Search This Blog

Friday, September 27, 2013

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I don't remember when I heard the phrase, teamwork makes the dream work, but I know that it made me roll my eyes. And then I started saying it. All the time. A lot. And then a weird thing happened--I started to believe it.

I have always be a bit independent. I don't join teams. I don't do group projects well at all. I enjoy my own company. Even as a little kid I didn't want to snuggle much and I think it hurt my mom's feelings. If I get too entwined with Big Daddy I have visions of being trapped under a beam in a collapsed mine shaft. I don't know where this stuff comes from, I really don't.

Then a weird thing happened. I fell in love and got engaged and then we got married. It was crazy. And now I'm half of an us. I'm part of a we. It's been the best thing for me ever. Ask anyone. But to be honest, things haven't been easy here at the Love Shack. My business has slowed down to almost nothing and that's put a lot of pressure on Big Daddy. We love to run around and have fun and it's taken some of the wind from our sails that we can't just decide to hop in the car and go where we want when we want and while we both know wholeheartedly that this will pass, I think we'd both love to know when. One would think that this kind of strain would cause problems in our partnership, only in our case, when the going gets tough, our marriage gets stronger. This isn't an isolated incident, this has been a fact since we became us. Big Daddy pointed that out during a recent conversation. He reminded me that we thrive under pressure and while I wanted to throw up my hands and wail, "I don't want to be thriving under pressure--I want to have what i want, now!" but it's hard to argue with the truth. We have more quality time together when we have less quality cash. We are more creative and more collaborative.

So today, I'm thankful for blessings that come in disguise. I'm thankful for "one day at a time" and I'm grateful that I get to share my days with someone who doesn't let me forget what makes me a woman of abundance: I am blessed beyond measure to know who I am, what I am and whose I am. Happy Friday, ya'll!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wrestling with the Learning Curve

I'm not sure what would possess a woman on a rather restrictive diet to decide that now is the perfect time to branch out and conquer decorated cookies (insanity perhaps?) but the reason I haven't posted in a couple of days is that I am knee-deep in a new obsession. For two weeks I have read cookie decorator blogs. On Monday I ordered my first shipment of cookie cutters. On Tuesday I cleared off my official cookie shelf and organized my colors, extracts, cookie cutters, sheet trays, sprinkles, etc. On Wednesday I bought the ingredients for cookies and mixed up a batch so that they could cool overnight. I also practiced my piping for about an hour. My icing was too runny so the results weren't great. I blamed the icing. I then read about icing consistency for the next two hours. Today the mailman brought the cookie cutters so I rolled and cut and baked cookies. I thickened up the royal icing and finally, finally, finally I started decorating and guess what? (Chicken butt.) I'm not good yet. Sigh.

This is a problem I've had since childhood. I think it started with my bicycle. See I wanted a bike. I was pretty sick of being monitored all the time. I heard the call of the open road and all I needed was bike and I'd be free! I could taste it. I knew exactly how I'd look with my hair whipping in the wind mimicking the streamers on my handlebars. So I begged and I whined and I whined and I begged and finally, finally, finally, I got a sparkly green bike with a groovy banana seat, a white basket with flowers on the front and streamers on the handlebars. Now just let me at it and get out of my way! Well much to my surprise, the bike was defective because when I got on it, it really didn't go much of anywhere. Like it sort of sucked really and that's when I heard the fateful words, "I'll teach you to ride."

