Entries Tagged 'Navel Gazing' ↓

Arranging for Goodbye

I started this post off as a comment in a response to Rescue Me: Over-Protective, Helicopter Parents

I realized my response became rambling and self absorbed, so it’s here.

As a parent of younger children, only one of who has reached double digits, there is a twisted hypocrisy out there. Your children must behave perfectly, but by God don’t you dare discipline them in an unapproved manner. Don’t hover, but look at that mom over there not paying enough attention to her children, we should sit here and congratulate ourselves on our superior parenting ability, oh little Johnny don’t climb so high on the approved playground equipment.

I don’t know what the balance is or if there is even a balance to attain.

I’m a single parent and my kids’ father has the children on his off days, the split is as close to 50 50 that his schedule will allow. This works out well for them and I know this is the result of decisions I made toward finding my own happiness and we are cooperative co-parents. Yet, there is a little part of me that resents the fact that the custodial rotation means my days start at 5am and don’t end until late in the evening and involve a juggle of child shlepping and work and by the time my non-working custodial days roll around I’m an exhausted mess.

It is what it is.

I was a latchkey child given too much responsibility too young. This cannot be undone and simply was the way of the time. My youngest sister is now dead and I cannot begin to explain the guilt over this. It is a Pandora’s box of pain and what ifs. If I had been a better role model, if I had paid more attention, if I hadn’t kicked her out when I had guardianship. . . shoving those back in or letting them go is unimaginably hard. Will I make the same mistakes with my own children, is this a cycle that I’ll see repeated?

Circumstances are what they are and we make the best of them. At my children’s recent parent teacher conferences I learned how proud they are of me. They see the work I do and I guess, maybe, I’m not screwing everything up. Maybe. Although it always feels like I am and that I have no idea what I’m doing. Despite everything this family has been through, we are still moving forward and they give all appearances of being healthy and well adjusted. Obnoxious, but well adjusted.  I’m okay with obnoxious.

Time will bear this out.

I’m trying.

Today, well, now it’s yesterday, I spent time with my mother and stepfather picking out Laura’s gravestone. We had her cremated in Tacoma and we had her funeral, here, back in August.

It’s time for us to lay her to rest, to let her go, and try, as hard as it is, to get back to living.

There are now more good days than bad, but I never know what will set me off. Picking out the gravestone makes sense, watching Walking Dead does not. Although I have to ask whose bright idea was it to put all that medical trauma into my favorite show? No, I don’t expect the world to stop for my grief.

I wish we still wore black armbands or had some outward symbol of pain, because there are days when the cheerful, “Hey Heather, how are you?” from someone ends up with an acquaintance getting broadsided with an accidental blurt of truth, “I’m not okay,” it’s not fair to them. They simply didn’t know that how are things is exactly the wrong question right now.

Sometimes I try to just shrug and let the question go.

Sometimes I can’t.

Yesterday I couldn’t manage to find the light, so I fell in the dark.

I’m hoping today is better; I’m standing, there’s that.

As of today I’ve been working for FeedBlitz for a full year. A year ago I had fallen asleep at the wheel, exhausted. Today I’m tired, but it’s different.

I have hope again.

I have built a new life for myself I just want some time to enjoy it. I want life to chill out for a bit and quit bringing me to my knees. And I swear, if someone tells me that I need to spend more time on my knees to get through this, I’ll call them out for being an insensitive git. I will, with the ones I love, who care, one day, one step, one foot in front of the other.

Non-sequitor: The word count is 776, not quite perfect, which is fitting.

Embracing the dork


I make silly mistakes. Sometimes big, sometimes not, but generally there is an audience. I’m tired of feeling that “warm wash of shame” over stupid things that simply do not matter.

There have been nights I have sat straight up in bed regretting the most ridiculous things, because I worry that I’ll be called out for being not good enough? I may not know exactly what I worry about, but I do know that it is ridiculously tiring worrying about all those little things.

And? If we’re close enough friends that you have been in my home, that we have shared the same table, that we have laughed until we’ve cried. I think I want you to yank me aside and say, “Heather, it does not matter, knock it off.”

Yes, I committed the unpardonable sin of sharing a pic with my finger in it. Someone please take my keys, I’m obviously not going to manage at this adult thing.

Or maybe? Just maybe, I’m just human and I make silly mistakes and we will both get over them. Because? Today I got out and took a bike ride for the first time in I don’t know how long and it was beautiful and I felt good. Now there’s a little bit of me left in that picture.

/navel gazing

Use Your Klout Or How About Don’t

Saturday I was mic wrangling for the Type-A Parent Blogger Townhall Meeting. Jim Lin took a moment to remind us that marketers are people, too. I know this. Yet I can’t just let this topic go. I think the problem may be that the mistakes are so visible and feel very personal due the delivery method.

