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Friday, January 31, 2014

Follow Me Friday - The Smart Phone

Do you have a smartphone?  I do.  And to be honest, I didn't really fight getting one.  I like the idea of internet at my fingertips, the ability to do away with a planner (I still carry one, oddly enough), games to while away the minutes as we drive somewhere, and being attached to Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Jelly, Pinterest, etc.

They've become somewhat of a hot button issue in my family...but just around the holidays.  My mom once scolded my husband for being on his phone during Christmas celebrations and it's now grown into the sort of semi-joke that you're never really certain how seriously to take it.  Stay off your phone on the holidays.  Unless you're calling/texting your family.  Or taking pictures.  Or Vining something.  Or Instagramming it.  For Thanksgiving, I put out a basket with a sign on it saying "Be with the ones you're with" for everyone to put their phone in during dinner.  An idea I shamelessly stole from Pinterest.  And I'm beginning to notice that the times I feel that flicker of annoyance with my husband is when I'm talking and he's checking his Facebook on his phone.  Or our daughter wants his attention and he's scrolling through Twitter.  Or we're at a friend's house and he's re-stocking the floors in his Tiny Death Star.  I'm guilty of the same thing.

So I'm giving up my smartphone for February.  I've wondered aloud several times in January how we got along without the internet at our beck and call back in the day.  I'm probably the last year of educated people who got along writing research papers without Wikipedia, Google, you name it.  Now it seems I can't even go through an entire TV show without looking up an actor's filmography on IMDB.  So, starting Saturday, I'm giving up Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Jelly, and the internet on my phone.  No games, no web searches.  My phone is for calls and texts only. And the alarm clock.  I'd give up texting, but then I wouldn't have a social life.  If I need to Google something or check Facebook, I can get up and go to the computer or I can wait until I get home.  Time to disconnect a little bit. 

I'd rather make eye contact with my daughter a little more often.  I'd rather take pictures I'm going to print than pictures I'm going to post.  And to be honest, as much as I like the celebrities I follow on Twitter, I don't need to know what they had for lunch or what book they just finished reading.

I'll do my best to keep you updated on Fridays. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I'm going to try and post prompts weekly, in case you need some inspiration for your own blog.  Or if you just like answering questions.  Let's get started.

Prompt:  How do you recharge?

I read.  I sleep.  I knit.  I write.  I make lists.  I listen to music.  Basically, if it's quiet and has a sort of rhythm to it, I can recharge.

Reading recharges me because I can escape into another character's life.  Whether or not that life is pleasant has nothing to do with it.  I can have adventures that I would never get to have in the real world.  I can enjoy the politics of a steampunk kingdom at war with giant insects.  I can solve a mystery using cupcakes and cats.  I can control the weather or grow up in a New York slum.  Basically every advertisement for reading a book ever is why reading recharges me.

I sleep.  This seems a little obvious, but there it is.  I love naps.  I'll outright tell my daughter "you need to take a nap so Mama can take a nap too."  Naps are more recharging to me than sleeping through the night, mostly because they feel more decadent.  Spending some of my precious time, especially if it's sans daughter, asleep...not cleaning or organizing, working on my business, or folding laundry.

Knitting has saved my life.  Long before I was diagnosed with an anxiety problem, it kept me from going insane.  Even if I wasn't actually knitting, but just squishing yarn between my fingers would help relieve tension.  With knitting, I can feel that sitting on the couch for an episode of television is productive because we always need more handmade socks.  I feel accomplished when something is done.  I feel the whole world is open to me when I'm ready to choose another project.  And I feel a little closer to heaven when I walk into a yarn store.

I write because I enjoy making connections with people about important things more than anything else in the entire world.  I like making people's lives better in any way.  I like helping people get to understand themselves and other people.  I like getting my own incredibly loud thoughts out of my head and somewhere they at least appear ordered.  This is the same reason I make lists.

Finally, music.  I have it on a lot in our house.  Usually Spotify or the iTunes radio of our Apple TV.  And usually classical or jazz, sometimes indie folk.  It soothes me.  The sound gives the illusion there are other adults around for me to interact with.  My daughter loves dancing to it and I love dancing with her.

Prompt inspiration from this article: How We Mend

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

May or May Not Monday

I may or may not have had ice cream for dinner three of the past seven days.  My stomach has been particularly vicious to me lately and honestly, even chicken noodle soup didn't sound appealing.  So, ice cream it was.

I may or may not have read seven books in the past week, mostly from the same series, mostly ignoring my family because I'm fighting to get comfortable lately.  To get quiet.  To get balanced.  And retreating into a fictional world for hours on end makes that a little easier.

I may or may not have had a mason jar full of spoiled homemade hair gel sitting on my bathroom counter for nearly an entire month.  And I may or may not see it every time I go in there, make a mental note to toss it out and make some new gel and then forget as soon as I turn around.  No, I haven't been using it.

I may or may not have gotten into the habit of buying my toddler hot chocolate every time I go through the Dutch Bros drive-thru.  And I'm not sure how to break this habit without the equivalent of throwing my sanity into a wood-chipper.

I may or may not have covered up the cat-puke on our bedroom floor with a towel and ignored it for several days because the thought of cleaning it up makes me gag and the thought of asking my husband to do it for me makes me feel lazy and guilty.

I may or may not have thought about rearranging the furniture in our house several times in the past week with no idea how to do it in a fashion that a) remains liveable and usable, b) doesn't require purchasing something, and/or c) doesn't relegate yet another piece of furniture to our already bursting garage...which I may or may not have resolved to clean out during January and haven't started yet.

Also, I may or may not have procrastinated until Tuesday to do my May or May Not Monday...

Join the conversation (next Monday, I suppose, if you'd like!) and read other people's May or May Not Mondays.  Find other links at