I used to really hate Jim Rome. I couldn’t stand how he always had some outlandish assertion to express, and he stared into the camera and dished it out like it was the gospel truth. He could get himself so fired up that I was fired up too, and for whatever reason, this made me mad at him. It was probably a couple years before I came to the realization that I didn’t dislike Rome; I was jealous of him. I wanted an outlet for opinions where people could agree, disagree, or ignore me depending on their whims. I confess that I used social media for this purpose for a while. Myspace and Facebook served as my springboard for discussion about whatever was on my mind (Twitter still does!). I soon realized that it was a mistake to subject casual and social acquaintances to my opinion on everything under the sun. I shouldn’t assume that just because they care about me in general that they care what I’m thinking at that moment. Thus, the birth of this blog. By writing here, I felt that I could express myself while having it be completely a matter of choice if my friends read it.
My writing is usually my personal response to politics or current events. Occasionally, I come to a profound-ish reflection on life, human nature, or parenting. But none of that is what I want to do today. Today I want to burn kind of like Jim Rome. I’m going to tell you what’s getting on my nerves at the moment, and you’re going to choose to read it (or don’t) and go about your day.
I give you: JAMIE IS BURNING.
- Selfies are ok. I get that smartphones have changed the way we take pictures. I take selfies a lot (more for Snapchat than anything), and I even post one here and there. Mostly, I take selfies WITH someone or something to illustrate a relationship. I never just take solo selfies for the heck of it, and I certainly don’t post repeated selfies. Know why? Because no one cares to see them. No matter who you are or how cute you believe yourself to be. Do yourself a favor. Count your last 10 Facebook or Instagram Pictures. If more than half of them are selfies, it’s time to tone it down. No one cares about that duck-faced head and shoulders shot but you. Promise. In fact, it accomplishes one of two things: It either makes you look incredibly arrogant or incredibly insecure. Unless you’re going for those, please stop.
- Stop speaking out on behalf of all Christians. We’re not a united people. There is a vast difference between denominations, and pretty much the only thing we agree on is a love for and relationship with Jesus. So know that unless you’re speaking on God’s love for ALL people, or your own personal love for God, just know that you’re not speaking FOR “the church.” You’re not the ultimate judge of who’s Christian “enough,” and what “all” Christians believe, and what you say is really just your interpretation. So think about it before you make a bold assertion and alienate people from an entire religion by being a bad representative. Faith and philosophy are deeply personal and subjective.
- Hanger is real. I think I’ve read somewhere that the plunge of blood sugar we experience when we’re hungry can cause irritability. I should be the poster child for this. I need at least a small snack every few hours, or I am a monster. Because of my hanger issue, I try to keep a really regular eating schedule. When my friends/family select a meal time that is unreasonably early or late, they should prepare themselves to fall victim to my hanger. For example, on the weekend, 2 is not a meal time. Nor is 7 or 8 at night. I probably got up at 9 and ate breakfast. Lunch should fall around 12. Dinner between 5 and 6. Otherwise, get ready for Hurricane Jamie. It’s the truth. You have been warned.
- Let’s all just agree to stop giving parenting advice. None of us are professionals, and there are no parents alive who believe they did it perfectly. So the cutesy articles that swear homeschooling/public schooling/vaccinating/not vaccinating/spanking/not spanking/spoiling/not spoiling/TV watching/not TV watching are what’s right for our children do nothing but diminish the confidence of our fellow parents. I literally cringe when I see “25 Things Every Daughter Needs From Her Dad” or other similar titles show up on my feed. Or when a person who’s never had a 5 and 6 year old in the car for 8 hours straight suggests that children should never play on ipads. Or when someone indicates that their child’s hobby is better or more productive than another hobby. These strangers DO NOT KNOW what my kids need. Do we love our kids? Do we prayerfully try to do what’s best for them as parents? Then we’re rocking it as best we can. We know our own children and their needs better than any journalist, blogger, or Facebook friend out there. So do your thing. And don’t consult an article…or Facebook.
- We all need to spend a little time reflecting on the TRUE message our words (or lack of) send to others. Your rant about late night ball tournament pictures might make some ball parents feel a little bit attacked. You raving about one person’s talents might make the person listening feel undervalued or insecure. That text message you answered six hours later with only “K”? It was possibly really important to the person who sent it. Think about what you say (or don’t say) and what it says about you as a person. I was reflecting on this yesterday when I came across a text from a loved one that I hadn’t answered for three weeks. Three weeks! Am I busy? Yes. Do I think about my friend regularly? Yes. So, why then, did I not take a few seconds and give her the response text she deserved? Well, I finally did yesterday. I apologized, filled her in on what I’ve been up to, and we had a nice chat. But it made me realize that by not giving her a worthy response, I was showing her that she didn’t matter to me right then. That’s not what I want to do. If it matters, we find time. End of story.
So what am I doing about these “burning” issues? I’m trying to be the change I want to see. I’m monitoring my presence on social networking, eating healthy snacks, loving my kids in a way that only I can, and trying to show rather than tell people that I love them. I try every day to be kind rather than right. I bite holes in my tongue.
And I post on this blog rather than starting a literal fire. Ha. Proceed with your day.