Bloggers: About That Parent Blogger Space

Sometimes you come back from your vacation feeling more tired than when you left.

If you are like me you find that aggravating because a vacation is supposed to be a time for recharging your batteries and renewing your energy so that you can live and not just pass through life.

This last vacation wasn’t of the sort I prefer and though it was fun, it left me feeling a bit drained and I have spent this past week feeling like I am dragging.

It is part of why I haven’t written as much as I wanted to but it is not the only reason.

Some of it is because I am still in that funny place where I want to be part of the parent and dad blogging communities and yet find some of it exhausting.

Why?

It is not because I have shared every thought or told every story, even after 13 years in the blogging game there is plenty to say and share.

But some of the passion for participating isn’t what it used to be and I can’t decide if it is because so many of the bloggers I used to run with have decided to hang up their keyboards or if it is just a moment in time.

What I am certain of is that my place has changed and that I have little interest in the stories about infants, toddlers, breast feeding and all the other young kid stuff.

That is not to demean or diminish any of it because it is of tremendous importance, but I have been there and done that.

My focus is on the middle and high school years because that is where my kids are at and that transition changed everything.

It Is Harder

Those of you with little kids might not like hearing this, but the little kid stuff is generally easier than the bigger.

That is provided we are talking about children who don’t have special needs or major health issues.

It is different when your kids are older and you have to deal with the drama that comes raging hormones, teen drivers, dating and middle school madness.

When your kids and friends are on social media and think it is funny to post videos of themselves doing stupid crap but never think of potential consequences you find yourself in a different position than being sleep deprived.

You might not like the four year-old who doesn’t share but you really aren’t going to like the boyfriend/girlfriend who rips your child’s heart out and there is not a lot you can do about it.

The days of putting them in the crib/play pen/room whatever are gone.

And if we circle back to social media for a moment let’s not forget the kids and their friends sometimes Google themselves and find posts you have written about them.

This hasn’t happened to me because I never used names but I know people who had trouble because the cute story they wrote about a two-year-old was used by other students at school to endlessly tease them.

Outraged By Outrage

I tell people all the time they can’t tell me what to be upset or not be upset about. My feelings are my feelings and I am not a robot.

But there are many moments when I am outraged by the general outrage. In our effort to create more tolerance we create so many moments of intolerance.

I can’t keep hearing about privilege as if it is the only reason good or bad things happen to people.

Sometimes you are a good person or an asshole and it has nothing to do with age/gender or skin color.

It is just who you are.

Live More, Write Less

It is my unofficial motto for 2017.

I am a writer by birth and by need. I can’t stop writing any more than I can stop breathing.

But I can pull myself away from the computer and the phone to focus on living in the moment and experiencing things live.

It is something I have been doing and talking about for a while now.

Sometimes it is hard to put the phone down and not take pictures because I wonder if I’ll regret not having a recorded history of that special moment.

But there is magic that you miss when you spend your life looking through a lens.

Same goes for putting everything down on paper as it happens.

This is a year for reminding myself to live and love hard, but first I need to take a nap or drink some coffee, I am freaking tired.

I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. 🙂

One last note/thought to share.

643 Ways To Cook Your Mother-In-Law

There probably are more than 643 ways to cook your mother-in-law but I cannot share nor recommend any of them.

Not because I can’t bring myself to write them down or cut and paste them into existence but because this blog doesn’t promote cannibalism, murder or serious mayhem.

Minor mayhem maybe, but major or serious…not usually.

However we do like to air our the archives and share posts that not everyone has had the privilege of reading and or commenting upon them.

  1. The Hijinks & Shenanigans Of Angry Lost Lovers
  2. If Your Son Wasn’t A Jerk
  3. Please Give Me A Second Chance
  4. The 867 Finest Recipes For Cooking Your Cat
  5. Unfriending Proves People Hate You
  6. Does Your Past Dictate Your Future?
  7. You Won’t Become Smarter But You Might Be Sexier
  8. Sometimes You Run Towards Danger

So there you have a tiny sample of some of the sorts of content you find here.

Ten thousand posts or so and counting. Might update this a bit later with some more original stuff for you to read but figured an update with links for those who have never been exposed is better than none.

The Kind Of Blogger You Want To Read

Sometimes I play around with spending time rooting through the archives here to try and do a thorough analysis regarding the evolution of the blog.

I am curious to see a breakdown of the types and kinds of posts that have run here and see if that gives me any insight as to how it has grown or regressed.

Probably won’t happen because I don’t have enough extra time nor enough interest to do it. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and take it on then or maybe not.

The Kind Of Blogger You Want To Read

That is the single best and worst thing to happen to me as a blogger.

It is the great contradiction that has pushed me to become better and at times stifled my words.

The desire to have more people read me and the concern that they’ll dislike or even worse be so bored they won’t return.

poetryandcommunication

Not going to lie and say my ego doesn’t love being told something I wrote was good, but what really resonates with me is when someone says my words move them.

There are times where I am sincerely surprised because I didn’t think what I wrote was particularly good.

Moments where I wonder why no one cared that in the prior post I bared my soul and yet this piece of nothing caused them to cry.

