As I continue to work on things away from this blog (which is a collection of Free-Time/Casual Online Writing, Remarks, And Notes By ME Whelan) and continue to figure out what goes and what stays of my existing online-writing, the de-emphasizing of one or another continues as well....

Friday, April 29, 2016

Of Online Writing And The Science Of Living In A Unique Situation

For all the different types of writing I've done (online, offline, for myself, for someone else - whatever), the biggest challenge I've had is figuring out a way to present things that I've learned as a result of my own situation.  One issue has been that I'm only willing to post "so much" in terms of personal details.  That, however, is kind of the least of my challenges.  The real challenge has been that I live in a unique situation that's only really unique because of the combination and number of smaller elements/components that make it  up.

None of those smaller elements/components are, when it comes down to it, the least bit unique.  In fact, they're pretty common.  It's the combination of them that present the challenges to me because by them-selves none of the elements/components are all that difficult to present and/or understand (although a little more in-depth coverage of some of them might be useful to some people).

My problem with presenting them, however, is that basic "addressing" of them is done by any number of people in the world (including experts), but it's clear to me that with more than one of these elements together, presenting the issues changes.  In my personal situation all the components don't over-lap at the same time or in the same ways.  Sometimes they don't overlap at all.  Sometimes they do.   It has been ages that I've been trying to figure out a way to raise some points/issues that I really think might be useful to someone, but the whole "sometimes-overlaps" thing that's ever-changing has (as I've said) been a real challenge.  As a result, I've written any number of other things (worthwhile, not worthwhile, whatever).

Without allowing this post to turn into more of a whole, big, thing about my challenges in presenting insight/experience that I think could be useful to some people, I'll get to the real point of this post.

I kind of joked in the title about "the science" of it all, but now isn't the time to further explain what I mean by that.  (Bad title, I guess, but the title of this post isn't the point either.)

I've decided that the only way to present things is to create some new "notes" blogs (no clever titles, no fancy colors, just words/posts that will serve as a collection of isolated points (brief or long-winded) related to the blog's topic.  Although I imagine I'll stray with some posts (particularly if move posts that have already been written, but I'm going to try to write all new posts keeping in mind that they may need to be interchangeable/mix-and-match with any of the other blogs in the "notes" group.

They're brand new and have no posts on them right now, which is why I'm not posting any links or additional information here.  One does have a fairly substantial introductory section.  Some won't need much of an introduction or explanation.  I do, however, want to write one brief introduction/explanation that all of the "notes" blogs will have, as well as make moving from one to the other (for those interested in the larger picture) easily.

In the event Google ever sends out any human eyes (or non-human eyes, for that matter) to check for things like "doorway pages", I can assure anyone that these blogs are not going to be that (or anything else "funny").   

All that aside (and regardless of whether or not Google pays any attention to the zillions of people who have all kinds of peculiar blogs), I'm still in the process of figuring out which of my existing (older blogs) to delete, which to further develop, which to move, etc. etc.  I assume that the settings are such that they aren't bothering anyone right now.   Once I get this new set of "notes" blogs reasonably established and moving, I imagine some things from the old blogs may fall into place OR I'll be in a better position to further develop some of the older blogs by using what I hope will be a nifty mix-and-match approach to new posts (regardless of where any posts end up).

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why You Need To Watch Out When People Say "We All Do"

While most reasonably mature and well adjusted people have many things in common, there are, I think, very few things that "we all do".  There are some, of course.  We all have a certain number of basic body functions that "we all do".  Also, I think it's reasonably safe (even though I'm still being cautious here) to say that we all, or at least most of us, make one kind of mistake or another.  That may be something like, for example, some of the stupid things children and teens may do because they're either too young to know better (or wiser), young enough that they're at an impulse control stage, or are at an age when they don't have enough information/perspective.  Also, children and young people often listen to the wrong people.

While most (certainly not all) children or teens outgrow some of the aspects of their age that are the major contributors to what are often (certainly not always) foolish mistakes, plenty of people keep a certain degree of immaturity (sometimes throughout their whole life, more often perhaps, until they pick up some life experience) well beyond reaching maturity.  They make mistakes for the same reasons kids do - they don't know any better.

