Category Archives: social media

Celebrating our Addictions

Scroll down any social media feed and you will see plenty of memes glorifying various addictions with humorous, creative graphics and witty sayings. These can be anything from alcohol, food, weight loss, tacos, running, crossfit, cycling, climbing, shopping, coffee, shoes, to iPhones and other weird things. Sometimes the posts don’t actually call it an addiction, such as memes related to anger, political outrage, judging others, or social media itself, but we all know people who are hooked on those and post about it daily.

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Why is this okay? Why do we click LIKE or HAHA on these posts to give approval to what we know is sometimes a very unhealthy relationship or even unwanted slavery to these things? I do it, too! I laugh and then I think , well that’s actually not that funny, is it? So do we just laugh because otherwise we’d cry? I think it is because most of us are in the same boat and if we admit to it , we might want out of the boat and then we might be all alone and have no friends. So we play along and encourage the things that make us miserable or at the very least do not lead to joy and contentment and peace. Those things come from another place, a person, the Lord, Jesus Christ. But sadly posts about Jesus do not get the same approval, do they? I suppose it is the company one keeps. And I have over 800 ‘friends’ on the F-book that I may have something in common with, but not the main thing. I think most of my Christian friends are still following my posts, but many have either unfollowed or snoozed me because they don’t want to read Bible verses  or logical political posts. They’d rather keep their heads in the clouds and focus on wine, tacos, and running. It’s okay. I will be praying for them and for myself to fight these non-Jesus substitutions, aka idols,  for real peace and joy. And let me just add that I know that most of these things can be enjoyed in moderation in a healthy way and not be an addiction. We know if we’ve become dependent or not.
Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things are worthy of death, they not only continue to do these things, but also approve of those who practice them. ~ This verse refers to some pretty bad sins, but it came to mind as to how people tend to encourage others in the same behaviors they are slaves to.

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The Life of the Party

Do you like podcasts? I do and I listen to them regularly while running , instead of music. I often get blog ideas from them and that happened today while I  was listening to an East Coast Trail And Ultra Podcast  interview with Alex Ramsey, aka Barefoot Alex.  Alex was described as a person who NEVER says anything negative. I believe this because I met him once at a race and he was super friendly, positive, and happy. Even when the interviewer said something negative or somewhat rude about something, Alex would just laugh and make a joke and not partake in the negativity. This made me wish that I was that kind of person. Who doesn’t love being around super friendly, positive, happy  people? The kind who have witty comebacks, are very humble, but real, people, who don’t drag other people into gossip, negative conversations, politics, or boring subjects.

I then had to stop myself and say, hey, everybody has their own personality and contributes to the world in their own way.  We can’t all be cheerleaders or motivational speakers or the life of the party. Somebody has to do the other jobs and be the ones to laugh at the jokes. I am a teacher. My gift is sharing and explaining information. But I also try to encourage and build up people in my life with that information.  My personality type and gift is not always appreciated  and I could probably improve my skills and I want to do that. I need to learn from teachers who are able to inspire and encourage while they teach. I had a couple of those special teachers in my years of schooling and I still remember them. They didn’t take things too seriously and they were able to be flexible and also not get upset when students acted up or had trouble learning.

Other people, maybe you, might have the gifts I admire. I love smart people who can make funny jokes. I really appreciate someone who makes me laugh hard! Eddie Murphy was one of my favorites in my youth. He could never get away with some of those jokes nowadays.  I also admire blue collar workers and love to see them at work. My husband is a mechanic and basically an engineer as well. He can use all kinds of tools including a lathe and mill. If he needs a special part to fix something , he can MAKE IT! Pretty cool. I have not spent very many years of my life in paid work, so I find the whole work world fairly mysterious and interesting. I especially love entrepreneurs and salespeople, probably because my dad was a salesman. Some other under-rated people are the ones who do so much good in the world and never want or get attention for it, unless Mike Rowe finds out, the charity workers and good-deed doers and people who donate money, time and their brains to make these organizations successful.  That takes a special personality. These people have huge hearts, good organizational skills, and seemingly boundless energy. Yes, I feel bad that I am not like them, too. And let’s not forget the people who are very good at skills like keeping things safe, being  fair, executing justice, enforcing rules, protecting others, risking their own lives for others,  our police officers, firemen and emergency personnel. Not many of us are cut out for those essential jobs , and they may not always be the life of the party, and that’s okay!  I’d rather have the calm, quiet type in an emergency.

Don’t get me wrong, I do try to always be friendly, positive and happy, but it’s not my natural state. I’m more cautious, observant, and analytical. My point is that I need to be okay with myself, and you should be, too. It’s okay to admire others, but don’t ruin your own happiness trying to be someone you’re not. Find your special gift and use it to make your part of the world better.

