Jumping Off

I almost always feel like I’m on a spinning carousel, that’s going too fast and making me a bit ill, with it’s fancy horses, bright lights, and tinny music. Every now and then I jump off, but it’s such a short time of being off, that the spinning never feels like it stopped. You know what it’s like, when you were a kid and would roller skate around a rink for hours and afterwards you still felt like walking was foreign, or when you step off a boat and still feel the waves. So I step off and before the spinning feeling stops, it’s time to get back on.

And here’s the thing, I want back on. Those lights! That music! It’s so much fun! Before it makes me dizzy and sick again.

A few weeks ago the spinning was too much, and I decided to make one small change for a week. I was going to stay off Facebook.

As I write this, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been on Facebook.

The spinning from my interactions on Facebook had been too much and I’d gotten lost in waves of dizziness. Caring too much about what others thought, about what they said and how they hurt me, about if I was liked enough or good enough or whatever enough.  And I jumped off. But mostly I was hiding out, catching my breath and praying that when I got back on I’d be able to keep out of the fray. I decided it was easier, less messy and maybe necessary that I just stay away for good.

But I had these few hours just last night that reminded me of some things…. what it feels like to laugh hysterically, what it feels like to truly listen when someone is pouring out their heart, but mostly the need to create these spaces to do that. So no, Facebook isn’t perfect, but it’s a tool to connect when used right. Not a place to get likes on your photos, or find funny videos, or get your news (I mean seriously, who thinks that’s a reliable source?). It can be so much more when we use it right.

So I’m jumping back on Facebook… as soon as I post this. And I’m trying to do it differently. Spend less time on it, not let it replace true interaction, and make my own music. And I emphasize trying because I know I’ll get dizzy again and struggle with all that again…. because that’s what I do.

See you there.

Real Life

I love inspirational quotes, blog posts that uplift and empower, special moments with my kids, family vacations, and backyard camping. I love Hallmark moments.

I like to look back at photos from happy days, with my smiling boys and fun yet educational outings. I love to plan those rare days, where I leave the hated blackberry at home and focus on what matters. On those days I dream of my future with a flexible work schedule on my terms where I have more days like this.

But sometimes I put so much pressure on myself and our family to have all days be like that. I’m on vacation this week, and despite lack of finances to go away, I wanted to plan a fun and memorable stay-cation. I made a Pinterest board, I posted on Facebook, I made notes and did research. I emailed the schedule out, and told everyone it would be like vacation except we’d sleep at home. But it didn’t really turn out that way.

My husband got sick, which happens way too often, which ended much of our plans. So I sat home and sulked while letting the boys watch all the TV they wanted. I’m sulking over vacation days wasted and plans ruined and what I think I deserve on my rare free days.

Reality check. Life doesn’t always go to plan, people get sick, things happen. And today I’m not even going to remind myself of all I know, that these days can be just as good (or better) than the planned days, that I have much to be thankful for.

Today, I’m sharing a photo of reality. Not the pretty happy photos we all usually post, but the gritty real life we share with those we love.

We too often put up a front that all is well and life is grand. Then others wish their life was like that. We all do it sometimes, either faking it or wishing for a life we don’t even realize is faked. But we all have these days, not every moment is Hallmark.

Sharing life is sharing it all.

And I’ll start saving money to plan a real vacation soon!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

He didn’t have an iPhone…

This may sound silly, especially with all the things Austin has missed, but this just dawned on me.  He never had an iPhone!  The reason that strikes me as so odd, is that he was so techie that he would have certainly had one if he’d been around a little bit longer.  Austin disappeared on June 26.  The first iPhone was released on June 29.  Austin had recently gone through a few new phones, always looking for the latest and greatest.

And Facebook… back then, it wasn’t used by the masses, mostly just college students.  He never experienced the fun of checking in, posting hundreds of photos, poking people, and playing Farmville.  And Twitter!  Twitter had just been launched, and most of didn’t know what a tweet was.

We didn’t own one flat screen TV, and hadn’t even considered buying one.  They were expensive!  Now I can’t remember how we watched TV without a large flat screen with HD.  

I had never been much of a gadget person, but five months before Austin disappeared I started a new position in a software company.  For the first time, we had a lot in common in our day to day lives.  Though we did very different things in very different companies, it was a common ground.  Now over four years later, I’m still with that company and in a much different role.  But I think Austin would love knowing what I do, and even laugh at some of the stories I’d tell him if he was here.

And he’d probably be impressed that I now love having the latest and greatest phone.