Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Next Blog

Moving on from my temporary blog to a new blog on religious leadership:  Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Temporary Blog

I've decided to start a temporary blog to keep me going through this whole applying to school thing. If you want to have some fun helping me study for the GRE or anything, please don't hesitate to drop by.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Re-thinking the Revamp

G and the kids have been away for the week, but I can't say I have had much time for thinking, as this was one of my busiest weeks of the year at work. Still, tonight I took some time for myself (though I really didn't have the time), and I got to thinking about this blog.

I am not sure that I ever had a sense of what I wanted to do with my blog, but it may be that it has simply run its course.

When I first started writing, I knew that I didn't have enough of a focus to ever really get a readership beyond a small circle of family and friends. The blog was simply an outlet. Many times it has served as an emotional release, like a journal but with the comments of loved ones to periodically cheer me on. At times it was a release for my generative energy, an opportunity to express myself creatively through writing. And of course, on plenty of occassions it has also been my soapbox.

It allowed me to at least begin to speak out when I felt particularly disturbed by the things being said by an anti-adoption advocate who hangs out on one of my parenting discussion boards. It allowed me to speak about neurodiversity as I discovered the joy in celebrating how my brain, and my son's brain, are wired.

I could tell myself that it is a good way to keep in touch with my family and friends, but it would be narricistic to believe that to be the case. I don't post photos of my kids, and I always feel when I post their cute stories that I ought to be writing about something else, something more interesting to the "masses" and less in violation of the children's privacy of development.

The truth is that one of my best friends in the whole wide world called me some time ago and I had difficulty calling her back because of the time difference (NEVER underestimate the problems with time difference from coast to coast...I feel very isolated from old friends here), so I posted to her here instead. She had asked for an update, of course, so I am forgiving myself at least of that, but I didn't reach back out when I should have...thinking my post would suffice for the time. Many months later I learned of her brand, spanking new divorce. I am not sure how to process that, but I know that I have become overly reliant on this vehicle of communication with friends who deserve more of a two-way.

For a couple of years I have written on this blog without the slightest attention to the notion of attracting a "readership." I've been thankful for those of you who have accompanied me on parts of my life's journey through the blog, and have enjoyed reading your blogs in turn. But a few weeks ago I finally caved to the curiosity and went to Google Analytics to find out more about who was reading my blog, and I realized that it was actually mostly me.

Since this last spring, I have been working on strengthening a marriage that had gotten a little stretched at the seams and whose contents had shifted inside the package despite the fact that I wanted everything to stay put all neat and tidy the way I had arranged it. G and I are doing much better. In fact, we may be stronger than ever, but dealing with that meant I also had to begin to face some of my demons. In a major way. Demons I knew I had, and demons I didn't know existed. I am still facing off with them. And now I am considering seminary, and my world is simply changed. Things I thought I knew to be true no longer seem to be true. Things I thought not to be true have become real.

What I need to do now is to practice deep listening. I need to be fully and completely present in hearing others. I need to open my heart to learn, and I need to pay attention.

Something tells me that the months to come will require me to be still. To be disciplined. To be focused. And to rediscover that I can be a friend.

So I think this will be it. I think I am done.

I may start a new blog, or revamp this blog down the line. Of course I have ideas. I always have ideas. Topics of focus. Styles of writing to practice. Formats. But it's not a time for decisions right now.

If you are a UU reader or otherwise religious person who wants to continue to hear what I am doing in my vocational life, you will be able to find me this year at But it's not really a blog as much as it is an online newsletter.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Post on Spanking...and Worsening Neurological Symptoms or Simply Inattention?

Two things. First, I have written a long post about spanking and "the mainstream." As in, cultural shifts in the way we think about spanking...which as far as I am concerned is a vile practice. I had plans to follow that post with another about the flip-side of increasing societal intolerance for spanking, which is that I think struggling parents have difficulty finding help when they need it most. I would love to expand on that for you.

But then I re-read my post and also re-read this post over at Anti-Racist Parent and listened to this podcast and realized I needed to do some additional reflection on what constitutes "mainstream." So, my thoughts on spanking will have to wait. Meanwhile, I am thinking that is likely a positive development, as I recently decided that I would make a far greater effort to write shorter pieces. I wouldn't have achieved that with my spanking post, but perhaps with some time and thought it can be shortened.

