Social Media

I’ve been thinking alot about social media lately.  Specifically, how much time I spend on it – searching, researching, spying, stalking – all simplier ways of say “wasting my time.”  Its a trap really – I start off innocently enough – looking at the news, researching a topic or question I have and I wind up saying to myself “I’ll just check in to see what’s happening on my Facebook page and You Tube” and before I know it, an hour has flown by and I’m behind in my work and/or late leaving to pick up my son from school.   Its a mind-_uck in a way because all of that fantasy, that living outside of my own life, only increases my feelings of  low self-esteem and inadequacy.  I do realize that I use it as a way of distracting myself from the monotony of my life – in other words, the things I don’t want to do or don’t want to face.   I’ve mentioned that I’m struggling lately with family – specifically my marriage – and I know that the more I struggle, the more I seek solace in the fantasyland of my computer.   Its funny because when I do recognize that I’m losing track of time, I still keep going and once I do manage to stop, I feel this terrible regret or anger that I let myself waste away my time doing essentially nothing.  I feel bad about myself – like I should know better.  Unfortunately, its been a common pattern for me over these last several years and I’m getting to the point where I realize how detrimental this habit has been to my life and my happiness – so much so that I get wrapped up in the world of online news, gossip, etc. that I forget that I have a life to live, a son to raise and the ability to make and find my own happiness right here in my own world.  Ironically, social media make me feel even more lonely than I already feel – which is exactly what I don’t need.  I’m beginning to wonder if this habit is more of an addition – something that I know is bad for me but I cannot control and something that I would definitely feel emotional withdraw from if should decide to stop (which of course keeps me trapped).  How is this any different from alcoholism or gambling or smoking?  This is crazy – when did this happen? how did it happen?  And more importantly, how do I stop?  I think I’m going to have to pull the plug cold turkey.  That sounds so drastic but I really don’t know how else to regulate my consumption of fantasy – its either remove myself completely or lose myself completely.   Perhaps I should start a support group for the social media obsessed.  I could come up with a 12-step program to help those of us that need instruction on how to bring our life back in balance among all of the readily available media outlets that are reachable with only a few clicks of the keyboard.   Obviously, I’m being sarcastic but deep down, I really mean it.  How on earth did I get myself to the point where I cannot stop losing myself on the computer?  Its not like I’m bored or have nothing to do – I’ve got plenty to do and lots of other distractions that certainly would serve me  better.  Where do I go from here?

I have decided that my first task is to be more kind to myself.  I’m probably not that different than everyone else – we all can lose ourselves in cyperspace and all that it has to offer, especially when my  life has not been a barrel of monkeys lately.  Perhaps just acknowledging my problem will allow me to begin to back away from or at least come to some form of regulation of my trolling habits.  Its an optimistic thought but one that I’m going to lean on in the coming weeks to see if I might be able to wean myself away from this trap.  Wish me luck – I’ll let you know how it goes.

Making It Through the Holidays??

Its the day after Thanksgiving.  The day where everything begins – or at least traditionally begins (unless your Costco or Target and start decorating in September).  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – even more so than Christmas – mostly because it feels celebratory but not seemingly full of tension and obligation.  However, Thanksgiving is over now and its time for Christmas.  I am sad that I feel this way.  I want to be happier about the weeks ahead but I suppose the materialism that has evolved over the years has taken Christmas to a level where its true meaning gets quite lost in the shuffle to me.  I think that if I truly celebrate Christmas the way I want to, I would be looked at as “strange” or even perhaps “anti-Christmas.”  I realize that could be viewed as a stupid reason for going along with the masses, but its a bit more complicated than that for me at the moment.

I haven’t mentioned that I’m married – I have been for 12 1/2 years.  My husband and I have a 10 year old son.  I also have three step-children from my husband’s prior marriage  – all adults now.  Christmas is my husband’s favorite holiday and he raised his kids to celebrate it  in the same manner – which is to say, completely over the top.  Thousands of holiday trinkets and Hallmark ornaments everywhere, a million lights on the house, the largest tree known to man in our living room, parties with people we hardly know or even like, difficult family visits, overspending, overeating and ultimately, over-drinking.   I often refer to my husband, particularly at Christmas time, as Clark Griswold as that is exactly how he goes about living – creating a fantasy in his mind about what the holiday is or should be and time-after-time finding nothing but disappointment and disaster.  When its all over, he shake’s his head and vows to “never do it again.”   Inevitibly however, the next year rolls around and we start all over again.