For adults with some experience, common sense, awareness, and a reasonable degree of understanding/balance; mistakes can more often be of the type that involves making choices based on not having a crystal ball and/or not having (sometimes through no fault of one's own) enough information.

And while some people are better than others as managing their own emotions, there will probably always be people who make mistakes that are colored by emotions.  Of course, emotions generally involved relationships, so the more relationships someone has, and the longer that person has them, probably puts him at higher risks for "emotion-based" mistakes.  The flip side of that, though, is that the more relationships one has, and the longer he has them, also means picking up a little understanding and/or wisdom as well.  (Good thing, too, because understanding and wisdom can help in addressing some of those mistakes one has made as a result of being fortunate enough to have lots of close relationships for long periods of time.)

In any case, other than body functions and mistakes, I can't really think of too many (any) things that "we ALL DO", because we're all different.  We're all individuals.  We can have lots of things in common, but when it comes to most things (the things that differentiate our personalities, our personal history, and/or our individuality), it's probably wiser and most accurate (when we're referring to one thing or another) to either say "\many of us do" or "some of us do".  That is if we're truly interested in being accurate.

Here's the thing about the phrase, "we all do":   Sometimes someone who says that is harmless.  He's just someone who is too careless with words and isn't all that concerned about accuracy.  The thing is, however, should we be listening to the person who isn't too concerned with accuracy?  I say, if othing else, think twice about someone so unconcerned with accuracy.

I don't imagine that I'm the only person in the world who has, time and time again, read or heard "we all do" and thought, "well, I don't".

Sometimes people say or write, "we all do", not because they really believe that "we all do" (because they know that, in fact, they "don't").  They're just trying to find something to say to those people who9 "do" in order not to seem self-righteous, arrogant, and/or superior.  They mean well, but it's a lie (and a condescending one to boot).  This goes back to the thing about the lack of wisdom in listening to someone who isn't worried about the truth.  Also, it's out-and-out wrong to allow, or lead, people to think "we all do" when, in fact, "we all don't".  

Someone else who says or writes, "we all do", are people who have products/services to sell and who don't want to be off-putting to those to whom the products/services are aimed.

Sometimes, however, someone isn't selling something.  He just says (even thinks), "we all do" because it's common for people to think that they because they "do" something or "are" something that everyone else must be like they are.    With negative traits or behaviors people often make themselves feel better by believing that "we all do" (when "we all don't").  Or else, some people may simply believe "we all do" because they listened to someone else who told them that "we all do".  People often do the same thing with positive traits.  Sometimes they'll realize that they could be wrong in assuming that everyone else is like they are.  Sometimes they don't.  Sometimes they learn better.  The point is that it's not very easy to come up with things (other than what I've mentioned above) that "we ALL do".  I can think of a few examples:  There's the lie out there that "we all do" have a favorite child".  Anyone who knows has enough children (and maybe enough children long enough) and who knows that one's a lie knows for certain that it's a lie.  Plain and simple. I'm not saying that SOME people don't have a favorite child.  Obviously, all those people who think "we all do" will tell you otherwise.  In fact, if you try to argue with them they'll dig in their heels in order to hang onto their own belief.  That's not the point, though.

Another one is of the "we all are" variety, and that one is the one that "we all are jealous" at one time or another (some more often, or more, than others).  That's another lie.  We all aren't.

Then there's a slightly different type of "we all do", and that's "we all lie".   While I have no way of knowing how many people would absolutely, and for no reason, ever lie; my own take on the matter is that it's probably safer and more accurate to say that most of us lie at one time or another, and some people make a bigger habit of it than others.   Some people (who are grown up)will try very hard to never, ever, lie to anyone.  There may be, however, times even such people may feel forced by circumstances (and sometimes compassion or other trait that conflicts with complete honesty) to try to come up with the least objectionable "light" lie he can.  On the other hand, there are people who just throw around all kinds of lies as a way of getting them through the moment or accomplishing whatever else they hope to accomplish (and with as little regard for accuracy and truth as those who are free to throw around "we all do" have).  The twist with lies and "we all do" is that maybe most of us "do", but, truly, no all lies are either the same degree of severity or lack-of-integrity.  (Those who say they are are, lying (either to themselves or someone else).  The point is that lies are a good example of something that many, many, people do; but it's not like saying, "we all breathe".)

