On Kindness by Cord Jefferson

Conversely, waking up each day and devoting yourself to being kind, even and especially to people who are not kind to you, is actually incredibly difficult. It is arduous and deliberate work, and the doing of it will at times make you feel small and foolish. What’s more, in the end, it will on its own merits almost never yield a person awards or honors or riches.

 

Photo by Ginny – Licensed under Creative Commons

Kottke’s Intro to Joanna Goddard’s “Motherhood Around the World”

 “On sleep camps: Government-subsidized programs help parents teach their babies to sleep. I haven’t been to one (though I did consider it when we were in the middle of sleep hell with our daughter) but many of my friends have. The sleep camps are centers, usually attached to a hospital, that are run by nurses. Most mums I know went when their babies were around six or seven months old. You go for five days and four nights, and they put you and your baby on a strict schedule of feeding, napping and sleeping. If you’re really desperate for sleep, you also have the option of having a nurse handle your baby for the whole first night so you can sleep, but after that you spend the next few nights with your baby overnight while the nurses show you what to do.”

Jason Kottke does a great job introducing Joanna Goddard and her series “Motherhood Around the World“. As a parent in America who grew up in a time where it was normal for us kids to be gone all day – out of sight and without technology – I often struggle with what is “normal” or “safe” for kids in these modern times. Joanna’s series helps put some things in perspective and is a great read. The above quote is from a mom in Australia. From Joanna’s introduction,

“Every Monday, we’ll feature an American mother living abroad in a different country around the world with her family. (First up today: Norway!) Honestly, the interviews have been FASCINATING. While working on them, I kept running into the living room to tell Alex the surprising things these mothers were revealing. Thank you so much to all the incredible mothers who shared their stories”

 

“Love Your Life, Work Your Job”

You are not your job. You don’t need to do it out of love or because it’s central to your character anymore than you’d expect any other laborer to, no matter what they do. Love your life, work your job.

Artist Zac Gorman of Super Time Force and Magical Game Time talks at length about doing what you can & be happy regardless when it comes to work and your identity.

 

33

I turned 33 today, which as far as birthdays go isn’t the most remarkable. It’s not the milestone of 21 or the “You’re old. Yuk yuk.” filled celebration of 40. It’s just kind of a date in the middle.

The denotation of the Earth traversing the Sun is an apt time to reflect on past events. I enjoy using apps such as Timehop and digging back through blog posts and Flickr uploads to keep myself grounded in time. It’s easy to get swept up in daily life and skew your memory of how long ago (or how recent) things have happened.

That said – Man, this year has been crazy so far.

In March I helped to organize and presented at WordCamp St. Louis. We’re already starting to talk about next year!

My wife, daughter, and I traveled to Indianapolis at the end of March and had a great week in the city. I was able to spend a lot of time with Kari and we bonded a bit.

In April my wife’s rescue hosted our first Car Show fundraiser. It was a fun experience and I’m glad we tried something new to garner interest in the cause.

Just this past month I traveled to Montreal for work. It was my first time out of the country and I had a great time. I was able to see some of the city, take in some of the culture and food, and present at my first international conference. 🙂

We still have two vacations planned (!) for this year, the first is a trip at the end of June to Florida. My daughter is competing at a big dance conference in Panama City and we’ve turned it into a family vacation with my sister and her brood. Oh, speaking of my sister, Jess got married to Donnie, which is something of an event in itself.

The other trip is in late July. My dad, Kari, myself, and maybe Jackie will be taking a road trip to Rapid City, SD to visit Mount Rushmore. The trip itself is the vacation and echoes a trip my dad and I took right before I got my first car. This trip is also a milestone of sorts for Kari as it will be the last family vacation before she’s a big sister. That’s right. We’re expecting our second child in September. That’s kind of the Pièce de résistance for this year.

I don’t feel 33, but I feel 33. I still like to play Lego with Kari (and sometimes when she’s not around, but don’t tell her that!). I still enjoy video games – although I’m much more interested in portable gaming than sitting in front of the TV which is a bit of a change. I still like many things from years past, but I also like things I didn’t when I was younger.

I enjoy taking care of my lawn. Yeah, that feeling when you step back after spending a few hours mowing, trimming, seeding, etc. As Delmar O’Donnel said in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, “You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land.” There’s something to that pride when you’re a homeowner.

I also like mustard on my deli sandwiches and have a better tolerance for alcohol. I’m not a beer drinker, but I’m a huge rum and coke/hard cider guy. The younger Chris never cared much for anything with alcohol, but I’m growing into a comfortable space and can have a drink or two.

I’m writing this all down for myself. It gives me a chance to stick a push-pin in time. A future self can hopefully look back on this year as a happy reminder of things going well.