I enjoyed Dr Vs post about writing being a habit despite the kids and puppy (oh I know that combination all too well). I read his link to The Myth of the Perfect Writing Environment … I took his message to heart. I tried to get up at 5 AM like him. Really I did….but eww? It was dark out? And cold? Ick.
So, to get my writing in tonight I let the kids watch Home Alone 3 and eat dinner on the floor in front of the TV. I’m guessing that is not what he meant me to do? But, they don’t watch very much TV really, and most of the time they are sitting with me at the table being force-fed art history so its okay – right?
All week I have been struggling with an existentialist question. I am certain that it is one that many new bloggers face:
If you blog and no one reads it, did you write at all?
I did not really begin this blog to gain readers, true. I started it to have a creative outlet, to practice writing, to improve, to challenge myself and to get some of the thoughts about art, parenting, and daily life out of my head and onto “paper”. I have struggled a bit with the scope of this blog; I have questioned the combination of blogging about art/parenting/pediatrics.
Somedays I am too busy trying to balance clinic and home to come up with a good idea to write about. More often, the ideas are busting out of my head begging to get written about but the time is short.
Mostly lately it has seemed sort of quiet around here. Then tonight, I logged on and noticed an unusually high number of visits to my site today. A bit of research led me to the reason why. Bryan Vartabedian, MD of 33charts.com and his post highlighting voices from the medical blogosphere that he has enjoyed; those that are unique and compelling. I am, quite simply, honored to have been included.
It seems perhaps that my fallen tree made a sound after all.
A few days ago the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) parent education site Healthy Children published a list of New Year’s resolutions for kids. They ranged from “I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong” for preschoolers to “I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol” for teens. My first and lasting reaction was “Seriously? New Year’s resolutions for children?” You see, to me New Year’s resolutions have always smacked of being insecure and impetuous – certainly not traits I wish to instill in my children. While the first day of the year is a powerful time to sit back and take stock of one’s self, I would rather have my kids work on an ongoing and even basis to improve their actions. It seems making resolutions once a year sets one up for failure. Why not simply assess our path as we walk it?
Better perhaps, to explain my thinking by looking at my own past history with resolutions. As a teen and 20-something the resolutions I made were the usual ones: “I will lose 10 lbs” or “I will exercise everyday”. They to me conveyed a sense of dissatisfaction with myself or an insecurity that was only fed by the inevitable “falling off the wagon”. I mean really? Who exercises every day? Eventually I came to a comfortable place of completely swearing off New Years resolutions completely – no unrealistic goals and no inevitable failure to start the year off with. Much better! I have broken my no-resolutions-resolution a few times. Twice I resolved to stretch daily…and, you guessed it! I failed after about two weeks both times. Last year, I loudly resolved in front of my family to NOT answer anyone who was yelling to me from another room or part of the house. If they wanted to talk with me they would learn by my stubborn silence to come talk with me face-to-face. It has had mixed results. They still try to yell but I feel a sense of liberation as I ignore them!
Returning to the AAP’s list of children’s resolutions, instead of teaching our children that on one night a year we make personal goals I have a different idea. As parents let’s plan to make family dinners a priority and enjoy the discussions that bloom when we eat together. At those dinners talk about goals and actions. Work into our weekly lives self assessment and improvement. Children will learn more from looking together with us at specific daily examples (playground tussles, hallways taunts, forgotten homework) and answering our questions of “how can you do this better tomorrow?”. Taking self-improvement in small steps sets them up for success and a lifetime of being comfortable admitting their faults and failures and used to taking steps to “make it right” – every day, not just at New Year’s.
A few years ago a close friend at our yearly dinner party on New Year’s Eve announced that her resolution was to start a Facebook page! “What? Why?” We all asked with giggles around the table. She explained that she wanted to stay current, to see what all the hoopla was about and enjoy the fun. I realized her wisdom. The resolution did not show insecurity but rather strength, it was fun and humorous. It was certainly easy to stick to – we all know the addictive power of Facebook (I wonder did she resolve to spend less time on FB the next year?).
Now, having thoroughly dissed New Year’s resolutions here…It looks like I am starting a long thought-about blog. Is this perhaps my 2011 resolution made in the spirit of fun and exploration that my friend resolved to join Facebook?