My point here (again) is beware those words, "we all do", because in so many, many, instances "we all don't".  We just don't.  Someone who says "we all do" because he's being condescending doesn't understand you and/or your situation/problem well enough.  Doesn't matter.  He isn't someone who should be advising you (or others).  And, if someone is saying, "we all do", because he does (and he therefore thinks "we all do" because he believes everyone else is just like he is then that person is not recognizing the individuality of people and situations.  That may be misguided enough, but worse than that is the person who says/believes, "we all do"  because it helps him preserve and/or inflate his own ego (even if that means failing to see, or denying, the truth).

Earlier in the evening I ran into a reasonable enough article that made one mistake, and that was in using those words, "we all do".  While the article was fine for those to whom it applied, it, like most of all those other instances when someone writes/says, "we all do", could have been better if it had left off "we all do", let those who agreed and believed the article had things right enjoy the article, and leave room for those who realized that the article did not apply to them simply move on, find another article that seemed to apply more, and not come away being acutely aware of yet one more instance in which someone said, "we all do" about something that someone else knows, without doubt,that we ALL don't".

After all, while it's harmless enough for someone to say "we all do" when discussing something like enjoying sewing one 's own curtains (which, of course, we certainly "all DON'T"), "we all do" is often used when things like self-esteem, ego, the need for appropriate guidance (or at least the need to feel understood in some situations) or just the need/desire for truth/accuracy are particularly important to the person for whom "we all do" isn't just not the truth but may be, at least in some ways, harmful/hurtful. 

It's probably reasonably safe and accurate to say that the difference between "flawlessly credible" and "clearly questionable (at least to someone who knows better)" can be those words, "we all do" and on whether the person speaking/writing knows enough not to use them.

Friday, April 22, 2016

When I'm Sixty-Four - Piano (Stereo)

There's something to be said for having a sense-of-humor with regard to some things, but also something to be said for breaking up a tedious blog with, say, a piano ditty.
  (Besides, sometimes when lyrics don't entirely apply there also something to be said for an instrumental version of one thing or another.).  In any case, I couldn't resist this one (mainly, I suppose, if one can't entirely embrace it or ignore it yet prefers not to lie about it to oneself or to others; one may as well attempt to make a little joke about it (I suppose - and can I have an eye-roll emoticon here please....).

Are Writers The Product Of Everything They've Ever Read?

Someone on a discussion site asked the above question, and I figured it would make something to write about here.  One reason I thought my thoughts on the matter were better suited for this page is that I don't write fiction, so I don't think person was referring to the kind of writing I do (whether that's business writing, personal writing, killing-time writing, serious writing, or any other kind of writing that I do for one reason or another).

Maybe this doesn't really apply to me because I don't write fiction and stopped reading fiction once I had children and had to make sure that I made the best/most productive use whatever reading time I could make.  So, while I read all kinds of things (non-fiction/fiction before having children - and kind of felt like I'd more than covered quite a bit of reading), I trimmed out fiction (but added children's stories as part of shared reading time (certainly not my private reading time).

Anyway, no.  I'm not just a product of everything I've ever read over decades of life.  In fact, my choice of reading has been largely a "product" of my own interests and lifestyle and stage of life.

As someone else said, who/what I am (as someone who writes) is a product of all kinds of things in life, including personal experiences and interests.  Also, as with many women who have lived long enough to have had a number of close relationships/friendships/conversations with other people; much of what goes into what I know (when I'm writing about what I know) has been being there as a friend or relative goes through their own experience of one kind of another.  There's much to be learned from long conversations with friends and/or other women; and as the decades pass there are more experiences of our own, but also of those we have those conversations with.  Or, there just may be more people that we meet on those terms. 

Having said all that, I do think that having been a girl at the time when I was, and reading only fiction about real-life people (for example, not science-fiction or fantasy, for the most part); I grew up to have the complete lack of "frame-of-reference" for anything other "people stories" (of one era or another, but "realistic-people stories" nonetheless).  I may be able to appreciate and sit through the occasional sci-fi type of thing/fantasy type of thing, but I have no patience for reading it and truly no "image/vocabulary mental-inventory"  to even think about writing that kind of stuff.

