Monday, January 26, 2015

If Facebook and Twitter posts read like the emotions behind them

I'll admit, I'm having a F.I.N.E Monday. F*cked-up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. Well maybe not the neurotic part be the rest is right. I've also posted twice on Facebook this morning which I almost never do except to repost some kind of animal welfare/rights/adoption meme or a picture of Bobo (read: look at how cute he is everyone) myself (read: everyone like this and make me feel pretty) or my husband and I (read: look, see, we are happy and everything is right in the world...or, I'm staking my claim creepy girl from the high school reunion).

Today I have posted two tongue-in-cheek posts that should have said "I'm educated and supposedly successful, why do I have to share my office with this ass clown" and "I'm feeling rejected by my family, someone reach out and make me feel validated and loved". Is this what social media has come to? Are we really all so disconnected from each other that we reach out, or rather cry out, for love and validation by posting to social media? Yeah, actually, I think we are. And it sucks. It sucks because I have no idea how to fix it. And because each generation is getting worse.

I am from the part of the Millennial generation that came of age when technology as we know it now was just barely taking root. In high school, most of us didn't have cell phones, we still had teen lines in our bedrooms with brightly colored corded phones. Texting was really, really new my freshman year of college. At least, new to me. I *finally* got a phone with a monthly plan (instead of a prepaid card with only minutes) that allowed texting. The iPhone came out the year before I graduated with my bachelor's degree. Facebook, when I was in college, was still just for registered college students. Yep, you had to have a .edu email address to use it. MySpace was in. We all still connected face to face, or at the very least picked up the phone and called.

Did my awkward, disconnected, black sheep of the family dynamic still exist back then? Yeah, it did. But I had enough interaction with other people to fill the void a little bit more. Today, I walked into my office and the ass clown that I have to share the room with barely said good morning, and has not uttered another word all day. We.Don't.Connect.Anymore. Not just the office mate and I. We never have. But we as a people. How many times did you approach a cashier last week and not even make eye contact during your transaction? I think for me, that was at least three times last week.

This isn't one of those super motivated, or slightly positive posts. But in the theme of This Momma Makes, I think I will make a commitment to connect with people more. Make eye contact, greet them. Call the family members that don't make me feel like a black sheep on a regular basis.

What will you do to connect more?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Starting Small

Yes, about two weeks have already passed since I last posted. No, I didn't take a "no internet" oath, or wind up in the hospital. Life is just plain busy and the last two weeks went by in a blink. Bobo's birthday party was this past Saturday and we have been keeping good on another resolution of sorts: to make time for our friends. We have been lucky enough to go on double dates with two couples who happen to be some of our dearest friends in the last two weeks.

So, in keeping with the re-realization that life is just plain busy, I am starting small with my "I want more" mission from the last post. We are on a buy less, consume less, mission to chew (literally) through our pantry and freezers (yeah, I said it: freezerS. When this is said and done it will be freezer). Any projects I embark on will be using things already gathering dust in my craft closet. It's not a no-spend month because frankly those never work out for us. Bobo always ends up growing out of shoes, or we forget his nap sheet and have to weigh driving 30 minutes home to get it or just buying another one to add to the rotation, etc. We will however consume less, and only buy what we will actually use.

This will be especially challenging for me because I come from a family in which the pantry was not just stocked, but stockpiled. For me, part of this kind of shopping is the thrill of the deal. Why am I buying another 10 boxes of pasta when I have 5 at home? Because its $0.25, for crying out loud! Yeah, seems kind of silly. I am all for long term food storage, but that can be done with more purpose than I have been doing. Freeze dried foods keep longer, require less rotation, and more balanced nutrition for the buck.

Additionally, we will start clearing out the crap that is cluttering our lives and our minds. In the spring, when we can count on not having to wear coats all day, we will have a yard sale, save the cash towards one of our umpteen financial goals, and donate the rest. Then maybe we will not be constantly tripping over (literally and figuratively) the overwhelming amount of stuff in our lives.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I'm Back. What's my motivation?! And baby steps

Well, the last few months went by in a whirlwind. School, some setbacks in my husband's back surgery recovery, a month of Sundays spent with my niece and nephews, and the holidays and my son's third birthday provided plenty of distraction.

This time of year always makes me restless. I want to travel, to go out, to move,'s an annual quarter life crisis. In my young adulthood I would wake up with this (albeit painfully optimistic) mindset that I was going to "do something great today". Over the years that optimistic self talk diminished to a more realistic "I'm going to do my best today", or even so far as "I'm going to get through today". I miss the optimistic, 20 year old me. I want to do something great. I don't know how I will find the time, or the focus, or maintain the motivation, but I want to do something great. I am going to channel that optimistic me this year.

I recently got hooked on The Vampire Diaries and as a roundabout result I have started following the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (OK and Ian Somerhalder because let's face it he's gorgeous and what a beautiful spirit he has). I love that his foundation is so broad in its purpose, and I love that he uses his influence to inspire and enable good in this world. There's a lot of ugly in this world, but there is a lot of good too. I am thankful to have stumbled upon ISF and frankly to have been just whimsical enough to follow a celebrity crush on social media. I was in a period of my life when just getting by was enough, I was letting myself be sloppy about a lot of the things that that 20 year old me held dear: conservation, the environment, and animals. Sure, we foster kittens, and I put in 10-15 hours a year at NHS since my son was born, but now I'm restless and eager for more. Something bigger.

One of the interviews I read that Ian did said something to the effect that you have to choose things to tackle that are small enough to be within reach but big enough to matter. I sew, I knit, I stamp metal, I take pictures, I bake, I cook, I blog (sometimes). Now I've got to figure out what to do with those talents to make an impact on the causes that I hold dear.  If you happen to stumble upon this blog, and you have any ideas for me, please share.

For today I'll take a baby step: I pledge to reduce the amount of plastic my family uses, and recycle what we do use whenever possible (our neighborhood recycling is still only #1 and #2 plastics, sigh). I'll remember to use my reusable grocery totes, use reusable containers instead of Ziplocs to pack my lunch, and get out of the habit of buying individually packaged foods.