Monday, January 30, 2017

Dear Pinterest Moms...

Dear Pinterest Moms,

I want to share this story with you. Our nation is divided at the moment, but this will not a heavy political debate dressing women's rights or the President or whatever ills create a debate between your friends and yourself. It will, however, address how we women treat each other in this unsure climate.

It the not so distant past, I was with a group of ladies who rolled their eyes at a "Pinterest mom" and her social media posts--you know someone who uses the app to create all kinds of  crafts, great recipes, and so on. As I listened in, they were scoffing at the woman's need to look perfect to everyone, as in this was the only reason she--or any other woman they insinuated--might enjoy cooking or making crafts for the kids. At the time I held my tongue for the most part, perhaps weakly defending with how I liked cooking and crafting. I am a feminist, so discussing how I still enjoy certain gender roles often gets unfairly dismissed.


 
Then I became a Pinterest Mom. My son is hyperactive and cannot even sit still. So to save my sanity I Googled crafts for us to make pretty much on a daily basis, so converting to Pinterism only took a matter of time. With the pride of a mom who thoroughly enjoyed crafting with her son, I posted our works on SnapChat and sometimes on Facebook for our foreign friends and family to feel a part of our world. Then I remembered that day with the sassy critics of the Pinterest Mom. I was now her. Somewhere out there woman were most likely laughing at how I wanted to look good and how I want to seem perfect, which never crossed my mind or would ever be my ambition. I simply love to share. When I see a mother sharing a craft, I take a screenshot so I can give it a try too.
 
I came to a realization: if praise and perfection was not my end goal, it probably isn't for other women either. So why would these critics tear someone down who is making something nice for her family, who simply wants to share the experience? Because we're insecure. I've noticed a lot of people, when they feel as if they should be doing something--like craft time with their kids--and they don't have the time, inclination, or energy, they lash out. They pick on the person who makes them see their own shortcomings. And this is all done unconsciously.

Recently, I went Pinterest crazy for my son's birthday; I actually halted a few projects to keep in more simple. I didn't do it to get praise or to seem perfect. I did it because I like to do these things. I did it because, like my son, I have trouble sitting still and relaxing. But the main reason I did it was to see the smile of utter joy on my son's five-year-old face when he saw I brought to life the party he envisioned and asked for. And I would do anything to see that smile again and again.

So I will use Pinterst. I will craft with my child and try from-scratch recipes. And most importantly I will stick up for those who want to be great parents and to make their kids happy. I will try to make others see that we don't do things because we want everyone to think we're supermom; we do them so one child (or however many kids) thinks we are. Each child only has one childhood, and I want my child to look back at it and say it was amazing, not because all the toys he got and places he got to go, but because of all the time his parents spent with him simply creating something together.

So Pinterest Moms, I applaud you. I'm in your ranks now. Post your successes and your failures. Make your kids happy through these projects. And own it next time someone has the audacity to criticize.

Peace and Love,

Fellow Pinerest Mom

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hyperactive Procrastination

As I sit down here to write this, I'm realizing I'm performing another type of procrastination. I'm not doing what I should be doing, but instead taking on something else to occupy my time. Instead of focusing on my task, I do everything and anything possible to avoid my task. This, in a sense, is what I call hyperactive procrastination. This may just sound like your regular ole procrastination, basically avoiding or delaying a task, or if you get into psychological jargon it's really a self-control issue without the forethought of repercussions. And what I'm talking about is just that, but it's a bit more...well, hyper.

Right now, I should be sending out query letters to attempt to publish a novel. For those not in the writing industry, they're letters sent to gain representation in hopes to get published; in a sense, you sell your novel and yourself to agents. I'm not going to lie, my procrastination is out of control. I have three novels that have been completed, revised, and at least edited once. I have researched a list of thirty agents that are accepting submissions for each book's genre. I have crafted these query letters. All that is left is to personalize the letter for each agent by doing a little more research and emailing it. Yet, it has not been done. It is safe to say I had most of this completed over a year ago for the first novel.

Instead of doing what I should, I wrote two more. Not only that, I also continued the storyline of one into a second book of the series, then a third. In fact, when this blog is completed, I probably will attempt to finish the last couple chapters of book 3--without ever attempting to sell the first one. The writing comes easily and I love to write. At times I have to write or my imagination plagues me and I can't sleep. So whenever I can--even if I shouldn't--I write.

Right, so this might just sounds like ADHD, not procrastination. However, if I didn't feel like writing, I'd devour a book, detail my house, take my son onto another adventure; I will do any and everything to avoid something I dread doing. It's not really a lack of focus; I can easily focus when I want to.  This is where the hyperactivity part comes in. I never stop. I cannot sit down and simply relax or even watch TV without something else occupying my time. The only two exceptions to sitting still are if I'm reading or writing. I'm always moving, always doing something all the time. My day is consistently plotted out with things to do. Therefore, when you constantly do things on a frantic basis to avoid a particular task, I think we should call this hyperactive procrastination.

This oxymoron makes sense if you think about it. Now, how does one attempt to correct it? I wish I knew because I might have rounds of query letters out by now if I could avoid my hyperactive procrastination.