Sunday, December 28, 2008

The family that wasn't there.

So, I wonder why most bloggers blog. I'm sure there are some who use this service as a personal diary, others who use it to tout their political agenda and others to promote themselves or their businesses. But I believe a lot of us blog to help our friends and family keep up to date with some of the important happenings in our life. It's an easy way to share in this busy world - I post it when I have time, you read it (or just look at the pictures) if you have time.

So, when your friends, or especially your family, don't pay attention to your blog AT ALL what's the point?

I am grateful for the friends and family who DO show an interest in our lives. And I know our lives are just that...OURS. No one will ever be as interested in them than those of us immersed in them. But I take an interest in the goings on of my friends and loved ones. I believe I have some inkling of what they're up to. We keep in touch by phone, in real life (GASP! I KNOW!), by e-mail and sometimes throughour blog posts. I think that's just something you DO when you're interested in and care about a person.

So, maybe you can guess how I felt at a family gathering this weekend when it became very clear that more than a couple of family members not only never read the blog, but had no idea through ANY OTHER CHANNELS what we've been up to this year. Yep - it irked the hell out of me. (Of course, it didn't help that one of these relatives greeted my 8-year-old daughter with braces as, "Motormouth.")
"So. What have you been up to? Gone on any trips lately?"

WHAT?! Have we gone any TRIPS?!

Anyone who reads this blog or the auto-send e-mails it provides to subscribers know we were gone for TEN weeks, 9,611 miles, we posted more than 2,000 photos and countless words. And it's something that kinda comes up in discussion, you know, when a family member is on the road for so long or are on an otherwise "big adventure."

They know nothing about our lives. So, well, my immediate reaction was that they didn't really give a flyin' fart about us. I know...I know! People are busy with their own lives. They don't have time to spend on the computer. They have other more important things to do than read blogs. And I suppose that's part of the point. Other things, anything, is more important than keeping in touch. Then what's the point of gathering and pretending to be family? What IS family?

Go ahead. Blog about why you blog, how your family responds, what you believe a family is; or post it here...yep...right down there where it says "free thinkers." Click there. Post. I'd love to read your take.


  1. Oh goodness .... which one of your sibs came up with THAT one? Doesn't Motormouth usually refers to someone who likes to talk a lot (it was my nickname in school) rather than to somebody wearing braces?

    My take on family is that you rarely get to choose your family members except in adoptions and even then you only get to choose if you are the one doing the adopting. You are born to parents you don't choose and have brothers and sisters, whether by birth or by marriage, that you usually don't get a vote on, and those things you had no say in at all can really mess with your head if you let it. At some point you've got to say what you said to me at Kathy's memorial service when Aunt Patti was running on about something pretty unrelated to reality ... "it's just Aunt Patti. What can you do?" --- and you sort of shook your head and gave a little SMILE.

    What? Smile at some clueless dunderhead who is clearly more interested in their branch of the family than anybody else's? Well, yeah -- because otherwise you'll be up at 1 a.m. blogging instead of curled up sleeping in your house with your family in which I am quite interested indeed.

  2. WOW ! Hmmm.

    So, responding to your blogs may not be my strong-point, but rest assured, I do read each one.

    I love the ability to stay informed of the happenings in your family-unit. :)

    I have many times seriously considered starting a blog of my own. However, each time I do, it seems to take the shape of a very angry sounding host site for my current soap box. So, I simply delete it and wait for another time to try again.

    I agree with '1:30 am anonymous' in the statement that you cannot CHOOSE your family.
    Sometimes the best you can do is give every effort to simply remain polite and tolerant of ignorance.

    Don't let someone else's lack of involvement affect your passions. (Swimmming probably taught you that, too.)


  3. Some friends of ours lived in China for a year and were amazed at how many friends and family thought they were in Japan! Maybe that says more about their geography skills than anything..... those public schools.... ha ha ha

  4. Wow,

    Well I enjoyed all the reading and pictures.... I saw and learned about places that I will never visit in my life.

    And all this was from the family adventure prospective.

    Keep me on the list.

  5. Good point. What has happened to the "family of the past"? My family rarely gets together anymore and when we are together is is just chaos. It's rare that anyone has time to get together for more than an hour, and then, POOF! they have gone home. One can look forward for months to being together and then be left with disappointment. SUCH IS LIFE!

  6. well, i'm sorry Jen but i really think they don't care about you! and maybe don't care with anyone except themselves! it's great now you know, but honestly your family it's your husband and your two little ones! As you said, others have their own life. You will probably find more love and having more interest for friends. As they choose you are important to them! Like your dad and mum choose to have you!

    Don't be upset or sad with them, your time is important. Use it with people who care!