So that goes back to the thing that (at least for me) who/what I am as a writer and person has always dictated what I read or write on my own time - not the other way around.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

♫ Pocahontas - 'Colors of the Wind' Lyrics ♫

Although I'm certainly well aware of the context/purpose  of this song (which is, to me, one of the nicest songs ever written - although there are certainly many), there's one line in this song that strikes me the most (and kind of "gets to me" every time).
That line is the part about, " high does the sycamore grow?  If you cut it down....." (etc.)
But, while these lyrics focus on Nature and the Earth (and the creatures and the trees, etc.); while the lyrics are not lost on me, when I heard this song I inevitably think of human babies and children, and about how many - whether anyone realizes it or intends it or not - babies and children are "cut down" long before they, or anyone else, ever gets to see "how high that particular sycamore would have grown".  And by "cut down" I don't particularly mean the ending of a life. I mean the tendency of so many people to look for things that are wrong with a child, rather than look for what may be wrong FOR the child.  In fact, I mean any number of things that go on with babies/children that amount to their never getting to see "how high" they would have grown had something not gone on that "cut them down" far too soon.

Monday, April 11, 2016

April - A Month For Transitions (And Sometimes Snow)

Living in Massachusetts, I've always had a tendency to think of April as Spring.  Then, pretty much every year, as if I haven't discovered this each and every other year that I've experienced an April, I discover that April isn't really anywhere near as warm and nice as I seem to imagine it may turn out to be each year.

It's kind of like getting a head cold and "discovering" yet again how miserable a cold actually is - but then once we start feeling better again we tend to forget (yet again) until the next head cold happens

Anyway, April is still nice in its own way.  It certainly beats the few months prior to it.  It's just that April is kind of like the "mental version" of being "good on paper" (and better on "mental paper" than it most often is).

BUT, as I continue to get over Winter (Winter does tend to be something I have to "get over", even if it was a good Winter), and eleven or so days into April, I'm finding the weather particularly conducive to staying in and addressing the many matters of my giant mess of different types of writing (whether online, offline, just in my computer, or in one or another kind of limbo that can happen when stuff that's been online somewhere either is or isn't on another site after its first site closed down.

I'm getting there.  Some of the stuff I don't have to worry about because it's no particular emergency.  In the meantime I keep writing stuff but not putting in online.  Then, too, I sometimes get so sick of the overhaul project but too tired to write something new (that isn't just foolishness), I'll go to my old stand-by, HubPages "Answers" section to see if I can get some ideas for writing.  (I've already got plenty of other ideas but am not in the mood to either start and/or finish them because - again - they aren't just foolishness.  They're subjects that I want to deal with more seriously.)

So, I'll go looking for something less challenging to write about on HubPages "Answers" section.  Sometimes there's an idea for a future article.  Sometimes it's just a good way to waste some time being "fed" ideas for things to write about when one is bored and/or tired and/or in a lazy mood.

It's not that I get anything in particular about writing the answers.  The one thing is can be good for, however, is breaking a cycle of "writer's block" (even when it's more overload than block).  The trouble is that sometimes I'll run into an idea for an article, start the article, and actually almost complete it.  Then I run out of steam.  I do tend to push my steam limits. 

So, last night (or yesterday - I forget now) I started writing an article, decided I'd turn it into
 an even "bigger and better" article.  The last time I looked at the word count on it it had 3900 words.  Bigger is not always better, of course; ;but if one is going to leave the 3900 words one generally must also write another few hundred words to explain the length of it.

Of course, another few hundred words can mean one thing leads to another.  THEN, once the thing is that far into progress, why not just turn it a "little more comprehensive" and call it "an actual article with substance". 

The bad thing, a few thousand words into something like that, is that even though one has been pushing one's limits of steam a few too many words or hours, one really should not allow oneself to sleep unless/until the thing is complete (or at least the writing part of it, since images are a whole other thing).   Then, however, in creeps the thoughts about how a 4000-word anything really doesn't belong on the Internet.

