Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Beyond Facebook

I have a 3(almost 4)-year-old, a 1(almost 2)-year-old, a 6-month-old, and a dog. All girls. My husband works out of town Monday-Friday. So for 5 days and 4 nights out of the week I am on demand 24/7. On demand for 3 small children and a dog, all of whom completely lack the ability to care for themselves. It has been this way since January. This isn't something we planned. Circumstances just sort of happened. These are also not circumstances that we find acceptable and are working to remedy the situation. If I have learned anything over these trying months it is this...single mommy-hood is not for me. I need my husband. And my girls need their daddy.

I have learned some other things too. Like how to say no. The amount of obligations I have outside of my home have drastically decreased. I simply cannot do everything I used to do. Some things have been hard to give up, others not so much. Standards have certainly decreased as well. I am a tidy person. I like organization. Sometimes when my whole life feels out of control I simply run my vacuum and I feel a whole lot better. Unfortunately my expectations for cleanliness and organization have plummeted. "I'll do that as soon as I get a minute" can be more accurately translated "That will get taken care of sometime in the next 3 days-3 months". Even my standards for personal hygiene have suffered. Brush my teeth. Put on deodorant. Those are the main priorities. Friday before Josh gets home I do a real deep cleaning. Like the deluxe option in a car wash. Good to go 'til next Friday.

I say none of these to complain. I have learned more about myself in these last few months than ever before. Seen what I believe to be the ugliest sides of myself. Cried a lot. Drew near to the presence of God in a way I never have, and consequently have experienced the presence of God in ways I never have. A lot of growth has occurred. I'm thankful. Truly grateful. It's not a bad thing to be pushed to the end of yourself as long as when you get there you meet Jesus!

Another thing I have learned is that I really long for genuine relationships with people. I don't have a lot of time. Not that any of us feel like we do. But literally I sleep in 2-3 hour increments, and spend every other waking moment aside from 45 minutes-2 hours (tops on the most perfect of nights) taking care of my children. So I have realized in order to maintain relationships that matter to me I really need to make the most of what resources I have available. Get the most bang for my buck so to speak.

When I originally got Facebook I thought how great it was that I could stay in touch with so many people. What I realize now at this point in my life is that (FOR ME) it has actually created a whole bunch of superficial relationships (I use that last word loosely) and has distanced me from people that I genuinely care about and am interested in staying in touch with. There is this deception that I am staying in touch with people, know what's going on in their lives because I happened to see a post here or a status update there. So-and-so went on a vacation. Somebody else is trying a new recipe. Oh look, what's-their-face is having another many is that for them now, not sure...let me look at their pics and I'll find out. Meanwhile I haven't had any significant conversation with these people for years. And some I may see in real life and we totally don't even speak to one another. Add to that the problem of posting my own status updates and whatnot. Such a dilemma. I don't like making myself the center of attention (yes, I realize I am doing that by sharing this). So I post on Facebook hardly ever. But when I do and somebody comments on it, I feel it is polite to take notice of it by clicking "like". Ok, then someone else comments. And someone else. Do I click "like" for all of them? Isn't "liking" all of them really the same as not "liking" any of them because how can every comment possible be "like"-worthy? But if I "like" this persons and not that person's am I gonna hurt someones feelings? Better not to "like" anyone's just in case. Bummer, cause I really do like that person's comment. Add to that the random invites to people's random events, the relentless requests to play games (Play games? Seriously? Who in the h-e-double hockey sticks thinks I have time to sit and play games?! I haven't even showered in 48 hours. (Insert angry eyebrows here.)), and last but not least, the fact that when someone sends you a message they are notified when you have read it. Who thought that feature was a good idea? Sometimes the mere fact that I have received a message feels like a million lbs of pressure. 'Cause now I have to read it and I don't know what may be expected of me, asked of me, etc. I certainly can't ignore reading the message. But as soon as I read it I know that person knows that I read it and then that million lbs of pressure increases exponentially because I am expected to reply in a reasonable amount of time. Remember the 3 days-3 months rule I mentioned earlier? Yeah. Big problems people. BIG problems.

So, all that to this time of my life where I may just go a little cracky-wack (that's just a silly way of saying crazy) if one more demand is placed on me, I am giving up Facebook. I am a little apprehensive, for I do not want to lose access to people. It may seem ironic for me to share this blog post on Facebook. But I do so to genuinely ask that you keep in touch with me. I am trusting that if you are reading this, you care about our relationship and if I don't have another way of contacting you outside of Facebook, that you will share with me how I can do that.

I don't know what life beyond Facebook will look like. I plan to be much more active on my blog. For instance, I'm really excited to share with you how God has been moving in my life lately to remedy the circumstances Josh and I are currently in. I hope to share that post with you sometime in the next 3 days-3 months. :)