In other news, I have been experiencing a disturbing neurological development this evening. It has to do with task planning and task completion. It looks something like this:

I think: I want to go find some Julia Child clips on Youtube.

I type:

No, no, that's not right.

What? Youtube. Youtube. Not Yahoo. Youtube.

Finally I end up at Youtube website, staring at a blank screen, uncertain for several moments of why I was there. Ah, yes, Julia Child...

Anyway, spooky, huh? It has occurred three or four times this evening, including in preparing myself some dinner. The family is staying with MIL for the week, as a last "hoorah" of summer, so I am here at home by myself. I go to the kitchen and decide to make myself potato salad. Put some potatoes in a pot to boil, return to computer. A half hour later I think, "I am hungry," so I return to the kitchen, go to the fridge, and get out some leftover pasta. It is only upon taking the pasta to the counter to put it on a plate that I see the pot boiling away on the stove and remember what I had started out to do.

Am I being particularly absent-minded this evening, without the wife and kids here to keep me grounded on the planet, or am I experiencing a worsening of symptoms?

I want answers, damnit! I am so tired of hope for a diagnosis followed by things like, "Oh, your abnormal EEG was actually a normal abnormal variation." What on earth does that even mean?! For f*cks sake!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reminders for Staying Cool

(pictured in a photo with mild color saturation and tinting is my sweaty son M, working to stay cool while still having fun outside...yea, my camera seems to be working for now!)

It's hot where I am. Is it hot where you are? If so, I have some reminders for you. It's all common sense stuff that we all do, but its so easy to forget to do basic things like keep hydrated...which at best leads to headaches and stuff, and at worse, can make us sick.

Your Home

Have all your windows and shades/blinds/curtains open at night, and close them early in the morning. You can open them back up when that area is shaded for the afternoon, or once night falls.

If the hot air is already starting to come in when you go to close the windows in the morning, or if it is particularly stuffy or humid and you have some shade, close the shades/blinds/curtains but not the actual windows.

Thick blankets can also do the trick if you don't have shades/blinds/curtains or if they are too thin to make a difference.

Avoid opening and closing doors.

Don't use any electrical appliances during the day. Don't run a dishwasher, put in a load of laundry, or vacuum. Wait until night to cook, if you can't limit your foods to cold foods only. To the extent possible, keep computers turned off.

If you have fans and can afford to run them, run them constantly rather than turning them on and off. Place fans near open windows during the cooler hours of the day, so they draw in cooler air from outside.

When you have a window open, whenever possible open a window on the opposite side of the room for cross ventilation.

Keep all lights turned off during the day.

Shut doors to rooms you won't be using (such as bedrooms), if they tend to be hot rooms. Consider relocating your activies, including sleep, to your coolest rooms. Leave doors to cool rooms open.

Your Body

Drink TONS of water. Whether you realize it or not, you are losing a lot of water in this weather...way more than is obvious. If you don't like water, try adding a little lemon juice or something.

Cold water feels great in hot weather, but water that is closer to our body temp may keep us cooler for longer.

Limit any drinks besides water. They'll make you think your thirst is satiated, but they won't hydrate you as effectively. Do not drink caffeinated drinks at all if you can avoid it.

Do low-key activities during the day. Wait for the evening to do higher gear activities. Limit your time heading out of your house to the evening, or spend some of the day in air conditioned buildings such as a library (but remember that once you're cool in there, your home is going to feel much hoter!).

Consider getting cool with a cool shower or cold pool or sprinkler...the warmer the water, the sooner your body will heat up again. Consider getting yourself as cold as you can...and stay wet for as long as you can rather than drying off right away.

Carry some folded heavy paper or anything with which to fan yourself...with or without also carrying a spray bottle of water. Or get one of those personal fans, with or without a spritzer.

Minimize clothes. ;-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Question About Re-Vamping My Blog

Is there a way to put aside old posts, in a folder or something, so they are still accessible to folks doing a search or whatever...but they don't get in the way of a new style?