Let's just say there's a reason people say, "Let me sleep on it".  I, on the other hand, should sleep on nothing.  I should just keep writing until the thing is done, or else I should delete a couple of thousand words and just call it "done".  BUT, by the time I'm 4000 words in I've already started to run out of steam.  So even though I try to keep going it gets to point where the words (and mind, in many ways) just shut down for the night.

I need to figure a new system for this free-time writing stuff because a definite pattern is that I go for a few thousands words and stop, generally, a few hundred words before completing the thing.

In any case, I woke up today after sleeping on the thing I started yesterday, saw that it's there (no surprise) just as it was when I left it, and realized that the 4000 words (plus whatever else I did yesterday, whether that was writing or something else)  had made me too tired to deal with the thing today at all.

What that meant, of course, was that I was too tired and lazy to do anything but go kill some time on HubPages "Answers" section (yet again), using it in the hopes of spurring on new ideas about new articles/Hubs, discovering (yet again) that even though I got no new ideas for articles, I found some minor entertainment value in trying to come up a few answers, and then (yet again) deciding it was stupid of me to be wasting my time writing answers, but (yet again) reminding myself that wasting time writing is better than wasting time doing nothing.

At this point (or I should say "at that point") I decide to do the sensible thing of my limiting my time-wasting.  After all, a reasonable amount of sort-of-productive-ish (but enjoyable-ish) time-wasting can have some redeeming value.  Too much:  Even I, with plenty of free time these days, cannot justify or make peace with.

So here I am, on this blog, with that 4000-word article sitting, incomplete, on my account (with a bunch of other incomplete articles) and leaving me with the ever present question (these days, and in view of HP's changed emphasize/standards) of whether I should even finish the thing, drastically chop it down, or (as they say) what.  It doesn't matter, I suppose.  It's no big emergency.

Between the stuff (much of it completed, some almost completed) in my computer and the stuff sitting in one account or another (like the HP account), I feel like what I have out there online at this oint kind of looks like a case of "my other car is a Mercedes" ) (if you're familiar with that bumper sticker that people put on old, run down, cars).

In the meantime, I continue to crank out the foolishness (or one kind or another) when I'm too tired to do much else, but also crank out the "real" stuff that hasn't, may never, seen the light of day (or should I say, "light of screen").

It's all fine.   It's April.  I'll have a new system by May.  As with the ever-changing Internet-writing climate and landscape (which, in itself continues to be a matter of transition and overhaul for anyone who has spent any time doing any online stuff), the transition from "on-mental-paper" Spring to "real" Spring, with little variation, is completed by May (Massachusetts weather or not).

As for the 4000-word thing that waits for my return....    maybe tomorrow.  I needed to rest (and waste time) today.  Having a system-for-operating (not to be confused with "operating system") is not for April.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Of "Behavior-Problem Kids" and Whether They Should Be Placed in Schools for "Bad" Kids


There was an online question that asked for thoughts/opinions on schools "for bad kids".  Whenever I answer those online questions (in this case, HubPages questions) I figure I may as well post the same answer on a blog.

I don't like the idea of thinking of, or labeling, kids as "bad".  I think, though, that there are children who do better with more structure and less opportunity for (lack of a better way to describe it) for "freedom" to be a problem to other kids either within the class or during "free time" (recess, for example).  Also, it makes a difference how old old the students in question are.

To me, regardless the type of approach used by the teachers/school, the youngest of kids need a certain amount of structure and (obviously) adequate and capable supervision as the framework within which the approach to "teaching style" needs to operate.  As far as free time, like recess, goes; I don't think any good-sized group of kids does very well without adequate supervision keeping an eye on the goings on.

So, to me, with the youngest of students, I just think if a child has trouble "going with the program" but isn't a child who is routinely aggressive towards others, or who is not routinely disruptive in class (within the context of his/her age - that's obviously not a "bad" child.  If there's a child who, on the other hand,is aggressive and unruly regularly then I pretty much think a) that "children's services" should be contacted in order to check into what, at home, is making a child be routinely aggressive/unruly so that the child's "issue" can be addressed.  (Maybe the child just has the kind of parent who didn't know how to prepare him well for school and/or for having the kind of self-control needed not to be acting aggressively toward others.  I'm not suggesting that the child be taken away from clueless parents - just that the parents/family could use some level-headed guidance.)

