Let Me Introduce You...

In the middle of the afternoon, when the last schoolwork box has been checked, my kids run away to pretend and make messes and goof around.  This fills them up and balances them out.

While they're busy getting their needs met, I either clean things because it is quiet and active and makes feel happy, or I read and write.

I used to just read, but I've found that it's more productive if I write while I'm reading.  That way the little sparks of inspiration don't fly away before I have a chance to capture them.  

I don't just read things by people who think like I do.  I read books and blogs and stories by people whom I don't understand.  This is how I balance myself.  

Here are some of the blogs that stretch my thinking:

There is a woman, Heather Madder, who writes about creating the life you want.  She fascinates me.  She is all fire and I am all water, so I enjoy walking in her shoes for a while.  The things she writes are all punctuated with exclamation points and CAPITAL letters!!!  What she says is TRUE for her and I love that.  She inspires me to get a pair!  Not think so much about how different I might be!  Or to even celebrate the fact that I'm different!

Another blog I read from time to time has an intriguing name:  the Tattooed Mormon.  
I love this woman's spirit and spunk.  Period.  (Note: I am not Mormon, nor tattooed.  I had a nose ring for 2 weeks until I sneezed it out.  It was cool while it lasted.)

"Your Child is Actually Raising You" is a sample of a blog I read with every new post.  It is written by a South African Clinical Psychologist named Eilat Avriam with a "turned on its head" view of parenting.  She is funny and honest and I love to learn about myself as a parent through her filter.

The name The Inappropriate Homeschooler kind of says it all.  Sassy, smart, outspoken.  Her blog is one of those that gave me the courage to begin homeschooling.

When I started seeing things all over the media about homemade water purifiers, emergency food storage, and bug-out bags, I started to wonder, "Is there something going on I don't know about?..."  In my research I ran across Damian Brindle's website.  He is a self-proclaimed "survival enthusiast."  He has a family and an incredibly informative website without the fear-mongering.  (Do you know how to open your garage door if the power goes out?... Neither did I!)  Aside from being fun and practical, his articles helped me see that I lacked basic knowledge about how to keep my family safe in the event of an emergency. 

One of the keys to successfully eating a Primal diet long-term is knowing how to treat yourself.  PaleoOMG.com is an excellent resource for amazing, rich and satisfying treats without refined sugar.  On top of the recipes, the author oozes style and enthusiasm for her lifestyle. 

And Anything about Depression or Bipolar Disorder:

I read these things because I always need new ways to help people understand me.  Let's face it, I scare people!   People with mood disorders scare other people.  I don't want my kids to look back in 30 years and say, "Oh my gosh, that's why my mom cried every 5 minutes!" or "Oh my gosh, that's why my mom crocheted 4 blankets, painted the house, baked a wedding cake, and wrote a novel all in 24 hours that one time!"

I want to have words to educate them and anyone who asks.

I also need the validation that this really isn't my fault.  I did not actually cause this mood disorder by eating too many Big Macs in college.

Someone who is reading chapters of my book as I write them commented recently, "The writing you do for your blog is so...life affirming.  This writing is different."  

The phrase "Life affirming" was accompanied by fluttery fingers and a high-pitched voice.  I laughed knowingly.  It totally is.  It is to remind myself why it's good to be alive on the days when my brain is telling me otherwise. It is for balance.

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