Happy Sunday !

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My son, left, and my husband, working on a dirt bike motor. 

 

Throw it away!

Skillets don’t last long in my kitchen. Since I’m on a special diet, I cook fried or scrambled eggs almost every day. I also cook skillet dinners pretty regularly. I usually don’t spend more than $20 for a non-stick skillet, the big ones, or $10 for the smaller ones. So, after many uses, the Teflon gets worn away and the eggs, bacon, sausage, and other yummy stuff starts to stick to the pan causing wasted food and frustration. I know some of you love cast-iron skillets and I do like them for certain recipes, but they are just such a pain to clean!

Today I was in a hurry to get out of the house, and since I was only cooking for myself,  I grabbed an old 10 inch skillet from the bottom of my cabinet. I put about 7 slices of bacon in the pan and after a few minutes realized I’d picked a bad pan. It was cooking very unevenly, burning the middle and raw on the ends. Horrors! I love bacon and hate to see it poorly cooked. After frequent turns , I got it cooked. Then I cracked three eggs into the grease, sadly aware that they were going to stick the formerly non-stick pan. And yes, they did, but I still ate them.

But while I was cooking I was asking myself why I still had this stupid pan that was ruining my breakfast? The answer is that I have trouble throwing away useful items. I thought it still had some life left in it, but nope. It should have been thrown out when I bought the new pan that I’ve already been using for a few months.  I kept it as a backup or maybe I thought I’d use it on a camping trip. But the truth is it had outlived its usefulness. It’s in the trashcan outside now. Thanks for the good times!

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That’s me having a blast in my race last weekend, before I fell. I’d never have started running if I hadn’t thrown out my fear of looking like an idiot and failing horribly. 

I know I have other things in my house and in my life that are no longer useful to me or anyone and should be thrown out. Like old phone chargers, dead 10 year old laptops, stained and worn children’s clothes, old curriculum that has been written in or is just so old the information is no longer worth teaching.  I can’t donate that stuff to a thrift store. That’s just passing along my junk and they will have to pay to dispose of it.

In my life I have old habits, irrational beliefs, and invalid prejudices that I am working to throw out. God has really been working on me for the past 10 years or so and I feel like he and I have been able to clear out a lot of old junk. For example, I have overcome a lot of fears and insecurities and my faith in God has grown exponentially. However I still have to work on my habit of forgetting to consider the other person’s perspective before speaking,  right from the start. I usually get around to doing it but sometimes I say stupid things first. Conversely, I have to work on my old habit of being too easily swayed to the other side out of fear of making the other person mad. I have to stick to my beliefs when I know I am right, but do it without anger or rudeness. When I first got on Facebook I’m ashamed to admit I was too often guilty of ‘hiding behind a keyboard’ and saying whatever I wanted without  thinking about how those are ( for the most part) real people out there in Facebook land. Social media has actually helped me to be more understanding of people who are different than me.

Today in Bible study we learned about how in the Old Testament various kings would lead the people away from God and then a good king would come in and bring them back. He would throw out all the idols that the people had been worshiping and restore them back to following God’s commandments and worshiping Him.  Then he would die and a bad king would come in and bring back the idolatry. This happened  over and over. The people were very influenced by the faith practices of their king. If the king feared and knew God, the people did well. Even though all this happened , God did not abandon his people or the covenant he made with them. In the future all the bad stuff will be thrown out and everyone will worship the true King, Jesus Christ.  You can learn about the gospel here.

I love YouTube!

Do you watch YouTube videos ? My family makes use of this endless source of information for so many things, from educational videos for school subjects, car and home repair instructional channels, to travel info, recipes, barbecue techniques, video game stuff, race reports and previews, running vlogs and , of course, all kinds of MUSIC. Sometimes I just want to hear some music while I am doing chores, cooking, or working on a blog or other project. I love choosing a music genre and then setting it to autoplay and just listening to whatever song comes on. It’s a great way to discover songs you’ve never heard!

Yesterday I was doing something or other and I turned on YouTube looking for upbeat music. I ended up hearing some great songs and then watching some very interesting videos. Here is a partial  list of what I watched. Check them out!

This one is my new favorite! I love the sound and the video. The title means, Live Your Way. I love the beautiful people. I love the nursing mother and baby.

The colors and music in this one are awesome, too. I think I’ll have to buy some of their tunes!

You might not know this about me, but I love to dance! And the more Latin and Tropical the beat the better! When I was young and single I used to go dancing for hours . I miss the dancing, but not the smoky clubs and high priced, watered down drinks. That was many moons ago!

