Friday, August 1, 2008

blogs. just blogs. and losing your mind.

I love to read other people's blogs. I love to catch whiffs of their lives that way. Blogs are like never-ending Christmas letters, which I enjoy, and let's face it, for all the complaints about Christmas letters, lots of people sure send and presumably read them. The main reason people don't like Christmas letters is that they're often used solely to brag about accomplishments, painting a very unrealistic picture of the author's life.

Well, I was thinking that oftentimes I use the Christmas letter approach in my own blogging. Not that I always brag about myself, because, well, I don't have a lot to brag about anymore. Things have been slow since the second grade when I single-handedly raised 3 million dollars for victims of the Nilte-KIX virus. That's not totally true. I guess there was that family I talked down from a bridge last year (an extended family of 28 people - a reunion gone sour) but believe me, awards and medals tarnish, man. Even ones the U.S. President hands you himself. And lately, I got nothin.'

It's more like this: I mostly blog about positive or interesting things. Interesting to me anyway. But my life is not always positive and my thoughts are often quite melancholy, and some of them might be worth sharing. I just don't have on-demand internet access, and sadness and despair aren't things you can really save up to blog about. So instead, I usually think back over my week or weeks and naturally come up with the highlights, the good stuff - pretty scenery, weddings, oranges giving birth to kumquats.

Tonight I read over my blog from last week where I'd pretty much said, "Good, good, good! Everything is real good! We're so fortunate!" and I wanted to slap myself. I mean, I really was feeling blessed and appreciative when I wrote that, but the truth is that I was being very selective in what I wrote about, because I approach blogging like I do a lot of things: with caution in revealing too much. And I suppose that's fine if I want my blog to be like that, but what if I don't? Huh? What then?

It's kind of hard to be in-betweeny with blogging. You either bare your entire soul with very few filters or you give highlights. I actually like both types, because blogs can be so reflective of the different personalities authoring them, and reading them is like spending time with your various friends. But here's the rub: it seems I'm a highlight blogger, and maybe I don't want to be, see. My most favorite blogs or books or even cereal boxes to read are of those people who are the most honest. Highlights aren't all that honest, or I should say complete, but then, blogging isn't some people's outlet for completeness.

So tonight it's 2:35 a.m. and I am the last one standing in the house. Not greatly unusual for me these days, because sleeplessness is the most evident mark of my pregnancy, as well as the growing lump protruding from my mid-section. I have decided that I will blog about a moment of insanity that happened to me today. Even as I think about writing it, though, I realize it's a highlight. Not all together that soul-baring. Well, that's not true. In the story, I do reveal that I talk aloud to myself. But I'm not really embarrassed by that, so is it a highlight or a show of vulnerability? Crud.

Anyway, here's the story:

I was home alone today, as I am most weekdays when we're in the park. I love solitude, so this isn't a bad thing, but it gives you context. I found myself laughing hysterically over a memory of a conversation from several weeks back. Then my mind trailed, and within 90 seconds I was in literal tears over a contrived scenario in which my daughter (as yet unborn, and as yet unconfirmed to be a daughter) was in our car alone (which we do not yet own) in her car seat (which we have not yet purchased), and the vehicle somehow engaged and rolled into traffic. "Stop!" I yelled in my head to the imaginary oncoming traffic as I ran toward the car. The tears came when the ordeal was over, my baby was safe, and I was thanking the bystanders who had helped.

90 seconds beyond that, I was giving an imaginary speech to the same daughter who, at the age of 5, was arguing with me about calling her by her full name or a nickname. I said with indignation, "I named you! I'll call you Blueberry Shortcake if I want to!" Actually, I didn't say Blueberry Shortcake, but that makes the story funnier. Is that not being authentic? Shoot. But I'm still gonna leave it in there.

I stopped everything right there and realized that I very well might be going coo-coo, spending big chunks of every day alone. Then I thought, "No, when people think they're going insane, they're probably not. One of the marks of true insanity is probably still thinking you're a-okay. And since I'm concerned about losing it, I must be fine." Kind of like when you're a kid and think you might've accidentally committed the one unforgivable sin: blaspheming the Holy Spirit. And they say, "Well, if you're concerned about it, you haven't done it."

Anyway, I was thinking about how funny it was that I had gone through three major emotions in five minutes, when I suddenly heard a hissing noise coming from my laptop and speakers. I had music playing through them, and I didn't recognize that hiss. Maybe it was a piece of machinery outside? No. I was very confused. I got up and walked slowly toward the laptop. As I neared, I realized the sound was coming from the kitchen instead. Oh. I had water on to boil for tea.


