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Posts Tagged ‘#socialmedia’

Due to the weather, circumstances and how I’ve been feeling, I haven’t been in the mood to blog for MONTHS. In fact, I was to the point where I was seriously wondering if I would ever return to it. It felt foreign, unnecessary and ridiculous for me to blog anymore. Yes, I can’t believe it myself. I’m the one who always said, “No matter who quits blogging, I will always be here. You can count on it. I’ll be doing this as long as I live, hopefully into old age.” In a world where EVERYTHING is being shared on social media, I don’t feel like sharing ANYTHING. Mostly because I’m convinced no one cares. The blogs I followed and left feedback on (aka: the people I felt I was “friends with”), would cease to exist, often without any fanfare. They would just be gone one day. Either the blogger never returned or more likely, they wiped every trace of a blog that they had religiously wrote on for many years. They didn’t give a second thought to their readers or even said goodbye.

 
I have pretty much disconnected from everyone I’ve ever known. I had a few remnants of friendship from my postal job which I have discarded. My so-called distant relatives have scurried into the dark crevices, my husband’s family we seldom hear from, the list goes on. My husband is able to cut through the crap and figure things out in a quick manner. He immediately knows why we don’t hear from people— BECAUSE THEY DON’T NEED ANYTHING FROM US. As soon as they do, they will waste no time getting ahold of us. Who wants that kind of relationship where there is no mutual admiration or enjoyment of being together, it’s all about WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?! Sigh.
 
I feel the same thing happening on Instagram. Unless you have a lot of followers, people don’t want to bother with you. Unless you can be shelling out constant compliments and attention their way, they have no use for you. A friend I had from slams recently gave up the Internet. She’s no longer online and doesn’t have a cellphone. She’s older (65) and doesn’t seem to miss it. I thought long and hard and realized I could easily go back to being without both (except for selling online). I don’t feel I get that much out of it and it keeps me from experiencing what’s going on right under my nose. My husband would never go along with it so I may as well keep it.
 
I’ve always been terrible at “following through” with things. As a child, if I started a diary, I would lose interest and it would end up mostly blank. The same goes for “journaling” as a young adult. Maybe one or two entries and I would “forget” or just no longer feel I had time for it. This is one reason I never got into “planners”. They’re a current fad that is extremely attractive to me. I love anything to do with paper and creativity. However, I would bet everything I own that I could not stick to it. Apparently, this is a fatal character flaw. 
 
So I wrote this post up to this point a month ago. I didn’t publish it, I published about the dog attack instead. I let this sit and see if It still held true. It does. Also I have to say how everything seems like too much effort for me anymore: writing emails, blog posts, commenting on Instagram posts, answering the phone, taking pictures, posting to Instagram, cooking, etc. These are all things I LOVED. Now it’s like pulling teeth to do any of them. I’m back in a funk. Or maybe I never left. This is the first year we haven’t had a garden. I couldn’t get excited about even going to pick out the plants (which was always my favorite part), let alone planting them in the ground and watering them. EFFORT. Not sure how to get out of this. Maybe the solution is to force myself to do things. Fake it ’til you make it type of thing. I’m not a good faker though. Never was. I guess it’s something to aspire to…

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I’m in a mood. I’ve been in a mood the whole month of January but that’s a whole other thing. I’m usually late to the party when there’s drama in social media. Last night was no exception. I saw on IG references to an “Instagram Movement” to “get real”. Apparently, this has been a thing for upwards of a week. A couple of big “influencers” decided it was time to take a stand. They JUST realized that social media can be harmful. That “comparison is the thief of joy”. They had no idea that the perfect homes they show on IG for everyone to ooh and ah over are unrealistic to achieve and maintain. Everything’s WHITE–the walls, furniture, rugs, pillows, etc. What was your first clue?! Most humans have either dogs or children which makes white rooms a waking nightmare. 

