On My Mind: 06.27.11

by Rachael on June 27, 2011

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

Today you can find me contributing to the “Monday’s Mamas” series at The Artful Mama, for which I wrote about three principles for finding balance as a work-at-home mother. From the article:

Making Work at Home Work by Mary M. Byers made a big difference to me in my first year as a work-at-home mother. I actually began working at home as a freelance writer and editor more than a year before I became a mother, and so I already had more or less dependable work habits, a roster of clients, and systems for tracking invoices and my expenses. What I didn’t have was any sense of how to find balance in caring for my family’s needs, my clients’ needs, and my own needs (including my creative needs as a poet). Frankly, nearly three years later I still haven’t figured it out: too often, for example, I rely on late nights working to get the job done. But as I make my way toward a healthier balance, I keep in mind three principles from the beginning of Byers’s book. And, though Byers’s audience is work-at-home mothers, I believe these principles can help to guide all working parents who are striving for balance in their personal and professional lives.

To find out what those three principles are, click here!

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At Grist, Michelle Nijuis interviews psychologist John Fraser and asks if environmentalists need shrinks. After all, bearing witness to the trauma we humans are causing in the environment can itself be traumatic. Fraser points out that we generally “tell the story of nature as a tragedy” and instead offers a comic vision (italics mine):

The whole way we’ve created our cities is really a comedy of errors. We think we have the power to build a levy that can hold back all of the Gulf of Mexico? OK, really? Aren’t we awfully proud little monkeys? I think that we can start to realize how pride and our own good intentions have led us to live with blinders — and have created conditions that allow for not only ironic humor but quite frankly very absurdist humor. It may be shocking to say that when people are dying, but it can translate into absurdist humor too.

If we want to move to a new place, we have to think the way comedians think. In our society, comedians have permission to mention the unmentionable — to talk about things that are disturbing and morally challenging. Sometimes they go too far, but most often they point out our society’s hubris. I think we can go there in the environmental movement. We can start to look for the humor in what we see around us, find the irony and the absurdity and start to let it out.

“Permission to mention the unmentionable” — just like the Fool in a comedy by Shakespeare, yes?

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At Dreaming Aloud, Lucy did a round-up linking to several posts in which women took on taboo emotional subjects. On the subject of anger, I especially enjoyed Earthenwitch’s Note to self: it is not all bloody“; she writes:

I think that I need to learn not to feel terrible about feeling terrible. I am cross, sometimes. I am unreasonable. I am bad-tempered, resentful and self-pitying. But then how is this girl to learn the strength of my love for her if she remains unaware that, at times, it is tempered by bloody hard work and the need to keep on keeping on? I hope that she sees my anger for what it is: a transitory reaction, part of the range of normal human emotions which must be dealt with, both as the recipient and as the, er, feeler.

It is not all bloody. It just does a good impression sometimes. And that is OK. This too shall pass.

Lucy also linked to a post at The New Mommy Files in which, given the commonness of abuse and neglect, addiction, and mental illness, Melissa questions the self-imposed isolation of those whose upbringing was less than ideal. She writes:

My fear is that our silence is a large part of what makes us and others feel isolated. Isolation, in turn, keeps us from healing our hurts so that we can protect our own families from the cycle of dysfunction of which we were a part. How can we break the cycle if we’re unable to acknowledge our place in it?

It’s an important read, even for those of us who have not had to contend with such difficulties in their upbringing — because it’s likely that we have friends or loved ones who did.

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Blue Milk explainsyet again — that “rapists raping leads to rape. The victim is never to blame.” Never.

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