Writing on the internet every day can be quite the strange thing. So far this year this blog will have 360 posts, this might be the 361st. That’s quite a lot of stuff isn’t it? There’s a whole stack of reasons that I do what I do: I can get paid and am actually making a living from it now, all from my kitchen table while living in the country and being able to be around for my kids. That’s cool. There’s the stuff that I want to say, the stuff that I sometimes need to share (there can be no doubts that at times this blog has been a couch for me to lay down on and get my thoughts out to process various things: being a wife or Mum) and then there’s the stuff that I know, that I think other people might like to know about to. Whether that’s where to get some pretty sheets from, or how to fold them when you get them. It’s not life changing, it’s mostly quite pretty, but it’s real and it’s who I am, what my life is.
I was in the car listening to music on our drive up the old Pacific Highway the other day, Ben Harper came on, strumming his chords and straining his voice to sing his ditties. Took me all the way back to 1998 when I was backpacking through Europe with some girlfriends and we were staying at this little place in Budapest. I fell head over heels in love with this Canadian boy, took up smoking Marlboro lights and got my eyebrow pierced – Budapest was quite the place for me! I was sitting around talking to some new people that had arrived in the kitchen and this CD was playing. I loved it, drew a picture of the CD front cover into my travel journal so I could buy it back home (remember when we didn’t have shazam or phones to take photos of everything?) and asked these travellers from Germany what they thought of my new piercing. ‘Well I’ve never known you without it’. Huh. And it was true. What seemed like such big deal to me, a growing up and evolving into this cool grown up 21 year old, instead of this sheltered private school girl from Carlingford, seemed completely normal to them. That’s ALL they knew of me.
I changed a few times since then, the eye brow piercing went (much to my Grandparents delight) the smoking stuck around for a few years longer, but the years go by and some new bits come forward, some old parts recede. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you would have seen some bits be the focus for a little while: whether it’s the frustrations of mothering small children and juggling work, another passionate embrace of an exercise regime, and then recede back again as kids get older and obstacles pass and my desire to exercise fades.
Documenting your life as you go is all I know what to do these days. Not all of it, some of it, and who you see on here is who you would see if we were to meet in real life. And I’m not going to be someone for everyone, and that’s OK. I’ve learned to live with that from people in my own family. And that’s OK. I’m getting more and more OK with that the older that I get. I suppose our online lives make us all quick to pass judgement on each other, I know I roll my eyes ALL THE TIME when I read certain things, and for some people, online access makes them feel the need to pass that judgement right on down the line onto someone’s Facebook page, or their email inbox. I get those emails and comments from time to time, and of course being a human, and being a Beth Macdonald human (the only kind I really know to be) means that it hurts sometimes. And I’m not saying that people can’t have different points of views…of course they can, I HOPE they do! I’m talking about just being a plain dick. Maybe it’s par for the course of putting yourself out there, I’m not so convinced that it is, or that it should be.
This year, particularly towards the end of the year when everyone is a little over EVERYTHING and tired, I’ve seen some fellow online friends cop it. I’ve seen all throughout the year others reading things that can bring them no happiness at all from reading, but read it they do. Words of hate and vitriol that they can choose NOT to read, but they do anyway. I’ve written comments and emails to people telling them that they are good people, don’t listen to those people, those people don’t know you, really know you…on it goes. Man I wish some of them would listen. Putting yourself online does not mean that you are a target for people to be assholes to you. The comment box at the end of an article on a newspaper website does not give you permission to be a fuckwit for your own entertainment.
It’s the end of the year and I’M tired of all that stuff. I hope that a new year can bring on some new resolutions for people. Don’t like BabyMac’s blog with all her pretty and annoying bullshit? DON’T READ IT. Scared of what people who don’t know you at all might be saying about you and passing judgement on you and your blog on an online forum? DON’T BLOODY READ IT. We are smart, grown up people who are in charge of our open happiness and our lives. WE are the ones that have control over what we can feel and do in this life. This ONE life that we get a chance to live. Just because we don’t like something, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t. I am making 2015 the year of clicking away. Not just online, but in all parts of life. Stop being friends with that person who makes you feel shit about yourself. Stop eating those custard tarts that inevitably make you fat and feel bad about yourself. Time to step up friends! Steer our own ships in whatever direction we choose! Jesus, this is quite the pep talk isn’t it? What did I tell you about this blog being a couch?
I’m going to keep remembering that hostel in Budapest, those Ben Harper lyrics that reminded me just the other day as we sat in holiday traffic back seat filled with kids and a dog a million miles away from those backpacking days…
“my choice is what I choose to do
and if I’m causing no harm
it shouldn’t bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if your causin’ no harm
then you’re alright with me
if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down”
And while I’m not likely to be chuffing on a doobie this year (hell, it’s going to be a year with a baby again let’s not rule ANYTHING out) I’m going to be doing the same thing on here again, sharing some stuff, writing down some thoughts, capturing a few odd thousand images, and I hope you continue to enjoy it. And if you don’t, then don’t come around, cause I’m gonna burn one down. And if you’re causing no harm, then you’re alright with me.
Let’s all try a little harder at being alright with each other.