Anonymous said...

Lori! Do you know what I LOVE about your blog? That I feel you are right in front of me yapping and we are having a great discourse! There is that quandary with blogging isn't there. Most often times I start a post and then delete it thinking to myself that "who really wants to know about that?" as if I am being arrogant to suppose that they care about my thoughts on my day or life or whatever. BUT...I know that I do care when I read other blogs and I love to hear those details because it makes people not seem so far, and we feel the thread that seems to connect us all. So thanks for sharing what is in your head...and don't worry you are not crazy. These hilariously swinging new emotions are part of the roller coaster called motherhood, so you would be pretty crazy if you didn't have them!
love ya

Don Conrad said...

Great blog! I agree with elisha, felt like I was right there talking to you... or maybe watching you as a guest star on Gilmore Girls :-)

Blogs are great, you can write about authentic scenarios... but include all the thoughts in your head that didn't necessarily come out in "real time".

tamie said...

You are probably going crazy. C'est la vie. Some of the coolest people are crazy.

Personally, I think that the most authentic thing about what you just wrote is that you constantly questioned your authenticity, and told us how much you desire to be more authentic.

Here is an idea. What if you wrote blog entries down on paper, when you didn't have the luxury of being at a computer? That way you could get down the melancholy, the sorrow, whatever you needed to get down, and then when you got back to a computer you could type them into the blog. Did you know that you can back-date blog entries? It is true. So you could enter 5 posts at once, back-dated, and I pretty much guarantee that we would read them.

That is, if you decide that you want that much transparency and vulnerability. I myself balk at the vulnerability, and sometimes I want to delete my whole blog, but I also want to Be A Writer, you know? And honesty comes with the territory. Really hard honesty. So. Plus...I am so amazed and awe-struck at people who are utterly honest. Even when they're honest about really dark or hard things inside of themselves. Actually, I think that is when I'm *most* amazed and awe-struck. Your blogging audience ain't gonna judge ya, babe. We'll probably just feel less alone.

Christi said...

I think I'm more of a highlight blogger (about how I'm personally doing) and that's mostly due to the fact that Jeff sent out an email to our entire division of Salvation Army officers inviting them to read our blog and I don't care for them to know EVERYTHING on my heart. And this kind of blog has been my outlet to try to seek out the positive things in this super-difficult stage of life we are in. It reminds me, This doesn't completely suck...there are some awesome things going on too - how's that for a little comment honesty? However, I love reading those authentic authors who reveal it all...they make me feel a little closer to normal. And I love your blog. It's been so long since I have seen you, but I can totally hear you and see your facial expressions and that is true fun.

melissa said...

Oh my gosh.
You are wonderful! I laughed out loud when I read this post, and commiserated with the 3 x 90 second radical emotional whiplash experience...
I came here to ask if I could publish your comments on Tamie's last post about having kids on MY blog (but I just may have to revisit a few times, I love your style). I loved the Fuller quote, and your statement:

We have to run our leg of the race the best we can, no matter what kind of a baton we're handed, eh? Some people are actually handed pianos to run with instead.

Can I quote you on my blog? :-)
leave me a comment for a yay or nay (either is fine).

melissa said...

thanks, lori! I'll revisit you soon as well! I have some more good book recs for preggers, esp if you like Ina May;

The thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
by Henci Goer

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth
by Sheila Kitzinger

The Joy of Natural Childbirth by Helen Wessel
[this one is definitely cheesy but the general underlying message is worth slogging thru the cheese, as is the exigetical perusal of Genesis]

The Pregnancy Book by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN

The Birth Book by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN
[Wm and Martha Sears tend to be more moderate than Ina May, but have some gems to impart]

Breastfeeding Made Simple by Mohrbacher and Kendall-Tackett

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read

The Birth House
by Ami McKay
[this one is a novel but it's pretty moving]

Best of luck with baby! Thanks for visiting me!

Anonymous said...

laughing out loud.

lori lls said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all. Gee, do I feel encouraged. I took Tamie's advice and saved up some blogging from the Park this week, to be added today now that I'm at internet.

You people who commented on this couldn't have more different blogs from each other, and I love each one's just the way they are!

What I like about the whole blogging medium is being able to INTERACT with people. It's no fun to get your thoughts and hurts and joys and pictures out there if you're talking to nobody.

Rutschow said...

Well, when your baby is in the car when it rolls away (happened.. twice) and you are arguing with your child about names ( I don't now know why I chose Michaela instead of Mia!... sorry) you will laugh and cry all over again. Understandable about blogging reality. You are fab.