Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stoop or Soar? I think I'll fly, bitches.

I'm not here to blow wind up your skirt. There is an internal battle daily between optimistic me and pessimistic me. Which side wins is directly dependent on the amount of sleep that I have gotten the night before. I do make a conscious effort to find beauty and gratitude in my life on a daily basis.... and if I can't do that, I try and at least find humor..... and if I can't do that, I watch reality TV and go to bed.

Some days I rock at positivity, complete with glorious mental imagery (What? I'm creative- we creative types do weird things). Other days I am simply irritated by optimism and I just want to retreat to a quiet place and read. I think that this is "normal" for humans. We are, after all, inherently flawed. Right?

So even though I woke up yesterday feeling like I fell out a the garbage truck as it was driving by my house, like I always do the glass was basically half full, it was a tough day. Thing 2 was sick with a high fever and the only thing that made him happy was to be in my arms. So I held him. All day. I sat in Eleanor and rocked the baby until he fell asleep with his head on my apparently pillow-like belly. His fever had made him uncharacteristically docile, and I'm sure the vomiting didn't help either.

So we rocked, and rocked and rocked the day away.

Dishes were left on the counter, laundry was left in the dryer, toys were strewn across the floor, yet we rocked.

On the bright side, I got to sit on my butt all day and not feel guilt of any kind because my baby needed me. Okay, this is not even true, because Thing 1 was bored out of his mind. Guilt-free sitting is probably not possible for me. I grew up on a farm people. We did not rest in the middle of the day. Ever. Ever. It was like this unknown deep voice booming out from the heavens over us "Though shalt not lie down in the middle of the day!" Okay, the booming voice was my dad's, and it wasn't coming from heaven, but more from the vicinity of the kitchen. Shit, you couldn't even be idle for two seconds around that man. Even if you were standing there, pondering whether you wanted a cookie or an apple, he thought that you needed a job and would demand "What are you doing right now? I need help with moving that pile of railroad ties! Put on your boots and gloves and meet me outside!" Quickly I learned to bring home ALL of my textbooks and constantly have them strewn out in front of me, signalling to him that I was doing something useful. (Then I would watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in while "studying".) So now anytime I get to "rest" all day, I slyly take it, like a child stealing a lollipop. I am honestly grateful for the rest, as my batteries are often drained. Some people would use this rest time for meditation or prayer. Being a person who always makes good use of her time, I caught up on about four episodes of Ellen and some Internet reading.

Obviously, on the ick side, I was only sitting on my arse because my little pumpkin felt awful, but it paid off because he was a bit better by bedtime.

While rocking the baby, I was reading some of the traffic sources for my blog. I noticed something that made my heart skip a beat. I was getting traffic from something called "Christian Forums". "Shit.", I thought. "What material of mine would be appropriate for something called Christian Forums?" So I clicked on it and found that some clearly intelligent person with a sense of humor liked and shared a link to my How to Leave the House with Children comedy post , where I think I only used one naughty word. I felt temporarily relieved.... that is, until I read the comments from other Christians using this forum that proudly declares them to be people of Jesus. People pretty much hated me. Two of them actually accused me of being things that were quite insulting. What. The. Fuckity Fuck? Now, I happen to come from a long line of Catholics (Go Breeders!) and even though I found a different church that better suits me, I am still a Christian (the kind that doesn't announce it to everyone she meets). Upon reading this garbage written about me with hate, all I could think was "Well. That doesn't seem very "Christian-like", now does it?"

I will admit two things:

1. I am nowhere near God, Jesus, Mother Theresa or even Jessica Alba, and Karmically, I probably deserve some reminders of that.

2. I knew that putting myself "out there" on the World Wide Web could potentially create unfavorable backlash targeted at me. I am the polar opposite of thick-skinned and I knew that shit could be slung at me, yet I consciously chose to push forward and put my thoughts and words out there for criticism. That is exceedingly frightening and difficult for me, as, I assure you, I am my own worst critic.

Yet, this blog has been such an uplifting place for me, filled with messages from wickedly funny people who dig my posts, and aside from one "anonymous" douche-bag marking my facebook page as "spam that contains derogatory/inflammatory information", I have only gotten positive and encouraging words from people.

