Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Not Writing about Vaccination (kindof)

I have a rough writing schedule for Concrete Gardener, because I'm like that. I was due to write a post about why I vaccinate. My thoughts were grounded by my public health-research background, and by my experiences in a Public Health Department. I felt like I could position myself, and maybe be convincing to you. I was writing, and I was quite convincing to myself. I read some anti-vaccine stuff, and they sounded sort of crazy to me (though there were exceptions).

I generally have no problem foisting my opinions on you. Yet I couldn't make the post stick. Which is surprising, because the quality of my posts range from "in need of some editing" to "random pictures of Noah":
Where Noah sleeps at Bobsie's. Just kidding. Where he Really Wants To Sleep at Bobsie's, but granny loves him too much.
I think the reason I struggled is because, in this and other things, it's really easy to take positions but very hard to understand where someone is coming from. And it's usually pretty easy to be convincing to ourselves. We spend much of our lives convinced of our own rightness. Which can cage us in a bit.

And I'm still convinced of my rightness on most things, but there's that sliver of "I-don't-know-what-your-circumstances-are-but-they-may-just-may-be-legitimate" in there. Which is just a hair different from all-the-way-convinced of my rightness, but it felt like enough to step back and get perspective. It seems more important to figure out how to relate. Maybe with my own story or whatever.


In the absence of the vaccine spiel I'm going with stream of consciousness today: I'm also struggling with our bathroom. Our bathroom is concrete and smelly and the toilet never gets clean and the paint and plaster on the walls are coming off. At night, it's owned by cockroaches, and it's hard to get it to smell ok.

The thing is, I don't actually mind that much. If we were renting, it's not something I would care about much. This is not to say unhygienic is my life dream, only that I know how to avoid illness, and how to keep Noah healthy, with the bathroom just the way it is.

Yet I mind on behalf of guests, who may expect something different. The second someone enters I feel like either closing the door (maybe locking it, too) or beginning to tell them about our remodel plans. So I wonder if I'm setting unnecessarily high standards for ourselves. We have a house that we own; there's something to being really satisfied with that for a while, unnatural as it feels. Anyway, I'm really hoping we can make this house feel right, without the sense that there's always one more thing we have to do to feel comfortable.

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