Now my dad is a great guy but he's also the guy who can absolutely destroy me with a sigh. Like level me. This is not a power he asked for nor is it one he's enjoyed much, but the fact remains that if I had to choose anyone to teach me anything my dad would come in near the bottom of my list. See he wants to talk and explain and talk some more. I want to already know so I'm not super attentive to the lecture portion of our lessons and guess what? I'm awful. Because we lived in a small town with sketchy pavement, my dad would drive me to the bank and we would practice riding there. He'd lecture, I'd fidget, I'd get on the bike, he'd help and then let go. It seemed like it took months just to learn to ride straight and then Coach Control Freak thought I needed to learn to turn. So I'd ride around the parking lot and as I was turning near the corner of the bank, my dad would start hollering ("Turn, turn, turn!!!") I would panic because my dad was yelling at me and try to look behind me and I'd crash into the bank. This didn't just happen once or twice, this happened a lot. This happened so much that I'm still talking about it four decades later. So one day we were riding home and I was examining the newest strawberry on my elbow and I thought to myself, "That's it, I'm done. Sell the bike."

Fast forward to today and once again I'm frustrated because of my unrealistic expectations and automatically I start to feel like a loser and I want to quit. But here's what's different: today I can slow my roll. The blogs and websites I have been oohing and ahhhing over are people who have done this for years and years and no matter how much I read about how to do this well, the bottom line is that I'm going to have to practice to get good. There's no way to cut practice out of the equation. I don't have to learn it all in one day. I have to remind myself that I'm not supposed to be good yet, I'm just supposed to be learning. Persistent progress. That's all it takes right? Sigh. I don't know that I'll ever get past those pie in the sky visions I get, because honestly, I don't know that I want to. As frustrated and disappointed as I get when nothing quite lives up to the hype I create, the hype-phase is pretty worth it to me and if I'm willing to do the work, I sometimes end up at the place I started out dreaming I'd be. Peace, love and sugar cookies!

Monday, September 16, 2013

On the Wings of a Dove

Sometimes when I struggle, I play "Let's Make a Deal" with God. I explain that I don't need a solution today, but what would help me a lot would be a dove with an olive branch. See I'm a big Noah fan (even though I don't take the story literally because well, that makes no sense). I had a spiritual awakening with the verse, "Noah walked with God." Seriously, it's so elegant, so simple and so obtainable! But back to the dove--when I'm having a hard time with right here right now, I ask God for a dove with an olive branch because that's what God sends to deliver hope that the rain will end.

Today I saw a dove. Today I got one little phone call, and it really doesn't deliver me from right here and right now, but it's just enough to give me the encouragement I need to keep going. Today I believe that we will round this corner.

I feel a little guilty that I get down from time to time. Honestly, my day to day life is better than I thought it could be. I am happy with my home and most days I am deeply in love with my husband. I haven't lost sight of my gratitude I just wish, sometimes I wish that it was just a little bit easier--and today I got a reminder that sometime it will be.

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Four Miles

This morning Big Daddy and I rode four miles. I've never done that before. I've ridden four miles in a day but I haven't done it all in one swoop and honestly, I wouldn't have done it today if he hadn't kept going. I like riding my bike. I especially like riding my bike to a destination. I like riding to Lowes, or Walmart or Acadamy. I like chaining it up and doing a little shopping. I like stopping to catch my breath. I like having a little sip of water every now and then and that is how I would always ride my bike if it was just me. On my own, I am a recreational rider.

Big Daddy has a completely different approach to the bicycle. In his mind we ride for exercise and the only way that the bike works as exercise is if we continue to increase our distance and our speed. He's  setting goals while I'm planning picnics. It's one of the reasons our relationship works.

Yesterday I called him and I was all gloomy. "I want to eat food and I have no money!" (Now when I say that I have no money, I mean I have no extra money--our needs are provided for, please don't worry.) Big Daddy did very well with talking me down from the ledge. He reminded me that God always provides for us and that we both are at our best when we're faced with a challenge. He said he understood how I felt and he knows it is hard, but he's proud of me. He said all the right things including, "...and when I get home, we'll figure out what we need to do to get Yes, Chef! going again."

