Friday, June 23, 2017

My current headspace: Quit Social Media

I am quitting social media. For how long, I have no idea. But for now, I have saved my Instagram pics that I wanted to keep and I have deleted that account, and am going to do the same with Facebook. I watched this simple, yet powerful video but a guy called Dr. Cal Newport, who has never had a social media account of any kind. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. He makes a good case for quitting social media.

The point that hit home for me was this: social media is designed to be addictive. It's meant to keep you scrolling, to keep you on that screen for as long as possible.

This hit home for me, along with an episode of Carte Blanche I watched a couple of weeks ago which makes Facebook seem quite creepy: even if you have never used Facebook in your life, it has collected information on you. Scary. It has some profile on you.

Here is a freaky thing: I deleted my Facebook account around three years ago. I was off it for about six months. It was great. Then I found I had all these photos on my phone and didn't know what to do with them. So I reopened a Facebook account because it's so easy and convenient to upload pics directly to Facebook from the phone. I was using it as a sort of photo storage thing. Same with Instagram.

But now with Google photos, my photos all get stored automatically, in chronological order if they are dated, and it's private and easy. Well, they are private to me.

I google searched myself and the images that came up were from my blog. So my blog pics are all public. Which is fine. Cos I obviously chose to share those.

The main point and reason that I, personally, am quitting social media is so that I can focus my mental energy on things that really, actually matter. I keep talking about writing a book. I have started many books. I have never finished one.

I want to actually finish writing a book in THIS LIFETIME.

To be honest, even blogging is a distraction, but it's also a form of writing practice.

I already feel clearer being off Instagram, and I have deactivated Facebook until I can get my pictures downloaded.

Lastly, I feel it will be setting my son a good example to be off Facebook. He already talks about "posting" pics and videos. It's not entirely healthy, I don't think. If I want to share a pic of him with my family, I can email it to them or I can whatsapp them.

So long Facebook.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Comrades, and a get together.

Taken by my son
I am staying with my mom in Durbs for a night so we can go watch my brother run the Comrades. This will be his second run, and it's an up run this year, meaning they start in Durban and finish in PMB.

It's always nice to see my family and for them to see my son.

Yesterday afternoon I caught up with three of my closest, lifelong friends from primary school - we stayed friends during high school too, but we all met at primary school. The four of us catching up together doesn't happen that often now that I live in a sleepy coastal village, but now and then, when we do catch up, it's great.

I couldn't help but notice how we all are aging. The wrinkles. The grey hair. The extra bit of weight on all of us. The stress too, etched in our faces. I can see that we are all at the most stressful point of our lives. Three of us have kids, one is a single career woman who takes on far more work than she should. We all have pets and homes to look after. We all have huge financial loads to carry. I mean, we ended up talking about finances - life insurance - for goodness' sake! On what planet do four women get together and talk about the benefits of life cover? But we did.

It's a sign of our age and I just thought "I am really and truly middle aged now."

Our parents are aging. Two of us out of the four have deceased fathers. Two of us (not the same two) have three children each! Not me, clearly and I once again knew in my heart that having one child was, for me, the right decision.

Not only is education ludicrously expensive nowadays, but life in general is so costly. And things break and don't last, so now, you get families who constantly have to factor in buying new cars, new laptops, new appliances, all the time. I mean, on what planet do people replace their cars on a yearly basis? But one friend's husband wants her to do that.

In my dad's house is an old fridge/freezer that he had since he moved in to the house 28 years ago! Where do you get that nowadays? Modern life is crazy and greedy and too busy and nuts. It's also beautiful and vibrant, but mostly, it's nuts.

My one friend told the tale of her cousin, a gorgeous blonde woman, mother to three kids, who is going in to rehab for a cocaine addiction. I mean, what the....? And none of us were that shocked. This is the tale of modern life.

My other friend likes her wine. Heck, I like my wine too! I even know women who drink in the day.

I just thought to myself "We all have our coping mechanisms," and some of us cope worse than others, but at this stage of our lives, we really are all just coping. I don't think any of us has it easy.

I think the only way to stay sane is to realise that we are ALL going through the same shit. Different shit but the same, essentially. We need to be super kind and super gentle with ourselves. We need to throw judgment out of the window. We need to also let go of a lot of "stuff" we carry with ourselves.

It was so, SO good to see them again. These are the women I measure my life by. Not in a judging way, but in a marking-of-time way. As time moves us on, I see that we are all the same and none of us can escape the stress and the aging and the shit that life deals us. And yet, it was beautiful too. The one friend had her brand new four-ish month old baby with her, and his fat chubby cheeks and Gerber baby mouth were such a reminder that out of our old tired bodies comes new life.

And we reminded each other, in talking about the passing of a friend who is our age, 39, that our lives are fleeting but so precious.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Google photos and playing around.

From when our Frenchie was a tiny pup. 


I haven't posted in a while. Personal busy-ness. Life gets busy all the time, no matter what.

But on the plus side, I have deactivated from Facebook for a while. And from Instagram. It's giving me more time. I discovered Google Photos! A free photo storage place just waiting for me to use it! Duh. So now I am experimenting with dragging and dropping photos onto my blog. So this is a playing around blog post.

My brother is going to run his second Comrades tomorrow. He is really inspiring me because he was the teenager who would NOT get up until around midday. Lazy was an understatement. But now...he is doing this amazing thing. I cannot believe it.

From Nov 2016 - the white bikini I took with on our cruise. Oh how I would love to go on a cruise again. 

Things are wrapping up with my Dad's estate. His house sold. It makes me feel relieved and sad both. With his house gone, there will be nothing left of him in this world to show he was here. His house was still something of his that was a protection for me. It was my home. I lived there on weekends and during my Tech studying days. In fact, I lived there until I moved in with my husband. That house has been in my life 28 going on 29 years. Can you believe it? And even though it's old now and needs a revamp, it's been a good home. Solid and stable, just like my dad.

Sorry this post is just a ramble. I guess it's indicative of my emotions right now.