Monday, May 26, 2014

Facebook… or as I like to call it #fauxbook

A few weeks ago there was a video doing the rounds on Social Media. The message of this video was basically saying "Look up from your phone or the world / time goes by too fast."  The irony being the quantity of shares to my Facebook feed.

A friend shared it and challenged herself to log off Facebook for the entire week. Never wanting to miss a challenge I #challengeaccepted (seriously… that surprises you? How?) I may have shared the hashtag #eekcanIsurvivewithNOFacebookforawholeweek but I was ready to at least give it a try.   

You see Facebook (for me) has its good points - I can catch up with friends I haven't seen for years. School friends who are organising a reunion for later this year are using it as a connection tool - to link as many of us as possible & having finished High School with a HUGE class, it is no small task. (I shall of course keep you guessing on what year this reunion is… #eek!)

Via Facebook I have been seriously blessed to connect with several beautiful girls. From these connections, there has been long weekends away, creation of a quilt group PLUS a small art group. We also meet outside of these groups for coffee dates and play dates for the kids.  These are some of the most gorgeous girls I have ever met and likely have never had the opportunity to meet them had we not met and had mutual interests online.

There is another smaller group who supported me through my secondary infertility battles, though I've only met a few of the girls & we don't talk on a daily basis as much anymore - its good to know they are there if ever I fall.

Of course that's not including several photography groups & art groups.

After viewing this video and accepting the set challenge to go a week without - I logged off my phone on Monday night before I fell asleep. On Tuesday I felt as though my tether had been removed and I moved about my day in a semi daze. I won't share with you how many times I clicked that app on my phone, it was ridiculous! I gave myself half an hour that night to use my iPad to pop over and check in & it felt good. The rest of the week followed in this fashion until Sunday night when the iPad was flat & I mistakenly logged back in on my phone. By then - my challenge was a complete and utter flop and I found myself resorting to checking in again regularly. 

Things I discovered about myself on my {very} small hiatus 

* 6 hours to myself is so much time to spend doing all the things I never get to. 
* My phone battery is capable of lasting longer - simply by logging out.
* I use Facebook far more than I cared to admit.  

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Then there is the other side of Fauxbook. What once was a place to share family pictures and funny things has slowly over time become MORE. I'm not sure how it wall works and it shits me that I am able to read comments my friends make on things they are interested in. If they like something - it gets fed through to MY wall. They are only small things & I figure the comments I make upon Endometriosis pages are also shared to their feeds & likely I am driving them crazy too!   

What is starting to get to me is the attitudes of people.

My mum always told me "If you can't say something nice - then don't say anything at all"

Each day I would log on and if I happened to read the comments on something of interest - I was horrified to see more often than not, arguments erupting and resulting in disgusting comments hurled toward each other. People sharing memes that insult other people (but it makes THEM feel better, so hey why not share?) its even gotten to the point that I see people arguing on a police update in which someone has passed away - which aside from the absolute poor taste of said people, really is it necessary?

My husband and I have been discussing this darker side of Facebook of late and he has been saying - for months now - that it can't possibly be good for us. I have to admit I have been feeling the same. Over the weekend he finally deactivated his account and already I can see the difference in him. He seems happier and is using Instagram and Twitter simply because he can control his feeds. Except today Facebook messages him "welcome back - we've missed you"  

My best friend ditched her account several months ago and I can see her happiness shining too. As she said to me the other day - if someone wants to be her "friend" then they should accept that she is turning old School and she WILL pick up the phone and ring them. Talking. Face to Face. The way it was done back in my day {showing my age now :P }

My hubby suggested that I ditch it & while I can see so many benefits - I would really, really miss those friendships I have developed over the years. So for now I am dialling back. I've decided to make my Facebook time Constructive rather than Wasted time. I will start growing a thicker skin & try really super hard not to take things to heart (or out of context.) I'm censoring what I *want* to see by hiding certain posts. The biggest change I am making is to stop reading comments on police updates etc. For the interim, I have also decided to log off the app on my phone. I will allow time each night to log on & say hi to friends. I'm not sure how long I will last but I am determined to try my best.       

