Sunday, July 26, 2015

Do it now! Finding a life balance can be tough

Devotees of "The Simpsons" are familiar with the popular family fun spot Wall E. Weasel, known for its memorable tag line: "We cram fun down your throat!"

This summer, I have been the personification of that restaurant. I have been positively giddy about having and scheduling fun - for myself and the family - nearly to the point of exhaustion.

Part of my issue is the climate. Sure, others in my neck of the woods may look outside and see sunshine and balmy temperatures, but I remember those arctic winter winds that chilled me to the bone. And I know, I KNOW, they're just around the corner. Winter will be here before we know it - mark my words.

So if we're going to the lake, to the pool, to the bonfire, to the back yard - if we're taking walks, building s'mores, making road trips, visiting friends - we need to do it NOW.

The other part of the equation is time. Time, as any Trekkie will tell you, is the fire in which all men burn. We can't control it. We can't stop it.  I look around and I see my kids getting older, my friends battling health problems, and I feel a slight panic rising in my soul. How did all this time pass so fast?

Am I doing enough? Too much, or too little? Am I living, loving and laughing enough?

It's hard to tell. No, it's impossible to tell. All you can do is the best you can do. Striking a life balance is tough.

 All I know is when I sit in my back yard swing and hear my kids laughing, watch the dog playing and see my husband manning the grill is that today, I'm making it work.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Semantics key to success in blogging, life

The door to my daughter's teen cave opened with an ominous creak.

I saw this from the corner of my eye. I was in the master bedroom, multi-tasking: folding clothes, listening to music, and quasi-dancing to earn steps in my weekly Fitbit challenge.

The daughter inched closer and stuck her head in the door.

"That song is on my playlist," she said, sounding puzzled, looking at my phone.

Uh-oh. Not good. ONE TIME, about FIVE YEARS ago, I made the mistake of alluding to a song she liked that was playing on the car radio. "We use that in Jazzercise," I said innocently. Had I looked into the rear view mirror, I would have seen her face frozen into a mask of horror. She later informed me she had been permanently scarred.

I don't even take Jazzercise anymore. (And there isn't anything wrong with it. It was fun.)

But it doesn't matter.

Semantics matter. She's a teen. I'm a mom. Not mommy. Mom.

I used to "mommy blog." But I stopped. It seemed stupid. My kids were older; I wasn't really a mommy anymore, was I?  It had been fun. But that ship had sailed.

"You could 'family blog,' " my husband suggested. Hmmm. Wait.

I could, couldn't I?

Semantics. Maybe that's the key.

After all, I used to be a features writer. Now I'm a "content creator."

I still get paid to write.

Semantics. Mommy, mom, content,  articles .... It is, in the end, all just a manner of speaking.

Words matter, of course - just ask my daughter. But as we all know, actions matter more.

"Okay," she said doubtfully, looking at my phone. "I guess you can listen to it." She looked up at me pleadingly. "But .... just don't dance."