 
All the “influencers” (I kind of hate that word. It should be brainwashers.) are trying to point out (while sobbing) that their lives aren’t the perfection that they portray. I thought it was OBVIOUS and widely known that pretty much people post the best parts of their lives. They only take selfies when they are fully made up and looking their best. They post their kids in new, clean clothes while standing well behaved. They only show their house when decorated for a specific holiday or when they “restyle” an area or get something new. So now they acknowledge they may be hurting people by portraying only the good. That it makes others feel that they can’t compete. That everything they have or are will never be enough. 
 
The fact that no one woke up to this fact until bloggers or DIYers decide to make it a “thing” kind of floors me. Also how everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and wanting to have their say about it. It reminds me of the #metoo movement. I’m not trying to minimize the importance of woman coming forward or speaking up when they’ve been treated badly or sexually assaulted. Quite the opposite. I think people should take steps to protect themselves by any means necessary. But what about all the women who came forward over the years and weren’t listened to?! Reported things and were dismissed. THOSE are the true heroes! Can you imagine the blow to your self worth to not be taken seriously? Especially when you’re the only one. It takes a lot less guts to stand up in a room full of like minded people than to stand up in the general public. It’s kind of why Weight Watchers works. You’re in a room with a bunch of fat people (or formerly fat) who know EXACTLY what you’re going through. When you speak they can relate. You’re not in a room with a bunch of thin men and women who are judging you before you open your mouth. Personally, I think it minimizes the individual and their story by waiting until everyone else comes out with their abuse story to tell yours. Sure, I can understand that the climate has changed and talking about it is more accepted. But it seems to be almost a fad or trend to come out of the woodwork after 20, 30 or 40 years and make disparaging statements against men.
 
First off, I’m not defending the men. I do believe the majority of the men did those things. I also think that   human nature exists in a way that there are people alive who will use the #metoo movement as a way to exact revenge and make things up. Not a majority but a few. One person being falsely accused is no better than a man who sexually harasses women. Now getting back to the passage of time, perspectives change over decades. I’ve seen it in things that I’ve written when I go back years later. I just feel that women should speak out and up when things happen or tell it on your blog. 
 
I bet every single woman has been sexually harassed by someone. Even I was at work years ago. I would never dream about coming out all these years later and making it known to embarrass this man. He was an indirect coworker and we were friendly. He wasn’t my boss. He was married and had a small child. He was a serial cheater. He was having an affair with different women at work all the time (usually from other areas of the building) and he also went to swingers parties and sex clubs. I was engaged to my husband at the time. At the time, I had lost weight and this man started showering me with compliments and attention. I was flattered but then he got aggressive. He pursued me relentlessly. We worked nights and he kept asking me to go to a motel with him after work. He made all kinds of sexual comments and hit on me every day. I thought he was joking at first because I was naive. Then it got worse and he wouldn’t stop. It made me so uncomfortable. I told him to knock it off. He still wouldn’t stop. It was stressing me out and I told him not to talk like that to me anymore. He wouldn’t listen. I told a male friend that we both knew to have a talk with him and let him know that if he didn’t stop saying those vulgar things to me, I would have to report him to the supervisor. The male friend said, “Why do you want to get the guy in trouble?” So I understand how it works. I chalked it up to the guy having problems. Lots and lots of them. I also know that as adult women (children being preyed on is always off limits), we have to not take shit from people. We’re taught to be nice and treat people with respect but they have to respect us, too. I want to see more women speak up to men that are mistreating them. Not be afraid of losing their job. There really are a lot of jobs out there and if saying NO to a man makes you lose yours, do you really want a job where sex is part of the job?! I would not want to be a man in today’s climate. It’s a lot like being a cop in today’s climate. Most of the cops are great but the ones that are corrupt, ruin it for the others. 
 