Now, when I say that he said the right thing, that doesn't mean that I was thankful for the help. Oh no. What that little statement did was kick my ego into gear and in that moment it clarified for me what I need to do next. As soon as he started tossing out ideas I realized the missing piece and could see clearly what I need in order to promote my business. Right now it seems I've used up my birds nests on the ground. Now it's time for hustle. Now it's time to work a little harder. This is the time when I have to set and focus on some goals and I'm going to need a little pushing. I'm pretty lucky I have a guy who knows just how to do it, even when he doesn't know that he's doing it.

Have a happy Fun-day!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Compose Yourself!

I've been feeling very creative lately. Yesterday I went to play bingo and while I didn't win. I did walk out with a handful of colorful cards. I don't know why but it just kills me to throw them away and since Big Daddy wasn't there to give me the "are you hoarding bingo cards now?" look, I brought my losers home. (I did linger over someone else's cards that they left on the table but I decided that would be overkill.)

While Papa Grande napped in his recliner, I sequestered myself in the craft room and made bingo composition notebooks. I have a love affair with composition notebooks that spans back twenty years. When I first got sober I had way too much time on my hands and way too many thoughts in my head so I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wrote creative stuff and journal stuff and I also played this free writing game with friends that was a lot more fun than it sounds. There was a little place called Boxies at Preston and Beltline and I used to go there and order a banana nut muffin and a vanilla latte. I sat at the table outside and I wrote until I couldn't see the page anymore. I filled dozens of composition notebooks and while I thought I was writing in preparation for the great American novel, I now believe I was learning to enjoy my own company. I found composition notebooks for .50 during back to school so I bought half a dozen.

I've been doing a lot of web searching about doodling, visual journals, art notebooks and creative lettering. I am drawn to these forms and have been for a long time but lately the art books seem muddled to me. I enjoy the layering process a lot, but the product sometimes seems bogged down. I love the idea of doodling, but have found that doodles tend to be floral, and while I like that a lot, I've been noodling about using a less girly motif. I'm searching for something, a light switch of sorts, and it's very exciting.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chalk it Up to Pinterest

I wish I could take credit for this idea. I really do. It seems like an idea I'd come up with and I'm a little astounded that I didn't. Anyway here's the scoop. Back when we started Yes, Chef! Catering, we went to a restaurant supply auction and we bought a couple of odd lots of stuff. One of the lots we won was a mixed lot of crock pots, a "flotilla" as Big Daddy would say. I think there was maybe one good crock pot and several more homely ones, and from time to time we have used them all but we definitely use the best looking ones the most. So I'm perusing Pinterest yesterday and what did I see but the most brilliant idea ever! Spray paint the crock pots! Spray paint the crock pots (drum roll please) with  chalkboard paint!!! Oh yes boys and girls, this had to happen.

When choosing a craft I usually have three factors to consider:

1. Does it cost less than $10 to begin? (Now many of my crafts spiral way beyond the $10 mark, but in order to get sucked in, I prefer that the craft seems affordable at the onset.)

2. Can it be done start to finish in less than one hour? (I have done things that take longer but I usually screw them up because I can't wait to let paint dry.)

3. Will Big Daddy think I'm crazy when he sees what I've done? (I don't know why this is such a motivator for me, but it is.)

So here's a picture of two of the three pots I painted. I'm rather fond of the harvest gold one. It's especially groovy.

I just taped up the parts I didn't want to get paint on. Took off the nobs and sprayed away. Then I let them dry and POOF! Chalkboard crock pots. The reason I think this is so cool is that you can label them with the food that's inside or with your name (or any other cute message you like). I am just tickled. I think they are super fun and I think they'll be great for catering. You'd be surprised how many times people ask you what something is. I guess folks are afraid I disguise lima beans to look like queso.