Schools for "bad kids"?  No. Schools that know how to address the needs of routinely aggressive/out-of-control kids (without using aggression/lack of respect toward them)?  Yes.

Being A Parent Is A Relationship - Not A Job

(transfer post)

The following post is longer than goes with my latest plan about what I want to post on Bubblews; but one of my ways of relaxing after doing a task that's physically demanding is to write what I feel like writing. Anyway..
Something that has long irked me when people talk about the role of being a parent (particularly, being a mother) is when they call it a "career" or a "full-time job". The work and effort and thinking that go into being a parent (again, particularly, maybe, being a mother) aren't something that anyone who hasn't done it (and even those who haven't done it well enough or those who don't fully understand what goes into first "building a person", and then continuing to get that little person through childhood and teen years that include an ever wider world through which they must navigate and survive) can't particularly imagine all the different kinds and layers of effort and care and thinking and plain-old work that's involved when a person does take on that responsibility. That, of course, is multiplied by the number of children someone has and further complicated by the need to also sort out, figure out, how to treat and respect and love each child as a separate individual within the context of trying to encourage the healthiest of relationships within the family.

It's understandable, I suppose, that when the role of stay-at-home mothers started to seem a little less respect-worthy in a world that encouraged women to "do more than just be a mother"; a lot of people thought it was important to point out the importance and significance of the role of mother.

People started complaining that mothers don't get holidays or sick days off. Some people suggested that mothers should get "official compensation" for all the work they do. Some people who still didn't really understand all that goes into being a stay-at-home parent/mother (beyond just feeding a baby and making sure he gets his bath, and beyond just spending time and effort making sure a child has a chance to play or making sure he learns his ABC's) did at least realize that there's a lot of work involved, and that being a stay-at-home parent isn't "staying home and doing nothing".

Then, too, there is the reality that even when someone (man or woman, stay-at-home or outside-employed, parent or not) acknowledges that there's a lot of work involved in being a stay-at-home parent; or even when someone acknowledges that the role of nurturing, caring for, and raising a child is an important one; there has often been (still is, as far as I can tell) the thinking that that role is "a different kind of 'important'" than some of the other, non-nurturing roles people play in life.
So, on the one hand, it's reasonable and right that a general push for getting a little more respect for the role of stay-at-home parent/mother happened.

On the other hand, it's unfortunate that the idea that being a mother/parent is "a job" amounted to things like books and articles on "parenting"; and, in fact, amounted to the idea that "parenting" is a category at all. I'm not suggesting that there isn't a need for information about the responsibilities and skills involved in (as we now think of it as) "parenting.

I do think, though, that the emphasis on "parenting is a job" has taken a little bit of a turn in a direction that hasn't necessarily been a good one; because, while being a mother/parent (especially of young children) certainly takes a whole lot of work, effort, thinking, planning, learning, figuring out, muddling through, and even standing up to peer pressure (the likes of which one may never have encountered as a kid); what seems to far too often be forgotten is that....

parenting really is NOT a job. It's a relationship. Too many people worry far too much about what kind of thirty-year-old their six-month-old child will become, and worry far too little (if they're even aware of this at all) about the first relationship/s) their child will have in this world; and about how much, exactly, the parent understands about what it takes to have a healthy relationship with even the youngest of babies/children.

Maybe it was understandable that in a world full of people who either didn't understand the nature of nurturing a child or else didn't think there was anything worth trying to understand anyway, that "Mommy Wars" started raging; and that people (mothers, fathers, or whatever/whoever else) thought that stay-at-home parents needed a little defending in the "respect department". After all, it does tend to be in the nature of some humans to automatically equate the income one brings in with "valuable" and "respect-worthy".

The thing is, though, that if parents hope at all to do the kind of "job" most good, loving, parents hope to do; they need to set aside their own ego with respect to what is cool, what is viewed as "impressive", and, yes, sometimes even what will earn them more respect in view of their role which isn't all that cool, is seldom particularly impressive, and isn't likely to earn them much respect from any number of people, or groups of people, anyway.