I have gotten so far off on a tangent that it’s hard to get back to my point. I don’t feel like riding the bandwagon of “what’s popular” is good for anybody. The gates open up and the sheep file out following the leaders. They are led from their pasture into unknown environments like small towns and big cities. You see a giant herd of sheep and you wonder what they’re doing there. They look out of place but they’re taking over. Pretty soon there is shit everywhere. You can’t walk a step without going knee deep in animal waste. Cars are unable to pass on the roadways. They are being dented and pushed out of the way. Nothing matters but that the sheep stay in a group and are led to their destination. Will they find their way back to the pasture or will they all end up at the slaughterhouse?
 
In the above scenario, I am a cow among sheep. I am left in the pasture when the sheep leave. I don’t fit in with them. I have never fit in and it has been a great source of lamentation for me. Finally, I had the great revelation that the reason I don’t fit in is because I DON’T WANT TO. I say I do but I can’t be like everyone else. I’ve tried and it is not meant to be. All over social media is the saying, “You do YOU!” which I believe in wholeheartedly. I guess I will start the #notme movement of one.

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2016 arrived a month ago amid no real fanfare. A year can be very long or very short, it all depends on how you look at it. Time has always gone fast for me but now it’s at the speed of riding a bullet train and looking out the window only to register a blur of vision. One year has run into the next and I still haven’t gotten used to it being in the 2000’s… In some ways I feel like I’ve lost 15 years. I can’t even tell you where it went except at times it feels  like I wasted it. When I was younger I could remember specific years by “that was the year X happened” or “so and so got married in 19__”. I could look back at each year and something major would have happened that I could recall. Or maybe several big (not huge) things happened, spread out from season to season. Nothing stands out from the last several years. I don’t know if it’s because nothing of consequence happened (true) or if my memory is getting so bad (also true), nothing registers anymore. Now it’s more of “oh that’s the year X died” or “that’s the year the basement flooded and we had to replace several appliances”.

I am so distracted lately. I’ve been having trouble thinking of words or I say the wrong word. I can’t always string a whole sentence together that makes sense. It’s like, when did I have a stroke and how did I not notice?! My temper is perpetually short and I sleep very fitfully, if at all. I don’t know if it’s the Winter Blues again or just life in general and my circumstances in particular getting me down. I didn’t even get a 2016 calendar until yesterday! That used to be a big deal to me to get a new calendar. I looked forward to it and I spent time copying from the old to the new various birthdays and milestones. I always put myself last. First I was busy with vacation, then catching up. Then I didn’t want to pay full price for a calendar when the new year had already started. I did get it at half off but it wasn’t worth the anxiety of worrying I may end up going all year without one. It would bother no one but me if I sacrificed and gave up having a calendar. No one would care if I did without but I would feel terrible….

 

I’ve always willingly admitted I have trouble coping. Now it’s reached epic proportions. It doesn’t  help that I’ve had a bad cold for a week, then my period comes on and my leg has gotten so painful, I can hardly walk. Greg now has the cold as well and Mom seems to be fighting it off. We went to 2 estate sales on Friday and both were awful. We had to wait over half an hour at the 2nd one to get in and chatted with the gal ahead of us in line. Then when we were inside looking around, she runs up and tells us that she couldn’t believe it when she walked into the bathroom and it was FULL of chalkware fish and mermaids! She bought them all dirt cheap. I happen to collect those but also sell when I can. I just can’t believe my luck that she got to them first. This was a couple hours into the sale. I didn’t let on how upset I was but hubby knew. When we got to the car (after buying nothing), I told him it was bad enough she beat me to them but she had to come up and rub my nose in it! Hubby said she probably didn’t mean to do that but was just excited because she got such a great deal on them. Argh. My plan to achieve a Martyr Complex is coming along swimmingly….