I would like to take this moment to sincerely say THANK YOU to my readers. And extra thanks to those of you who linked to me and take the time to comment, because knowing that people are actually reading and enjoying what I write makes me feel like I am giving something positive to society (other than the two awesome kids that I am raising), and that makes me feel useful, which in turn makes me feel good about myself. Let's face it, we all need to feel good about ourselves. Then the goodness trickles down to those that we encounter and that whole "pay if forward" theory is set into motion.

Whether my readers are Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, or what-have-you, I love you. You guys make my day every time I log on to find that my words meant something to you, and your positive and hilarious messages far outweigh a couple of "God Like" people's derogatory remarks.

If I could ask two things from you today:

1. Could you send some positive thoughts/prayers/good vibes to Thing 2? I hate to see my precious ones not feeling well.
2. Pay that good shit forward. I promise that I will.

Peace Be With You
(and also with you),
Johi

What sorts of negative things have you encountered with your personal work? How did you deal with it?

24 comments:

  1. you keep putting yourself out there and i'll keep reading. :)

    i hope your thing 2 gets better today!

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  2. As a fellow Catholic/farm girl who is all grown up, and now has three of my own kiddos, please keep paying it forward to me!

    I posted something once about how as a teacher, I didn't work in the summer and used to feel guilty about it.

    Boy, have I changed...

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  3. One of my favorite pictures ever: http://godhatesprotesters.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/fred-phelps-1.jpg

    That was taken at Vanderbilt my freshman year. Just proof that you cant take people who are willing to pass judgement too seriously :)

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  4. Here's what someone wrote about a certain book we've all heard of:

    "The violent language of "Go the F*** to Sleep" is not the least bit funny, when one considers how many neglected children fall asleep each night praying for a parent who'd care enough to hold them, nurture them and read to them."

    Well yes. If you're thinking about neglected children you're unlikely to laugh at much. But who the heck reads that book and thinks about neglected children? Probably the same people who don't like your writing. There are some humor-impaired people out there. Don't let it get you down! We love you.

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  5. I never understood how people (Christian or not) can be so mean. I come across things all the time that make me cringe or think this person is off their rocker (not on your blog; I mean, clearly you're nuts, but in a makes-me-want-to-hang-around-with-you-and-laugh-my-ass-off kind of way) ... anyway, I have never, ever left a mean, hurtful comment to anyone. Why do people do that? I LOVE your blog and I LOVE your humor, your insight and your wit. And I would NEVER want you to stop.

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  6. Bought a cup of coffee for the grumpy man at Starbucks after I read this and you know what? It got both of us to smile. Payin' it forward, girlfriend. . .payin' it forward.

    PS: Sending much love, rest, and Pedialyte to Thing 2. Give him smooches from all of his cyber-mamas and don't let the religious right get you down. :)

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  7. I grew up on a farm, too. Idle hands are the devil's playground and all that. I have also been saying for years that religious beliefs do not make you better than everyone else. They don't make you smarter, prettier, or more fun to hang around. The latter is especially true for the nutbags who gave you a hard time. What is with people like that? they look doen their shiny little pointy noses at everyone else, and never see taht they are awful. I think you're awesome.

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  8. Someone is always gonna hate. And although it obviously stings because you are putting yourself out there in a most personal way and getting nastiness in return, you can't let it get to you. Haters are gonna hate. And sometimes they are gonna hide behind their religious beliefs as reasons to be assholes. Just know that of the few disparaging comments you may get, there are hundreds of people who loved what you did. Probably more.

    Also . . . sending good vibes and unicorn kisses (I'm sure they have magical healing powers) to your little one. Having a sickie is never fun for mamma or kiddo. Hope he feels better soon and you can get back to your laundry and dishes. Slacker.

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  9. I am glad that you have put yourself out there. I get funny looks from people when I call my boys "the weasles" so Thing 1 & Thing 2 crack me up! You tell it like it is and I love your humor. I'm relieved there are other moms who realize parenting is not always Martha Stewart perfection! Keep on blogging!!!

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  10. Hey, you've made it if you are getting ripped online! Ask Dooce!

