Three Moments in Time

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Sunday marked the official end of the professional cricket season….HURRAH! Hang out the bunting and pass the trumpet. There was the usual shindig at the club – dinner, speeches, awards, speeches, bubbly, speeches. It was a really lovely evening actually, but the event itself will soon pass into the fug of the twelve previous ones in my memory. What will stay with me, however, is the context…my personal experience of attending it as a Mother and how it compares with the previous two also attended (sort of) as a Mother.
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What’s it all about?

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I think I need to blog more, purely for my own benefit…I enjoy it and start to feel twitchy if I haven’t written anything for a while. I think it’s the act of creating something that I enjoy so much, life is full of consuming so producing is a good antidote to that. Slightly more tricky, however, now my son doesn’t nap!

Instead, I’ve been thinking about blogging. Let me rephrase that, I’ve been overthinking my hobby of blogging. And then I started to feel a tad disillusioned but I’m not completely sure with what, so have decided to try and work it out by blogging, which seems sensible.

Ok, definitely my blog. I want it to look better, it needs a redesign and I have a logo ready and waiting but can’t work out how to use it. I’m on it though…change will happen!

Other bits to do with my blog annoy me as well. I mean ‘LJ’…I am so fed up with writing that. It’s clearly not my son’s name and doesn’t even sound like him either. It was supposed to be the initial of his middle name with ‘Little’ in front of it. But I got fed up writing ‘Little’ each time, so shortened it to LJ. Both configurations annoy me. A lot. So I think I’ll change that soon. I don’t think anyone will notice!

The blogosphere (check me out with the technical terms) is definitely saturated/oversaturated maybe, but I’m not really sure that matters. I enjoy blogging so I blog. I didn’t even know there was a ‘blogosphere’ when I started. I think perhaps the disillusionment related to this can be attributed to some sort of confused pursuit of originality on my behalf. We all want to be original don’t we? But perhaps not different? I don’t know.

Also in a moment of recklessness a few weeks ago I sent a few posts to Huffington Post and now can call myself a Huffington Post Blogger, or possibly a HuffPost Blogger. I’m very grateful for this and have been very proud of fellow bloggers when this happened for them, but my fug of disillusionment has made me question why this is considered such an accolade.

Apart from some funny, thoughtful and fabulous posts by fellow bloggers, a lot of the Huff Post content that appears on my FB newsfeed really doesn’t resonate with me. It is a nice feeling of validation (although again of what!?), but it feels although I should be using a more public platform for a better purpose. I call myself a feminist, maybe I should get a bit more shouty. But shouty just isn’t my style. Am I angry/sad enough to make a difference? Well that’s a whole other post. So I tell myself it will be useful for my CV, but then question what CV!?

Hmm, are you still with me?

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Ok, as a further little exercise to add some structure to my thoughts this morning I dug out my faithful friend, my gorgeous weighty tome, The New Oxford Dictionary of English and thumbed to ‘blog’. Hmm, nothing. I remembered the etymological origins and looked up ‘weblog’. Still nothing. Then I looked at the front page of the dictionary…it was published in 1998. One year before the word ‘blog’ was coined. Nothing ‘New’ about you then. Feeling suitably old I turned my attention to Wiktionary (what!!??) and here you go:

BLOG: website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal, sometimes letting readers comment on their posts.

Nothing we don’t already know, but I actually found this definition really useful. In an attempt to encourage myself to blog more I was starting to wonder if I should make my blog more of a diary, but there are a few key issues with this 1) I don’t think I’d have the energy for that 2) the posts would be seriously lacking in quality OR my child would be lacking in attention 3) this really only works with pretty pictures and I am a useless photographer 4) my daily life would probably need to be more interesting than it currently is.

Maybe the beauty of blogging is that it can be anything. A diary if you want it to be; a place to showcase creations (every artist should blog!); a place to share your passions such as reading, travelling, cooking; an informal way for a business to connect with clients; a place to share thoughts and mark memories; a platform for citizen journalism; and a place to create a brand out of yourself (although I’m a bit hazy on the mechanics of this last one!).

If it’s not for anyone other than yourself you can make it whatever you want, publish whatever you want and publicise wherever/however you want. If you end up meeting fellow bloggers who are just plain lovely then so much the better.

So, as you can see. I should probably just stick the kettle on and get on with it. But, thank you I feel much better now I’ve offloaded my meanderings on to you and I feel energised for a renewed period of (slightly) more frequent blogging (maybe)…

 

I see my son in everything

I see my son in everything. I first realised this when he was a few months old and I was watching a nature documentary. Just-hatched birds had to make a life or death leap from the top of a cliff as their first meaningful activity in life. It was awful. I cried. Although I’m fairly sure most of them made it. But each one was MY SON.

It happened just a couple of weeks later with a drunk homeless man who fell over in front of a bus. The bus driver rolled his eyes in a ‘seen it all before’ fashion. The paramedic we called was unenthusiastic about his patient. But, for us, this middle-aged drunk man was/is somebody’s LJ.

This heightened recognition and empathy is such a strange phenomenon and one that I’m absolutely sure is common across the parenting spectrum.

Which leads me to my problem…if parents see their children in everything then why do we do awful things to each other? Why do we allow awful things to happen to people? I don’t know what percentage of people in power have children, but I’m guessing that quite a few of the world’s influencers are parents.

Yesterday, along with every other parent, I saw my child lying face down in the water’s edge on a beach in Turkey.

These images have sparked universal compassion amongst everyone, parent or not. And they have encouraged a renewed call for action.

I have been confused for months about what can be done, what anyone can do about the Refugee crisis. How to move pass what seemed like a political stalemate in response to a desperate situation caused by devastating events ignited by hateful concepts. It all seemed and still seems a bit insurmountable to me…sat at my kitchen table in my pyjamas.

There are a lot of problems in the world, a lot of really bad things happening to a lot of people…close to home and far away. I can’t work out what the solution is to almost any of them. And if I can, I can’t work out how to make the solution happen. I do ‘my bit’…however insignificant that feels when most of my days are wrapped up in giggles and puddles and Bob the Builder.

But for the world leaders, for the influencers, for the people whose days should be wrapped up in tackling issues such as migration, homelessness, war…at what point does the money, the graphs, the figures, the headlines and the status overtake the innate human ability to care?

If you see your child in everything and you are in a position to really do something, to really make a difference…why oh why would you not?

 

#SaveSyriasChildren. To donate £5 to Save the Children text ‘Syria’ to 70008. Everyone can do something and this campaign initiated by bloggers proves it. Mr and Mrs T Plus 3’s post here explains more about the campaign and how you can be involved.

The Guardian has also written a great article listing a number of ways to help with the Refugee situation here.

Understanding Absence

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One of my 2 year old’s main topics of conversation this week (with anyone who will care to listen actually) is that ‘daddy is at work’. He will tell me this about eighteen times a day and follow it with: ‘daddy come back’. Sometimes he will throw in a random (perhaps hopeful) timeframe on the end…such as ‘daddy come back, morrow’. This will be accompanied by decisive head nodding, as if the force of his conviction is enough to make it happen.

It’s not sadly, but my son’s increased understanding of his father’s away trips got me thinking of all the things we do to help him (and me) with periods of absence.
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