Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Five

I quit Facebook.
And the obvious question to this statement is why?
And I thought the answer to that was complex, but really it is pretty simple:
I have slowly come to realize over the past few weeks what I have known all along: Facebook isn't making me happier.

I have had a couple conversations with friends recently where the honest-to-God actual answer to their discontent/anxiety/you-name-it is "Stop getting on Facebook."
And it applies to me too.
I am happy with my life. There are obviously things I would love to be different (bye bye 20+ pounds, hello Jamaica, etc) but I am definitely a content person. Yet sometimes I log on to Facebook wanting to return a message or post a picture of my kid being cute and I leave with a bad taste in my mouth.
Sometimes that taste is jealousy. 
I am done having kids. I don't want any more babies. Why am I jealous of this acquaintance and their new baby?
Sometimes it's frustration.
Seriously, so-and-so keeps f*ing up her life royally and our family member just keeps rewarding her bad behavior!
Sometimes it's mommy guilt.
Look at those DisneyLand photos. I hope my kids like camping. In tents. For free. 
And other times it is just the inadequacy you feel from seeing the "perfect" picture painted by all your Facebook friends. 

We live in a keepin'-up with the Joneses society and Facebook feeds into that. Even if I am happy with myself and my life, some of those feelings creep in even when I log on quickly. And I don't think it is just me. Study after study gets play on the news, correlating feelings of unhappiness with social media such as Facebook. 

I am happy to hear from my friends and family about their happy news - engagements and babies and new homes and promotions and awesome vacations - all that.
Because we are friends. And I am actually happy for them.
It's all the extra. The stuff I wouldn't hear about if there weren't Facebook.
I want to hear about the real stuff, not read the picture-perfect airbrushed version that gets posted online.

What finally solidified my choice was talking to a friend who had to give up Facebook awhile ago for legal reasons. When I asked her how she felt about it, she replied that it was hard at first and family members gave her grief about how they needed Facebook to stay in touch and keep up with her family.
But then a great thing happened:
People sent handwritten letters.
They sent cards.
They emailed.
They picked up the phone and called.
She started having real interaction with people again.

In essence, the people who actually care about you are going to make the effort. And the rest? The rest were just your Facebook "friends." And in my case, I write this blog for family and friends so that they can see photos and read little stories and hear about what is going on in our lives. I'm not dropping off the face of the earth.
And who knows how long my deactivated status will last?
All those cat memes are pretty great - I might be back...

A slightly-sad/slightly-amazing thing happened this week:
Graham's off the boob.
He turned 15 months old and decided enough was enough.
His sippy cup has officially taken over my position.

I have mixed emotions.
I was ready to have my body back to myself, but it's a little odd. Like, what shirt do I wear now?
(I kid, I kid. Sort of...)
I have been pregnant or breastfeeding nonstop since June of 2009. It's no wonder I have a non-existent wardrobe.

The transition was easy, for which I am glad. He is happy and doesn't seem to miss it.
The part I am going to miss the most is the fact that while he was nursing it was easy to pretend he was still my little baby.
But he isn't.
The first year of his life flew by faster than it seemed to with our others. Probably because he is the baby. And because he is our last.

I can honestly say that breastfeeding my kids has been one of the best parts of being a mom. It sounds crazy to some, but for me it's true.
Those quiet moments, snuggling your baby, providing something only you can provide... there is nothing like it.
There is no way to describe it to someone.
I have no plans to nurse another child, so that makes those particular memories just a little bit more special. So it is with a sadness/happiness mixture that I bid a big farewell to the Boppy and my used-and-abused nursing camis. You were all so very good to me.
But now I can drink a delicious cocktail whenever I want with zero guilt.  Win for me.

This past week we held our 2nd Annual Shrimp Fest at our home.
Okay, just kidding, it's really not that cool.
Last year my parents were in Louisiana and Mississippi on vacation and brought back fresh shrimp. Since my mom hates seafood, my dad asked Jared to cook it up for him. There was a large amount so we invited over my grandparents and Justy too. We made some fettuccine alfredo along with the shrimp so that those who can't/won't eat shrimp had something to eat as well.
No one went south this winter, so we had to settle with shrimp from Hy-Vee. Whatevs. It was still delicious.

And afterward we ended up watching the movie Uncle Buck in its entirety.
So random.
Because that is how we roll apparently.
I hadn't seen that movie in a long, long time and enjoyed quite a few laughs. Particularly the part about Felix, because I am a perv.

I read this blog last night about giving up something for Lent. Wow, this is me.
It is a humorous blog and the author was writing that what she should really give up for Lent is the last hour of the day that she is awake. That last hour when she does nothing beneficial, just sits around watching House Hunters or other worthless TV while browsing the internet and laying on the couch thinking about how she should be in bed already.
Right here.
I do that all the time.
And every day when I wake up tired and slightly cranky, I tell myself, "I am going to go to bed at a decent hour tonight. I am going to get in bed early!" and it never happens. I like my personal time too much.
Jared leaves for work at 10 pm and "me time" truly begins.
No kids, no husband.
And clearly no time management.
Before I know it it is 11:30. How did that happen? Oh well, it doesn't matter because I am totally going to bed early tonight.

I have been stumbling across a lot of quotes this week.
I have a daily devotional my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas that eerily seems to apply to my life daily. I will turn to the designated day and then so many times the story and verse correspond to exactly what I was needing to hear.

I also was reading a blog (actually the same one I mentioned in #4) and it quoted someone named Terry Pratchett, and while I have no idea who that dude is, I like the quote:
"Poison goes where poison's welcome." 
And really, it's just so true. 
So many times in life we experience negative things and wonder why it's happening. And while it doesn't explain everything, it explains a lot of the drama we have in our own lives. Because drama goes where drama is welcome. This probably ties in to #1 on this list, because without Facebook, I have exposure to so much less drama. And quite honestly, I think that is a good thing. 


  1. Amen to facebook. it is a cestpool. instagram too. But you in a way feel like you HAVE to do that to be a normal person in todays world. My sister has been off facebook for almost 4 years now, and every now and then it gets annoying for her that she can't contact someone, she misses out on news ppl post there and don't let her know etc, but at the end of the day she is happy with her decision. She hates the drama and the fact that your "friends" and acquaintances know everything about your life from what you have for dinner to when you go on vacation. I think its all about getting a sneek peak into other peoples lives and like you said, thinking everything is sunshine and rainbows and that isn't reality!

  2. Really appreciated your thoughts on Facebook -- and I've been toying with the idea of quitting, too. It's a little scary (I know that's weird!) because it's become a fall-back security blanket when I'm bored or eager for "connection," but I know it's not a real connection . . . and I find myself using/enjoying it less and less. I've always loved handwritten mail and letters, and I've been focusing on sending more "real" communication through cards and email -- privately! -- than through blasting something blindly into the void. Thanks for the encouragement and validation! Big props to you!

  3. I gave up Facebook for lent. You are SPOT ON about it. Insert Applause and standing ovation! I decided that I needed to reconnect with the people in my household instead of wasting time reading what other people are doing.


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