Burn one down

Writing on the internet every day can be quite the strange thing. So far this year this blogΒ 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 notΒ 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.



  1. What a wonderful note for all to remember in whatever your doing reading ,commenting and just living ” if your causing no harm then your alright with me ” guess what Beth your causing no harm and your more than alright with me .

  2. good work beth!
    this is your blog you have the freedom of choice to do what you want and that’s what makes each blog unique, because they are all different!
    people who comment are just visitors and they need to be respectful … they should “taste their words, before they spit them out” … my opinion only! … have been guilty of catharsis!
    a Buddhist saying about hearing “words coming in, words going out” … don’t attach to them!
    they are all ephemeral! enjoy your holiday time! love m:)X

  3. Here here!

  4. I totally agree Beth. I’ve developed the attitude over the last few years ‘I’m too old for this shit.’ I’m 35. I don’t care what other people think. I’m going to do what I do in my own way. I’m not going to follow the crowd and waste valuable emotional brain space on people and stuff that are of no real importance. I’m going to focus on what makes me happy and is right for my little family. I’m switching off from people with bad attitutes and whingers. No more. Line in the sand.

  5. “my choice is what I choose to do
    and if I’m causing no harm
    it shouldn’t bother you”

    My wise old Englishman has always told me, that he doesn’t understand why people concern themselves with things that really don’t affect them in any way. If how someone chooses to act, think, say or feel, doesn’t really have an impact on your life, why do you choose to care about it or concern yourself with it?

    It’s taken 15 years but I’m starting to see how right he is. Man I tell you, it’s freeing allowing others to go about their own lives, without feeling the need to have input or judgement on it.

    Someone talking smack about you on the internet? Yeah it’s shit but the chances are, you’re never EVER going to meet that person because you don’t know them and more importantly – they don’t know YOU, they only know a fraction of who you actually are! According to Google, over a hundred thousand new people were born yesterday/today, do we think everyone of those brand new people are going to like us? Of course they’re not!

    As Miss Swift said the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate – it’s what they do and in turn, we do what we do – shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off.


    p.s. If that isn’t the darn most catchiest song of the year, I don’t know what is!

  6. My, how I love this post! We are all responsible for our own happiness, and sure, in an ideal world, people wouldn’t be knobs. But they are. Well, some are.

    But some are wonderful and generous and thoughtful. They share their wit and wisdom with the world and they lift others up with their comments. Those are the spaces I choose to occupy (such as your gorgeous site).

    Knobs can be knobs, but I sure don’t have the time or mental space to listen to them. And anything that appears on my site like that is deleted immediately. My world is a happy garden and I weed it regularly.

  7. Well said, Beth. I think the old adage is true, if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all. Ben Harper knows what’s what that’s for sure, and just for the record, Beth, you’re doing no harm, but you are doing lots of good, brightening and saging up the interwebs and that’s more than alright with me. More please!

  8. Amen to all that of that Beth! Bloggers and commenters are both guilty of being too offended and outraged at what is written on the Internet. Your advice is very wise.

  9. Hey beth, where there’s ying there’s yang. It must suck when you get negative comments, but reading this post made me think about the email I sent you when I discovered your blog earlier this year through the Houzz article. Your thoughts totally resonate with me and I really enjoy the intelligent, real life, honest observations you make. I really enjoy getting your email updates. Think about the people like me that you make smile when you write. Not the others who are probably just unhappy themselves. Have a magical year ahead, I look forward to hearing all about it, especially your new addition πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Amanda! So glad you discovered the blog and better than that, are enjoying it! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year πŸ™‚

  10. Ben Harper holds some fairly profound moments for me also, as does this little pep talk on this here blog. May your 2015 be spankingly fantabulous, sister x

  11. Beautifully said Beth. I really don’t get why people think just because we put ourselves online we should expect to open ourselves up to attacks from assholes (but apparently they do and are happy to defend their right to do so…wtf?)…the comments on newspaper articles can be like some bizarre other world at times.

    The words of the song are perfect…that’s how it should be. If I’m alright by me and you’re alright by you and we’re not causing harm then it’s all good. I’m looking forward to another awesome year of BabyMac πŸ™‚

  12. Beautifully said. That’s all πŸ™‚

  13. Nicely said Beth x

  14. More than ever in this day and “social” age, my mother’s words ring true…”If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”.

  15. Well said lady! There’s no time for wankers.

  16. Amen, Beth! I think there’s a Ben quote for everything. πŸ™‚

  17. Wise words.

  18. Good on you Beth! Keep on writing the exact same pretty stuff next year… And I’ll love it!

  19. Wise words, my friend. I truly don’t understand the hate read thing, life is way too short. Plus I’d rather fill my life (and self) with positive stuff rather than being bitter or nasty – it’s no way to live.

    You’re doing great and I know there’s way more Baby Mac lovers than haters.

