Jodie at Life with Pink Princesses has initiated a new Blog Hop today, where the focus is only on ME or YOU the writer, your likes and dislikes, what makes you tick and what defines you.
Great idea I hear you say, the vast majority of Blogs are focussing outwards, writing about family, society, etc from the point of view of the observer. Something different! In reality though, no one wants to read a Blog entitled "All About Me" - unless you are some uber famous, ultra cool celeb - and then I'm not sure anyone *really* wants to read about you - but it certainly sells magazines. Especially if you exaggerate. At least a little.... or quite a lot. But the occasional inward searching comment from an author can certainly illuminate their writing.
It's actually incredibly hard to stop and think about yourself if you are a busy parent, employed or not. (see, I didn't say "working" or not, as everyone knows stay at home parents work incredibly hard too!! :P ) It seems my every waking moment is focussed on the needs of the family - furry members included. Even those silent hours in the night are all too frequently occupied with insomniac worries about everyone else - except me.
It can actually be quite scary to focus on yourself, Suffolk Carers recently undertook a survey about the personal health of carers in the county, because it is widely recognised that those who care for anyone frequently neglect their own health and needs. And the same is often true of parents who are not "carers" in the official sense, our anthropological instinct is to focus on our family, often at the expense of ourselves. At a very basic level being a parent is your priority, the rest of you is pushed a little sideways, or morphs into the new "parent-you" by necessity.
So I've spend all day mulling this over, whilst cooking, doing the ironing, feeding the cats, cleaning out the guinea pig, feeding the cats (again) and spending a not-inconsiderable amount of time photo-shopping my youngest son's class "Travelling Bear" into a picture of the Tardis in the absence of any exciting alternative photo opportunities..... Don't ask - but I think the result was pretty good for a first attempt!
1) You see, that's definitely one of the things which defines me. I am pretty competitive. Not in an unpleasant superior way (honest!!!) but just that I love a good competition. Be it a debate, race, test, you name it. I give it 110%. And some. In the face of holidays to Marrakech, Turkey, Disney and Kenya in the Travelling Bear book I got competitive - with a sense of humour. Which brings me neatly to number 2.
2) Sense of humour. Whilst there is definitely an element of "If I don't laugh I'll cry" on occasion, and also times when I can have a complete sense of humour failure (often after several nights of insomnia, see above) I do prefer to see the funny side of most things. This is pretty much normal in our house with a generous helping of quirky family twisted humour. So photo shopping Bob the Bear onto the Tardis had me in stitches, I just hope the teacher gets the joke! (Apparently it's not good enough according to my other half though as I forget to include a fez.)
3)Those of you who know me will be wondering why organisation is not at the top of the list, although really it's more the need to be obsessively tidy. Despite a husband, four children, three cats, and a guinea pig doing their utmost to challenge me on a
daily hourly basis with this one, I win through most days. (See, more competitiveness there...) I am also very organised too, but this is second to an inner need for order amidst the chaos. There are many aspects of our my life (taking control there, it's about me, right?) over which I have no control. Exerting extreme domination over the house and its contents makes me feel SO much better.
4)I am also extremely creative. And practical. I can usually find a solution to most things, and am equally handy with a hammer as a sewing needle. I can't be doing with waiting for assistance (lacking patience should perhaps be another key point here) and will always just get stuck in. Aaaaaand hurt my back/hip/arm/whichever takes the most strain on that occasion. Yes - definitely impatient! I rarely have the opportunities to indulge my creative side as much as I would like, but I'm not fussy about the medium. Clay, photo/image manipulation, designing web pages, sewing, knitting, baking, whatever. Love it.
5)Not sure why I saved it to last - but currently my Blog defines me well. I love writing (and reading, which inspires me) as I explained here . No matter what I write about, Blogging/writing is something I am doing for myself, and it is something I derive a huge amount of satisfaction from. Perhaps most of all it is MY time that I write in - in the small hours when the children are asleep, whilst they are at school and the dinner is cooking, those precious little snatches of time where I reassert my individuality and reclaim myself in a way nothing else has permitted. Blogging for me is sanity preservation, a unique way of hanging on to that part of me that has been drowned out by my life as a parent and carer. And, most importantly, it allows me to be a better parent and carer as I have an outlet. Somewhere to be me.