Thursday, January 04, 2018

Nowhere except on FaceBook

Things I've suddenly realized I can't get anywhere except on FaceBook:
  • Discussions and happenings about the Howard County Schools - there is a group of folks invested in this nut it's all on FB.
  • My activism - the groups and their events are all on FB, how do folks not on there find out or join in?
  • Friends' events - nobody sends out evites anymore! If Jeff wasn't on it, I wouldn't know what somebody was trying to invite me to.
How did we do this before social media became so ubiquitous? How did we connect with like minded people who wanted to stand for something and fight for somebody's rights? We had leaders like Dr. King who spoke from pulpits and street corners. But, how do we do that now that it's not 1 leader but small groups trying to activate the sense of justice and speak against injustices of all kinds? Where do I find these folks if I am not on FB?

How do I find out what parents of my ilk are discussing what's going on in our schools?

What happens if the entire Internet goes down tomorrow? I have this image of people suddenly sitting on their couches, thumbs and fingers twitching, unable to figure out how to connect to the outside world. I am part of the same problem. I don't have a solution but I think we need to discuss this further.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A year later ...

Wow, It's been an entire year since I posted, not even sure anybody's listening anymore! What with Facebook and Twitter giving people a forum to spit out viewpoints and rebuttals quickly and succinctly, do people still blog anymore? Well, I am going to try and do it again!

Let's start with where we left off. The jar of questions to get your kid to talk; it was awesome! He loved the idea! We started with a question a day when we'd have dinner together, and we went through all the questions, and he wanted to do it again! So, we threw them all back in, and restarted!

2018! I can't believe it. I can't believe I survived 40, finished a lot of my 40by40 goals (didn't lose the weight though ugh, more on that later), and am staring 41 in the face!

So, 2018, no new goals, no new resolutions. Same old ones:
  • Try to do good every day
  • Stand up for myself and mine
  • Stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves
  • Be more vocal in my standing up
  • Speak up against prejudice wherever I see it, whether it's overt stereotyping or the use of words irresponsibly
  • Teach my son to do the same
  • Take more time to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me
  • Make more phone calls (ok, maybe start with more texts)
  • Limit social media
So, to that effect, and to be successful at all of that, I've deleted my Facebook account. For now. I can't not have it, for the simple reason that we have family and dearest of friends spread wide across the US and the world, and it is the most effective way right now to keep in touch with them.  Also the reason I keep it as locked down as I can; if I don't friend you, you can't find me. When I come back, there will be some cleaning up there too. If we are local and haven't seen each other in months, are we really "friends?" I don't need or want my private thoughts and my public activity and my family's activities to be viewed by so called acquaintances. We can hang otherwise. We can email and text and go to Happy Hours. Facebook is very private to me though and not open to everyone I come in contact with.

In just 2 days without FaceBook, I have read 2 books, cooked a couple new meals from scratch, enjoyed lengthy hot showers without wondering what was newly updated, and have avoided running into pillars. ;-)

Next goal: write more and react less!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How to get your child to talk

Oh, this isn't an educative post on ways to get your kid to talk to you. This is a reflective post on how freaking hard it is! We started doing "3 interesting things that happened today" at dinner time, in order to get more than one word answers to our typical questions, you know the ones! "How was your day?" "How was school?" "What did you do?" And, the 3 interesting things worked well for a while, but after 5.5 months of school, things are starting to repeat themselves. So, I turned to the all-knowing Google for ideas. And, the conversation jar was born.

You can see I am so not a DIYer! I couldn't even glue the top to the jar correctly:

But, I got an empty jar and filled it with 30 questions to begin with:

I looked at many different blogs and sites and picked 30 that I thought would be appropriate for Oliver's age:

I will update on how things go with the conversation jar!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Teach Your Children Well

Oliver asked me the other day what "bitch" meant because he heard it on a cooking competition. I explained the meaning to him - a female dog - and then explained that people use it in a derogatory manner towards others and that's not a nice thing. He understood and said ok. So, tomorrow, if he calls somebody a bitch, he doesn't have the excuse of being ignorant and will deserve whatever punishment Jeff and I deem ok.

In the same vein, I don't understand how high school kids can claim ignorance of "black face," and "n****r". There is no way they got to their age without hearing that, what win social media. That tells me that either they were never corrected by their parents or were actually encouraged.

I have no sympathy for a thing adult who takes a racist, sexist, xenophobic, hatred towards any group motivated action. It's not a joke. Your parents should have raised you better. And, as high schoolers, you deserve the reaction to your action.

I will not be tolerant towards intolerance.
I will not show love towards hatred.
I will not turn the other cheek when somebody spits on me for who I am.

& that's how I will raise my son to be!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Being untrue to myself

This is fear. This is trepidation for my child. This is what the current political climate made me do tonight.

What is this?

This is me taking a permanent black Sharpie and coloring in pink lines on sneakers. We bought these on clearance at Columbia in CA last year. When we got back here, I saw the color and so did Oliver, and he loved them.

Tonight, he asked if he could wear them tomorrow. Of course he can!!! But, then I started thinking of the hatred that has gained voice and volume since the election results came out. And, I wanted to protect my 6 year old. I wanted to keep him from the ugliness of the world around him that's reared its head in the past few weeks. So, I took a black marker and colored in everything pink on the outside. And, I cried inside the entire time. Because, I'm doing what I've fought against his entire life. Boys can wear pink if they want. Boys can wear dresses if they want. Boys and girls can do whatever each of them want.

And, today, out of fear for my son's innocence, I did something that goes against everything I believe in. And, that kills a little piece of me inside.