What is this?

This is the Lighthearted Life.  It is the Life of hmv.  And I am hmv.

Photos credits:
Elle S Images (Olivia, 2y)
Shanna Chess Photography (Henry, newborn)
Melanie Manning Photography (maternity)

I like to write. I have a dog, a daughter, a son, and a husband (not in that order). I also have a full time job. I live in the beautiful and weird state of Oregon.

What are we doing here?

Firstly, we are keeping it lighthearted. We are keeping it real, too. But not too real.

I thought about writing a blog that was funny. But there is something terrifying and off-putting about saying "I am funny!  Come here and read this and you will laugh!" because holy shoot what if you don't and then I've failed and that sucks and then what are we even DOING here?

I also considered writing about motherhood and what I have picked up along the way. It's just that...I don't want to be an expert in that area. I'm not an expert. I'm not even sure that I'm doing it correctly.

I went into the parenthood game with an idea of what I would be like as a parent, and it has just turned out so differently.  From giving birth to sleep-training to whether or not to allow French fries, I've changed my mind a hundred times and I'm still changing it.  (Except the fries, those are here to stay.)

I used to have some pretty firm notions of where I stood politically too. I've always identified as a feminist. Whether that meant insisting on getting a turn at Horse with the boys on the playground, or writing 13,000 page papers about intersectionality. (Turns out I was better at the paper-writing, but who knows? Watch out WNBA!!)

Politics and women's issues have taken a central role in my life...but I see things differently now. It turns out that you can't learn everything about a person by knowing who they voted for or who takes care of their kids when they're at work or whether they breastfed their babies. But these are interesting things to learn about people, if you're ready to listen.

And that's what I think being lighthearted is about. It's about listening without judgment. It's about not taking myself too seriously. It involves laughing at myself and at the absurdity of life. And the whole idea that anyone has this figured out.

But I am pretty sure of this: nothing is all one thing.  People are not all good or all bad.  They are people.  I am a person.  And although I will tell you that I know everything and I'm really quite flawless, we both know the truth (I have one flaw).

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
— Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life