How do you feel about Facebook? 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Signs of Ageing…

 

#1 - discovering hundreds of SILVER streaks in your hair, 4 hours before you are due to walk out the door. TO A WEDDING!
Solution: spend an hour painstakingly and oh so SLOWLY applying a hair colour…

(lest we end up with a disaster like last home dyed hair)

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#2 - Forgetting to have lunch before a 2:30 ceremony. Oh Hai there first beer of the day…
Solution: look waveringly unstable on your bar chair and have your friends hubby buy you a packet of salt 'n vinegar chips 

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#3 - Discovering wrinkles you hadn't seen before in the fluro light of the golf club bathroom.
Solution: slug back another beer, and don't use the bathroom again that night.

{insert discriminating photo here >>> yeah - like I was gonna fall for that trick!} 

 

#4 - Dancing all night in heels that are far too high for you to cope with.
Solution: drink more beer, it numbs the pain of the feeling that your feet have become stars in an episode of fringe where there are no bones left in there)

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#5 - Discovering you are bleeding (from those darn shoes) AFTER you head home for the night.
Solution: pay more attention to pain on said feet and apply the bandaid you put in your purse for that specific purpose! 


#6 - Finding a blister the next morning
Solution: hide those darn shoes until the next wedding


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#7 - Shedding a tear during the ceremony after realising you are old enough to now start attending the second round of weddings. #eeek our nieces and nephews will be next!
Solution: drink another beer & pretend those tears are because of your shoes. 


#8 - Realising you racked up only 5 hours sleep and even though you stayed in bed for a further 3 hours, you are more tired than when you came home with a newborn. 
Solution: Don't have another baby!!!


#9 - Taking (shaky) drunken selfies and being told you are doing it wrong - by the young' uns….
Solution: No solution but perhaps stay away from Facebook lest you scare your friends with puckered lips & kiss me lollies. (I did NOT do anything of the sort!!!)

{yeah - see point 3…like I was gonna fall for that again!} 


#10 - Drinking copious amounts of coffee to stay awake, large quantities of water to re-hydrate the body and walking around the shops with raccoon eyes.
Solution: Buy makeup remover before the next wedding. Drink more water the day of. Limit your beer intake. And perhaps EAT a little lunch before hand!!! 

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Even though I swore to myself on my birthday last week that it was just another number to add to a growing pile, this weekend has proved beyond a shadow of doubt - I am approaching middle age and even though I still feel "young" it takes me so much longer to bounce back. *yawn* excuse me while I go curl up on the lounge under a crocheted rug and drink my cuppa tea and watch all these young-uns take the reigns of life!                     

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Negative Energy vs Health

That negative energy I was prattling on about last week. It was written well… well. 

BEFORE the nasty witch came visiting on day 21. Oh Yay. Another Three week cycle!

BEFORE I was struck down with the worst headaches and neck pain I've had in a while.

BEFORE the cramps struck an hour after panadol was taken for the never ending headaches.

BEFORE I cried because it was all together too much pain.

BEFORE the fatigue had me pinned to the couch. 

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Turning these Negatives into POSITIVES 

I allowed my poor body to rest up for the whole entire day.

I watched not one but SIX episodes of Hart of Dixie… in a row.

I ate copious amounts of Roses chocolates.

I missed the School run because hubby volunteered his services.

I didn't have to cook dinner because Hubby decided I was too sick.

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Truly though the biggest positive by far? By allowing myself a day off to rest, I have managed a full day of study and am feeling a little more in control of my timeline with this course. I daresay had I not succumbed to my ailments and tried pushing through I would have spent most of the afternoons this week recovering. I daresay it is a fair trade.

I guess what I'm trying to articulate here is that I felt guilty yesterday. I continually apologised to hubby for being useless, I beat myself up over the fact that I'd just said not a week earlier that I would not succumb to the pain - I would not continue to beat on about how bad it was and just get on with it.

Until I realised that my own internal chatter about focussing on the negative was actually more detrimental to my overall well being. I need to see that by admitting the pain can be bad is not admitting that I'm a hypochondriac or admitting defeat or admitting weakness - no admitting that the pain is bloody dreadful is showing that I can cope with that pain, I can live to see another day and I can deal with this disease as it snakes its way through my body.     

