This summer, I've been a relatively infrequent blogger. According to Google, which organizes my life for me, I'm averaging 4.7 posts a week, but from my perspective, they all feel slapped together. When was the last time I ruminated?
In June and July, rumination took a back seat to a blur of kids' activities, crazed 4-h frenzy, swimming, softball, horseback riding, visits from friends and/or going to visit friends ... and then there was the dishwashing -- because my kids insist on eating repeatedly. Something like six times a day, and that's not counting the popcorn popper.
And when I do have time to ponder lately (I'm switching from "ruminate" to "ponder" because ruminate can have that obsessive "chew the cud" connotation and you know how I feel about cows) I'm usually lying in bed without a computer at my fingertips (because I'm not that addicted) so by the time I get out of the bed and make it to a computer or a notepad, I've forgotten the seven brilliant ideas I had.
But the lack of lengthy, thoughtful posts has me thinking about exactly what kind of lengthy, thoughtful posts I compose when I do have the time to compose them. And it makes me think of all the various kinds of bloggers and the labels they wear, and I start to wonder, "What's my label?"
Am I a homeschooling blogger? A mommy blogger? A book blogger? A Catholic blogger? A political blogger? (A big no on that one, as I define my politics as: I'm Catholic.) Is this an author's blog, or just a blog by someone who happens to write? Is it a poetry blog? Is it the blog of someone who has too much time on her hands and posts things like this little bit of obsessive self-examination?
I guess all I'm really pondering is how much I dislike the labels in the blogging world. But it isn't just the blogging world, is it? It's the world at large. It's everywhere. I generally go blissfully through my life unaware of how others label me, or how they themselves are labeled. But sometimes, certain labels hit me. I was thinking of this the other night when our family watched "The Next Food Network Star."
One of the finalists is a stay-at-home mom of four young children. I love Melissa. She is one sharp mommy and I spotted that from the start. She has loads of cooking talent, and she's smart, adaptable, intuitive and creative. Last week, she recapped her life for them, and talked about having done a number of different things, including being successful and talented in business, but it wasn't enough for her, it didn't feed her soul. Her family and her cooking do feed her soul. One of the judges told her he was seeing her in a whole new way, and I realized it was one of the first times he had looked beyond her "mommy" label. She has been variously dumped into "mommy mayhem" and "harried housewife" categories, and I got really annoyed with the judges every time they said such things. If you happen to be a mom, and you talk quickly, suddenly you're a harried housewife and your life is full of mommy mayhem. Arrgh.
I identified with Melissa, not because I have a shred of cooking talent, but because I've done a lot of different things in my life, too, and it took awhile to figure out what fed my soul. Years ago, when I quit a job in the business world to go back to school, I told my boss that I was thinking of becoming a counselor or psychologist (obviously I didn't go that route, but I don't want to digress, so let's keep moving.) He rolled his eyes at me and said, "What a waste! If you'd said law school, I could see it, but counseling? Sheesh."
He had an idea that a woman with a brain should have a certain kind of life, a certain kind of career, and "the helping careers" just didn't pay enough for people with brains. Of course, I ended up taking a job (stay-at-home mom) that pays even less than counseling, and I'm sure that if I ran into that old boss today, he'd be even more horrified than he was the day he sat across my desk and told me I was making a huge mistake.
My point, if I have one, is this: although I understand the usefulness of labels to help us sort, sift and save time, labels can also be limiting and misleading. That's all. I have no idea what kind of blogger I am, what kind of mom I am, what kind of brain I have, what label I fit, or if it even matters. I suppose I just, since I had the time today, wanted to ruminate a little bit on blogging, labels, Melissa, and the assumptions people make about stay-at-home mommies.
It felt good to ruminate.