  20. Gosh I bloody love reading your writing. You are quite the writer Beth. I totally get where you are coming from and made a conscious decision this year (try!) to just accept people just as they are. Don’t reply to a message for hours? Doesn’t mean they don’t like me, means they’re doing something else. Don’t want to catch up as often as I do? Doesn’t mean I have upset them, means they are busy with their own family and a bit of an introvert. It’s all good. It was quite the revelation to relise the world doesn’t actually revolve around me. Huh.

  21. Amen to that, Beth Mac! Happy new year to you, lovely one. x

  22. Beth I love this! I agree. There’s so much to read and see, so we should lap up the things that make us smile, think, fist pump, ponder, and leave the rest behind.
    There are blogs I’ve read once or twice then turned away from because of the volcanic anger they spew. There are people online that seem utterly bent on taking out all of the things on others who have nothing to do with their pain.
    And there are fabulously real, from pretty sheets to meltdowns, people I’ll read and cheer for.

    Thank you for this post. It’s going to roll around in my head for a while I reckon.

  23. Fiona Guglielmi says

    Well said Beth. I for one love your blog… Just keep being the person who your are. Happy New Year to you and your family and let’s make 2015 a very good year.

  24. Amen to 2015: the international year of clicking away!

  25. Hi Beth,
    I’m extremely thankful that you & others write what you do.
    The older I get the more thin skinned I become & in doing so I feel best when alone. I get easily hurt by silly little things which I know I should let wash over me but often I mull over them at 3am when I should be sleeping.
    Your writings keep me amused & make me feel part of a community & often feel like I have a friend.

    So thank you – I hope you have a safe 2015 & I look forward to continue to read your thoughts, opinions & “adventures “.

  26. A sensible Plan. Enjoy x

  27. Beautiful Beth something I’m continuing to work on into the new year, 2015 is also my year of no f**cks to give of what others think of me.

  28. AMEN! I love this post…HARD! I get so tired of People eye rolling, whispering and judging me for writing about my life…hey, if you’re looking then DON’T!

    These people who secretly read my blog and pages, never comment but then pass judgement… Really?…who’s the dickhead in that equation LOL?!

    I see some nasty and unnecessary stuff written online by dark hearted people and they need to know, “it’s not ok”. When people are making their living blogging and sharing themselves openly then show some respect and keep your manners in check…if you can’t do that then just. Scroll. Past!

    Looking forward to reading more of your writing Beth x

  29. Thanks Beth, I love ‘words’ and you’ve just given me some beauties,thankyou muchly,keep doing what you do so well x

  30. Well said and amen to that! It is not only online but in life also…wish we would all take on board those wise words. I am always amazed at how nasty some people are and why…why do they do it and what do they get out of it? Completely has me fathomed!! Why the need to comment if you don’t like something? JUST DON’T FOLLOW, DON’T READ IT, DON’T COMMENT!! GET FAR AWAY!!!!

  31. Beth, it is seriously like you were sitting in my lounge room this morning as the captain and I had this very conversation. I don’t have any social media accounts, no twitter, no instagram and no facebook. I could go into the many reasons why I choose this choice but I wont. We were talking about our little girl, not yet a year old, who, I am under no illusion, will embrace social media as part of growing up. Just like I embraced Cabbage Patch Kids and Nintendo! We talked about people using their online presence for not such good things, trolling and just being an arsehole. The thought of her growing up in today’s world is both thrilling and terrifying – but I guess that’s just life huh? Thanks for this post, it was such a good read and hit the nail on the head! Happy holiday!

  32. I quite enjoy your pretty and annoying bullshit.
    Thanks for having me Beth.

  33. Well said. I really don’t understand why people read blogs written by people they obviously don’t agree with then feel they have the right to leave abusive comments. I have, quite a few times, followed a link on something I was reading that took me to a blog. I have a bit of a read & if it doesn’t grab me or I don’t agree with their opinions I just move onto something else & don’t go back there. Just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I have to leave nasty comments about it. Lots of people probably don’t agree with my opinions but I don’t write a blog so unless I am actually talking to them I will never know.

  34. Well spoken Beth hear hear!:)

  35. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Well said Beth, I’m in total agreement with you xx

  36. So well said Beth! Love this space and love your words and images. Here’s to a fabulous and friendly 2015. You well and truly don’t have time for their shit with a bebe on the way!! Jx

  37. Great blog – and a timely reminder for me!! Think I’ll put this song on my playlist for a gentle reminder when I most need it. Wishing you and yours an amazing 2015!

  38. Hell YES.

  39. Your blog is more than alright with me. Totally brightens my day. Every one of them. Thanks a bunch!

  40. Such a great post and I have only just caught up on your baby news congratulations!

    I have found the online world a little tiring with all the meanness and I am too hoping for everyone to be a little nicer to each other in 2015.

    Happy new year Beth.

  41. cheers to that

  42. Sometimes we need wise words from thoughtful everyday women to make us sit up and take notice. Loved this. And it’s true for all aspects of life, not just blogging, as you inferred.

