9 February, 2014  |   Comment

What we’re eating this week

What we're eating this week.

This week, I’m embarrassed that I wasn’t able to post every day.
(It was more of a personal challenge than anything, but, damn.)

And like so often,
when the plans scoff at plans,
I’ll put my head down and
just
keep
keeping
on.

Hope your week is filled with perseverance.
(And love.)

7 February, 2014  |   6 Comments

Say an X-word in the bathtub

Personality Party

Man, I have a lot of theories about humans and what we do. These theories totally come from a completely uninformed-informed place of self-reflection with a dose of internet browsing.

One of these theories about humans is that lots of our behavior acts like pipes, with each pipe devoted to keeping a certain emotion or reaction running smoothly. But just like pipes in our house, sometimes these pipes get backed up, or they build up too much pressure, or they run too slowly. We can deal with it for a time, but then we need to clean it out, call Roto Rooter and take care of the buildup.

You might have different labels, but some of my pipes have labels like:
Anger
Caring
Sadness
Confusion
Goodness

It’s that last pipe, my Goodness pipe, that causes me a lot of problems.

Raised in a hearty Midwestern Christianity, I internalized lots of Goodness rules that I assumed would keep the contents of that pipe running smoothly. Goodness rules include: don’t sleep with people before you’re married, give to charity and don’t swear.

But over time, this Goodness pipe built up pressure, I started to reject Goodness. I became obsessed with the idea with sleeping with people, being selfish, and most of all, swearing.

Man, did I start swearing.
All the time, in a way that made me seem pretty base.
F-bombs, A-holes and G-d its all over town.

And swearing provided a kind of release valve, that in a weird way, made it easier to give to charity and take care of people. Eventually I had to “clean” that pipe by taking a closer look at what Goodness meant to me (instead of rules enforced by other humans). After defining Goodness for myself, I could also define what I needed to do to keep it healthy. And I started swearing a lot less.

Now, we don’t have much of a language policy in our house, since we entertain a lot. With lots of grownups around, we make it clear to our children that there are grownup words and kid words and it’s all about context. The kids are privy to the occasional cussword, but we try not to make a big deal of it.

Personality Party

That said, our family has our own swears that roll up to our definition of Goodness.
These two words simply cannot be said, or there are swift penalties.

We don’t say Shut Up and we don’t say Stupid.
If we say either of these, we have to put a dollar in the bunk bed jar.

We call these words X-words – which came from Dottie’s adorable misinterpretation of “S” words.

Our kids are the biggest X-word cops. Unsuspecting friends come over and tell stories about how stupid someone was during their commute – Ha! there’s a dollar for the bunk bed jar. People expressing their disbelief as, “SHUT UP!” yup, they put a dollar in the bunk bed jar.

Like I said above, I don’t mind releasing vice from our pipes in small doses to keep them running smoothly, I think by doing this, we can stay away from bigger, more troubling habits.

So once a week, in the bathtub, the girls get to say an X-word as much as they want. They look forward to it all week, the night they say an X-word in the bath tub.

So what’s blocking up your pipes? Is your anger pipe backed up? Would it benefit from a little healthy release of stuffed animal punching? Is your confusion pipe running too hot? Could it benefit from a week of clear judgement? Do you just need to get off of the Twitter?

Or do you just need to say an X-word in the bath?

Personality Party

6 February, 2014  |   Comment

Thinkylinking

O. Luxury!   (Meeting grandparents at the park.)Why it’s Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
The title and first part seemed a little iffy to me, but as I read, I found myself nodding.

“In our society, there is no safe place for a mother to vent her rage. And so often it comes out unconsciously to one’s children. A daughter is a very potent target for a mother’s rage because the daughter has not yet had to give up her personhood for motherhood. The young daughter may remind the mother of her un-lived potential. And if the daughter feels worthy enough to reject some of the patriarchal mandates that the mother has had to swallow, then she can easily trigger that underground rage for the mother.”

Some Years
I try to look for the light.
And when I see it, in these small, simple moments, I try to stop, to appreciate.

King Kendrick and the Ivory Tower
What hip-hop can teach academia. Seriously.

TV Hand Job Hall of Fame
This NSFW article has everything I love about the internet.

“Sometimes a hand job is a gift, and sometimes it is a way to punish a dying man who just confessed his love for you after being your bodyguard for eight years.”

1 February, 2014  |   3 Comments

February NaBloPoMo

Bothe

If you’re in any sort of job where you’re the go-between from the public to a product — like if you were a buyer for BevMo — I imagine that you would have a learning curve from “this is what I personally love” to “this is what’s popular in the world right now.”

For example:  thanks Target buyer, I’m glad you like Shabby Chic, but mid-century owl mirrors are what’s making the Instagram ladies say “Adorbs!” and you need to make sure there are 500,000 of them in stores.

Well, I sort of do that for my day job.
But for bloggers.

For my job, I recommend themes and bloggers for campaigns. In that I walk the line between recommending for paid content, what I, personally love (Long Rambling Narrative Posts About the Exquisite Joy/Pain Of Our Human Existence) and what’s actually going to work for the next campaign.

I see clients’ campaign whims swing back and forth:
We want storytelling!
No! Pinterest!
JUST MAKE THEM SAY THEY LOVE THIS NEW FEATURE!
Selfies are in/not in!
I’m SO over illustration.
Bigger Pictures!
Not THAT BIG!
Snapchat.

Wait.
What did they want again?

There’s always a good fit, but it’s mostly luck.
This person is the right age, this person has the right color hair, this person already drives this car. It’s rarely something you can prep for — this being in the right place in your life at the right time.

The places where sponsored content comes from changes fast. The requested media is all over the place. During this exciting time, it’s all crazy — you can make informed choices, but you can’t be everything to everyone.

There’s no one way to be the “top” right now outside of doing what you do.

Bothe

So this short month, I’m taking my own advice.
I’m having fun with this medium.
I’m going to be me.

I’m not going to stress out and worry about the next big social network, but I’ll experiment with those too.

Thanks for granting me the freedom to experiment.
I like your open point of view.

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