Hope you enjoy these. What kind of music helps you get through your day?

 

Be a QUITTER!

“Don’t be a quitter!” is often good advice , but there are times that quitting is a good idea.

1. Quit trying to please everyone. It’s impossible and will make you crazy. Be fair, compromise sometimes, don’t always have to have it your way, but it’s okay to make decisions based on your preferences and best interests at least sometimes! If you’re single with no kids, you can do that most of the time.

2. Quit expecting other people to make you happy, be perfect, always meet your expectations, put your needs first, read your mind, and put up with your bullshit. It’s not reasonable or fair.

3. Quit whining and complaining constantly. This habit drives people away, makes you forget all the good stuff you have going for you and makes you less likely to be successful in your goals.

4. Quit eating junk food , drinking too much caffeine and alcohol , staying up late, and sitting too much. Take care of your health and you’ll be happier .

5. Quit reading and believing social media. Most of it is fake and manipulative and sometimes outright dangerously incorrect information. Choose your research websites carefully.

6. Quit being a slave to your phone. Put it down and leave the room. Can you read a book ? Can you write a sentence or a note with proper spelling on paper with a pen? Can you have a face to face conversation? These skills matter.

7. Quit judging by looks and believing stereotypes. Get to know people first . There are a lot of good people in the world. And bad people. But you can’t always tell the difference.

Hopefully you already quit or never did most of these , good job, but it’s just something I thought about while running.

SSDD? Facebook memories tell the story.

Same shit, different day. It was a saying when I was younger,  I’m not sure if it is still being used. It means that you had a typical , boring day. But in my case, I think SSDD is not a negative thing. One thing I’ve noticed through the magic of social media, especially Facebook memories, is that my life has been pretty routine, repetitive and predictable over the years, at least since the internet has been keeping track for me.  At first I was bothered by that . I thought, Wow, I am a boring person! I did the exact same thing last year on this day! But then I realized that there is a good reason for the sameness.  I know what I like!

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A memory from two years ago. Sadly I won’t be repeating it this year, but it was a great race!

 

I do what I like, travel, running, hiking , over and over, based on the season, and based on what is offered at various times of year.  I would do those things even more often if had the chance, but I think God made seasons to force us to mix it up. In fact, I’m so bad about falling in love with something and wanting to do it ALL THE TIME, that I get sad when I can’t. So it is actually helpful for me to see these memories and remember that I have had a lot of fun times in my life and I will probably have more fun times, even if this day, week , or month is kinda boring.

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I posted this photo two years ago. I ate the same thing yesterday. I like it! I love avocados in season. I try to eat a whole one every day.

 

Another good thing about these social media reminders is that I tend to live in the moment and I also have a very bad memory. These two things can tend to make me forget the good times and the happy times when I am having a bad day. I love it that other people can remember things better and they tell stories that include me or my kids having fun, good times I’ve forgotten. It helps me say, oh, I DO have a good life! Oh, my kids DO have a good childhood! Oh, I am SO blessed! Because some days I feel sorry for myself or that I’m a terrible mom or that God doesn’t care about me. But based on these Facebook memories, I can see that I’m a pretty good mom and I have done a lot of cool stuff and gone on some great trips.

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Here’s one of my two youngest sons that my husband posted two years ago. They have both changed a lot since then!

 

Of course , one bad thing about looking back on the Timeline is I can see some of the dumb and negative stuff I’ve posted in the past on a bad day or just a thoughtless (or drunk) moment, and that makes me feel like an idiot and embarrassed at my stupidity. It does make me try harder to think before I click POST! And thankfully we can delete those posts, but the damage may have been done. People can take your posts way more seriously than you meant them, or vice versa. Or they can misunderstand completely what thoughts and ideas you are trying to convey if you don’t state them clearly.  If I am talking to someone face to face, we will have an actual conversation , back and forth, with facial expressions, body language, and voice changes, getting to the real meaning and hopefully coming to understand each other’s point of view. But let’s face it, most of us do the same thing if we use social media regularly. We post things we later regret or have to clarify. We have to forgive ourselves, learn, and try to do better at communicating, being compassionate, and putting ourselves in other’s shoes.

That is why I think Facebook can be a good thing for people like me who have poor social skills.  Part of having ADHD is not thinking about the other person before you act of speak. It’s not that you don’t care, you just get in a rush. Facebook has given me good feedback and enough shame, if you will, to make me slow down and think. But I still slip up and I am thankful for the friends who are forgiving towards me. I think they see my real self, the person who really does care about people.

What about you? Do you look at your Facebook memories? Does it make you feel good or bad ?