    Don't you get tired of the constant negativity and negative people ... some people aren't happy unless they are raining on other people's parades ... we know some of those people.

    Hope he feels better soon! I hate it when Bubby is sick ... nothing is worse.

    XOXO

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  11. Oh, poor sick baby! I'm not a farm girl, but I'm an Iowan and I feel ridiculously guilty if I'm not busy ALL OF THE TIME. Babies that need to be held or no, sometimes it's just nice to have a day where all you do is sit around.

    And what the hell is with this trend for being a complete hard-on about absolutely everything that some Christians have undertaken recently? Is it ever getting tiresome.
    I have enjoyed your wit and humor since the day we met, and I for one am very thankful you decided to start blogging! Keep that derogatory /inflammatory information coming!

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  12. That's pretty messed up that people on a Christian Forum are talking crap but I guess it is the Internet, anything goes. I actually thought that post you linked to was very funny and not at all offensive. To each their own I guess.

    I'm a new reader to your blog and I love it. Keep on writing and don't let them get you down! And good wishes for Thing 2 - I hope he feels better soon.

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  13. I totally wrote about this half full/half empty stuff on my blog today (where I have posted a link to your blog because I love you!). I think you're great!! And good vibes to Thing 2 coming from Minneapolis.

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  14. Take care of that sweet boy! Boo on fevers and sick babies. :( Ignore the haters! I will always read whatever you write because you are real. God likes that, too.

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  15. I hope that your baby gets to feeling better real soon!

    All I can say about the message board hoo-haa is "Haters gonna hate". I went back..way back..to dig up my blog post that caused a 'riot'. It was a brief post poking fun at a romance novel title (like that isn't a ripe subject for humor anyways). And I guess I ruffled some feathers because I got nine comments from fans of the novelist.

    http://realworldgirl.blogspot.com/2008/10/everyone-needs-good-fork.html

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  16. Sorry you came across such hate. I just recenty found you and have spent the past several days reading your backlog.

    I wanted to let you know I think you are funny and inpirational. Keep up the good work.

    Also I totally understand where you are with thing 2. I just got vomited on. Hopefully our little ones feel better soon.

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  17. I am with you 100% on the sitting thing being a major source of guilt. I can't shake that, either. Doesn't help that my spouse isn't into my sitting when I could be doing, but whatever.

    I think it's wonderful that you are sitting, rocking your child and ignoring all that guilt piling up. The sacrifices we make for them....

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  18. I feel so guilty when I am unproductive, but I think some days your body and mind just need a rest. Don't worry about those people...you rock!

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  19. Thanks everyone! I am pleased to announce that your positivity brought me a lot closer to tears than any judgemental harshness from "the others".
    I love the good thoughts, "the weasles", that photograph, being called inspirational (lol!) and all the fellow farm-kid/inability to rest without guilt remarks. Let's all take 5 minutes to sit on our guilty, crude humor loving asses and do nothing today!

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  20. Religious people probably hate me too. I'm wondering if I should go check my feeds or just say 'eff it'. I love you, Johi, and imma comin' to take you out on that date you promised me. Wear something pretty.

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  21. I so totally heart you. You is good people.

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  22. Keep the blogs coming Johi. I look forward to reading them. I literally laugh out loud as I read them.
    Some Christians are gonna hate - some go around and break off the little legs on the Darwin fish on the back of people's cars. Seriously.
    I hope Thing 2 feels better and that he doesn't "share" with everyone in the house. Sending good vibes your way.
    As far as the whole half empty/full glass. As a person working on their masters in physics education, I must say... The proportion of air molecules and liquid may change but the glass is always full.
    Peace, Love, and Chicken soup-
    Kate

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  23. It's awkward to read what people are saying about you on the interwebs. My review of Jane Eyre was linked to recently on IMDB, and some people were like "rawr, she's just a hater trying to be all cool by hating stuff other people like"

    and I was like "I... don't think so."

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  24. Well, I think you cannot take them seriously. I have laughed out loud while reading some of your posts (and forwarded links to a particular friend (mother) of mine). The only complaint I ever have is when liquid comes out my nose.

    Cheers to you and Thing 2,
    Lunachance

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