t as cute or easy to talk about as the things that babies and toddlers do and say. They don’t want to embarrass their children. Then, there are those of us who just keep on journaling. We know that our teens are perfectly capable of telling their own versions of the stories on their Facebook pages. My children are an important part of my life. I don’t WANT to avoid writing about them. We may have to write things through gritted teeth or with a hard earned sense of humor, but why would we keep written records of our lives only to a certain point? Writers write. Bloggers blog.
Noah recently complained that I blog more about Sarah than I blog about him. I do because I understand her ridiculous hormonally driven behaviors and attitudes. I do, because watching her making the mistakes I made frustrates me and drives me to
drink blog. Noah, on the other hand, bewilders me. I have been a parent for more than 18 years and I am still struck silent by some of the things that adolescent boys do. I don’t know how to blog about my son abusing himself to Markie Post (Just kidding. He doesn’t know who Markie Post is). I don’t know how his mind works. I only know that he is incredibly compassionate, bright and sensitive. I know he feels forgotten and under-appreciated as the middle child. I just don’t want him to feel like he isn’t good fodder for blog posts. Or, maybe he should just stop keeping score of blog posts.