Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Spoonful Of Sugar.

I live in Northern California where we like to hug trees and eat granola.
But I'm a transplant - I come from a country where unless your leg is hanging off you should not expect sympathy.
It's living between these two sweeping generalizations that gives me a balanced point of view.

When I was pitching my book, I was told repeatedly that I need either a PhD in parenting or a hook.
It was suggested (repeatedly) that the hook should be my 'story.' More specifically my sad story because sad sells.
I resisted. Dug my heels in. I don't want to tell my sad story. Why not? I don't want to be defined by my sad story.

What is the obsession with sad? Why isn't it entertaining to read about someone's happy, successful life?
I understand that sharing your story can help people to find community. I most certainly have used blogs, books and the internet for just that very purpose. I also have worked really hard to move on from my story. To break the cycle.
I want to believe that we don't need to be pulled in by the promise of sad and distressing. We can simply enjoy to read something that is lighthearted and amusing. For me different is interesting and if it's not then it's just poorly written.

I went to a session at BlogHer that reinforced this belief. Several very intelligent women were proposing that we use our blogs to turn the tide. To move away from the fear culture and encourage people to celebrate happy. It seems such a simple philosophy. Somehow we have gotten to a place where celebrating success is seen as boastful and conceited. I think maybe it's just the sharing of joy and excitement. When given the choice I'l take laughter over fear every time. Except perhaps for these 3 minutes but otherwise - every time.

I think that's why I love BlogHer so much (not because it agrees with me) but because it celebrates. It sees the success in a story not just the struggle. It listens to the sad but focuses on the redemption.

I love that.

At my gym they have TV's. I believe the purpose is too distract you from the hell of the treadmill.
A few weeks ago as I slogged way on the machines, the program I was watching (OK I admit I watch Regis and Kelly) was interrupted to go live to the White House where President Obama was going to make a speech.
The headline across the top of the screen was 'COUNTDOWN TO MELTDOWN!"
Countdown to complete and utter over hyped political shenanigans more like. Even knowing this I noticed my adrenalin was up (and it was certainly not from my 'running') I watched feeling a little anxious as to what I was about to hear. What I heard was in no way related to meltdown and let me tell you as a mother of two young girls I know quite a bit about meltdown.
It's unnecessary. 'Countdown To The Budget' would have told me all I needed to know.
For me, had they put a picture of a really cute bunny up there with the headline, I would have taken the news a little easier.

I know that there's a lot of sad in the world and I think we should be compassionate and caring but it doesn't have to involve fear. I think we could focus on the upside, share a laugh, celebrate a success - simple or epic.

I think we could learn to be less addicted to the drama. I know I could.


  1. I could not agree with you more! Ugh.. I get so sick of watching the news... I swear its one bad thing after another and the the happy part?? well they just seem happy to report it.. its a weird thing.

  2. I really enjoyed your writing, and the upbeat feeling. I do agree. I decided to blog to get away from my journal that was looking to down in the dumps. I wanted to be remembered for being happy.


Leave me a comment.