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I don’t know a lot about normal family life, but in our family, we all seem to have roles. My older brother is expected to be the teacher. Whenever any of us does something obnoxious, he is inexplicably blamed for not teaching us better.

My little brother is expected to agree with everything my father does or says. Our family is a family of nerds. We play video games, we read books. We go camping occasionally and sometimes we run around aimlessly outside, but we aren’t particularly into sports and we definitely don’t lift weights for fun. Andrew is the exception of this. He doesn’t read a lot, he likes video games, but he does organized sports and he actually has normal friends that he hangs out with frequently. My father is much the same, though he does read a little and watch documentaries for fun. A lot of what my little brother says comes straight from my dad’s mouth.

My little sister has the role of the typical youngest child and suck-up. She does her chores just enough to be recognized for doing her chores more regularly than the rest of us. She also cries a lot. Everything is unfair to her.

My younger brother and sister do not get along at all. This is a definite understanding. The members of our family are genetically predisposed to being insufferable teases. My older brother and I didn’t get along particularly when we were younger either. However, we grew out of after a while. Neither of us had many friends, so we learned to get along. My younger brother and sister do not have this problem. They are both quite popular. It took me almost 10 years of public schooling to gain as many friends as they have after half that time. Because they don’t have to rely on each other for company, they haven’t learned to tolerate each other.

This brings me to my role. My role, for some reason, has always been “the peacemaker.”  Maybe they just run out of roles for middle children to play or something. Unfortunately for me, I am just as much a troublemaker as any of my siblings. I’m not an authority figure. I do not make peace.

Well, I should say that I don’t make peace the way my parents would like me to. When people think about peacemaking, they think about mediation and lowered voices. That’s what I like calling peaceful peacemaking.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience for peaceful peacemaking. When my little brother and sister are shouting at each other, I don’t think that standing to one side, softly asking them to stop is going to make any sort of impression. Perhaps it shows a lack of finesse to start shouting as well, but I can shout louder than either of them. I’m also bigger. It’s hard for them to shout at each other when I’m standing between them, also shouting. I don’t have to shout for long. I’m also intimidating enough to send them to different areas of the house.

They’re no longer fighting. They may be angry at each other and me, but they aren’t fighting. It seems like a solution to the problem. A temporary peace at least. Now I just have to figure out how to get them to respond to peaceful peacemaking. Peaceful peacemaking is a lot more effective than my methods, positive reinforcement versus negative and all that jazz.



Up until I passed my 100th post, every time I posted, there would be a little line telling me how many posts I had and giving me a small goal to reach, but after I passed 100, it stopped giving me goals to reach and then rewarding me when I reached them. I found this very annoying until it stopped. Now I am disappointed that I don’t have a goal to work toward.

I’m not really one for making goals because I don’t really care about them and I find them ridiculous. I know people that need to have goals to accomplish or else they don’t feel like they’re doing anything productive, whereas I feel productive when I do anything at all. I know that it’s important to set goals so that they motivate you to reach them, but I don’t feel like we should decide what the line is that we can reach to feel good about ourselves. Life seems like it would be so much more than just a bazillion different little lines or marks that we need to pass, like the mile markers on roads.

Our family went on a trip to California last summer. We drove all the way from Utah. I’m not sure how many miles that is, but it took us ten hours(ish) to get there. The entire time we were driving, I was either sleeping or watching the mile markers. Mile markers fascinate me, for some reason, especially the ones that we saw on our trip, seeing as the little markers look different depending on what state you’re in. In California, the mile markers didn’t just have the number of the mile you were at, they had a whole bunch of things on the sign (also, they were white with black writing instead of green with white writing, like they are in Utah). It took me a week of staring at them with hypnotic fascination to figure out that they stated the mile, the highway/name of the road, and the county that you were driving in.