Friday, May 16, 2014

Striving for Happiness

A couple of months back it came to me that each day I was just "being" I wasn't actually "doing" anything out of the ordinary and while in most peoples lives, this is more than okay - for me it wasn't enough.

I spend far too many minutes being consumed by stupid worries and sweating the small stuffs somewhere along the way, I had somehow lost the real meaning of happiness. Don't get me wrong - I am overall a happy person - I certainly don't mope around every single second of every single day (contrary to what you might believe if you've ever read my blog!) Rather I just found myself buried amongst the the normal rushing of every day life and no longer stopped to smell the roses. 

My hubby thinks (& likely he is 100% correct) that Facebook is mainly to blame - which is another whole post in itself!  

If you've been following me for a while now - you will know that I don't do things by halves, within a few days of starting this I set up a small photo album and started a personal #projectBEhappy (featured on my craft blog) and then after stumbling across #100happy on Instagram, I signed up with a few fellow friends!  

I popped into KiKKi K recently and found this book, I admit the pretty "happy" colours on the front make me smile. This will be the book I read during Music Lessons each week and I'm hoping that it will provide a little guidance toward seeing through clearer eyes how to live an AWESOME and HAPPY life.    

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Not surprisingly when I got home, I remembered a little desktop calendar I bought a few years back for $2 that I had filed with my art journalling supplies - thinking to use the quotes on my pages. TURNS out that it is the same woman who wrote the above book - and yes I did feel a little silly about that mistake! 

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I've popped it up on a mini art easel & each day I've been stopping to read the message and consider it. And if that particularly day inspires me to pick up my pen and start writing, then even better. 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{just keep blogging}

Hold the boat - I do believe I've found the secret to my lack of blogging lately.

~ Just keep blogging ~ Just keep blogging ~ Just keep blogging ~

This week & hopefully in the coming weeks, I have decided to commit to 3-4 posts minimum (today's post will be number 3 for the week) mainly because it seems easier when I just jump in and DO and WRITE. Rather than sit about moaning and groaning and making lists of all the reasons why I DON'T…

Not that I intend to stop making lists - lists are FUN!
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Even better are lists on pretty notebooks and in RAINBOW colours! This will DEFINITELY help to keep me on track for the week ahead!

The past two days I've been contemplating this rut I've found myself in and I know from previous years the only way forward for me is to work my way through it & usually that means airing what's in my head on this blog. This week (incase you didn't notice already) I've felt a rise of anxiety - that groundhog day I mentioned that is happening in my attempted novel - well its bitten me on the backside at home too. Each day I feel as though I am on constant do-over. I get up and I rush to get to School, I rush home and straighten the house (only for it to go all crooked later that same day) I have a coffee dot on 10:30 and I have been spending that coffee time this week by folding the washing and watching a TV Show. Its been good down time for me… yet I find I turn to the clock at 11:15 when the shows credits roll, my coffee cup is empty and I don't recall drinking it. The next day the to be folded baskets are FILLED to the brim… again.

The past three days I've walked around muttering to myself all the things I want to be doing
* I want to write in my journal.
* I want to write my novel
* I want to read faster
* I want to study more
* I want to do some art journalling
* I want…
* I want…
* I want…

Then I tell myself that I can want as much as I darn like, I should be doing the needs first. I *need* to study. I *need* to keep on top of the housework. I *need* to work more days than I can fit in now.
Somewhere in all that I lose myself, it all becomes too much. My mind shuts down, my heart races and I avoid everything. Including the fun stuff.

Some days later I sit here at my computer contemplating the clock as it ticks ever closer to 3pm and pick up time for School. Lamenting all that I haven't done. Worrying about how to fit in after school routines amongst MORE homework and now Piano Practice, but still balance that with playtime. I yearn for a better nights sleep & worry for the dog who is so old he mixes up his nights and days. I write in circles of all that is going on in this delicate little head of mine and leave you all spinning in my wake of rattled thoughts.