Have a wild and crazy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting to Know You

Last weekend I picked up a new box of "Chat Pack" cards at Barnes and Noble. I love these things. I bought our first box in Canton several years ago and we talked all the way home answering questions and laughing. I bought another box for a road trip to Kansas. After we've gone through the box, I add them to a gift basket for someone else so they can enjoy learning about each other. There are some questions that we immediately know the other's answer to (Favorite fried food: potatoes for him, foot long corn dogs for her) and others that are a complete surprise (Favorite Olympic sport to watch: he picked soccer, I picked swimming. Neither of us had a clue). What's really cool about these is that answering simple questions with each other has given me a whole new insight on Big Daddy's character. Whether you're looking for a fun way to get to know your family or an ice breaker with new friends, I highly recommend Chat Pack. It would be easy to make your own with a pack of index cards and some questions from the internet. And just for giggles, here are a few questions just to get you started:

Favorite TV theme song of all time?

Favorite doll or action-figure from your childhood?

Favorite silly song?

Favorite Christmas movie?

Favorite comfort food? (my answer on that question is subject to change moment to moment, especially since I'm eating low carb right now.)

Happy HUMP DAY ya'll!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rest in Peace...

A high school acquaintance of mine died on Sunday. We weren't friends (which isn't to say I didn't like her, I just didn't spend much time with her) but we have mutual friends so I've been following her story for a long time. I knew about her joys and her struggles and so when I read about her death, I caught my breath. She'd been fighting brain cancer for decades, and winning, so it was easy to think that she just might outlast all of us...

I have been thinking about the phrase "rest in peace." I don' t know if I agree with it. I'm not saying I don't get it, but I don't know that it's my wish. Why the heck would you wind up in heaven and then nap? Maybe that speaks more to my precarious relationship with sleep and my need for a squishier mattress. I'm just saying if I get to heaven I'm going to want run around the place and do stuff. 

I've also been thinking about the idea that there's no heaven. Wouldn't that be a shame! I mean honestly every time someone says YOLO I think "I certainly hope not." I hope I get do overs. I hope I get to fall in love with Big Daddy over and over again. I hope I get to spend time with the baby I lost and watch him or her become. I hope I get some time with my dad when he is whole again. Where he can see and he can get around and his mind doesn't play crazy tricks on him. I want to hang out with Irene again. I want to hug Matt. I want to catch up with Larry. I would love to cut up with T. Hull. I hope I am reunited with relatives and friends and that I get to introduce people that I think would love each other and I hope one day I get the chance to ask Stacey to teach me dance.  Rest in peace, Stacey, or dance, and honestly, I hope you dance.

Losers Guilt

Today is the second week weigh in and I am pleased with my results, sort of. I lost weight and inches. I'm feeling optimistic and a little proud except that Big Daddy isn't losing yet and that feels rotten. I suspect I know why he hasn't seen the results I have and I suspect he knows too (although we haven't talked about it because we've discovered that trying to coach one another in an area where we both struggle is not good for our marriage). I know he's frustrated. I know it because I've been there and I'm a little afraid that he'll give up. I'm worried that I'll have to go it alone. I know it's possible, but I also know that I've never done it. So I've chosen not to pow wow about it because my feelings are tangled. I want him to succeed because I know he'll be happier and healthier and we can live a better life together AND because it makes it a whole lot easier for me.

What my head keeps whispering to me (and just for me) is that there's always an excuse not to get better. It's not convenient. It's a stressful time. I just don't have the will power. I can only say no so many times. (Seriously, I can go on for pages with this.) The only way it works is if the reason to do it is bigger than than the reasons not to. So I'm going to celebrate my success (quietly) and enjoy the results I've earned today. I can't promise I will stay in my own sandbox for good and for all, but I'm going to try to to stay in here for today. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Winner Winner Big Steak Dinner

Yesterday afternoon I was toying with the idea of going to the bingo hall but my luck has been so dismal lately that I was having a hard time justifying the expense. Big Daddy encouraged me to go, suggesting that I could just play paper cards and a few pull tabs and maybe I could win a computer. Well that's what happened and then just when I decided I was out of luck, I got a bingo on the last game of the session. I left very thankful for my good fortune and then I bought some big old steaks.

