I like attention….

When I decided to start blogging, my husband and I had a minor difference of opinion about how good it would be for me. I wanted to do something that I felt like I was good at – something that would afford me a sense of accomplishment. My day-to-day job of parenting, while rewarding, isn’t real big on that. It’s a long-term proposition…my parents are just now deciding whether or not they did a good job! So I started writing down some of the little rants I used to aim at the shower head and waiting to see if anyone would read them and tell me how much they like them. Adam was really worried that this avocation of mine…which is currently standing in for any sort of paid vocation…would cease to be valuable to me if I quit getting feedback. He may be right about that. Thankfully, I have gotten feedback and most of it has been positive. But now here I sit, wanting to write something so that someone will read it without really having much to say. I know. I don’t have much to say. Don’t die. I’m sure once my sinuses clear out, there will again be room for thoughts in my head. So it seems to me that it is only fair to warn you that I am indeed doing this partially because I really like attention. I know. Shocking. Here’s the hard part though…I don’t just want people to know of me; I want to be known well. And I want everyone to acknowledge that I’m right. About everything. Yep. I am indeed an absolute control freak perfectionist know-it-all attention hound. (This is the point where my parents shake their heads and wonder where they went wrong. Then they remember that it is difficult to mold control freak perfectionist know-it-all attention hounds, and they wipe their respective brows in relief because I’m not their fault.) Don’t worry, I don’t think that it’s a good thing to be a CFPK-I-AAH. I may embrace the reality of my character traits, but I try not to fall into all the worst aspects of them. For example, I know that I’m not in charge of everything – like when I get sick or when someone goes into labor or when my favorite authors publish new books.  And I know I don’t do everything, or even anything, perfectly – like parenting, cleaning, decorating, cooking, writing, or even loving. And yes, my default setting is to speak authoritatively about any and everything I know – even I get annoyed at me – but I do know that I don’t know it all…like how to comfort someone in their grief, or how to help my children when they struggle, or how to fix the healthcare system and the economy. And I know that I don’t need to be the center of attention all the time – I don’t even want to be  some of the time! It’s a lot easier to want attention when one has a reasonable expectation of the recognition being positive…which is so not always the case.

So, I know a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t really necessarily approve of in myself. Is GI Joe really right? Is knowing half the battle? What do I do with this stuff I know? How do I use it to make sure that I don’t alienate people? I still feel like the 13-year-old I once was who made mental notes of all the things I was never going to do or say. Though I have indeed done or said lots of those things, I’m still making notes in my head about who I’m not going to be. But not being something isn’t very helpful. No one wants to be known as “not-something;” we want to be known for who we are. I could describe my husband as a not-doctor or a not-engineer…but that’s not informative about him at all. So I guess I can’t just be a not-perfectionist or a not-attention hound. Adam is a pastor. That could make me a pastor’s wife. And I am. And I’m not as bad at it as I feared I might be…. But I still don’t really want to be defined by what someone else does any more than I want to be defined by what I’m trying not to be. (I suddenly feel like I’m writing the paper from The Breakfast Club. Am I the brain, the freak, the criminal, the princess, or the jock?) I guess knowing might be half the battle…but half a battle doesn’t get me anywhere. I’m a woman, hopefully a lady, and a mom and a wife. I’m a reader and writer and a talker. I’m a truth-teller and I can often fake being a mind-reader – at least with people I know pretty well. And because I am not perfect, I’m an apologizer and beggar of forgiveness. I hope I am also a granter of it. And because I am a hopeless fan of cultural references, “When everything’s made to be broken, I” (like Johnny Rzeznik) “just want you to know who I am.”

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It’s nice to be back….

Last week was…well, it might as well have not existed at all. We were all sick, but we are now better and I am finding that my brain is considering working again. Ah…bliss…a working brain. In addition, I received an early Christmas present on Saturday! Two of my favorite people – my brother and his wife – presented our family with a new girl child! I can’t wait to meet my beauteous niece! Ok, so she’s not really my Christmas present…but I’m more excited about her arrival (and the impending arrival of her cousin – my sister and her husband are also expecting) than I am about my new ipad mini. And that’s sayin’ something! So I don’t remember much of last week – and what I do remember of the time at home is less than pleasant – but the week is over and I’m moving on…and there is a new baby to snuggle when I visit my brother and his wife in a few weeks! So. It’s good to have a brain again!

But what will I do with said brain? Will I catch up on a week of cleaning that didn’t get done? Will I finish decorating for Christmas? Will I finish shopping for Christmas? Not yet. First, I will spend an inordinate amount of time typing something, anything really, on this blog so that I will again feel like I am a writer. Because writers write and those who write are writers. Even if we aren’t always good, or great, or even readable. Words on paper is enough for now…even if it’s actually words on a screen and no paper is involved. I could write about buying a reindeer costume on ebay and the resultant need to create my third ebay profile…because I couldn’t come up with a user name, password, email or paypal account for the first two. But that is just irritating…. I expound upon my irrational love of punctuating with ellipses, but only grammar nerds will care…. I could wax poetical about nieces and nephews – who are easier to be poetical about than daughters and sons because I don’t have to see them be bad and they don’t interrupt my sleep – but I already did that a little. I could expostulate about school and grades and struggles and frustrations and baby steps forward and back, but I’ll save that for a time when I’m not wanting to enjoy a good, giddy mood.

So I’ll simply say, as I’m on my way out the door to do the school pick-up thing, that I’m very glad to feel better and I’m very glad it’s Christmas time. I hope you are too. On both counts.

On being a sickie….

Guess who did not get a flu shot this year…. Guess who will be making time for flu shots next year…. Because the inconvenience of going somewhere to get a shot is a really dumb reason to be sick. Some people are opposed to vaccines and some people can’t take them for any number of reasons…but that is not why we didn’t get them. Nope. I was just not in the mood. So I lost a week of December. And I really didn’t want to lose a week of December – remember how I said I was feeling productive? All gone. The only good news is that the house was clean when we were quarantined to it. ‘Cause by the way? The whole family had the flu. There are only four of us, but it started to feel like twelve sick people stuck in a ten foot box by Friday. I hate being sick. I especially hate not having energy to do holiday stuff because I’m sick. And I really especially hate having two bored, sick children bent on irritating each other to death.

But now I’m feeling somewhat better, and since I was so productive two weeks ago, I’m only about four days behind despite being sick for eight. So. Holidays, here I come! Slowly. With something of a lingering wheezy cough. Oh well. You can’t have everything.