Monthly Archives: April 2011

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

This past Sunday was Easter, which marked the end of Lent. As many of you know I gave up Facebook for Lent this year. Seriously, one of the hardest Lents ever. Even harder than the time I gave up TV, because so much communication takes place on Facebook. So why would I try to give it up completely? I asked myself this many times and I came to a few conclusions.

You know when you think something is really good then you get some distance and see it actually wasn’t that great? That’s what happened with me and Facebook during Lent. I thought it was just this harmless thing that I’d visit every day and it wasn’t a big deal. The truth is it was becoming my life…which sounds too dramatic for what I mean. Facebook was becoming my main form of communication. It was how I reached out to people, it was becoming my only connection, during the week at least, to my friends. The thought of calling them or texting them, never occurred to me, it was just Facebook.

I’m going to tell you how much time I spent on Facebook, which is sort of embarrassing. I know there are tons of folks out there that have Facebook on their phones and what not, but there’s something different about glancing at it quickly on your phone, and sitting in front a computer screen staring at it.
Each day the kiddo takes a nap for about two hours, give or take. Nap time is when I am able to get things done. Things like cleaning, reading, writing, watching something not age appropriate for my child. The other time I have to do these things is after he goes to bed at 7:30pm. If I stay up until 10:30pm that gives me around five hours of time to myself each day. If I’m being honest the majority of those hours were spent on Facebook.
I would spend at least an hour on Facebook while the kiddo napped, only squeezing in cleaning and chores right before he woke up. I would check it intermittently throughout the day, then check it again after bedtime. It was becoming my main way of communicating with people, my only way of keeping up with their lives and it was starting to get to me. I didn’t realize it at the time. I knew I was feeling lonely, but I couldn’t pinpoint why.

Once I gave up Facebook it made me reach out to people in more real ways, like by texting or (gasp!) calling them. Now that I know this I think my whole approach to the Facebook thing is going to change. I’m not giving it up completely but I’m going to try to be more aware of when it starts to overrun my communication.

I now have three general guidelines for myself when it comes to Facebook. The first is to not visit more than once a day, unless there’s something specific I need to look at. Something specific qualifies as an event invitation, a message from someone or pictures I want to look at; things like that. The next guideline is to not go on Facebook if I’m bored. If I’m bored there’s got to be something for me to do. I’m just avoiding it by thinking there’s something important happening on Facebook. The last guideline is if I’m feeling lonely and want some company, to reach out in real ways to my friends. I have plenty of friends here, many of which are stay at home moms themselves, so it would make sense to reach out to them.

Facebook does have it’s redeeming qualities and I’m glad to not have to wait until Sunday each time I want to check it, but it also has many pitfalls that can suck a person in if you’re not careful. I’m just hoping to be more careful in the future.

Random Thoughts on “The One”

How do you know when someone is the “one”? What happens when you loose the “one”? I used to think there was just one person meant for me, but if that’s true then here I am at 29 all alone… for the rest of my life. 

Someone once told me they believed that there wasn’t just one person for everyone. They proposed that there are several people that we are able to connect well with. If that’s the case then what’s to stop us from dating all our “ones” and finding the best “one”? If you do that and find the best “one” doesn’t it follow that you have THE one? If yes, then the whole argument is moot because it goes back around to there being one person that you’re meant to be with.

So say you’re like me. You found the love of your life in college and married that person. They are the “one.” You are madly in love and have a child together, but he’s suddenly and inexplicably taken from your life. Is it like Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that, once the “one” dies a new “one” is ready to take the place? If you believe in the “one” how will you get past the fact that the person meant for you died?

People have told me that God and/or Jordan is up in Heaven right now, carefully selecting my next husband. (I apologize if you’ve actually said this to me; I don’t remember specifically who said it, but I’ve heard it.) I wish they would stop saying it though, because maybe they’re not. Maybe I’ve had my husband and that’s it. Maybe I don’t get to have more babies; maybe Jack is it. If that’s true, would it be so bad?

I’ve always like men; they’re generally warm, strong and reassuring. But I’m beginning to take a serious look at my life; the woman I was, the woman I want to be, the mom I want to be. It seems that since January 2010 I’ve been sitting around waiting for the next guy to come along even though I believed that Jordan was my “one.” I’ve believed my whole life that there was just one man for me and when I found him I would marry him and we’d grow old together. Am I so desperate for a man to take care of me that I’d throw that belief out the window? And even if I believe there is another man out there for me, why am I just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for him to come scoop me up?

I’m not a withering violet, I don’t want to be that girl. I want people to be attracted to my vim and vigor. I want other people to look at me and think “there is a strong woman.” I know some folks think that now, but why? Just because I didn’t throw myself off a building when Jordan died? Because I’m raising a son on my own? A lot of women do that and then some. So why am I not grabbing the “and then some” by the scrotum and taking charge of my life?