My business has been slow lately and that means there's been very little "fun money." I think I've done a pretty good job of staying out of self pity about that, but honestly, I'm just a teenie bit happier and things are just a skosh easier when there's a little something in my wallet.

My experience at the bingo hall got me thinking about pedaling and coasting. (You knew this was going to lead to a bicycle analogy didn't you?) When Big Daddy and I ride, there's this route I choose all the time. It's easy at the beginning and then there's this stretch that feels ridiculously long because it has a slight incline and I start to pant during that stretch. (Look, I never claimed to be Lance Armstrong--I'm just a big girl on a sparkly bike.) There's always a point where I think, "Nope, I can't do it. I don't want to do it. This is dumb." That's when I'd quit only I have to get home somehow and so I slog on. I usually sing or pray during this part of the ride and then just when I think I can't go on, I make the turn onto Bronco. Bronco is my favorite street because it's all downhill from there. Gravity takes over and zooooooom! I just love that stretch and I am convinced that a good part of what makes it so fun is that it comes right after the point when it was hard and I was ready to give up.

I think good fortune comes and goes, just like there are times when we get to coast and time when we have to pedal. Either way we keep moving forward trusting there are happy surprises just around the corner. Happy Funday!

Friday, September 6, 2013


These are some ballet cookies that I made for a customer. Rather than buy an expensive cookie cutter, I designed my own pattern, cut each one by hand and decorated them in pink and white. I am really pleased with how they turned out, because I didn't know how to do them before I did them. 

One of the things I love about my job as a caterer is that I routinely tell people I can do things that I've never done before. I am constantly learning, researching and trying new things (like leave lots of time for cookie decorating because your hand is going to cramp up about every five cookies!) It's the ultimate on the job training and while there have been some very stressful trips to the store at one in the morning because the lesson didn't go so well, but most of the time with proper planning and enough time to work, things turn out better than I expected.

In some ways I think I've gotten more adventurous as I age. When I was younger my motivation was usually external. I did things to please or shock those around me but now I'm driven more by the desire to experience and learn. Less WOOOOOO HOOOOO and more, oh wow. I think I'm quicker to say, "Sure I can do that," because I'm not as afraid to make mistakes. I finally recognize mistakes as a necessary part of the learning process. It's not a failure to learn what doesn't work.

One of the things that has been an inspiration to me is my blogging heroine. Her blog is beautiful. She makes gorgeous art. She has this amazing house. She takes breathtaking photos of her family strolling down the beach near her home (well of course she lives on the beach!) and I've followed her posts for years now. Recently I took the time to go all the way back to the beginning of her blog and guess what? It wasn't that great. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but it wasn't great. Her art, her home, her writing and her photos got much better with time and experience. This shouldn't surprise me, but it did. One of the ways the critic in my head keeps me from trying things is that Little Miss Thinks She Knows It All tells me that the people whose talent I admire are naturals. They roll out of bed beautiful and tinkle perfection. It's just not true. The people whose talent I admire have been willing to stretch and are committed to practice and those are things I can do too. Actually, there are lots of things I can do, I just haven't done them yet.

Enjoy the weekend, and try stretch your wings a little, venture two steps out of your comfort zone and try something new! You can do it, I know you can.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Feeling Super

Last night was rough. I had rushed to get somewhere and then when I got there I discovered that I didn't need to be there at all. Then, I wanted to go spend some money I can't afford to spend on playtime and I don't like telling myself no. I wanted to eat things I'm not supposed to eat. The TV was getting on my nerves because they kept showing commercials for things that cranked up the temptation to 11 and all I could tell myself was "this too shall pass." I turned off the TV, grabbed my Kindle and went to bed early. This morning I got up and did my thing with no thought of the struggles from last night. It really did pass just like I told myself it would.

This got me to thinking about "getting over the hump." So many times I suspect I've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory because I wasn't willing to be uncomfortable for just five more minutes.