I, on the other hand, would much rather celebrate a more low-key holiday.  A small but beautiful tree decorated with white lights and all handmade ornaments I’ve collected over the years.  Only Santa presents for everyone and no more than one or two for each.  I do enjoy stockings filled with little stuff but that, in my opinion, is all that is needed.  Church on Christmas eve, a happy Christmas day with fun food, good cookies and only those around that are close to us.  A quiet, simple holiday is my ultimate wish – one filled with peace, contentedness and faith.  My family knows this about me but they simply do not wish to follow my simple ideas – deeming them too “boring.”  It doesn’t matter how much convincing, arguing or begging I do, its over the top or its not at all.   Not wanting to disappoint the others or let them down, particularly my little boy, I’ve gone along through the years with only quiet protest.

I do love my husband and it pains me to admit that our marriage is struggling right now -it has been for the last several years.  I mentioned in my earlier post that I am more lonely than I’ve allowed myself to admit and I suppose this is a big reason why.   Getting through this holiday, with all the added stress and obligation and expectation that it brings and to which he will absolutely attach our family to, I fear will be the breaking point for us.  I tell myself not to worry – whatever happens will happen and I’m not going to know what to do until that time comes.  Our differences in how we want to celebrate Christmas are a perfect example of how our marriage has become a place of unhappiness for me.  I’ve allowed his ideas to outweight mine.  This makes putting my foot down (after 12 years of his way) more difficult to enforce – especially with four very loud and demanding children.  How do I balance my wants with their wants this Christmas, especially given our present struggles piled on top of 12 years of giving in?  I’m not sure.  What’s worse is I’m not sure I even want to try.  Should I let this holiday and its inevitable disaster be the last straw?  Do I want to keep giving in to save myself heartache or should I fight and let everything fall apart?

I’m having a huge debate within myself right now about whether balance is even attainable in our marriage.  If it can’t be found outside of the stressors of Christmas, how am I ever going to find it during the holiday season?

Stay tuned I suppose…..

 

Hello world!

Hello world, its me Samantha.  I don’t really know exactly why or what I’m doing here but something inside of me decided this morning that I needed to direct my energy into something new and different.  My life, in its current state, is messy and complicated and going through many changes – more so than usual – and I’ve realized that I’ve felt quite lonely for a very long time.  Although I’ve kept a private journal for many years, and will probably continue to do so, something deep  inside of me – my guts – is telling me to write this blog with the idea in mind of sharing my life and experiences.  I don’t want to be lonely anymore – I write solely for the purpose of exposing my many ideas, opinions, thoughts, memories and feelings  that I’ve written about in my journals to the world around me so that I don’t feel as if I’m the only person in the room.  Its not really of the utmost importance to me that anyone actually reads these posts – to me, it more about sending my “stuff” into the universe, releasing it from my capture so that I can be set free.  I know that sounds a bit silly, but its meant to be more of a symbolic letting go than an actual debate.  Although I welcome any feedback that anyone who does read this blog has to offer, I am not looking for anything more than to share myself with you and to let go of who I think I am so that I can make room for what could be.

I have no idea how this blog will evolve over time – how I will structure my posts or even what I will write about – nor do I think I have to know at this moment.  I’m going to trust my instincts and whatever lies ahead to help me figure out the unknown as it unfolds.  I do promise that I will be honest and  open – that I will remain vulnerable to the universe in everything that I share.   I do so with  a caring heart towards myself and to the very universe that I seek to travel.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I do feel blessed for all that I have and all that is ahead of me.  My wish is for all of us to keep and maintain that blessed feeling that is in so much abundance this time of year and carry it with us throughout the coming year ahead. Thank you universe for allowing me to be present!!!

:) Sam