 

My life is pretty much summed up in a couple of analogies. Hubby’s Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 2004 with 79.000 miles. He was going to wait until he had 100,000 miles before he even entertained the idea of a new one. With the ongoing problems he’s been having lately, he’s been thinking of purchasing a new one non-stop. This just fuels the fire of finances. Every time I think we might get ahead, something like that comes up. So there’s a couple of problems with his current Jeep. One is the ignition that sometimes he turns the key and nothing happens. No noise, no lights, etc. Other times it won’t turn at all with the key in. We’ve purchased this lead powder that you put into the keyhole and it sometimes works, othertimes not. Looking it up online, “they” said to tap the ignition (with the key in) with the heel of a shoe. As the passenger, I usually volunteer to take mine off to do it. Then there’s a wiring problem with a short in the driver’s side door. The lock won’t unlock using the remote or even the switch inside the driver’s door. The remote quit working except for the lock which works sporadically. Greg replaced the battery in the remote and that did NOTHING. A few times the window won’t go up or down but it’s mostly the lock. This short also affects it starting and a year ago Greg had to call AAA to get a tow. They got it working but talked him into taking it to their shop. He did and they never could figure out what was wrong.

 

The day before Christmas vacation, after Greg had brought the RV in front of our house from the place we store it at and towed the Jeep behind, he went to start the car and NOTHING. The gages were jumping and lights were coming on but no sound from the engine. He tried multiple times and then had to call AAA. This time they towed it to the same auto mechanic shop. He told us it would be a priority since we were leaving the next morning. Of couse, that seems to mean they drag their feet. At noon the next day, they hadn’t even gotten it into a bay to check on it. So we had to make the decision to leave it in their incapable hands for 2 weeks! while we went to Mississippi. This is the first time we’ve gone down there without a tow vehicle. We were limited to where we could go since we didn’t want to have to pack everything up in the RV and unplug to drive somewhere. We did that once when we went to the Dollar Store to buy period supplies. Yes, I did that over Thanksgiving vacation too. How does one get so lucky?! It’s not vacation unless i”m bleeding like a stuck hog. We went on Christmas Eve and there was a mob buying last minute gifts. We also went to the ATM at the bank, thinking we might need more cash (we didn’t.). Then we went over to Sam’s Town Casino just to eat a late lunch with our free points. It’s only across the street from where we stayed but there’s no way Mom could walk it and they don’t  have a shuttle or cabs anymore.

 

Anyway, my llife is summed up by how difficult it is to do simple things. Like for Greg to open the Jeep, he needs to open the driver side with the key, GET IN, shut the the door and flip the inside lock on the door. Even to open the back of the Jeep. I feel like basically every aspect of my life is like that. My mom always kept her pots and frying pans inside the oven. I’ve always done it too. Except to use the oven has turned into a huge hassle. I have to lift all of them out and usually carry them to the dining room table. Then back again after baking. To get in the freezer we keep in the garage, I have to move a ton of empty spare boxes that we keep for mailing out things people buy on Etsy. There’s nowhere to put them but on the stairs behind me on the way up to the kitchen. By the time I get it all moved and get into the freezer, dig around for what i want and then put it all back, I’m exhausted. Same goes for using the crock pot. It’s already on the counter which should be the easy part. But there’s a ton of crap in front of it that has to be moved to the dining room table so I can clear an area around it. Then after using it, I have to clean it up immediately since I have to move everything from the table back to the counter before morning so Mom can eat her breakfast there. The latch that releases the dust bin on my 4 yr. old Dyson vacuum broke a few months ago. To empty it (which I do after vacuuming every room), I need to use a screwdriver to get it open. Life has gotten way too complicated…

 

Obviously we’ve got too much stuff. Our house is too small. But what is the solution? The thought of moving is daunting. It’s not even that I have this house exactly how I want it so hate to leave. It’s the amount of work and energy involved in packing and unpacking, let alone house hunting. Moving with Mom around isn’t an option. So we just keep on plugging along, wondering if things will ever get easier.

