Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two social media steps forward . . .

I've been absent.

And yet, I've been more present.  

Yes, I have limited my Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Twitter, OhMyGodMakeItStop time because I had this sinking suspision it was, how shall I put this, making me a crazy person.

And it was.

The first week of school came and went and right about when I should have begun to regain control of my house, my life, I felt like my head was about to explode.  Why?  Because I was coming off the BlogHer conference where I learned I needed to post to my blog page at least 3 times a week if not 3 times a day.  Because I attended a really insightful SEO workshop that suggested I craft great blog photos to later post on Pinterest throughout the day and to different groups (note: I don't participate in any Pinterest groups and my photos are so-so at best).  On top of all this, I decided that a.) I needed to invest in my freelance career so I signed up for 2 freelance services - one that helps you find work and connect with other freelance writers and one that helps you understand the market.  Then I went behind my own back and started doubting this line of thought.  I sent my resume out for part-time PR work.  Yeah, but that's not the crazy.  The crazy is when I pulled my applications from said businesses because I wanted to a.) work on my freelance writing career and b.) finish my damn MFA thesis!  Oh and those two services that I paid for . . . I hadn't visited either website in weeks.  I was too overwhelmed.

At this point, I took a giant leap back and surveyed the damage:  I was a complete mess.

If I was going to get anything done, whether it was writing for publication or writing my damn thesis or even performing well at a job, I needed to invest time and focus to it, whatever it turned out to be.

So I clocked out of Facebook and Twitter and OhMyGodMakeItStop status updates.

Know what?  I felt invigorated!

The week after I renegged on the job applications, I wrote my first article for a local online publication (I now have 3 more assignments). I also started putting in 4-5 consecutive hours on my thesis (and finished the first draft, which I sent off to my mentor).

Suck on that social media.

I'm not saying that I'll never participate in the sharing and tagging and threading again, but I've scaled waaaaaaaay back.  I check in for a few minutes a day, maybe post a photo or an update, but I'm not chained to it.  I'm not a huge fan of Twitter or Instagram, so I barely log in.  Pinterest, that's another story.  I like my pictures.  Plus, it actually helps me plan projects and gift-giving.  And it's relaxing.  And ocassionally there are hilarious photos that make my day.  That's a huge difference from feeling obligated to comment on every friend's baby photo (and don't get me wrong, they ARE cute).

None of this is revolutionary, I realize that.  But instead of pinning photos of quiet places where I'd love to drink a cup of coffee or tea if only I had time away from the computer, I'm now actually having a cup of coffee or tea and enjoying the quiet space in my brain.  I may even invite you to join me to sit down and relax sometime.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Celebratin'

What are you doing to celebrate Labor Day, this final (not really) day of summer, this extraordinary long weekend awkwardly smushed into the back-to-school week?

So far, I've had a lovely time not checking Facebook or Twitter, listening to my kids laugh, buying happy adoption day presents for Charles the Terror (yes, it HAS been a year), partying in a gazebo during a monsoon (and wishing for a waterproof Snuggie), eating sushi and having fun with one of my besties, First Laura, and yeah, I'll include it, going to The Louisville Zombie Walk with the whole fam.  But more on that in a coming post.

That's called a tease, in case you were wondering.

On this actual Labor Day holiday, the whole ADDled family is heading to the pool for a final whang-dang.  I actually feel nostalgic about this.  (I say this as if incredulous because I don't really like to swim.)

The pool is such a part of our neighborhood and represents so much of what I love about my town: socializing with every person you've ever known since birth (yesterday I ran into people I worked with in my 20s, moms from my kids' preschool, my high school chemistry teacher, my grad school methodology professor, a close friend from middle/high school, the daughter of a fourth grade teacher at my school, my daughter's 3-year-old preschool teacher, and my husband's work cohort), cooling off in a gorgeous quarry oasis, and watching all of the kids - friends of my kids - who grow get lankier and more mature each time I see them - splashing and diving and carousing.

If happiness were a place, it would be Lakeside Swim Club.  (And by the way, that's not a country club, it's a neighborhood pool that requires membership.  Just average folks floatin' on rafts and eating snack bar pizza.)

Here's a few moments of my summer.  Kiss kiss.  I'll miss you, summer.

So, seriously, what are you doing to celebrate Labor Day?