Blog is Dead.

Okay, so the month of February is going to force me to into a decision.  Continue blogging for my six readers, or chuck it all?  I am trying to think long and hard about why I started this mess.  What are my intentions?  What is my message?  Who cares?  So what?

On the one hand, I see what blogging has become.  No longer a treasure trove of creative writing, critical thinking, and philosophical musings, (all except for grumblesandgrunts), the typical blog has become a pile of poo-doo. It’s all so formulaic and frosted.  Blech.  I follow twenty blogs that are about the same thing.  Food, breasts, crafts (guilty!!!), and parenting.  If there were just 5 blogs that were  in that vein, I would look at them as a wealth of knowledge and would reference them heavily.  But this whole idea that EVERYONE is living this awesome life where the only concern is if their sucanat order will arrive before Menu Planning Day?  Whatever.  I don’t buy it.

I know from my own experience that being a blogger is not all roses.  I have dark underbellies in my life that I want to write about.  So, why not write about them?  Yeah, that works.  The few times I have touched on our family struggle with alcoholism, extended family members who never speak to me, all of a sudden have an opinion on my blog.  “That’s private.  She shouldn’t be writing about those things.”  Oh, pardon me, let me put up my Super Duper Gluten Free Corn Bread recipe instead.

My husband certainly doesn’t take blogging seriously and could care less about it.  Now, if it made us MILLIONS, that would be another story.  So overusing the DH or giving him a goofy moniker that makes it appear like he is involved would be a lie.  Why lie?  He probably thinks I knit too much, that I read too many blogs and it’s a total waste of time.  Good!  I like having my own hobbies.  I don’t need a creepy, tandem husband.  He can write his OWN blog.

The kids sure do say the darndest and the cutest things.  They also scream at each other, throw toys, make huge messes, and get sassy with me.  Levi won’t potty train.  Neither of them will get out of our bed.  (We are tired and want to be alone!!)  I also let them watch WAY too much TV. Jacob never rises before noon.  Who cares?  I love them, their dad loves them, they love each other.  No harm, no foul.

That’s a pretty hard outlook to hold on to if I jump over to the “We Never Spank, and Heart Our Family Bed” blog.  Wow!  Are they better than me?  Are they?  If you could see how many times I have tried to implement something in our home because another blogger said it was good and right, you would feel sooooo very sorry for my family.  It’s an automatic fail.  What works for one family does not work for MINE. The competition to be the Most Christian/Secular Crunchy Lactivist Intactivist Homeschooling Crafty Momma is brutal.  The movement is damaging, hurtful, and alienating.  It destroys friendships.  It creates animosity.  It makes it hard to love your neighbor.  I hate it.

That’s just touching on the blogs that deal with THAT crap.  What about the FOOD blogs?  Dear me, I can’t keep up!  Paleo, grain free, low carb, soaking grains, fermented foods?  Sorry, but I don’t run a lab, I run a kitchen.  After years of sharing a bed, I am too tired and crazy to make up a plate of @#$% my kids won’t eat.  I have totally ticked off my husband trying to get these goofy ideas  up and running.  He wants meat and potatoes.  Good.  Done.  Why do I want to see my kids crying at the table over some sort of purple fermented mush?  Get outta here!  There is no way in hades that I will ever believe that these women eat that way all the time.  If they do, they NEVER have PMS, and if that’s the case I don’t even want to know them anyway.

Last, I must give some love to all the repurposing used toilet paper, modge podge my cereal boxes, and zero waste blogs.  Thanks for making me feel inadequate.  Thanks for making me care more about a TREE than my children.  Again, I say these sites are full of it.  There is NO way that these people live this way all the time.  None.  Doesn’t happen.  If they do, then they have made garbage their idol.  I say, keep it off the roads, paths, and trails, put it in a garbage can and be done.  Don’t take/use more than you need.  Repurposing was called crafts when I was in grade school.  You painted up a coffee can and made a pencil container for your room.  No guilt.  No obsessing.  Just fun.

Fun?  What happened to that?  Joy?  Peace?  What happened?  From the time I get up I can seize the day, build relationships, work my lungs, give kisses and hugs.  OR, I can get up, make coffee (free trade, recycled filter, reverse osmosis water?????), read blogs about how awful my life is, wipe my behind with cut up t-shirts, go over the periodic table with the three year old, check my cervical mucus, check on my soaked oatmeal, check my sucanat order, troll the pro-vaccine boards, wash out my tuna cans, roll my eyes at the neighbor who gives her kids Capri Sun, wash my hair with vinegar and baking soda, and everything else that sucks up my life.  My LIFE.  I get one. ONE.  What is this alternate reality that is supposed to be the new norm.  It’s ugly.

For the people who truly live that life and it brings them joy?  God bless.  They don’t blog about it.  They live it.  They tell you about it if asked.  They don’t lecture.  Most blogs have become giant finger pointing forums.  It’s just another version of the high school clique.

Here is the video that set all of this off.  At first I laughed and laughed.  Then, I got mad.

