Helpful Hints

One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first had a baby was to layer the extra sheet and mattress pad on the crib under the top sheet (mattress, sheet, pad, sheet), so that when your baby poops all over the sheet at 3 in the morning you don't have to dig through the closet to find a new sheet and put it on. I thought that was great advice and I'm glad someone told me about it. Also, now I share it with everyone I know who is going to have a baby in the hopes of improving their lives a little bit. In that spirit, I'd like to share a few things about blogging that I've picked up along the way:

1. Blogger has this cool feature where you can embed links into your posts. I love linking to things, but I hate to draw attention to them. I'd rather just add a link, with perhaps some sort of textual clue like "I read this article the other day." Notice how the words "this article" were highlighted in the sentence; that means you can click on them and go read the article that I am referring to. That will give you some context to understand what I am talking about.

2. Also referring to context, it's important to look at the entire context of the piece. Sometimes inflammatory words like "birth control" or "school vouchers" or "gay marriage" or "Holocaust survivor" will jump out at you and get your hackles up before you even read any more of the post. I've been guilty of dashing off angry comments before stopping to understand what the person I was responding to was even trying to say. I'm getting the feeling that my last post would probably have been much less inflammatory if I had merely mentioned that the man was an observant Jew or perhaps an immigrant from Germany. I honestly meant no offense, merely solidarity with other religious people.

3. A third note about context: know who your author is. If you've spent the last few years reading my blog and feel like you understand all about me, then feel free to hate me and to let me know how arrogant I am. I already know that I say rude things and think prideful thoughts all the time. Sometimes I don't express myself well. The point of the last post really had nothing to do with social drinking or my lack thereof ("word of wisdom" is another common inflammatory topic). It actually wasn't until today that I really understood what my point in that post was. My husband stopped attending church over a year ago. Many of family members no longer attend either and I have a number of friends who no longer share my strong faith in the gospel. It gets very lonely. And not just in a "oh no, I'm a dork who doesn't drink coffee" sort of way. I just used something a little less personal as an example of the isolation I feel. Choosing to follow the gospel doesn't just mean that I feel self-conscious at parties; it means I feel left out by some of the people I love the most. Many days I do want to just follow the "easier" path, but I just can't at this point in my life. So, that was what my post was really about; doubting whether or not the choices you make really will be worth it in the long run.


Lindsay said…
For what it's worth, I didn't find anything controversial in your last post. On the contrary, I found it quite beautiful. The sentiments you expressed there, along with those you added in this one were, I thought, incredibly reflective and lovely. I agree that it can be very lonely and isolating to follow what you believe, especially when those closest to you may no longer believe as you do, but I applaud you for sticking to your guns and not letting others choose for you what you should believe.
Desmama said…
I echo what Lindsey said. I was baffled by the controversy (read: lurkers who likely don't know you, as you mentioned) and felt like you had some profound and interesting thoughts to share that were nothing close to arrogant or presumptuous. And I loved what your husband said at the end because, yes, I kind of wanted to say that too, but wouldn't have been nearly as concise.
Silly Marie said…
I had to go back and reread your last post to see what the big fuss was about. I didn't think twice about what you said, nor did I find it offensive in the least.

I do like the first rule in this post, about the links. I may just copy you on that idea. I know I have readers who have no clue about embedded links.
Emma said…
I also had to reread your last post to figure out what the controversy was. And perhaps, it was because I feel like you do sometimes. My DH often feels left out because he doesn't attend the happy hours and such. Occasionally he goes to socialize, but they all know he doesn't drink and he hasn't been harassed about it. Maybe a joke here and there, but it's just because they don't understand. Good luck.
I posted on the last. I didn't see the controversy either.
Jenny said…
I love reading your blog and your insights!
esther said…
Maybe I'm a "lurker," but that's not so odd for a blog. Is it? Anyhow, I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now, and I've read back through your older posts and through a log of Mr. Fob's posts (who I found you through) and so I don't feel like I'm completely coming from nowhere.

Of course, not having a google/blogger identity, I haven't felt able to post much in the way of comments - thanks again for pointing out how to use the name/url part without a url.

Perhaps a rephrasing of my point is in order - because I didn't mean to be offensive, I just had a small point to make. No matter how you framed the Jewish man in your last post (as a holocaust surviver or otherwise), he was a man who almost died for his beliefs and therefore had a huge amount invested in holding to them. I appreciate that you see that as something to look up to, and that you appreciate his strong faith and aspire to being so committed to your beliefs.

However, that in mind, I wonder why you are so self-conscious about practicing what you believe in? If you believe it, embrace it! And why worry about ordering a tea, or doing any other more personal things? If something feels right to you, you need to do it, not worry about how others will perceive it.

If the Jewish man worried about other people's perceptions of his religious beliefs, he would have survived the holocaust in vain. (There's a controversial statement for you!)

And if you don't drink wine, or do other things that are more personal to you, what is going to happen? Even if the crowd notices (which, surely, they cannot be that obsessed with you!) they aren't going to send you and your family to the gas chambers and incinerate your corpse to forever deny you entrance into god's eternal embrace. Are they?

Oh, and for fun, here's an embeded link!
Kailey said…
It seems someone, "Esther", just can't stop beating a dead horse. I think it was perfectly clear what the intent of your post was Foxy!

“It is worth living with ideals, even though it’s sometimes difficult. It’s worth fighting for a meaningful life.”

Knowing you personally, and the faith and strength you show, it is understandable that you would not want something as simple as turning down a cup of coffee to be uncomfortable. It's hard to feel like "the weirdo" when you have such faith in and love for your beliefs. That is then compounded by the possibility of offending someone by having them think you may judge them, which then tends to cause people to frown more on the beliefs you hold SO dearly.

While you did not suffer the horrific persecution of the Holocaust, or ANYTHING like it, you come from a line that has suffered persecution (Mormon Pioneers, many of whom died for their beliefs). And while you have not almost died for your beliefs, others have, and caring about them and that others understand you and your intent is something that is reasonable to be concerned about! Whether it be turning down coffee, or believing in a book that many think was written by Satan himself, it is all a part of your faith and purpose.

I understand concern about offending others. It doesn't mean you are any less commited to practicing your beliefs. It means you are mindful of others around you, and not just yourself.
Kailey said…
P.S. In the quote you put up, this man's wife said herself that it is sometimes difficult. The point is, that it's worth it! :-)
Mary said…
That interchange between attorneys that you linked to was amazing. Talk about burning bridges...

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