Slowly from this exhausting spiral I emerge. I put 905 words down on paper - words that are entwined in my story and ones that will open up new roads of story telling. I continue to fold the clothes and drink that coffee each morning and be thankful for simple tasks that though on high repeat mean I have my family and I am looking after them. I ignore the freshly vacuumed floors that now yield this mornings breakfast and a few extra dog hairs. I work through my muddled and tired brain and finish the invoicing I should have done a week ago. And finally I sit down with my study books and pretend I DO know how to write poetry and pretend that I don't really care if my novel will never be a best-seller.


In the end - all that really matters is that I remain confident in myself and take solace in knowing that everything will happen when I eventually get to it. If only I FOCUS.          

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Negative vs Positive

My throat started a familiar ache today, my nose blocked and eyes prickled as though they'd been stuck in a bucket of sand. Muttering profanities as I pushed through the long day, I said to my partner "I hope I'm not getting sick - I feel I'm perpetually sick"

It honestly feels that way at times. When you have womanly issues it isn't just a few days each month. Mine is nearing two weeks a month when I feel poorly and am not myself. Even my dear hubby has commented on this phenomenon, usually at a distance and not during that first fun-filled week of screaming banshee style PMT angers. Add to that a 3.5 week cycle (if I'm lucky) and it makes for a very short week and a bit of feeling "well"

After a weekend away (on a GOOD week) I mentioned my issues to a friend who knew all too well how it goes. The brief conversation has been ringing in my head for the past week or so and its made me consider the negative vs positive. I am starting to feel as though I am focusing all my energies on the negative side effects. 

On my online support group, the morning round up question - how are we all today? Well today I feel like Crap.

Usually it is honestly related to a particular issue - hormone / sinus headaches. Aches. Pains. Cramps. PMT. Fatigue. I say how I'm feeling and for the most part I do push through my days. I continue to work / study / rush to the school and back for pick ups and drop offs, I do the sports days with heat packs under my jumper, and I try valiantly to stay on top of the housework. Then there are days like today with snap changes in the weather (hot, cold, hot, cold) and I feel I've pushed myself too far. I start to develop a lurgy and then I'm down for the count. It is a very fine balancing act and I'm a bit sick of it all. 

I stop to consider all these ailments and I wonder if I'm not bordering on being a hypochondriac? Which I'm not - truly I'm not - but I can't help but feel that with such a negative approach I've adopted toward each issue - what must others think of me? Today I stop to think that I must stop this negative. When its really bad - I will write it down in big thick letters in my journal. I won't broadcast it to all and sundry and then I will go about my day, pushing through as I am accustomed to. From this day forward I vow to steer toward the positive side effects. To unleash the negative hold around my neck and let it go!

(and for the record - I refuse to sing that tune, you know the one that is now stuck in your head… let it go, let it go… because it is currently on repeat in my house. Every. Single. Day. The movie AND the music. Get out of my head!!!)   

Monday, May 12, 2014

I got nuthin'

To say or write. I want to write and be more in the zone with this blog and this writing caper - but I feel stretched to my limits. Too many eggs, not enough baskets. Or is that saying too many eggs in one basket and they keep falling out and cracking open? 

Such is my life. 

The past month has been spent ignoring the story I have to write, mulling over some health decisions, waiting for assignment results, pretending I do not need to write a poem and an awesome one at that, berating myself over being too negative on my health decisions and striving to find the happy in every day. 

Phew. Who wouldn't be tired after all that? 

I've sat to write on numerous occasions, even going so far as pulling out my manuscript and reading No Plot! No Problem! Yet I come up blank each time. Even a writing race with my numero uno last week ended in tears. Well not quite tears… BUT… a 411 word piece that fits nowhere in the grand scheme of things. My story feels as though it has hit a cross road and I seem to be stuck on some sort of groundhog day. 

Actually the whole darn thing feels like groundhog day. I'm stuck in a 7 year time frame and nothing seems to be happening. How many times can one woman walk up and down a hill. I don't have any desire to go back and re-read incase I find myself stuck in ground hog day. I need something BIG to beef it up. I need more adventure. More romance. More historical fact. 

I need to spend much time fine tooth combing my story.

All this is AFTER I finally received my results (High Distinction) on a memoir style piece I wrote and submitted. Am I the only writer who procrastinates through fear? How do others push on through the mental word blocks?