People don't say, "Being a son/daughter is a job" or "Being a friend is a job." True, a whole lot of people will say "marriage a lot of work" (and I have my issues with that particular belief too). All that aside, however, just think of this: When it coms to one's being a parent (and particularly when it comes to a parent who stays home to care for children even for a limited time), a whole lot of people (who aren't engaged in any income-earning at all) will still say, "She works at home" (as if there is some shame, or something 'less', about a parent's taking care of his/her own children). Of course, if bringing in income isn't the measure of worth, there is always that other measure of worth, and that is hard work or lots of work. And so, because some people wanted to make some other people feel better about either themselves or someone else; a whole bunch of people started redefining stay-at-home parents' roles (and regardless of what, if any, message redefining, say, the mother/child relationship as "a job" was sending about the most important relationship(s) any baby or young child have.
People who didn't see, or fully grasp, the glaring difference between "a relationship" and "a career" or "job" apparently didn't notice. Many of those who knew/know the difference were a little quick to jump on the bandwagon and allow this important relationship (yes, with all its work and responsibilities and thinking and planning and muddling and setting aside of egos and insecurities) to be reduced to something less, something easier for a lot of people to understand, and easier to justify when someone spent less time on high-quality nurturing than on just being in the home and thinking that just being there was all there is to being a stay-at-home mother/parent) to be redefined by whomever for whatever purposes there were.

When my now grown children were young I was the one who stayed home and took care of them. When I'd be fill-ling out some form that asked something about employment I'd either put "unemployed at present" or, if asked for something like occupation I'd put "unemployed writer" or "part-time writer" (or something like that). I didn't want to confuse (in my own mind, and certainly not in the mind of any of my children work or career with my relationship with them. Like so many other mothers/parents, I didn't see any reason to even try to pretend that what I shared with each of/all of those children needed to be redefined with something that wasn't entirely accurate or that needed a little "spin" in order to see and feel and know the value (to them and to me) of my time with them.
The minute you tell someone that something is "a job" or "a career" they can start seeing it in terms of income, performance, product, competition, and any number of things that aren't worthy of the parent/child relationship. Now, "relationship" - that's a word pretty much most people understand. It's also a word, I think, that would place far fewer children at risk of misunderstanding some very important things.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The "Just A Thought" Graphic

There are times when I don't want to write a whole, big, structured, thing; and that includes posts.  I "just thought" that a graphic that indicated that "just a thought" could mean pretty much anything but would be, for the most part, something that wasn't (yet) developed into a more suitable post (or else essay/article/whatever).  The "just a thought" posts won't just add a little touch of variety here, but will serve my own purposes with regard to organizing and any future writing.

The "HubPages Answer" Graphic

Posts with the above graphic are things I wrote first on HubPages' "Answers" section, as answers.
I often go there looking for either ideas for writing or else just a way to kill some time.  Authors are allowed to retain the rights to their own words on that site.  Obviously, copying the words of others is not allowed.
Some my "answers" are self-explanatory.  With others I've described or re-worded the question as it appeared/appears.    I change blog settings as necessary with regard to may/may not be picked up in search engines/directories.  Regardless of setting I have at any given time, I've made efforts to assure that that the posts marked, "HubPages Answer" stand little chance of making their way into search engines. 

Note:   With one eight-year-old account and one six-year-old account on HubPages, I may post some answers that are as old as eight years old and/or are from either of the two open accounts.  When I decide to re-post an answer on this blog that material won't be being posted online as new material.  I won't bother including the original posting date on here because I already have that information in my own files (and on the HubPages accounts), so I don't need it for my own records, and I don't think anyone who finds it on here (if anyone does) will be particularly interested.

A Note About Graphics With Posts...

As I continue to (on the one-hand) try to organize a very mixed and extensive "collection" of online writing; but as I also continue to aim to not-write yet more posts (or whatever else) about that organization effort, itself;  I've decided to design a little graphic for some posts that fall into some categories, certainly not all posts.

