Archives for 2017

Thursday Ten: Probably Not Really Okay edition

  1. I am tired. Oh my god, am I tired. I am stressed out, exhausted, and easily made anxious by stuff that really shouldn’t be that big deal. I feel like a bit of a mess. I hate it.
  2. I would think that I should expect that dealing with the diagnosis of progressively failing vision might cause some amount of being massively bummed, but I wasn’t expecting it. And here it is. I am so bummed, so often. It is a phase I am going to have to pass in and out of, but in the meantime, as I wallow in it, I hate it and I am angry with myself and the universe.
  3. That’s probably a bit too much truthiness considering I haven’t posted in ages.
  4. The half marathon training is going pretty much okay except for the massive hip and knee pain. So I’ve also started physical therapy which has been an interesting adventure and ends up with experiences such as cringing as the therapist leans into my hip with her elbow in order to break up a massive knotted muscle. (THAT’S GONNA HURT.)
  5. But I ran nearly 20 miles last week, and…I’m doing it.
  6. I am on a mission to learn how to bake chocolate babka.
  7. I bought another pair of running shoes. I’m not sure I even need running shoes.
  8. The thing about having a busy brain is that I’m not getting enough sleep.
  9. Gymnastics season is now over for The Princess – so that’s a relief.
  10. Tell me something happy.

Thursday Ten: It’s Been A Little While

  1. I am not even gonna lie – 2017 was supposed to be better than 2016 and so far it really just isn’t. Life is busy, work is busy, weather is cold, president is terrifying. I’m exhausted all the time. I had a meltdown on Tuesday that had me in tears for an hour. I just don’t even know, man. So far, 40 can suck it.
  2. On a brighter side though, after saving for years, I finally had the 15 year old carpet from this house ripped out and replaced it with some super durable flooring that will be able to withstand dog barf and spilled milk. I haven’t wanted to do this for YEARS and was so excited to finally be able to pull the trigger on this project. It’s beautiful. And now the next thing is to ditch this beat up sofa… and figure out what of my existing furniture goes and stays. There’s my dog modeling the new floor in the picture below.
    Lucky on the new floor
  3. One thing at a time, Sarah.
  4. The thing about feeling so worn down is that I’m starting to feel as if I look worn down too. So this week I decided to subscribe to Beachbody on Demand – a streaming video service that lets you work out from home, streaming video to any of your screened devices, and offers up a variety of video options to choose from. Did my first workout yesterday – Cize. Wowza. Fun and intense and I was dripping with sweat by the time I was done. Can’t wait to try the next one.
  5. We’re expecting temps in the 50s this weekend. While this has felt a fairly mild winter compared to recent years, I’m still super stoked to get a sneak peek of spring.
  6. The warmer weather will help force me out the door for my runs – I’m training for a half marathon! For the first time, I’m using a program that incorporates speed intervals and tempo runs. The overall mileage is lower but i’m hoping they know what the heck they’re doing – that the speed runs will help me over all, so I can slog through 13.1.
  7. This Saturday is National Drink Wine Day.
  8. Next week is National Margarita Day. FYI, Margarita Day in February seems stupid timing.
  9. Why does the brain get louder at night time? I can be fine all day, but come 9:30, 10 p.m., my brain starts swirling and not in a good way.
  10. Reading the news, reading Twitter… it ain’t good. Every day it’s something new and it’s all awful. Tell me why people voted for that guy again?

When everyone is that Facebook friend you want to ignore

Saturday morning I opened my eyes and the first thing I thought to myself was, “Huh. Well. I didn’t think that would happen.”

It’s not that I thought the world would entirely blow up in the middle of the night but I went to bed Friday evening with such a heavy sense of dread. What would come next? I had no idea.

I spent Friday in a fog, alternately working and scrolling Facebook, in a state of utter disbelief and refusal to fully entertain the thought that America done messed up. Big time.

And I don’t know what to do about that besides keep showing up. Keep making phone calls. Keep working to make my world better.

It’s hard because everywhere I go, there is so much negativity to consume. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. People say, “Just wait and see” without fully understanding that for many of us, waiting doesn’t feel like something we have the luxury of doing.

I am scared. Sad. Confused. Angry.

I am worn out.

I am so worn out.

Every day it’s something new, something awful, something “IS THIS FOR REAL?” Every day I have to force myself to rise above it, scroll beyond it, not absorb too much of the negativity and instead push push push to do what I can to make change where I can, and leave the rest of it behind.

I just want to be a better person. I want to raise good children. I want to see a bunch of stuff while my eyes still work. I don’t want to feel afraid all of the time. I don’t want to feel angry this often. I want to be kind.

