Things I Sent To Meredith: Link Love Edition
April 23, 2009 § 3 Comments
I spend a lot of time searching for some sort of inspiration. Whether it’s a tutorial or a photo or a story or a song like I Really Like To Eat Potatoes, or something that reminds me of my childhood, my family, I never know what’s going to send me off on some tangent. I mean, really. If you can read What My Kids’ Art Says for five minutes without laughing, there’s something wrong with you, big time, and I weep that you cannot be fixed.
I am continually inspired by The Pioneer Woman, not only because of her talents as a writer, a mother, a cook, a hostess, a wife, a mother, but because her site offers something different in a sea of blogs and journals (which are also great). The site design is so clean and enticing that it almost seems like trickery, the way you click on one feature and see links to three other things you want to read. The pictures and quotes and testimonials keep you meandering from story to story until your husband says “ARE YOU COMING TO BED OR WHAT?”.
I’m also 100% in love with the humor, dog anthropomorphism and brilliantly creative mind of Lollychops, whose stories of her journeys through art and craft are real, hilarious and down to earth.
Sometimes (usually) I just like to waste time as I wait for the next time I get to eat. That’s where websites like AnimalStacks! come in handy. Do you love animals? Do you love seein them all in a big pile or standing on top of each other like the brementown musicians? Then I have to insist that you visit and bookmark this blog and send in your submissions. It’s a new, burgeoning little web phenomenon and we all need to keep it alive!
Other times I stumble across something that is inspiring in its mission, and so clear and beautiful in that mission that I hate to see it go unnoticed. When I was pregnant, I was very afraid that I would have Post Partum Depression. Not only did my mother suffer from PPD, but I’ve had depression and anxiety since around July of 2000; and the high expectations I put on myself (and frankly my baby) when I finally became pregnant in 2006 made me wonder if I was setting myself up for failure. I prepared myself, reached out for help and watched for the symptoms of this quiet, unspoken tragedy and got through my first months of motherhood with great success.
I pray for those who don’t find success as easily, and I applaud near:far, a simple, helpful, visually soothing blog that follows the lives of two women, two friends supporting each other through their PPD. Watching them find lifelines in the tiniest thing, working, straining toward happiness makes me want to stand up and cheer for their bravery and strength, for every tiny triumph. DON’T EVER be ashamed of asking for help. It doesn’t have to be post partum depression. It doesn’t have to be motherhood. Whatever is hurting your heart, your soul, whatever is keeping you from waking up smiling, looking forward to the life you’ve been given…work through it. It’s hard work, it hurts. But I guarantee you’ll work through it easier if you don’t do it alone.
At lunch today I went to my usual restaurant, sat in my usual seat, eating my usual soup when I saw a blur of white in my peripheral vision. Outside the building, a group of at least thirty people were dressed completely in white, with white scarves tied around their heads, hiding their hair. Their make up was almost scary, but mostly clownish, black, white and red, outlining their huge, exaggerated expressions. Each troupe member held a paper mask on a stick, a blown up black and white photo of what looked like “typical fifties family members”. Some were children, some were smiling, Donna Reed like mothers, some were proud fathers with neat haircuts. The walked by in a single file, singing I believe, although I couldn’t hear them.
Beside me, not even two feet away, two people sat engrossed in a serious business conversation while simultaneously checking facts and figures on their blackberries. Did the white blur catch their peripheral vision? I don’t know. But it amazed me that such a spectacle could exist unnoticed only yards from their faces. Had they just turned their heads slightly, lifted their eyes for a moment to think, or took a break from their meeting, what a story they would have had.
But what about me? The White Parade marched by slowly, for more than thirty seconds. It would have been no skin off my nose to say “hey look”, to share that little shot of bizarre in a day of Chicago boring. There’s great stuff everywhere – meaningful, inspiring, helpful, shocking, hilarious, that can make our lives just a touch better. Sometimes all we have to do is look up, or learn how to share.