Times where I shake my head because I issued a call-to-action that was met with ambivalence and the story I wrote in five minutes has people asking for more information.

It is just more proof about how subjective our feelings about writing is.

Speaking about subjective, I get chills watching this video below.

Sometimes I forget how much Chicago is in me and that even though I am forever a California boy, I wouldn’t exist without Chicago.

It made and molded so many people in my family it is impossible for it not to influence me.

Who knows, I may even live there one day.

In spite of my love for Chicago, I still wish my Dodgers had won it all, but this isn’t bad.

What Comes Next?

That is a question I have been asking myself for a while now.

What comes next?

I am still growing and learning how to become a better writer and storyteller but that is not really the question here.

The question is what direction do I want to take the blog in. What will make me happiest and serve the greatest good.

What will drive me to sit down and just write with reckless abandon.

I am still evaluating and thinking about those things.

There is no rush to come up with an answer either.

If you stick around for the ride you’ll see what happens and if you don’t, well maybe our paths will cross again at a different time or place.

Have You Been Defenestrated Lately?

Come closer and I’ll confess something and share a piece of me that is less than flattering.

Sometimes I can be a snob.

That side doesn’t come out often and when it does it is generally attached to one thing, vocabulary.

I get a little crazy when people try to populate a discussion with big words that they clearly do not understand.

It is not my finest trait but it is mine and I own it.

I try to make a point not to let it serve as my sole judge of who a person is, but sometimes it is almost all I have got.

tastelifetwice

Have You Been Defenestrated Lately?

That quote above is awesome and a significant part of why I write and will always do so and it ties in nicely with our topic.

Defenestrate is one of my favorite words and it is not uncommon for me to work it into conversation.

de·fen·es·trate
dēˈfenəˌstrāt/
verb
1.
rare
throw (someone) out of a window.
“she had made up her mind that the woman had been defenestrated, although the official verdict had been suicide”
2.
informal
remove or dismiss (someone) from a position of power or authority.
“the overwhelming view is that he should be defenestrated before the next election”

You might wonder if I have actually defenestrated anyone and the answer is why yes, I have.

Way back in days of yore when I was a silly college lad we engaged in all sorts of crazy antics, some of them included defenestrating people but only from a first floor window.

They even managed to defenestrate me but being someone with foresight I had already placed a mattress under the window.

*******

Given the current election cycle, I have probably talked about defenestrating people more than 1,983,322 times.

Hell, I used it today when my computer overheated, but I didn’t actually defenestrate my computer or people.

But let’s circle back to my confession and my snobby attitude towards how some people misuse words.

You might ask if I am some kind of grammar nazi let me assure you I am not.

I am a rule breaker and a color outside the lines kind of man.

Sometimes I double space after periods and laugh about doing so, but I won’t populate my external dialogue with a series of words I read in a dictionary because I am trying to impress people.

I ain’t no lexicon peacock.

I am just an average Joe who loves words and feels better when my message is easily understood.

Misuse of words isn’t a criminal offense, but it does lead to misunderstanding and I prefer to avoid those.

grouchio_idiot

Why You Can’t Shut Your Blog Down

I’ll readily confess that when Google accused me of being a whore I thought about shutting this place down.

The accusation pissed me off because this place has never been about selling out ads, sponsorships or trying to turn it into my primary source of income.

Well, that is not entirely true, I have had hopes it would lead to a monster book deal or that some patron of the arts decided they would pay old Jack Steiner to do nothing but write all day long.

But there was never a focus on trying to convince every brand out there to let me promote their products for them.

Anyhoo, the idea behind shutting down was to tell Google STFU and remember to try not to be evil but the reality is they wouldn’t have noticed if I was gone.

It would have been meaningless and I would have been just one more blogger who hung up their keyboard.

Why You Can’t Shut Your Blog Down

I couldn’t shut this down because I hate the idea of losing chunks of history.

Posts like My Daughter’s Favorite Book, I Had A Dream and The Search For Absolution are just a few of those that have meaning for me.

It would be a shame to lose them and something I would regret doing and given I teach my children not to make big decisions when angry it would be hypocritical for me to ignore my own advice.

Blogging is harder for me than it used to be and I can’t figure out why.

Can’t decide if it is because the engagement is lower than ever or if I am pulled in too many different directions.

It is not because it is hard to write because the words come when I call and given the right mood I can pump out 10,000 words in a hurry.

Might be that I am not convinced the quality is living up to the standard I want or maybe it is all of these things.

Regardless of it being tougher than it once was, I am still having fun and that is a significant part of why I won’t board it up and shut it down.

But there is no doubt the primary reason is there is too much life tied up and invested in this place.

It is my personal Hall of Records and the place I sometimes use as my Fortress Of Solitude.

And it is worth mentioning I have always thought I need to put in at least 20-25 years before I can truly think of giving it up.

Since I am more than halfway to 25 it is not inconceivable (and I do know what that word means) that I might just go for it and see what happens.

Got something like 10,000 posts now, no reason not to double or quadruple it.

Stick around and lets see what happens/