Oh, yeah, I just blogged from the toilet.  I ate spinach artichoke dip for breakfast.  I put SPLENDA in my coffee.  The TV is on.  Bite. me.

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Foolish Things We Tell Our Kids: Part I

“You can be whatever you want in life!!!!!”  Yay!  Go you!  Wait…not really.  In fact, no, no, no.  You can’t.

Thanks to ALLLLLL the well meaning grown ups in my life who spoon fed me this garbage.  I so appreciated being set up for failure early on.  “You can be anything you want to be, deary.”  Well, I stank at math, so there went my dreams of being an astronaut.  I was the most uncoordinated child on the planet.  Flush wanting to be a cowgirl or any other dream career involving arms and legs.  I was a little girl who knew something was wrong with her.  I mean, how great could I be, if I couldn’t even grow up to be WHATEVER I wanted to?  Of course this led to a downward spiral that caused me to drug and drink my way through high school.  I kid.  Well, sorta.

Why do we tell our precious children these damaging cliches?  Why not tell them they actually have super powers and can fly?  That’s about how ridiculous and cruel it is to tell them they can do anything.  The resources are there for any career choice, yes.  But what if the drive of achievement  is cut off at the intersection of natural ability?  In that moment a sparkle in the child’s eyes goes dark.  Sparkle death should never happen.  Ever.

A better approach would be to observe a child in play.  Good old natural, organic play.  Delight with them in the building of a Lego Death Star.  Remark on the excellent use of green and yellow in a fingerpainted “Starry Night”.   Let a child blossom into what they NEED to be.  Encourage them in areas where they clearly excel.  I’m not talking about being some kind of math crazed stage mom either.  If little Susie is on FIRE for math, don’t have printouts of the currents trends of  careers rooted in mathematics.  And for crying out loud don’t roll your eyes in disappointment if Susie chooses to use her math fire to be a carpenter, not a civil engineer.

What’s with this super cerebral career path competition we set ourselves on??  Please, don’t pass that nonsense onto your kids.  We have an entire generation of 20 and 30 somethings who have spun their wheels trying to figure out why they aren’t Steve Jobs.  Don’t believe me?  Turn on the television.  You’ll see them in any Occupy venue across the nation.

Blogs, & The Bloggie Bloggers who Blog Them

A couple of years have now passed and I imagine myself to have enough clout to write on the business of blogging.

Blogging.  Blogging. Blog.  The word used to bring me such excitement!  Such drive!  Inspired ambition!  Life became the stage and I the critic.  All performances catalogued, reviewed, sealed with a snapshot.  In the beginning there was blogging and I awoke daily to the challenge of networking.  I poured over similar blogs, popular blogs, dream blogs.  I left comments, posted links to my site.  I relished the growing number that appeared daily in my statistic bar. I asked for advice on growing my blog.  I sought out ways to make a little money.  I dreamed of being Pioneer Woman.

I banked it all on the fact that if I could just get my words out there for five years, I would gather a sort of cult following.  My family was quirky, messy, and supreme enough to get noticed.  I am intelligent, witty, and hilarious…that makes my opinion WORTH something.  Word of blog had only to spread and all my dreams would come true.

Then I began to notice…I am a dime a dozen.  Everyone and their mother is blogging about the same things.  Children who annoy them.  Family members who annoy them.  Pregnancies.  Marriage.  Crafting.  Cooking.  Cleaning.  Politics.  We are all self appointed despots with a “message”.

Suddenly, I felt a small needling in my ribs.  What is my blog?  A mish mash of other blogs, stuck in the Master Format of Blogging Perfection?  Blog.  Blogging.  Blogging.  The word began to sound more like a belch accompanied by mornings breakfast.  Sour.

I spent a huge amount of money for the “real blogger camera”.  I WOULD have spent more, had I had the money. In fact, it bothered me that I didn’t have the Nikon D90 longer than I would like to admit.  I could not walk outside, or do something with my children without obsessing over a photo op.  The pictures were there only  to say, “Look at me!  I am a good mother.  I am worthy!  Tell me I am worthy!”  It was like high school all over again.

High school.  Blech.  Competing with people who never gave a darn and who have even less bearing on my life now.  Not something I want to repeat.  Ever.

So what does an aspiring blogger who is suddenly disaffected with blogging do?  Do I lay it aside?  Do I keep going, but this time with eyes wide open and ears pricked?  Do I write what I want, how I want, when I want and not give a rip about who is reading?  Wordless Wednesday, Flashback Friday, and Gratituesday be damned!  If I want to put up 20 pictures, or not, while I am cooking, I can.  Do I step out of the shackles that are chained to an anvil marked “Waiting For The World’s Approval”?

For now, I am thinking.  I will keep thinking.  About the big stuff.  What do I want to be a part of?  Who am I trying to be?  Does the world tell me who I am?  Am I who God wants me to be?  What is the role I was meant to play in His world?  Am I helping my fellow man, or standing on his head?  Am I leaking love all over the place, so much so that it gets on other people?

That’s the big stuff.  For those things…keep your camera in the case.  Just open your arms.  Wide.