This seems to have gone off course, but then again maybe not. I’ve often used my relationship status as a gauge for how successful my life is. In 2009 I was at the height of my power, (or so I thought) with a husband and a son; a bonafide family. But what did I have when an integral part of that power structure was taken away? I crumbled, everything fell apart.

So I think what I need to focus on is not who my next husband will be, or how many more children I’ll have, but what I will be doing with my life and how that will shape Jack’s life. Perhaps that is what God and/or Jordan have been trying to guide me to; not my next husband, but how to be alone and still be happy.

If I am not meant to get married again and have more children I will mourn that, of course. I loved being a wife, and I love being a mom. But I need to be comfortable with myself and find success on my own. Not through who I’m married to or what my children are doing.

The Mourning Dove Calls

As I barrel up I-5 heading back to Seattle I have a hard time fighting the urge to push the speedometer past 70. I’m sure the cars behind me are irritated as I waver between 65 and 70. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket before and I don’t want to start now.
I can hear my kiddo in the backseat. The road is bumpy and he likes the way his voice bounces along with the road. He stops his monotone note every now and then to laugh. I laugh with him. I’m feeling good and have been for the past week. But the closer I get to Seattle the more anxious I become.

I cast around in my head looking for a soothing sound or memory to chase away the tension. I think of the mourning dove’s coo. Some people think they’re just fancier pigeons. Maybe they are, but they are beautiful and I can’t help but love them. The sound they make always reminds of the desert no matter where they are. When I hear their coo, I recall the smell of creosote bushes and the dust of the desert that was washed away by rain and snow.

I think again of the friends left behind in California and wonder when I’ll be back again. Then I remember the wedding in August and feel a burst of warmth in my chest. I’m cut off by a Lexus that immediately slows down in front of me. I don’t care, I’m in no rush.

What happened? I used to love where I live. Seattle! That’s how it used to be for me, a gorgeous city full of possibilities and friends. The friends are still here, but what’s happened to me? When I left for this trip to California I was so unhappy. I blamed it on the break up but is that it? Once we crossed the state line into Dorris, California I felt a certain tension melt away. Was it vacation euphoria or was it leaving the Northwest?

Since then I’ve been thinking about where I live and why I live here. It’s comfortable. I know the city pretty well, I have lots of friends, I’ve got a good support system here. But there’s also emotional devastation. I’m constantly reminded of Jordan here. Everywhere I go is a place Jordan and I had been together. My favorite places have a melancholy tone, because everywhere I go there he is. That’s not to say I don’t ever want to think of him again. But honestly, everywhere I look, everywhere. Perhaps that is partly what is holding me here. The worry that if I move, I’ll forget him. I’ll forget to tell my child about his father. I don’t want to forget but I can’t always be awash in memories of him.

So what do I do? I’ll let you all in on a little secret; I am a people pleaser. I want to make everyone happy all the time. Obviously if I moved I would not be pleasing all my friends here. So that holds me here. Also holding me a little is my parents and Jordan’s parents. I don’t want to move so far that they never get to see their grandson. And then there’s my sissy. Not only is she awesome, she’s also my best friend. I don’t know if I could live hundreds of miles away from her.

Here’s another secret; I’m a huge ‘fraidy cat. I give in to my fear a lot. I’ve let it dictate a lot of my life. Moving is scary, especially moving somewhere far away. I’m not a huge extrovert so I don’t make friends easily. I’m not some sort of social pariah but, I am a tad shy around new people. If I can’t make new friends then the kiddo won’t have any friends either. So with all these thoughts and fears swirling around in my head I can’t tell if moving is the right thing to do. I’m trying to keep a clear head and look at things logically, but we all know how very logical I am.

A Favorite Quote

Here is one of my favorite quotes from our trip:

“Sounds fun, like a fun bear.” Matt Sizer

Lazy Friday

Here I am in the gorgeous, oppressive Southern California heat. I have my kiddo with me, so it’s not completely relaxing, but it’s so wonderful to be away again. I love where I live, but some times I have to get away and dry out a bit.

Last night I went to street fair with some friends from high school. It was very much a flashback; getting ready to head to the fair with Josh, Danielle and my sissy. A few things have changed of course. I have a kid. Josh just moved back to the desert at the beginning of the year. Danielle has a couple more gay friends. And Elise has a husband. So it was naturally different than high school, but still fun. We kept Jack out too late then carted Josh back to his house across the desert.

As we drove, Josh and I looked around the desert that had once been so familiar. He said, “I can’t decide if the desert is the same or different.” I told him I think it’s the same but different. There’s so many places I recognize. I have so many memories. And yet there are so many new things that have sprung up around those memories.

I think I will always love this place. I will always want to come visit. No matter how many new things spring up. The sun just makes me happy.