About seven years ago, I was walking through some stuff. I was cleaning houses for a living and I was not happy about where I was living or who I was living with. I'd lost a lot of the stuff and the status that made me feel like a big deal and I was none too happy about any of it and to add to the fun, I was trying to lose weight and work out. I had a membership to the rec center at the time and three or four times a week I'd go walk on the treadmill or ride the bikes and I'd do this little workout routine. I discovered that if I didn't workout right after I finished cleaning my houses for the day I wouldn't do it, so I would go straight from work to the gym.

Well this one day, I was headed to the gym and I looked down and I had on a pretty low-cut t-shirt and some underthings that weren't exactly designed for working out but I knew if I went home I wouldn't go back so I decided that it wasn't that big a deal. I did my little cardio, and then I did some arm thingies, and some crunch thingies, and some more arm thingies and I was just about done when I got on this piece of equipment called the Roman chair and you hook your feet in and your tummy is on this seat thing, and you put your hands up by your ears and you lift yourself up and lower yourself down using your abs. So I'm lowering myself down and then lifting up and arching my back. Then I notice there's this old man watching me and I really needed him to get back in his own sandbox if you know what I mean. I am not cute when I work out. I am sweaty and I'm fussy and I sure don't need any attention from Papaw while I'm trying to get done. Six, Seven, Eight...the whole time this man was staring at me and the whole time I was trying to give him a sufficient stink eye so he would stop, and then it happened, the thing he'd been waiting for, and I didn't have to see it to know it happened because the look on his face let me know all about it: I'd had a wardrobe malfunction. I lowered myself down and quickly returned the wayward body part back into her holster and then I had a decision to make. Would I quit or keep going? This small firm voice inside said, "Finish the set."  So I did and then I did another one.

I walked to my car and I felt like I'd just won a gold medal. What had begun as a silly situation turned into something bigger, something important--something spiritual. All afternoon I thought about how important it was to just "finish the set." Most of my life I'd spent so much time and energy focusing on the five seconds of self consciousness  and convincing myself that I had to quit, that I'd missed out on the joy just doing a little more than I thought I could and that was the victory this morning. I waited it out. I finished the set.

I hope whatever challenges you meet today pass quickly and that you don't give up before the miracle happens because they happen every day friends. Love & light to you all.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cleaning the Craft Room

I started a project yesterday that I thought would take a couple of hours. I'm now on day two of what will be at least a three day project, a disaster I am calling "Craftnado." As I told my Facebook friends, "I waaaaaay over estimated my enthusiasm for this project."

Oh my gosh. I don't know if everyone has that room (or three) where they toss stuff when people are coming over, but I had two (and some closets and the garage) and then I had overnight guests so the guest bedroom had to get shoveled out. That left the craft room and man oh man oh man, is it a wreck of epic proportions. It's awful. There's glitter, scraps of paper, beads, ribbon, buttons, empty boxes, tangled yarn, dozens of bottles of paint (just imagine at least three things from every aisle in Michaels to complete this list) and it's everywhere. I have baskets and boxes for this stuff, but half the stuff is in the container and the other half is jumbled up with some other stuff. There are tote bags with project remnants and Levis with a tear in some important place. This is a hoarders starter kit right here. So I start dragging things out into the hall so that I can rearrange stuff to make the room more user friendly and I slowly start putting things into cubbies and plastic shoe boxes when I find my electric pencil sharpener and I spend the next half hour sharpening colored pencils!!!

This is exactly what would happen to me lo those many years ago when my mom would send me in to clean my room. I'd close the door and I'd get started and three hours later she'd find me sitting in the floor organizing my crayons with Roy G. Biv with no discernible progress made. My problem then is my problem now: it's very hard to clean up toys and not play with them.

