Anissa Mayhew is hands-down one of the funniest writers in the blogosphere. Her website Aiming Low does more than just comfort moms and dads who are feeling guilty about not being uber parents. It celebrates mediocrity, warts, bunions, chin hair, nose hair, drinking before noon and pretty much every possible imperfection. So if you are a hot mess because you are about to serve your kids mac ‘n cheese for the third night in a row directly off the living room carpet, never fear, because Aiming Low is near.
Aiming Low was one of the first blogs I found that made me fall in love with blogging. I stumbled upon it during a time when I was still in the infantile stages of motherhood and I was trying to figure out whether or not it was okay that I let my kids eat mac ‘n cheese directly off the living room carpet on a regular basis. How did you come up with the genius brainchild of celebrating imperfection?
I was sitting at a fabulous conference given by lovely friends of my when the truth hit that I really didn’t belong there. All day long it seemed like we were bombarded by messages that we should be, COULD BE, better if we tried. I believed being happy with good enough is ENOUGH.
Your family has had a lot of tests between your daughter’s fight with cancer and your two strokes. How do you manage to keep such an incredibly upbeat attitude (and make so many people laugh on a daily basis) when you’ve faced so many difficult experiences?
It’s never been a thought process that “Oh I’ll do something funny.” It’s literally how my mind and our lives and kids work. With everything that’s happened to us, if we didn’t find a way to laugh, we’d do nothing but cry.
How have your experiences influenced your perspective on the purpose of life and your own spirituality?
We really have a chance to make a difference in the lives around us. Through Free Anissa I’m able to glimpse into the experiences I have. With Aiming Low (which is a humor site) we have taken the opportunity of having an audience and raised awareness each month of a different cause.
My site is never a “religious site,” but no one would question my faith. I don’t think I need to bang you over the head with it to make a point.
I recently found out about a tragedy where a friend of my husband’s was set on fire by her own father. (She lived, but with over 60% of her body burned.) To me, it feels like the world should almost stop turning after such a horrible event takes place. But it doesn’t. It just keeps going. Kids go to school. Adults get their morning coffee. It rains. It snows. The sidewalks need shoveling. Life keeps moving. When you found out that your daughter Peyton had cancer, did it ever feel bizarre that the world didn’t stop and melt with you?
Tidbits about Anissa
I’m so sorry for your friend and what you all must be feeling. There was a day when we were still in the hospital after her diagnosis and I was seeing people leave the hospital talking and laughing. I felt like grabbing them and screaming that my baby had cancer they had no right to laugh. How could they not care that my child was fine last week and had cancer today?
You recently wrote about being able to move your right hand again a little. What is it like learning to move your muscles again? Do you feel hopeful that you will be able to regain movement on your whole right side?
I’m coming up on being home from the hospital one year. When I first came home there was no movement at all. Now, it may not be great, but it’s movement. I remember not being able to write a blog post. I remember not being able to make a phone call. I hope to say (someday) I remember when my right side didn’t work.
You have been a featured speaker at a number of conferences including BlogHer and Blissdom. What do you think is the best thing about blog conferences? And what is it like to have so many people you don’t know interested in your life?
The best thing about conferences…any conference….is stealing hotel towels.
But after that is the people. Getting to meet new ones, finally hugging people you’ve talked to forever, and renewing old friendships. THAT’S hands-down the best part.
After the towels.
What is your favorite way to spend free time with your kids?
We had to make some changes in what we could do together. The kids are crazy for board games so I was able to download some onto my iPad and we could all get around it, we didn’t lose pieces and we could all play!
Do you miss being an international spy?
The perks were fabulous!!!!
So you’re not running a porn site?
*sigh* Much to the disappointment of my accountant, no.
How many times can you lick Ryan Reynolds on your TV before you get electrocuted?
It really depends on what kind of TV you have. It also depends how much you like Ryan, because that might be a lot or a little drool. It’s sort of a case-by-case situation.
What do you think of the mom blogging community? Or do you see it as a community at all?
Sometimes it’s like any other community. There are those that are small-minded and out to do you harm. Then there are those that become family. There are no words for the closeness that builds. I have friends that I know outside of the computer that just don’t understand it. But these are ALL friends. To one degree or another.
What is your greatest dream (for yourself, your family, the world, anything)?
My greatest dream for all of us is that if you end it all today, I hope there is nothing you would regret. You were. You did. You loved. You lived.