  7. Well, I blog for my own benefit. And my blog is mostly about homeschooling anyways. I very rarely put anything personal on there. And yes about 6 people get my blog. If they read the blog good, if they don’t, they’re problem not mine. Usually when I blog, I will print them out and put them in my journal. Which I am about 2 months behind in doing due to it’s takes time to transfer them to my electronic journal that I keep on a flash drive locked up on the flash drive. And plus it’s hard to come to the computer with out interruption.

  8. Ask me how it feels to be BLOCKED from a family member blog. It was said that I read too much into it when I made a comment about what I read.
    All I can say is the truth goes a long way. If it didn't happen don't write about it!

  9. Don't let your family get you down. Remember, you only get to pick your friends, your family is just a large branch on a tree, or whatever. I LOVE your blog and because of it I feel a part of your life, even though I don't see you too often.

  10. Jen, I feel like I know you and your family more now than I did in the early years of your children and even before them. I love to read your blog, its the first thing I check when I sit down to the computer. I look up to you and your ideals. You make a difference in the lives of your family and others. Horay for you. Let everyone else be ignorant if they please.

  11. My family(particularly my extended family) and friends RARELY, if ever, responds to my blog, but I don't have the time or energy to fret over their apparent lack of interest:) Ironically, the one time there was a BIG response to my blog from family, it was negative...A couple of family members have virtually isolated themselves from me because of my stance on Prop. 8, even boycotting our family Christmas celebration!

  12. Wow, Cousin Cyndi! That was really nice of you to share publicly. You've always been a pretty decent kid yourself, you know. You're witty, intelligent, beautiful and way ahead of the curve, whether you'd allow yourself to acknowledge any of those or not. I've always believed in you, and you've never let me down. :)

  13. JenPB,
    what a healthy response you have gotten re: Why Bother. I sense that all who comment care.
    A blog. Who would have thought to find such a great way to communicate in writing and photos with others of common interest. E-mail groups, Bulletin Boards and now blogs.
    Of most benefit to me at the family Christmas gathering was seeing the 10 cousins together. Another opportunity for them to grow closer. All four families are very busy with their family lives & parent careers. But some how, they all managed to meet for a day of fun in one place. Those who take time to read blogs and those who do not. They were all there.
    I have not been able to keep up with each family’s vacations, achievements and I do not know all of their goals. But it is evident that they all demonstrated a deep caring for one another by gathering together for a day at Christmas time. Hope it happens again soon.
    So I checked out those that follow your blog. Found a sister-in law there and read her blog. Found a niece there and read her blog. Now I know more then before about these two families and what they have been up to. It's all good, just takes some time to discover. And time is a scarce commodity for some.

  14. Hey, we've practically begged family members to look at our blog!! Slowly they're coming around! Thanks for being a fellow blogger, I really appreciate it and think blogging is such a great way to get to know new people. I guess we try to have our blog mainly for our friends that live all over and to share our life on the farm. Keep it up!

  15. Wow...are we feeling sensitive? I am at my computer daily because I work on the computer. This means I get your and everyone else's emails daily most of the time... and I get lots of email...lots. I imagine you also get computer time most days and you no doubt get lots of traffic as well. I have found that I prefer communicating via email for its economy when it comes to sharing a message with multiple people even though I truly miss the one on one method. I have also found it frustrating that not everyone embraces the computer and the internet in the same way that I do. In addition to my work, I use email to communicate with the fifteen other families who's girls are in Mckenna's Girl Scout troop and the nine other families who are on Spencer's soccer team. Invariably there are those who get left out of the loop unless I call them or send along a flyer because they just don't check email that often, don't enjoy using email or just don't find they have the time to keep up that way. Those that do receive and read my email don't always respond. I sometimes get frustrated because it causes me extra work to reach out in another way or to track who did and didn't get the permission slip, the message about an upcoming event or schedule change. I don't for a minute assume that they have no interest or somehow mean to disrespect me. Not everyone is interested in this communication method and even though I use the computer and the internet a lot I have spent almost no time on anyones blog. That is not because I don't care about anyone. It is just something I have not gotten into yet. I also don't have a face book account which seems to baffle some who feel it is the end all. For me sitting down and logging on usually leads to hours flying by and unfortunately my life doesn't have lots of free hours. With regard to "any trips lately" perhaps the offender was referring to anything since the monstrous journey this past summer. You often take the classroom on the road so I doubt I am the only one who assumes that you have ventured about since returning from your big trip. Thinking back it could have been me in an attempt to start up a conversation to see what you have been up to since then. Maybe I'm getting old or am on the early track to memory loss or maybe like many parents of young children my mind is full but I often forget what I heard just recently. I guess I am saying that I think you are reading too much into this. For me I just try to keep a glass half full if you know what I mean. I have no doubt that your family is interested. Bill

  16. I'm always sensitive to the way I may be perceived by my friends and family. I've never been one to take silence as anything but a sign of disinterest. Particularly lo-o-o-o-ong silences.


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