On My Mind, 02.07.11

by Rachael on February 7, 2011

Mondays at The Variegated Life: links to some stuff I’ve liked …

I’m sooooo glad that January is over. Though I quit that longtime freelancing gig that wasn’t working for me anymore (nor for the client, for that matter) back on 01.20, there was still lotsa work to finish up through the two weeks that followed. I’m sorry to say, however, that thus far February hasn’t been so great, either. Whatever feelings I was keeping at bay to get all that work done have flooded in. Usually, I don’t cry easily, but these days I cry at almost anything. And now, on top of all the rest of it, I’m sick. So I’ve been enjoying Meagan Francis’s blog, The Happiest Mom, where she’s been writing about her motto for the new year: Do fewer things. Do them better. Though right now I’m really just worrying about doing fewer things and figuring out when good enough is good enough.

In the meantime, I’m also just letting myself cry when I cry. This love story from the most recent episode of Radio Lab is almost too much for me to bear. I’m tearing up just putting the link into this post. Beautiful. Blessings to Alan and Emilie.

After I tweeted my post about February’s small changes, which includes a reaction to this post at The Huffington Post, Stonyfield Farms replied almost immediately with a link to this post by their CEO Gary Hirshberg, also at The Huffington Post. My thoughts?

  • First, I wondered why I was so angry at Stonyfield Farms and not the other companies involved. It came down to this: I liked and trusted their brand. I know why I liked the brand: I like their yogurt far, far better than any I’ve had before. (And the Critter? Can eat gallons of it in one sitting.) But when I tried to figure out if there was any substantial foundation to my trust of the brand, I found nothing. When it comes to the produce we eat at home, I do in fact know my farmer: here’s his farm. I’ve realized that I would like to be able to say the same for the dairy products we eat.
  • Second, Hirshberg’s call to “stand together” and “speak with one voice” against biotech rings hollow when Whole Foods Market is telling its customers that “true coexistence [with GE crops] is a must.” And who appointed them our representatives, anyway?

Speaking of representatives: The “forcible rape” provision is gone, but anti-choice H.R. 3 is not. Contact your representative to let him or her know your concerns — the bill should be dropped altogether!

For this one, alas, I have no link. On Thursday I read a lovely essay by Jenny Shank in Poets & Writers. The essay is not available online, but do find a copy if you can. In it, Shank writes about the rewards that may come after one gives up hope. A quotation:

I adopted the attitude that T.S. Eliot writes of in “East Coker”: “I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope / For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” But this didn’t lead to hopelessness—not exactly. It’s closer to what my college theology professor described as an “open-ended hope,” a hope that’s not directed at achieving any one specific thing. Sort of like a lawn sprinkler of hope that just sprays randomly around without any direct target.

And … before Beckett and I got married, I suggested that we give ourselves a new surname, as I guess some in Sweden do. I’ll spare you the conversation that followed, but what resulted is that I’ve got my own name, my husband has his own name, and the Critter has a hyphenated last name. I’ve worried (though not much) about the difficulties we may have created for our little one, but Blue Milk has set my worries to rest, for once and for all:

In case you’re wondering, we went the double-barrelled name for our kid. There are lots of problems with the double-barrelled I’ve been told. What will happen when all these double-barrelled kids get together with other double-barrelled kids and have kids themselves? Gosh, I don’t know, the world will go crazy and fall apart without the steadying influence of the patriarchy.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ Hobo Mama February 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Oh, my gosh, that last quote is too perfect. I kept my name. We went with my last name as a middle (and plan to for the next child, too) and my husband’s as the surname. Sam’s surname is so uncommon that, truly, he’s the only one currently in a position to keep it living into the next generation, so when we had a boy, I knew my FIL would have a conniption if we didn’t use it. I’ve started wondering if we should switch things up, though, if we have a girl…

Enjoying your links, and hope February starts going better for you!
Lauren @ Hobo Mama recently posted… Sunday Surf- Renovating- spoiling- &amp the hilarity of cosleeping

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Rachael February 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Thanks, Lauren! And today was the best day I’ve had in a long time, so we’ll see …

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Liz February 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

The Kid has my last name and Mr. Itch has his own. For him, it’s a sour issue, but there are many reasons why I did it. If we ever have another child, that one gets his name. It creates a division in our family (mostly from him and his sourness), but at the time (and still) I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m crying over everything, too. Work/life balance and it’s absolute lack of existence.
Liz recently posted… The Kid Reenacts the Great Outdoors

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Rachael February 9, 2011 at 10:11 PM

March can’t be this bad, right? At the very least, we’ll be seeing more of the sun….

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