 

There was a contest on Instagram that I wanted to enter. They asked for you to write down a dream of yours. Sounds simple enough. Except I don’t have any. I used to have so many. I don’t even know when I went from having many to some, let alone NONE. I’m not just being dramatic. I feel like there’s nothing I can hope for. I used to want to go to Europe but then couldn’t afford it for so long. Then we chose having dogs over going abroad since we don’t want to ever put them in kennels. I used to want to live in California. No one else really shared my desire. They tried to humor me until I gave up. Mom and I were going to move to CA back in 1983 instead of Milwaukee but it was too expensive. Mom didn’t think we could afford it even though we’d been talking about it for years. When I met Greg I told him I wanted to live in CA someday. He would casually mention it like he remembered and it would someday happen. Now he’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t want to.

I used to want to be thin and gave up on that. That’s a whole other blog post for me to delve into someday. I used to want to publish at least one book. I see so many other bloggers getting published and feel no jealousy. It just doesn’t feel possible for me. It no longer feels like good things can happen to me. No, I don’t have the worst life. Or even a bad life. It just seems like there was more balance between good and bad. Now the good is so few and far between that maybe I don’t even recognize it.

 

My inability to share my life with others  has gotten worse. I can do it on my blog but no where else. I used to be able to share anything on Twitter and interact with others daily. Same on Instagram although I didn’t post selfies. Now I’m almost paralyzed and unable to post pictures since before the new year. Part of me feels like no one cares what I post so why do it?! I’ve always been worried about overposting, making people sick of me. I feel like I’m not getting anything out of social media anymore. I realize that you get out of things what you put in and I’m no longer contributing. I’ve been expecting someone to appear and take an interest in me and drag me out of my shell. That’s not happening and it’s unrealistic to think it would or could.

 

I’ve put off writing a blog post since I didn’t want to bring anyone else down with my current mood. It doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere so I have to do something. I can’t mope around anymore. I can’t wait for anyone else to take hold of my life and make things right. I’m sure a lot of this stems from my low self-esteem. I used to dislike how I looked outside but liked myself inside. Now I hate myself inside and out. Hate is not too strong a word. I don’t dwell on looks, my own or others so I don’t know why I’m so hard on myself. It’s not even a matter of being fat. I know I wouldn’t like myself any more if I was thin. I feel like people see no worth in me and have finally convinced me that I’m worthless.

 

I’ve decided to try an experiment starting Feb. 1. I barely look in the mirror at myself because I can’t stand to see myself. All I see are flaws and ugliness. I’m going to FORCE MYSELF to take a selfie every single day and post it. It will probably make me cry. I could cry now just thinking of doing it. I may not last the month but I’m going to try. I might have to try writing down one good thing about myself each day also. If I can think of any. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t know how others got such high opinions of themselves. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. There are people twice as fat as me that think they’re beautiful. How does this happen?! How do you start loving yourself? Until I learn how, I’m fat on the outside and dead on the inside.

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I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to be nice to each other. This has always been a problem but with the advent of social media, it’s gotten worse. Social media allows people to be connected to anyone/everyone in the world, at all hours of the day or night, on many different devices, etc. It doesn’t teach people manners or encourage common courtesy. In fact, since the invention of cellphones, people have gotten ruder in public. They take calls in restaurants, in aisles of stores, while driving, etc. They talk loudly and pay no attention to others in their vicinity who don’t want to be privy to their personal conversations. They also ignore the people they’re shopping, riding in the car or eating with in favor of the electronic device of their choice. Earth hour was a feeble attempt at public awareness. “Dare the world to save the planet” seems lame to me. What good is saving the planet if the people on it don’t care about each other? What about having an hour daily when every household turns off iphones, ipads, laptops, pcs, etc? DARE THE WORLD TO SAVE MANKIND. We don’t share our day with people unless it’s texting as things happen. There doesn’t seem to be anymore of the “how was your day?” to the kids after school or the spouses after a long work day.

