I've been seeing a lot of something called Throwback Thursday (#TBT) on Facebook. This is of course where people post old photographs with a short description, and friends reply with comments like "OMG, that was the best time I can't remember!" and "Dude, you had hair!" and other nostalgia-stirring sentiments. From what I've seen the timeframe is deliberately arbitrary; that is, "old" can mean last week, last year, last decade, last century, etc.
As much as I enjoy it, I haven't jumped on the #TBT bandwagon yet. This is mostly due to pure laziness on my part. I keep thinking "I should do that." Someday this will lead to my digging out an old photo and posting it. In this case, "someday" is about as precise as "old."
Instead I have been mulling over some areas in life where I've come to some realizations. Some are more serious than others, but regardless I felt it would be good to share in the spirit of full disclosure, shared humanity, and all such things.
--After nearly 3 years since this post, I came to the conclusion that it was time to go back on the meds. It was a good run with the help of St John's Wort and healthy habits, but I finally got to the point where I was triple-duple Exhausted and wanting to cry at the injustices of things like being responsible for small children and needing to bathe/groom each day, so that was my signal to ask for help. I started out thinking I would find a counselor but when even that proved overwhelming, I went to the doc, reasoning I could pick her brain and go from there. Well, long story short, I walked out with the meds, resigned and mildly sad because I hate needing help, but also relieved because I knew I'd be feeling better soon. These days I'm more closely resembling Awesome Skerrib and while I have a little lingering reservation and baggage about it, boy do I feel better.
I mulled over whether I would share this part because of the stigma still associated with meds and depression/anxiety in some circles, but I've found over time that as I share my own experiences, it seems to encourage others who might have dealt with similar things. Addie also shared a great post, and said it better than I can, so I encourage you to pop over there if you are so inclined...
--I think I may be at a point in life where I have ceased (or at least significantly decreased) my struggle with fashion sense. That is not so much to say I have become more stylish, but rather that I am making peace with where I stand with regard to the world of fashion. Mostly that I like wearing classic cotton fashions (i.e., jeans and funny tees) and staying vaguely up to date, but I don't have the inclination to put the energy into a lot of accessorizing, or synthetic fabrics, or fashion feng shui, or anything like that.
Not that there's anything wrong with those things. I know some lovely and well-groomed people, and they are fantastic. It just goes with the whole idea that there are so many things in life, and everyone chooses the things which are important to them, and it may be easier and more honest to admit that my fashion and style effort quota is somewhere around a 4 out of 10, where 10 is "makes a magazine photo-quality ensemble--including heels--out of fish bones, a ripped grocery bag, and twine," and 1 is "wears only a ripped grocery bag and faded fuchsia Polo out of intense disdain for all things visual."
All that said, it could be that this is merely a season, and things will change, or at least evolve over the years. Like when all the kids are in school full time and I go back into a working-outside-of-the-house setting (or not), or some such cause for putting on makeup on days other than Easter or date nights.
Just kidding. I don't wear makeup on most date nights either...
--I know parents are important and all that, but in recent years I've come to ponder nature (as opposed to nurture) for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is those occasions where, despite our mostly-civilized familial standards, I find my kids acting like complete and total ruffians. I like to think we have a pretty balanced approach to most things. For example we eat fairly healthy for the most part, but still keep around a little bit of junk food, and of course the kids are inundated with opportunities for treats anytime we set foot outside the house. Sort of along the line of "don't give it to them every meal, but don't completely deprive them either, and it won't be a big deal."
While I like to think I'm pretty laid back about this approach, somehow it has resulted in three children who act like starving, obsessed creatures anytime they sense they are within a 15 foot radius of junk food. I buy dessert treats for His Highness's lunchbox, but he hardly ever gets to eat them because the Littler One will sneak downstairs, sometimes in the middle of the night, climb the pantry shelves, and gorge himself on the hidden desserts. And this is after he has already had his portion of the package. So we talk a lot about not hogging stuff, sharing with the family, community property, and such (e.g. "Were you raised by wolves??"), but I am still bewildered by their ragamuffin ways sometimes.
Of course, then we have moments like tonight. Tiny E was munching on a graham cracker and set it aside in favor of something much more interesting. I assumed (and we all know what happens when one assumes things) she was finished, and helped myself rather than let it go to waste. Well, I'd gotten it down to one and a half of the little rectangle segments when she came back in looking for her graham cracker, and she was entirely disappointed with her remaining portion. I was very honest with her, as I am with the boys when I tell them "Hey when Mom gives you food, you'd better eat it, because if I find it lying around I'll take it for myself." Like a starving, obsessed creature...
--I was introduced to TED talks a while back, and though I would love to take approximately 9 continuous months and watch them ALL, I have to do things like feed my family and myself, so it's more like a few talks per week in spurts. I've been struck lately by how much there is to know in the world, and how rich any given topic can be once one starts to dig in and learn a little about it. I mean, I watched a talk the other day about a man who designed typeface fonts for a living, and it was amazing to learn some of the bits & pieces he had to consider in his work. In our internet age we like to think we know a lot, but most of the time we know teeny snippets of things; nowhere near the whole story. I like TED talks because folks have dug in deeper to something, and then share some of what they know with the rest of us. They keep it short so it's still snippets...but somehow I come away with a greater awareness that there is only time for snippets (because otherwise our brains would explode), which therefore makes me all the more aware of the deeper story, which I know little to nothing about of course, but it makes me thankful for the snippets...
--My nerd-/dork-status has been firmly cemented for years, and I feel like overall I have embraced it well for some time now, but every so often I'll catch myself realizing just how eclectic/nerdy/different/dorky something is that I'm doing or reading or whatever, and I'll have to have the same talk with myself about owning it, and that after high school nerd-dom seems to increase as we grow into our roles and passions and realize that really, the vast majority of us have something that we love that is different or otherwise out of the mainstream.
I think it's kind of funny that I keep having to remind myself of that, as if somewhere along the line I have managed to (intentionally or not) fool folks into believing that I am something other than a nerd/dork (see fashion comments above) and now have to go break the news that I really like some oddball stuff, and don't like some of the more popular pleasures in life (e.g. wine. Very popular with the men and ladies in NoVA and other places. Not so much with me). As if I'm going to say, "I have something to confess. I know I seem all hip and cool, but really I am secretly a big dork." And as if they would reply, "Oh, we had no idea. We can't be friends anymore."
Which is ludicrous. Not because my friends would instead say, "Oh how wonderful, we love you just the same!" because they wouldn't say that. They would actually say something along the lines of, "Um, did you think that was a secret? Because it's pretty obvious. This is why we're friends to begin with."
That's right folks, I would like to confess that I run in circles of dorks. But you probably already knew that...