My life is ordinary. I blog about the funny and serious moments. I attempt to bring them to life for you and for me.
I believe the significance of ordinary moments.
But I find myself hiding in my ordinary life. Wrapping myself in the day-to-day so I don’t have to find an opinion on Egypt or health care or Planned Parenthood. I find myself less likely to speak up and out. To give time and money.
When my son was first born, I wasn’t like this. We went to rallies. We left pamphlets in support of Obama on the front steps of our neighbors.
I wanted him to grow up with a sense of something greater than himself. I wanted E to know that we had so much and others had so little.
E and I ended up on the front page of MoveOn.org in 2007.
It was before health care got wrapped up in the misunderstandings about socialism and oppression. It was back when a few of us just wanted people to stop people from suffering in our E.R.s from preventable illnesses. We wanted to improve outcomes and access. We didn’t think caring was controversial.
I was proud to be there.
But I began to read accusations of politicizing our children. Subtle and overt. And I grew concerned
I also began to be more noticed on the Internet. I had a blog. People read it who we knew and didn’t know. When I voiced an opinion, I had to manage more responses. I wasn’t surrounded by people who only agreed with me or who I counted on to disagree with me (hi family!).
But I also realized that every thought and opinion that went through my head was not well thought out.
I needed to research those opinion pieces before I posted them. I could cause damage if I didn’t pay attention. Damage to others. And damage to my own reputation.
I began to care about my readers. Not just in the sense of WANTING MORE because controversy is a sure-fire way to find more page hits and readers. I cared about hurting them. Shocking them. I wanted to walk with my readers, not have them feel condemned.
I wanted everyone to have a voice. But it’s hard when I’m liberal and spiritual. When I love God and the power of prayer and hate guns and the death penalty.
And I don’t often have the time to research because today everyone is putting out an opinion. If I don’t find the source, I can’t make a solid argument.
But I have time to tweet about my kid’s pooping or how much I hate the car in front of me. Because it’s just my ordinary life.
And through my ordinary comments and posts, people were helped. Opportunities were given and received. Support. Love. Disagreement.
But I feel the folding into my ordinary life. The shying away from these matters. When I realized that I didn’t understand what was going on in Egypt for days, I was embarrassed.
I, originally, joined Twitter for the politics. I live in a conservative area, and I was overjoyed to connect with so many progressives. I couldn’t believe so many people shared my hopes for our country.
And I considered making my blog progressive and political. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t all I cared about or felt inspired to discuss.
So I combined the two at times.
And then, one day, I stopped. Oh, I, occasionally, would tweet something as if to prove that I still cared about the world beyond these ten blocks. I do care. But I wasn’t following up my heart with action.
I stopped giving to charities. I felt like we were struggling financially, but am I just not prioritizing giving rather than getting?
I stopped talking about my opinions on the world, our politicians, the policies that change our lives. I felt like my writing had gone in a different direction, but am I just scared of the consequences?
My life is important. And my words and stories about the ordinary are testimonies to the power of women and families and individuals. A friend told me before a social media talk: You’re the only one standing up for mothers.
And while I’m not really the only one, I believe in the importance of blogs to tell the stories of our lives. To give meaning and comfort and laughter and hope.
But I also realized that I would give up this blog if it meant health care for everyone.
I would give up Twitter for equal pay for women.
I am honored to give my voice to the ordinary. My life is wonderful, but it is small. And I cannot give all my time and energy to my ordinary life when there are extraordinary events that need me, too.
Thanks to Neil and his post on Memoirs for inspiring this post.