Tag: new blog theme

Simple is the New Luxury

festive lighting

Daylight savings time is a human invented stupidity in which we pretend the sun is rising and setting an hour later or earlier than it really is.  The truth is that it rises and sets on the same schedule it has been rising and setting on for millions of years.  You are not more tired this morning because you lost an hour.  You just fell victim to your own hoax.  It’s the weakest mind-fuck ever.

I would love it if my state were to stop playing this ridiculous game with clock hands.

I spent 8 hours yesterday re-doing both my blogs.  The plan was to simplify them and I was amazed at how complicated and tedious the process of simplifying can be.  I chose the default wordpress theme 2012 because it has almost no bells and whistles and is really clean looking.  Though I didn’t settle on choosing it until I farted around with Atahualpa for quite some time first.  For so long the trend in blogging has been to customize and make your theme look your own with a million little details.  I couldn’t even get this theme to do drop-down menus and in the end I’m happy it doesn’t.  My blog may look like a thousand other blogs now – and that’s fine because what should really be important isn’t the bells and whistles of my theme but the content and my photographs.  I am a writer, not a programmer or website designer.  I don’t want to spend my time trying to manage the details of my blog from the technical side.  I don’t want to mess with that or think about it.  Except for periodically changing my header.  I do enjoy doing that.  But it’s not like I do anything really impressive or fancy.  So that’s how I spent my Saturday.  I wanted to sew but I’m glad I got this done.  The places I come to write should not bother me visually.  I feel like this theme is so simple and clean that I can breathe again.

That’s how I want my whole life to be.  Life is not generally cooperative in this way.  I guess that’s what’s nice about online spaces – we can make them as simple or complicated as we want and it complies because we’re the hand behind the machine.  Life is not getting more simple for me yet but I suppose that if it takes 8 hours of grueling computer work to simplify such a shallow thing as my blog – to simplify life takes an effort amplified by the things that are always out of our control, the diverse elements that make up our life, and time constraints.  When you need to fix your blog up you stop writing on it and do the maintenance work.  Life just never stops.  So you have to work on it while it’s moving and while meeting obligations and living.

I’m working hard to get things set up for Max with regard to school and his medical and psychiatric support so that he has the best chance at succeeding.  While that will never stop being work – it should ease up if I ever get a 504 in place.  I’m working to get him into some healthier habits like walking the dog with his dad and eating better food.  I find this exhausting which is why I periodically just give up.  But when I give up I let him eat whatever and it’s worse than when I only let him eat mostly whatever.  Those who understand, understand, those who don’t, don’t.

The thing is: parenting is already a full time job.  Being a mom or a dad is a 24 hour a day job for a minimum of 16-18 years with worry and involvement lasting an entire lifetime.  Just feeding, coaching, and making my kid meet the minimum obligations for a healthy life is a full time job in itself.  Forget about “having fun” or helping with homework or spending quality time playing board games or taking family outings – that stuff takes energy and if your energy is sapped just making your son eat one lousy item of produce a day and keeping all possible bits of produce he might eat in the fridge and encouraging him to try new foods – well – all that other shit just falls by the wayside.  Max is in a real food trying phase which is great but exhausting for me.

Meanwhile I have my regular job.  And on top of that there’s the animals and the household and having to sew my own wardrobe or look scary-shabby and cooking and I’m supposed to be fitting exercise in there every day and eating healthily and and and and and…

My life feels way over-full.  Too many things in the picture.  I know I need to make choices but I refuse to let go of the writing, I can’t let go of the paying job, obviously I can’t give up on my kid ever, I can’t afford to go buy a whole wardrobe of clothes that fit my body, and I need to be gardening for the sake of my mental health.  I am feeling overwhelmed.  I would like my life to be as simple and clean as this blog theme.  I keep telling myself that it will smooth out.  In another couple of weeks and many hours later I’ll be done with sewing my clothes.  I can start quilting – the fun stuff I can do while watching tv shows while winding down for bed.  Once I get Max his 504 I won’t have to have quite so many meetings with doctors and the school and writing letters and maybe there will come a time when he eats enough healthy things that I don’t have to constantly worry about and deal with HOW TO FEED MY CHILD SOME REGULAR FOOD.  Maybe he’ll thin out with the added exercise and slightly better food and I won’t have to worry about him being overweight.

What hard choices have you had to make to live the life you want?  What have you cut out of your life to simplify it?  Have you let ambitions fall to the ditch?  Have you figured out a magical way to meet your obligations with a minimum of fuss?

At least I simplified my writing space.  That only took 8 hours.  And at least while I’m sitting here writing in it I feel less oppressed by cumbersome details.

SIMPLIFY is my new anthem of intention.

The State of Things

If you happened to visit this blog yesterday you may  have gone blind with the fonts changing any time you clicked anything and blaring hideous colors blinding your retinas and been confused at random things appearing and disappearing.  That’s because I’m using a different theme now and it allows for tons of customization and has sucked me into the weird purgatory between the world of complete css ignorance and programmers.  A place where you start learning just enough to have some customization power to give you a thirst to control everything.  I entered into font hell and learned all about line padding and container padding and column width.

I read an article on the optimal font size and line height and line width for reading comfort – the idea is that if you aren’t comfortable reading a blog you’ll leave it.  Makes sense.  Sometimes we don’t know what is turning us off we just know we don’t like something about something and avoid it.  I get this.  It’s the holy grail of design: elements all purposely made for ultimate consumer comfort and attraction.  But it’s easy to get sucked into a black-hole of details and go completely mad.  I tried so many fonts yesterday that my eyes started hating them all.  I’ve settled on Georgia for now but I’m not at all certain about it.

At the end of the day – the main thing is that I’m learning new tricks on the computer and I’m enjoying having more control over how my blog looks.  I may make many changes over the next few weeks as I play around.  I’m having a lot of fun.

Meanwhile – I have been in a grand state of chaos as my job has been implementing some new systems which take adjusting to – so I’ve been behind for two weeks now.  At the same time I’ve had all these food projects going on that I’ve had trouble keeping up with.  Max’s birthday is this week as is Thanksgiving and my mom’s birthday happens shortly after that and then Philip’s birthday.  It feels like chaos around here.  But it’s not so bad.  For the first time in forever I just paid all my bills on time and there weren’t that many of them.  As I’ve mentioned before – we owe thousands of dollars to the IRS and hundreds to the Oregon Revenue Service – so we’re a long way off of being solvent.  Our last house is still floating in that weird non-forclosed-on state and it’s okay.  These things will take time.

Yesterday was great.  I have finally gotten my olives in their second brine and they SMELL like unseasoned olives – very cool!  I am almost ready to put batch two in their first brine.  And today I’m going with my friend Sharon to pick some of my dad’s olives in Sonoma.  These are the kinds of things I like to do for fun.  If you want to hear more detail about my olive curing adventures you can read about them HERE and HERE on Stitch and Boots.

I was thinking this week about how I used to write on my blog every day.  It was the public diary of my various adventures.  At some point I started feeling obligated to only write posts when I had something meaty to write or late at night after several beers when caught in the quagmire of a particular song.  I think I’m going to return to my old habits because I find it more cathartic and healthy to empty my budget every day or at least a few times a week.  So with the new blog theme I think I’m going to be writing more frequently.

The state of things around here is good.

How are the state of things in your world?