I look at the pictures of craft rooms on Pinterest and I see these massive spaces with a billion dollars in Container Store shelving and three hundred plastic coffee containers spray painted robin's egg blue with chalk board labels on them and I think to myself well if I had that kind of room...I'd have a much bigger mess to clean. So I'm happy with what I have. When I was a little kid we had a family friend who had a closet filled with real cigar boxes and each one was labeled pom poms, feathers, jingle bells, felt, ribbon & watercolors. There was only one rule for her craft closet: no kids allowed. It was like standing at the window of the chocolate factory staring at all those boxes and not being allowed to use any of it.

Today one of my great joys is sharing the craft room with my nieces. I love that I'm the kind of aunt who gets to say, "Use it up, I'll get more!" So I guess that thought is just the nudge I need to get up and go spend another hour in there. Happy Hump Day people--and whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Facebook Effect

I'm so glad I have this photo of my sweet Big Daddy, so I can talk about something I've been wanting to share about for awhile. This picture was taken at Lockhart Smokehouse in the Bishop Arts District and Big Daddy is just digging into his first bite of delicious BBQ. I captured this precious picture of his giddy face only there's only one thing you can't see in the picture--it's completely fake. He was trying to eat, I was trying to take cute pictures. I said, "Look up," and he looked up with half a snarl on so I said, "SMILE!" and he put on the phoniest, cheesiest, most sarcastic smile he could muster and boom! I've made a FB memory. (Now to be fair, Mr. Wonderful did have a great time at the BBQ joint and we did enjoy the food, but in that exact moment while his wife was delaying the kick-off to his carnivorous feed, there were not genuine smiles to be had.)

My Facebook friends know all about my life. They see more pictures than they probably want to. They know where I go and what I do. I record it all--except the yucky parts.

I cannot tell you how many times people come up to me to talk about how lucky I am at bingo. According to Facebook, I win every time I walk in the place, because I only post about bingo when I win. We don't share many of the less photographic moments in our lives on social media because there are some things that are private, and because there are some things we don't care to record for posterity. That doesn't mean they don't happen.

Most of us have had that friend who rants about her boyfriend/husband online and most of us have hidden her from our newfeeds. It's immature and awkward to air dirty laundry online but just because people aren't shouting it from their status doesn't mean that there aren't challenges, struggles, and just general messiness in day to day life and the only time that becomes a problem is when I start believing the Facebook world is the real world. That's when social media becomes toxic for me. In recovery we call this "judging my insides by your outsides." When I start to believe Facebook is the real world, everyone is skinny and dressed cute at all times. Everyone except Big Daddy and I went to the beach this summer. No one has ever been alone in Facebookland, nor have they fought with anyone including themselves, things don't spill, things don't break, there's always enough money, and nothing bad happens to anyone except me. There are exceptions to this but these situations are handled with such grace and faith that these friends seem superhuman. This is when I need to turn the computer off and spend some face to face time with a real live friend. This is when I need to get my head out of my laptop and get my feet back on the ground.

Here's the thing: Facebook is a great place to keep up with people that you can't see every day. It's a great place to post those cute back to school pictures or to share a funny story. Facebook is a wonderful tool to bring people together or to get feedback--but while a picture may be worth a thousand words, there are thousands of other words that are just outside the frame.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Like Sunday Morning

It's been a great morning so far. I jumped out of bed and onto the scale and it sent me a message of great joy. Then we got out early for our bike ride. Posie and I are really having a great time together except that I am saddle sore. I'm contemplating getting a seat that's squishier but I'm having trouble convincing myself to part with the money. Then I made breakfast, sent Big Daddy off into the world and wrote in my journal. Along with eating right and exercising, I've also been writing and drawing every day and it is amazing what a difference that makes in my overall sense of well being.

I have loved writing and drawing since I could. There's just something magic about the possibility of it all, and it was the first (and probably healthiest) way that I found  to make the world go away. An hour spent with my journal or a my paints and pens is like a vacation, a retreat, an oasis.

So I am refreshed and renewed and I really need to get cooking (quite literally), but maybe I can just enjoy the peace for a few more minutes...