While some posts speak for themselves and/or can be presented in a way that's right for the individual post, I've decided to make some other types of posts that don't do either of those things.  They're just little things I've written in one place or another that I thought may add some variety to this blog.

What I do or don't do with any of these "for-variety" posts with regard to, say, labels will depend on how important I think doing that type of thing is.  Some stuff won't deserve more than the graphic.  Other things may deserve a little more attention as far as being able to organize things goes.

The purpose of these little graphics (so far I only have two) will mainly be for anyone viewing my page(s) so that they can easily identify "what the heck" the thing they're looking at is. The way I see it, the relatively unobtrusive little graphics will be easy to spot/find for anyone interested (including me, as I continue to organize things), but won't, in the case of posts that are a little more than "just-for-variety",  make a visual mess of the post.  (Besides, there's always the the option of clicking a graphic off a post if I don't think it should be there.)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Someone Online Asked (Essentially) About What's Good About Spring 2016....

In a discussion "type of section" on a site where I often go when I'm bored and looking for something to write about, someone asked the above question.  I didn't notice that it was under the category of "Spring Around The World" (or something like that) until I'd written what I've now decided to turn into a post here (because it really isn't right for that category).

In any case, although I have my aims and purpose for this blog, over recent times I've written a number of "nothing" posts.  And, it doesn't help that some of the stuff on here was moved from other places and still needs some clean-up, organizing, etc.

Although today was extremely "March Winds-y", it was - like - 70 degrees or close to it.  And, although the day started out super-dark and ominous-looking, by afternoon the sun was out (not necessarily making the extreme wind any less noticeable but a nice reminder of days to come - and not a bad later part of the day in the meantime).

So here are my thoughts on Spring 2016 (and not so much because there's something new and different about Spring in general, but because for me it's finally a return to all the usual things that Spring has always been).

Personally, I don't recommend reading this post because it wouldn't be interesting to anyone.  I know that I'm sick to death of the subject that's the focus of my post and thoughts about Spring 2016.  That's the thing, though:  This Spring I can finally (knock-on-wood) stop thinking about the subject I'm sick of and just begin Spring "like a regular person".

So here's my take on "what Spring 2016 means to me".

Spring is always my favorite season.  It's always better (as far I'm concerned) to see/know that Winter (especially where I live) is on its way out and we're at the beginning of a good stretch of weather that tends to be nicer than "not the least bit nice".  From crocus season on through fairly late in Autumn one or another kind of flower/blossoms are out but Spring also has the tree blossoms added to the mix. 

None of that's new, though.  This year Spring is better for me than it has been for six years because I did a major leg injury six years ago, and it wasn't helped when I did the other leg three years ago because I relied on it too much for too long.  None of that would have mattered much if I didn't live in "the boondocks"  with limited or "weird" transportation.  So, while both injuries have been improving consistently they didn't improve enough that the arrival of the last two Winters didn't involve set-backs.  At the beginning of the 2014/2015 Winter injury Number 1 was pretty close to "good as new", but injury Number 2 was not (it was only two years old).

By the beginning of this Winter that just passed both were close to "good as new", but I'd been working on getting back some strength when Winter happened and made walking outside impossible most of the time.

I've spent what indoor time and rare outdoor time I could trying to build up strength (which I've pretty much done); but Winter has made me generally out-of-shape for the 3- to 6- mile walks that I do (so while the injuries aren't really much of a factor now, I've been working on getting back to where I once was, which was able to walk (sometimes) as much as 40 , or at one time, 100 or so, miles a week without having to get over it when I did.

I've had a few chances to get used to walking outside even through this Winter, so at this point, as long as I'm not carrying a "ton" of awkward stuff I can start Spring once again being able to effortlessly do the (close to) 6-mile walk without feeling it or having to take a few days to get over it (and without thinking about any of it, or about how much my wallet and phone or anything else weigh).

While I'm still working on getting generally back in shape for walking (un-related to the FORMER injuries) this Spring is the first time since Autumn 2010 that I can finally go outside walking the same "me" that I was before that first injury.   (And just as the forsythia is showing signs of blooming...)

It's not a particularly interesting story, I know; but Spring 2016 is a particularly good one for me.