Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face.

people-texting
“The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”
― Meg Wolitzer, The Uncoupling

When I was 20 years old I was flying from Toronto to Halifax to visit my family. I met a young lady who had been born in Mexico but raised in California and she was leaving the easy warmth of the West Coast for the vibrant seafaring East Coast to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We shared stories of our childhoods and the long, hot summers gone by. We talked about our parents and showed pictures of our siblings that we pulled out of our wallets. On the short flight we became fast friends, exchanging addresses and promises to keep in touch. I was genuinely interested to hear about her adjustment and university life and she was anxious to hear about my visit with my family and life back in the city I called home for the time being. We parted with hugs and best wishes and I kept her address tucked away in a side pocket in my purse.

Months later I decided to send her a card. I inquired about how she was doing, said it was great to chat with her and I hoped she was doing well at Dal. She replied weeks later with a card saying she had made friends and was adjusting quite well but got homesick at times.
Our lives never intersected again and that was the last written correspondence we had. Years later I saw a canvas she had painted on display at The Colchester Regional Hospital in my hometown of Truro. I was certain from the lively, colorful commotion she had created she must be happy and that made me smile.

I think of her from time to time and the imaginative eclectic mix of people I have met over the years on planes, buses, in waiting rooms, washrooms, Vegas strip clubs, concert line-ups, neighborhood pubs…..well you catch my drift!

I wonder how many great conversations and fleeting friendships I have missed out on with my nose pressed into my Samsung Galaxy. There are a lot of great things on the internet (like this uh-huh) but there is also life out there happening all around us. Smiles, handshakes, laughter, people connecting “IN-PERSON”

We call ourselves “Social” because we “Social network” but how social are we really? How many of us sit at parties and play candy crush and avoid real conversations with real people. This is not technologically advanced. It is socially stunned.

Last week I decided to put my phone on the charger when I came home from work and not pick it up for the rest of the night. I used to carry it from room to room tapping away. I know a lot of you can relate. I have been trying hard to keep this routine every night. I am not sure my family has noticed yet but one day they will look up from their own electronics and realize there is life happening all around them!

I love Social Media! I personally use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress… I think if used correctly they are all fascinating tools that can connect people all over the world immediately. People can share, content, ideas, create excitement and change. That being said I think your social media success depends largely on a balancing act between online and face to face interaction. Social media is a juncture between humanity and technology and you can absolutely create and share meaningful, witty, relevant content.
I just think that often we ignore the people around us in an attempt to be “social” That is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It will undoubtedly be harmful to your relationships.

Moments are brief and once they are gone they are lost forever. Sometimes we need a reminder that the people beside us deserve a bit of our undivided attention.

I used to work in sales and we used to get lots of calls from people asking a multitude of questions and our boss used to tell us to be mindful of the time we spent on the phone because the people who took the time out of their day to drive to our store deserved our full and undivided attention. I always remembered that and it sits at the back of my mind. Sometimes we all need a reminder, I admit, especially me.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Shit No Bricks

shit no bricks courtesy of URBAN DICTIONARY

Dec 21

An exhortation to be calm and take things in stride – akin to “get a grip” or “chill”.

E.G. Well, the Republicans won the Presidency again, but shit no bricks, my fellow Americans, Socialism is on its way.

Photo courtesy of http://www.yourstellarstar.com

Staycation is making me boring, unable to form strong convictions about anything that lasts for more than a fleeting moment and then I am on to the next thing. Things that would regularly annoy me bring little more than a half-hearted sign and things that would normally excite me perhaps a half-smile at best.

Admittedly I am a Facebook user. In fact I use a lot of social media and probably spend a little too much time on my phone flipping through them. I do enjoy keeping up with you and knowing that you are doing well, I am happy when your kids win a game or an award or your significant other brought you flowers. I even OCCASIONALLY think that the picture you took of your lunch looks tasty. I often read the stories you share but though I like to know what is going on in the world I can only handle so much bad. I am the kind of person that can get buried pretty quickly in fear and disillusionment so I prefer your stories of the good that happens in the world, look around you, there is still beauty and goodness all around us. It is all in what we choose to see.