  43. Having a wine for you and saying CHEERS to that! Happy new year to you!

  44. I’m lying on my bed contemplating lots of things and flicking away on my iPad. So glad I came across your post, I LOVE reading what you have to say and will be reading again in 2015! Have a fabulous New Year Beth and co. X

  45. Well said Beth. For years I’ve had start a blog on my list of things to do, but never really done it because – where to start? I guess right at the beginning and with that the attitude that you have put out there. I’ve always feared the comments but wanted the connection, I won’t allow the fear to stop me from starting something I want to do.

  46. I’m sorry that you have been hit by bad comments. And that your friends have too. It’s like people think they are anonymous online which gives them the right to write such things. But I’ve always believed that what is done in secret catches up to you in all areas of your life. People who have issues with me, I have no time for. It’s their issue not mine. I will just keep going my merry way and I hope you continue to do so as well. I hope have you a Happy New Year Beth and I am so excited to read more about your new addition to your family. Keep living well gorgeous. xx

  47. I’ve always found that those horrible comments some people make actually say far more about them than the target of their vitriol. The other thing I try to remember is that what other people think is none of my business. I salute you for being brave enough to put yourself out there. Well done, Beth.

  48. Beth, you’re really my kind of people and I love what I know about you through your blog. And when you quote Ben Harper I love you all the more for it. I was only talking to Mr about this today. I truly am too busy trying to propel myself forward to be better, make the right choices and work out how the heck I can manage all the bits and pieces in my life without losing my mind completely to worry at all what other people are doing. Judgement is so narrow minded of people. Not everyone needs to be pals and I have sure as heck let people go because of their toxicity. I bear them no ill will they just aren’t who I want to spend time with, even if they happen to be related to me! Thanks for making me laugh, smile and cry. xxxx

  49. Great post. Hits the nail on the head!

  50. Exactly…..
    I remember on NYE 1999 I asked a friend of a friend what was his new milenium goal…..I will never forget it and try to adhere to it….”to surround myself with more of the people that matter and less of the ones that don’t”
    I think your great Beth and love feeling a part of your little world.

  51. Ahhh Beverley … that country air must be working for you. As T-Swizzle said, the haters gonna hate. That will never change. What can change is how we react to them. I choose to ignore. Love your (growing) guts.

  52. Burn one down indeed. Well written Beth, as Dr Seuss says, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

  53. Love this!
    Bring on a new year, I say! I’m ready!
    Burn those negative f#**ers down!
    Go get ’em girl, keep on being you, I just love the stuff you chat about on here. That’s what I think, it’s like a great chat with a friend, over a cuppa, about all kinds of random chit chat.
    Thank you!! xx

  54. ❀️ this Beth. Big believer in being responsible for your actions and not wasting time on things that bring you down.

  55. Gosh – Amazing writing Beth, so very true!! Thank you. Here’s to a fabulous 2015 for everyone x

  56. Dear Beth
    I love you for you and love that you write everyday! You say what I think.
    Rach xxx

  57. Ah, Beth…. I waited for a quiet moment to read this latest blog post of yours and finally found it at 6am in a post-christmas-everyone-still-sleeping house. So glad I was able to read it uninterrupted….it was fabulous! Thanks for sharing your pretty life an couch musings, I enjoy dipping into your country life and love that you can make a living out of being Beth. You have such an exciting year ahead of you, and I feel very privileged that I’m going to be able to come along for the ride with whatever you decide to share. Here’s to a fabulous 2015 πŸ™‚

  58. Fan bloody tastic post! It’s my real life I have most issues with, so far I’m boring enough online that no one tells me they hate me – yet! But if they did I’ve grown slightly thicker skin because us journos are hated and I’ve been amused for years! Love your blog and here’s to a great 2015 and meeting your third cherub xxx

  59. Really well said.

    All of it!

    Thanks for guiding me along this year, shaking me by the shoulders, & telling me not to read it.

    … haven’t read it since πŸ™‚

    You’re a good egg. x

    • GOOD GIRL! I am really proud of you! Keep it up, and keep that head held high my dear girl! Happy New Year to you and your gorgeous family πŸ™‚

  60. Best thing I have read all year! What a fantastic way to look at 2015! Bring it on! And everything it has to offer!

  61. Great post and love your blog. Some people are just twats. Hope 2015 is awesome and the twats bugger off.

  62. Great post Beth. Such a great way to approach blogging and all that comes along with it.
    I love the idea of trying harder to be nicer to everyone. It doesn’t cost us anything to be nice (or as most people would call it, being a decent human being!).
    Here’s to 2015 being a negativity free zone!


    I burn myself down every morning before I get up and start again. I love this post so much xxx

  64. Hell to the Yes. Amen chick. Wishing you the happiest New Year and may 2015 bring you nothing but the fist pumping awesomeness you deserve xx

  65. Brilliant!
    I hope you have the best 2015…it is going to be great because BABY!

  66. ha Prague is great fun, I had some good times there last year


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