I hope you had the very finest holiday. I told myself I was going to (mostly) stay off social media, but when I got a few moments alone I found myself scrolling. And smiling. Rather than being turned off by people sharing their Christmas moments online, I loved it. I thought it was beautiful seeing all the cookie plates set out for Santa, then all the mayhem on Christmas morning. I giggled at my Jewish friends chinese food feasts and my heart leapt when people posted special news or thoughtful gifts.
I know it's very popular to take social media fasts, to analyze what technology is doing to our time and our relationships, in fact it's something I plan to write a little bit about in the coming months. But this week, when I expected to be irritated by my ever-present phone apps, I thought it was nice. To quote my friend Baby Rabies, "Thank you for letting me be a part of your digital village."
For this last Friday of 2013, I've compiled my favorite links of the year. I want to be clear that I'm not christening these things The Best of the Internet (although I think they're in there), but the Best Of the HH Friday Links. I'm clarifying because I rarely link to viral posts in my Friday Links, I usually let those run wild and free elsewhere (like the HH facebook). My Friday Links are meant to be something you might not have seen otherwise, but they're also just MY favorite things that I've read each week (and you'll notice that I read A LOT on the internet every day).
My criteria for choosing the links below was if I remembered this article right off the bat as I was scrolling through nearly 50 Friday Links posts of 2013. Then I narrowed it to the ones that really stuck with me for one reason or another. Here they are, in no particular order:
- A Story About My Hair "I remember seeing Jennie Garth and feeling this pain in the pit of my stomach - a sharp awareness that I didn't look anything like her - and that that was a bad thing." (& Kathleen)
- Let's Talk About the ETB (Early Thirties Breakdown) "Sometimes hard things just have to be survived and there isn’t time to work through our emotions. So we stuff them and figure out a way to work around them. And then we get to a point in our lives (usually in our early thirties after our mommy mojo has kicked everything into high gear) and our brains simply refuse to work properly until we DEAL WITH OUR JUNK." (Vita Familiae)
- I Am Damaged Goods " 'Sarah, your virginity was a gift and you gave it away.' If true love waits, I heard, then I have been disqualified from true love." (written by Sarah Bessey for Deeper Story)
- Help Is (Not) a Four-Letter Word "When Archer was a baby I wrote about being the only mother at the park without a nanny. I wrote about feeling inadequate about being young and broke and home. I cracked jokes about nanny pimps and the neighborhood moms who clucked in the park corners as their nannies did the parenting. I judged HARD. I was a better mother because I was home. Because I was home and I was raising my kid ALL BY MYSELF WITH NO HELP SO THERE. I was feeding my kid and putting my kid down for naps and dressing my kid. I was his mother and his caretaker and I was better." (Girls Gone Child)
(And I wrote a response to this called Hiding Help Is Like Denying Botox)
- Why I Married A Black Guy "As most of you know, my husband Al is black. Actually I hate that word, but I'm going to use it this one time so just in case you're new here, you'll understand exactly what I mean." (Fried Okra)
- Rainbow Art Party (Hi Sugarplum)
- What Do You Do All Day? The Real Story Behind My Niche Blog "Even my free time is often accounted for because I share it with you. I try to read four books a month for our reviews and you will rarely find me sitting still when I am watching television because I am usually working on a craft project at the same time for the blog." (Mom Advice)
- Change the Story "Two things were true about me when I was growing up: I was smart and I was overweight...And so that’s what I became—everyone’s chubby, funny friend." (Shauna Niequist)
- Company Man by David Sedaris for the New Yorker is one of the best things I read on the internet this year, period.
- Was Salinger Too Pure For This World? by Joyce Maynard for The New York Times. "It seems the myth survives in our culture still, that a young girl’s worth, measured against that of a great man, may be of lesser consequence."
- My Love Letter To Amy Ray, of Our Beloved Indigo Girls "...all those times you’ve shown up instead of saving yourself for yourself saved my life and made me a believer. You made me a believer in God, in art, in women, in myself." (Momastery)
- No One Brings Dinner When Your Daughter Is An Addict "These questions are rarely heard: “How’s your depression these days?” “What improvements do you notice now that you have treatment for your ADD?” “Do you find your manic episodes are less intense now that you are on medication?” “What does depression feel like?” “Is the counseling helpful?” A much smaller circle of friends than those who’d fed us during cancer now asked guarded questions. No one ever showed up at our door with a meal." (Slate)
There were others, so many others. But these stood out even among the stand outs, so here they are. While you're recovering from holiday chaos, or still nursing a food coma, enjoy these weekend links.
On your list of things to do before 2013 ends: CLICKING HERE to become an HH email subscriber.