One thing is certain though FACEBOOK has turned us into a bunch of pansy assed passive aggressive whiners!! Now I don’t mean all of you but truthfully you all have that friend that posts the vague status update designed to make their friends ask “Are you alright? to which they reply “I don’t want to talk about it” if they reply at all. YOU FAIL AT FACEBOOK. You should use the phone a friend (or therapist) option.

What about the one who posts statuses complaining about their relationship daily and complaining they are done. Five minutes later they are taking selfies with the hastag #loveofmylife! You can delete the bad things you say from your timeline but you cannot erase it from our minds. You become “that friend”! The one who likes to complain for attention. Find another hobby. If I told Facebook every time my husband pissed me off I hope someone would tell me to grow up. I feel it would be hugely disrespectful to both of us and our relationship.

It is your Facebook though and you can say and do what you want. That is all I have to say about that!

My Take on the Phil Robertson Scandal.
I never caught onto the Duck Dynasty craze as quickly as everyone else but after everyone started talking about it I admit I watched a Marathon on A&E one day and I laughed. My take on the Phil Robertson scandal is really that I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. For one, I think they are Phil’s opinions as a Redneck Louisiana Christian and his interpretation of the bible. Being as that he is on a reality show and as such keeping it “real” shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. On the other hand he does represent the A&E Network and they have every right to decide how his “opinions” affect their branding and if they want to continue their association with him. I think the Duck Dynasty franchise would suffer greatly without Phil though and I admit that I probably interpreted his comments much differently then some of you. I don’t think he was comparing homosexuality to bestiality, I think he was naming sins and those were among them. In his thinking both are sins, not one better or worse than the other…just illogical sins. He also didn’t speak for all Christians, he spoke for himself. I dare say that many Christians would have a similar opinion and some would vary greatly. Perhaps on a different day I would feel differently but today I feel that his opinion doesn’t affect my life and you could say “Why should it? you are clearly not a homosexual!” and you would be correct. However if I am happy with my life and feel like I am living it well and not hurting anyone why would a stranger on TV’s opinion matter to me? I know many happy, well-adjusted Gay and lesbian couples and I am fairly certain that they are enjoying their Saturday night with very little concern for how Phil Robertson views their relationship. I think Katy Perry and John Mayer say it best….”You love who you love….”

OK that will probably get me hate mail but it is just the way I feel….right now at this moment. I was reading some threads on the subject and interestingly Heterosexuals seemed to be very up in arms about it and Homosexuals seemed to take it in stride, even making jokes. Now if Phil Robertson was Jesus Christ almighty or the president or a lawmaker then I would definitely have a stronger opinion but let’s face it he is a god-fearing Louisiana Redneck with an opinion, that is all!

I believe in God. I believe the Bible is years of interpretation (and often misinterpretation) I do not believe Homosexuals are going to hell. I actually give very little thought to hell unless it pertains to people who commit crimes against children and humanity, unspeakable crimes. Homosexuality in my mind is not a crime. I could go on and piss a lot more people off but the truth is my opinion shouldn’t matter to anyone but me and anytime you put God and homosexual in the same sentence you are bound to stir up a heated shit-storm so I am going to back away gracefully! Every one has the right to love and be loved. Love yourself, love god, live a good life and forgive those who do not understand.

I need to get my nine-year old away from the TV. She is watching Dance Moms and it is a terrible show, it will fry her brain. My opinions are my own.

One last thing, My friend Shaz over at For The Love of Sass is celebrating her one year Blogiversary and she touched my heart with a really nice message to me. Head on over and show her some love and say Happy Anniversary! http://4theloveofsass.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/1-whole-year-of-blogging-bliss-happy-blogiversary-to-me/

xx
Michelle