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My blog is a mirror

standard June 10, 2014 3 responses

Twice now, in the last few weeks, I have written a blog post about something going on in my life, something I thought I’d share because I know, for a fact, that many people could and would relate to what I had to say. Then, as I am sometimes wont to do, I left the posts in draft and went about my business for a day or two to see if I still wanted to push them live.

Neither post has seen the light of day. Instead, they’ve pushed me to take a long hard look at how I was behaving. Instead of hitting publish, I’ve chosen to change my ways.

The first post was actually written just over a month ago and was about yelling. Because we all yell, right? I know we do, I talk about it with my friends. Parenting is stressful and often frustrating, and there are times when we yell. It’s a fact of parenthood.

The post was an almost tongue in cheek look at the way a morning had gone from fine to not fine at all in the short span of time between me getting up and all of us getting out the door. I didn’t share it right away because even writing it made me feel uncomfortable.

Why exactly did I feel the need to yell that morning? Because Little L took 30 minutes to eat breakfast and another 20 to put on a dress, two socks, and two shoes? Because she needed to be reminded, again, to brush her teeth? Because we were maybe going to be five minutes late for school?

That night I reread that post and realized just how damaging our near-regular morning routine must be on my shy kid with low self-esteem. The next morning I didn’t yell.

The morning after that I didn’t yell.

I haven’t yelled in the morning since that day.

We still haven’t been late for school. And a couple days ago, my shy retiring kid struck up a conversation with a cashier at the grocery store. Her sister and I looked at each other in utter shock.

Last week I wrote another post about another one of my failings. This time about my near obsessive addiction to television series and the way I seem to be unable to stop chain watching episode after episode until I have blessedly reached the end of the series and can finally get on with my day to day life.

That night, as I went to bed, having once again left the post in draft because I truly didn’t like my conclusions, I asked myself what, of the things I do day in and day out, the things that take up all of my time, with the kids, when I’m alone, when I’m working, and when I’m not, what makes me happy, what makes me feel fulfilled.

Watching TV wasn’t on the list.

I enjoy a well written show. I like knitting in front of the TV. I like a good story probably more than the average person. But, at the end of the day, if I’ve spent my time writing, reading, playing with the kids, spending time with friends, walking the dog, laughing with my husband, I feel fulfilled. If I’ve spent my time watching episode after episode of a TV show, no matter how great a show it might be, I feel antsy and a bit empty.

That post was never published.

I haven’t watched a TV show during the day since I wrote it.

I’ve been tempted. I’ve rationalized that I could stream something while answering emails, while doing research, while editing photos. But I’ve turned on Pandora instead and let the music fill the silence in my office.

I’ve been blogging for a very, very long time now and I’ve never quite realized just how much of a mirror this blog has been for me. It’s helped me see how I parent. It’s helped me discern patterns in my life, which in turn has helped me better recognize and manage any ups and downs that I might face.

I am grateful to this space and to those that visit it for not only helping me become a better writer over the years, but a better person along the way.

Do more of what makes you happy. Carmel McConnell

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3 responses

  • Great insights. So does this mean you haven’t knitted it you haven’t watched any TV?

    • jessica

      Well, I haven’t been doing any knitting because it’s been crazy hot, but I knit when I watch tv in the evening, which somehow, is a totally different beast than when I stream it on the iPad in my office!

  • I’ve only just discovered your blog and read through your ‘about me’ section and your first couple of posts but your life and your writing really speak to me. I’ve regrettably used my blog as a diary on a few occasions, and I love the way you were able to set those writings aside and actually use them to motivate you. I struggle daily with ‘what I want to write’, ‘what I want to work through’, and ‘what I don’t want to forget’. Lovely post.

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