Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't Leave Me Hanging

I’ve been having a terrible time finishing things this month. Well, to be honest, I’ve never been very good at finishing things. I’m really good at having ideas. I’m even good at setting up some kind of a framework for how to get them done. Most of the time I get as far as doing some research about how to do them. Occasionally I even start actually doing them. But when it comes to following them through to completion…not so good.

And that’s been a major part of why I haven’t been blogging so much lately. I must have a dozen or more half-written blogs saved on my computer that I’m hoping to get back to someday. I’ve probably started a dozen more that I decided weren’t even worth saving. And that’s not even counting the third dozen inside my head that never made it as far as the computer screen. I even have a few random titles floating around in there that I might like to write about some day.

I think that the main reason I don’t follow through is that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to post a blog entry that didn’t come out as well as I thought it would. I don’t like it when my writing starts off strong but then piddles out at the end. If I can’t come up with a clever wrap-up, I feel like the entire post is a failure. Which is a shame, because a lot of the time I have some good things to say even if I can’t tie my thoughts into a nice, neat bow at the end. And sometimes I think people enjoy having to decide for themselves what the point was. I don’t need to make the horse drink, I just need to lead it to water and let it figure out the rest on its own. (Yes, technically I just called you all horses, but please don’t take offense. Horses are lovely and intelligent creatures. Ahem. Moving on.)

So instead of telling you my thoughts on a subject and then giving you a neat little lesson or epigram or witty remark to close things out, today I’m just going to throw out a bunch of topics that I’ve started to write about and never finished. I’m going to purposely leave you hanging and let you decide what the point of each one could be. Chances are, you’ll come up with a wiser point than I would have (if I’d ever found one, that is.)

  • Questionable Classics: I’ve been reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda to my 5-year-old, and I realized that it teaches some questionable lessons about retaliation and revenge and being mean back to mean people. How many other pieces of classic children’s literature accidentally (or purposefully) teach kids lessons that we’d rather they not learn?

  • One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Dealing with small children with the flu…while you have the flu. How do you balance them being sick with you being sick? How do you find a balance of taking care of your children’s needs without sacrificing meeting your own needs?

  • Mom Cocktails: Cocktail recipes to celebrate significant milestones in your child’s life: potty training, starting kindergarten, riding a two-wheeler without training wheels, getting their driver’s license, first date, high school graduation, wedding, grandparenthood…the list goes on and on.

  • Fashion Flops by the Decade: Who hasn’t looked back at their high school yearbook and rolled their eyes at some of the ridiculous fashion trends we thought were so fabulous? The bell-bottoms of the 70s and the neon shirts and socks of the 80s are some of the more obvious ones, but how about the wacky hats of the 40s or the extreme flapper dresses of the 20s? Just as every decade had some gorgeous looks, every decade had some tragic failures, as well.

  • “I’m Okay”: There’s nothing worse than hearing a loud crash from the next room or seeing your child falling off a piece of playground equipment. That brief moment after it happens seems to stretch on forever as you race in seemingly slow-motion to see if they’re hurt. But then you hear those precious words: “I’m okay!” But sometimes they’re not okay. Sometimes they’re hurt, or sick, or sad, and you can’t make it go away. And the time until “I’m not okay” turns back into “I’m okay” can be the worst – and longest - time of a parent’s life.

In lieu of a wrap-up, I’m issuing a challenge, both to myself and to my readers: Which of these topics would you like to see completed? Which of these sounds like it could be interesting? Which of these do you think would drive me the most crazy to have to finish? Let me know, and I’ll take on the challenge of completing a blog on that topic. I promise not to leave you 

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