Overwhelmed

I haven’t had nearly enough time to myself lately. I am behind in my blog readings, podcasts, emails, and all social media. Work has been crazy and I feel like it took over my life for a little while. I am slowly beginning to catch up so I will hopefully have more time to write in the coming weeks. I think it will be good for me. I feel like I need to spend more time thinking about myself.

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Adventures In Babysitting

I’ve never wanted kids and I don’t think I will ever change my mind. It doesn’t mean I dislike children, I just don’t want any of my own. My brother has two girls and I am babysitting tonight so that he and his wife could go out to dinner and a comedy show in celebration of her birthday. The kids are now asleep, or at least in bed, and I’m writing this as their hamsters run their little hearts out in their wheels. It turns out that hamsters are nocturnal. Yeah. Note to self: never get a hamster. They’re loud and, again, nocturnal.

I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but I like one of my nieces much more than the other. I find the youngest one to be a spoiled little brat and she is sometimes downright mean-spirited. Call me crazy, but I don’t really find those to be endearing personality traits. I think part of the reason she is this way is because of how her parents are raising her (they let her get away with a lot with relatively little consequences) but part of me has always wondered how much of her personality was just there from the beginning and how much of it was due to her parents not helping. Based on my experience tonight, I think it might be much more nurture than nature. I didn’t let her get away with things I thought were wrong, and while she gave me some trouble, after she realized I wouldn’t budge, she gave up on being a brat. That’s a shame. I might like her more and want to spend more time with her if she were more like she was towards the end of the night and I think she has the potential to be more pleasant if she’s just disciplined a bit more. I just don’t see her parents doing it anytime time soon. Again, a shame.

Her sister on the other hand is a sweetheart. She is pleasant and incredibly bright. She is much calmer and quieter than her sister and doesn’t demand to constantly be the center of attention, so unfortunately, she is often ignored and pushed aside to the benefit of her sister. I let her stay up way past her bedtime tonight because I was enjoying spending time with her so much. I find it to be a shame that she is getting the short end of the stick just because she is nicer and more respectful than her sister. She constantly has to make the sacrifices because her sister throws a fit is she doesn’t get what she wants.

I don’t say this to her parents. I made a comment once about how my brother was handling his kids and he had a cow. He does not take criticism well. He also felt the need to point out that because I did not have children, I had no idea what I was talking about. I have always hated to have that said to me. I don’t have a dog either, but I’m perfectly capable of picking up dog shit. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I can’t recognize when one of them is acting like a complete pain in the ass and that something should be done about it.

So does it make me a terrible person that I like one of my nieces so much more than the other?

Writing Isn’t Easy

I’ve always enjoyed writing because there’s something about writing down (or typing down) your thoughts that’s therapeutic. At least, it is for me. My problem comes at the point where I read my words back to myself. I feel compelled to correct them and try to improve every turn of phrase. I wonder if something could be said or expressed in a better way or if it could be delivered more directly or eloquently. I’m kind of a perfectionist and in my job, that serves me well. I think to a certain degree, wanting to improve something is also a good thing but it can sometimes get to a point where it becomes more of a handicap than anything else. Sometimes, you just have to let go. That’s difficult for me. I do well with structure and rules. I’m a rational person and I don’t really consider myself to be that creative. I actually wish I had more artistic talent but what can you do? You work with what you have. This is part of the reason I started this blog. I don’t have any writing training except for college english classes. It’s not like I’m in this expecting to get “discovered” and strike it rich. I read a lot so I know there are people who are much better at this than I am. But again, I find writing to be therapeutic and I keep reading that the best way to get better at writing is to do it. A lot. So this blog is an experiment of sorts. I hope to see improvement in my writing skills but I also hope that putting my thoughts down in pixels will help organize and define them. Let’s see how this goes.

Much against my instincts, I am posting this without having spent any time reviewing, correcting, adjusting. I just want this one to end up the way it came out of my head.