The civility is fleeting in our society. I understand being rude to telemarketers if you’re getting a bunch of calls a day and you’re on the “do not call list”. True, it’s not nice to hang up or say something mean to them when they’re just trying to earn a living. However, they are invading your home, your personal space. It’s a different story when you’re in public where everyone is welcome or should be. Like public sidewalks, parks, stores, etc. It has always made me uncomfortable when I was in school and would say “hi” in the halls to people and they wouldn’t say hi back. It’s only some that refuse to answer and I would cut them slack, thinking they had a bad day, etc. After a few times I would give up and not say it anymore but it would always make me feel bad about myself. I realize how busy people are and I wasn’t trying to engage them in conversation. Just a polite hello to acknowledge another human being’s existence. I would categorize them as snobs who thought they were better than me.

The same thing happened when I was working at a job in a factory type atmosphere. After awhile you basically know everyone on sight, even if you haven’t had any dealings with them. I’d say “hi” getting in or out of the elevator or passing in the hall and the same thing would happen. Now I encounter it when walking the dogs. I guess I’m friendlier than I thought because I try to greet everyone I see. It isn’t always the cheeriest hello but it’s always a kind one. I want people to know I saw them and didn’t dismiss them. Not getting a hi back still makes me feel bad.

Now as an adult (really? despite my age, can I really call myself that?!), I have given this a lot of thought. Like in the past when I’ve had chronic physical pain not visible to the naked eye and only I knew how much agony I was in. It got me thinking how everyone is struggling with things that are giving them grief. No one can see by looking at anyone else what trials they’ve endured or what could possibly be going on in someone else’s lives. Unless we tell them. Which we don’t unless we’re very close to them or we blog about them which means telling the whole world. I know for a fact I need to be more tolerant of others and maybe cut them more slack. A woman who cuts me off in traffic could be upset about a fight she had with her husband. Someone who rams my heel with her grocery cart and doesn’t apologize could be thinking about her mother being diagnosed with cancer. A guy who let his giant sheepdog crap in my front yard and not pick it up could just be an asshole! Ha. Gotcha. Seriously, you get the idea. We don’t know if people are doing these discourteous, rude things by accident due to being distracted by mounting problems (and debt) or if it’s on purpose because they think they’re entitled or above the law or just lazy or…

Does having an excuse give you a free pass to treat others like crap? No two people are dealing with the same thing so compassion and empathy need to be in play. Unfortunately, they seem to be in short supply or a ton of people were “behind the door when they were given out” as the old saying goes. I don’t know if anyone goes by the Golden Rule anymore but I still try to.

I feel uncomfortable getting compliments and don’t get them anymore so it’s not an issue. I enjoy giving them though. I love making people feel good. I suppose some might consider it sucking up but I just like giving people a lift. When I look at someone and see something I genuinely like about them (whether I know them or not), I might say “I love your purse” or “your haircut is fabulous”, etc. My only criteria for compliments is they have to be true. I’m not going to tell you something looks good if it doesn’t. I also compliment you if you do your job well or you made an experience pleasurable for me (like filling out forms, drawing blood, etc.). Most restaurant service is horrible, my water glass is empty most of the time, etc. The few times I’ve had a great waitress were SO memorable to me. Besides tipping better, I fall all over myself to tell them how outstanding they were.
 
I’ve also noticed that people in general are jealous of others’ good fortune. I learned many years ago being happy for someone else takes nothing away from you. People enjoy sharing their happiness when things are going well. Often there’s not a lot of people willing to revel in someone else’s fame or fortune (unless they are indirectly gaining from it). I do understand why it’s hard to sit on the sidelines when someone else seems to have the Midas touch. Everything they want seems to come to them with ease, while everything you touch turns to shit. This is when the gratitude has to kick in so you remember how things could be worse.
 
It starts with one person and should branch out from there. I’d like everyone to say hi to someone that they don’t normally acknowledge. Whether it’s on Twitter or IRL. Give someone a sincere compliment and see if it makes YOU feel better to be nice to someone. Even if it’s just to take a second to comment on someone’s Instagram pictures. We don’t have to do anything drastic here but just try to cut one another some slack and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. 😉 Maybe being nice will rub off on the rest of the human race.
 
 
 
 

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