The point is that my father kept giving us the number of miles to where we were going, seeing as he had no idea how long it would take us to get there, so I kept staring at the signs, keeping track of how many miles we had gone so that I would know when we would arrive. This probably kept me from seeing a lot of things on our trip. I’m sure there were cool things to see, but I missed them because I was staring at the same part of the side of the road, waiting for the next mile marker. I do this whenever we drive anywhere. I like knowing how many miles we’ve gone. This is where I tie the story in with what I was talking about:

Little goals can sometimes be like mile markers. If we keep obsessing over them, we’re going to miss some stuff. Now that I think about it, little goals are also like pennies. Maybe they are more like pennies than mile markers. When I walk down the hallway at school, I keep my eyes glued to the ground, number one, so that I don’t fall over, and number two, so that if I see any stray coins, I can snatch them up. It’s rewarding (sort of), but if I actually payed (is it payed or paid? I’m never sure…) attention to what was going on around me, I may get to see people and wave at them or talk to them or something else.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have goals, I’m just saying that people shouldn’t obsess about goals. They also shouldn’t be so obsessive about productivity. You can contribute to people’s lives even if you aren’t being productive.

For example, during the month of November (and occasionally during the months of June and August), I write a novel as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I set specific goals (big and small) and then I make a detailed plan of everything I do to make sure that I finish the novel in the time I am allotted and to make sure that my story-line isn’t just one big plot hole. Fortunately, after November is over, I have written a novel that I’m usually quite proud of (at least for a while until I realize how horrible it is). Unfortunately, I’ve fallen behind on my school work or I have neglected some other aspect of my life (There aren’t really all that many aspects in my life, but whatever).

It’s nice to feel like I’m being productive and writing a novel is SUPER fun, but afterwards I’m glad I’m not in the middle of NaNoWriMo because it’s stressful and I am particularly prone to stress. People are always wondering why their lives are so stressful, but it’s really not all that hard to figure out. People think that getting organized will help with the stress (and it may very well do that), but a better way to decrease stress is to stop doing so much stuff. Stop setting such horrific goals, stop worrying so much about how far you’ve come and start enjoying where you’re going.

Unless, of course, you don’t like where you’re going, then that’s going to be stressful, so just make sure you’re going someplace nice… like a castle… or a forest. Forests are nice.

Saddest Episode:

The thing about Doctor Who, Steven Moffat in particular, is that they read your mind, figuring out the worst possible thing you can imagine happening to your favorite characters, and then making it happen. That is the reason why Moffat is so accurately labeled the biggest troll ever. Frankly, his writing style is my favorite thing ever. He has no qualms with taking a beloved character and making them SUFFER. I, myself, try to kill off most of my characters at the end of the story, if not all of them. The world should thank writers like that; if we didn’t get to kill characters in books, then who knows how many real people we would end up killing?

Anyway, the saddest episodes are the one where Rose “dies”, the one where River “dies”, the one where Ten regenerates into Eleven (the one where he “dies”), and all of the ones where Rory “dies”. Also, the one where the doctor has to wipe Donna’s memory (I didn’t want to mention it because she doesn’t “die” and I wanted to keep the pattern up, but it’s very sad…).

Interestingly enough, whenever someone actually dies, it’s like, “Oh, darn, someone actually died… BEAT UP THE BAD ALIENS!!!!!!!” yet the really sad parts are when people “die”. All of the instances when people ambiguously die, but really are becoming inaccessible, such as the examples above, it seems to be so much sadder. Moffat is brilliant like that. To just kill them would be sad, but to have them still technically be alive but unreachable is TRAGIC.

Once I wrote a novel about time travel and after my main character spent all this time trying to fix all of the things that had gone wrong in time under the impression that she would be able to return to her normal life, she finished to find that she would cease to exist and another version of herself would take her place and then she sort of becomes lost in the darkness of space. Of course the scene could have been way more sad than I wrote it because when I think that I’m going to write some deep, emotional scene, I get lazy and write what happened. That’s why I rarely let people read things that I write seriously, because they are usually awful.

Anyway, as long as Moffat is in charge of Doctor Who, everyone is going to be miserable and yet strangely compelled to continue watching. He’s a freaking warlock like that. We’ve been magicked. Good luck with your hopes and dreams.