Everything is just so hard right now. And I’m so tired.

What we’re probably not telling our kids about social media

Psst. Hey parents. Yeah, you over there. C’mon over a second. Can we talk?

This parent gig is hard. It’s hard and it’s probably tougher than it was for our parents back in the day because times are different now and there are a lot of different elements we’ve gotta look out for that didn’t even exist when we were kids. We’ve gotta find that balance between how much we care and not being helicopter parents. Raising good people but not raising special snowflakes who feel entitled to everything without putting in the work.

It’s exhausting. Totally rewarding, but… it’s tough work.

And it just seems like it’s forever getting tougher. Take a look at your kid’s social media accounts.

No really. Go take a look. I’ll wait.

I spend a lot of time on my kid’s channels – I look at what she posts, what she comments, what people comment on her posts. I click over on the profiles of the people who comment and like her posts. I randomly take her phone and scroll around.

It’s one of the conditions for getting to be online because I know that it’s kind of a weird space, online. I’ve been active in social media for very nearly ten years (my Twitter profile says I joined in 2007) so I’ve watched it evolve over nearly a decade now. Back when I first joined Twitter, my oldest kid wasn’t even in kindergarten yet and I had no idea how the very existence of social media would impact my parenting or their childhood experiences. I’m not sure if, at that point, any of us were.

I started blogging over 11 years ago… Generally, I’ve been ALL UP IN THE INTERNET for over a decade of my life and so while it’s a passion of sorts for me – this whole web and social thing – my presence in this environment for so long means that I tend to be wary about things because, you know, that’s what happens over time.

I’ve watched Twitter grow up. I’ve watched Facebook change faces. Instagram bloomed.

And then our kids got old enough to sign up.

My daughter got series of unkind messages from a girl whose requests for a follow she declined. The details of this are not entirely important to the scenario. The decline of the follow request was not with malice or with the intention to hurt, but more of a, “My social space is private. I am choosing to let in the people I interact with on a day to day basis.”

[In retrospect, perhaps my kid could have verbalized this. However she did not.]

But, anyway, the girl got upset and in this string of messages referred to my kid as “being a bitch.”

Well. That’s not how you win friends and influence people. And I’m not sure what her motivation is – annoyance at not being granted entrance into a “private” online space (private being what it is on the internet, I’m no idiot) or truly hurt feelings.

Here’s where it gets tricky, moms and dads and parent-type people:

It’s a FINE LINE. How do we teach our kids to be kind and inclusive and yet that they are allowed to set and establish and preserve healthy boundaries for themselves and their environments (online or in the real world). If we consider ourselves a house with a fence around it… it is up to each of us to decide to whom we open the gate. Admittedly, that’s a lesson I learned far too late in life.

I was always trying to be nice, to not rock the boat, and to not upset people. I let people have access to me when I’d have preferred to keep to myself. I didn’t realize for a long time that I could shut that gate at any time. That no one needed to be in my figurative (or literal, for that matter) yard if I didn’t want them to be there.

So here we are: no one is entitled a follow. No one is entitled access to your child’s space. If your child wouldn’t invite them to your dinner table, why would he or she be obligated to grant them entrée into his or her social media world – where they share pictures and videos and sing songs and show off the family pet chinchilla or whatever? Having boundaries is healthy. It’s not mean.

That’s where, I admit, it gets murky to me. Because I’m still inclined to go along to get along – accept the follow, it hurts nothing… because I want to raise good and loving people who are kind and inclusive. I never want anyone to feel hurt feelings, and it’s tricky that creating boundaries for oneself brings with it animosity from those who don’t want to respect those same boundaries.

So, parents, what do we do?

I think we need to have those conversations with our kids about those boundaries. We need to establish how you can be protective of your space firmly and kindly without being a jerk but you can’t stop other people from being bent out of shape about it. We can talk about how your number of followers doesn’t define you. We can talk about what the social media experience actually means to you, the story you want to tell, the person you want people to know you as, and how again, it’s just one small facet of you as a whole person.

My gosh, I’ve wished so many times today that I was raising kids in the 80s where the biggest issue was jelly bracelets and trying to catch your favorite song on the radio so you could record it with your cassette player with minimal amount of DJ blathering before and after (don’t even ask how long it took me to record Debbie Gibson’s “Lost In Your Eyes” because man, I loved that song, but the DJ always talked through the whole piano beginning of that song and it drove me bonkers).

It’s a different world and we have to understand it so we can teach our kids how to navigate it. We have to be present. And we have to be willing to admit that we have a lot to learn and that we don’t know everything… and be willing to learn, evolve and adapt to help our people be good people.

It’s tough stuff, people. Are you ready?