Spam isn’t personal, it’s very obvious that the email isn’t for me. “Make her cry at your man meat,” yeah, I just can’t relate, this makes it easy to delete and forget.

Halfway decent marketers do a good job of making even an email blast feel personal and I think therein lies the danger. When a boneheaded or insulting pitch arrives, the insult is perceived differently than when it’s carried out through other media. It takes a colossally offensive advertisement to rile me up and I suppose even then they are still creating effective brand recognition.

Last night an email loaded with arrogant ways to use your Klout score landed in my inbox. I thought I could leave it alone. I thought it would just sit there with all the other emails collecting virtual dust, waiting for a response. I should have deleted it.

I didn’t and now it’s still rolling through my head.

Disclosure: I have a modest Klout score and I got to go to their party in Las Vegas during Blog World Expo. I had a lot of fun. Once in a while I check my Klout score. I do this as just another way to put off more productive work (Yes, much like this post is also a procrastination tactic). I don’t obsess and I don’t include it in any metrics because it just isn’t that great and I really don’t think it matters that much.

From the email’s suggested ways to use your Klout score:

5) Problem resolution.
Your car breaks down in the middle of a road trip… Having a high Klout Score will often get you speedier service and a potential refund/credit, saving you valuable time and money.

If I ever hear of someone using their Klout score to bully a customer service rep into an upgrade, I will think less of that individual.

It is tacky.

It is saying, “Do you know who I am?”

Don’t be that person.

Call me on it if I ever am that person.


Because I’m a Braggy Braggart

And if I can’t brag here, then what?

It tells me nothing in terms of actual sales, but this is from the Kindle Store’s Cleaning, Caretaking and Relocating section. Which has 800 books.

Currently it’s 58 in Home & Garden which has over 20k.

So I’m not complaining.

And a random shot from the other day:

Split Screen

On one screen I’m looking at Engadget, watching the Verizon iPhone announcement.
On the other. . .

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

I don’t even know how to process what went down in Arizona. It hurts my heart and while I joke about “the crazy” it’s out there and it hurts people. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small. Sometimes it creeps in when we just can’t manage to live up to what we think the standards are.

I can’t process it now, so I’m letting myself be distracted by the new and the shiny. Heck, I don’t even want an iphone.

I just don’t know how to even acknowledge things. Perhaps it’s ok for me to admit that I feel terribly for the families, but that I cannot focus on it. I don’t think the 24 hour news cycle of rehashing everything over and over is at all helpful. So for now, I am going to look at gadgets and maybe when heads are cooler it will be time to see what, if anything can be done.

New Year, New Start

A few months ago, I came out of the closet. Literally, not metaphorically. Almost since I began working seriously on Home Ec 101, I’ve been hiding away in our master closet.  It really wasn’t the best solution.

I took over the spare / play / school / what the heck do we do with it room. It’s still dual purpose, used for school work, but I finally got around to hanging some things and making it my own.

The white board is actually just an old, framed poster. I just turned the print over so only the white showed. What do you know… it works perfectly. I swiped that idea from Make and Takes. I’ve been wanting one for a while, I just never remembered to pick one up while I was out. I figured, since I was already destroying the dry wall, what’s a couple more screws?

What started it? I was picking up a few things the kids had drug out, including that mobile hanging in the corner. We moved into this house, 6.5 years ago and I never got around to hanging it. Inertia kicks my butt every time.

Oh yeah, that is my coffee from this morning.

Outside that window there’s a big old oak, with lots of squirrels and those guys have been busy ensuring there are plenty of squirrels next year, too.  Oh, that? They’re just wrestling. . .

Because this Is My Scrapbook

First of all, if you’re waiting for an email from me, here’s why it’s late. Thanks @rww

Really though, I just wanted to save this tweet from the iSocket team.

Thanks guys!

If you’re actually wondering what the heck is iSocket? They are an ad serving platform. They take care of all the piddly aspects of selling your own ads. It’s a monthly fee, not commission. You can also backfill what you haven’t sold (yet!) with AdSense or  something similar.

You can reclaim your self-worth and break up with your ad network, whenever you’re ready.

I’m happy with them.  If you do check them out, let them know I sent you. They don’t pay me, they just make and send pictures like the one above and that makes me happy.

You like it when I’m happy, right?

Let’s Talk About Me

That’s what this is for, right?

I was interviewed on Monday by Srini Rao of BlogCastFM. Feel free to check out the podcast.

Heather Solos on Book Deals, In-Person Events, and Building Your Speaking Resume.

I think it went decently, of course I can’t listen to it objectively. All I can do is cringe every time I say uh.

We Did. Again.

Tim and I finally were married within the Catholic Church.
Many thanks to Father Ed for the pictures.

And tomorrow?

There’s turkey.

I Have Fun.

Heather, Allie, me and Catherine