Thursday, December 19, 2013

You've Got to Know When to Hold 'Em...

(pic from zazzle.com)


The Gambler lyrics.

Wouldn't it figure.

You know how I love to hit the casinos, so it's only right that the most relatable lyrics I could find for this blog post were to The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.  I often find the best way to express how I feel lies in a quote from a song or a movie.  This is no exception.


You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
(sometimes you just know you need to walk away for a little bit - hopefully before you feel the urge to run)



I've written this post 100 times over in my head; in the middle of the night, in the car, while shopping, at work - over and over.  I'm finally at a point where I just need to get it on the blog and explain how I feel.  All of these thoughts, coupled with the fact that Facebook shows my posts to 1% of my people have made me finally just want to put this out there.

When I had my third baby, I was deep into the clutches of Post-Partum.  I had 2 under 13 months old, no family around to help and friends that were at least an hour away.  I was lonely, tired, frustrated and sleep-deprived.  My best friend told me to sign up for Facebook and that it would be a good way to connect with others, laugh a little, and help me to feel a little less isolated.  Facebook immediately became a friend - especially at 2 am when I was up feeding a baby.  I could scroll through my news feed and see what everyone else was up to - for it sure felt like my world was at a stand still.

I began posting quirky little one liners - usually about babies or diapers - or sleep deprivation.  I would get a buzz off of the responses I got from friends.  You crack me up!  You should write a book!  You need your own blog!

All of these comments went to my head and I started writing a blog.  A few months later, I found the courage to actually publish my thoughts after I read a few really funny blogs.  It was a little nudge of courage telling me that it was totally okay not to be Pottery Barn Perfect.  Self-deprecation was my specialty for years - so why not share it with the world, right?

I started the FB page to go with the blog and planned my day around making ecards and memes, all while tending to the wee ones.  I became hungry for likes and comments, shares and wall posts.  I read every comment, good or bad, and took them all to heart.  I read blog after blog, page after page and became immersed in the blog world.  I made friends, met the funniest people ever, witnessed talents being exposed and developed a love for my hobby.

And then it became too much.  It actually became an addiction - an obsession.

Wait, honey, not now- I just have to check Facebook 'real quick.'
Mommy didn't hear you - say that again?
Can you just give me five minutes, I just have to comment on something before I forget.
Oh no, one of my friends is having a bad day, I just have to send a quick message to her.

The twitching started.

I need to check my page.
I need to respond to a comment.
What did that blogger write today?
Did I support so and so when they put themselves out there today?
Did I like a status?
Did I share a friend's post?
What did I miss while I was gone?
Did I catch up?
Did I this?
Did I that?
OMG I haven't commented on that thread, they are going to think I'm a self-absorbed jerk.
Gotta go.
Gotta go.
Gotta get it done..
Hurry kids...we're late.

No.
No more.
This is crazy.

I mean yes, I want to know what my friends are eating when they go out...via Instagram photos.
Yes, I want to 'like' that my friend's little girl started pre-school.
Yes - I do want to read someone's Jerry Maguire-like thesis about life that they wrote at 3 am.
Yes- I truly care that my friend had to put her dog down.  I care. 
I do.

But at what price?
My sanity?
My kids' precious moments?
Why do I feel the constant need to respond to every post, every text message, every email every everything in record time??
Why is there so much guilt associated with commenting on everyone's everything?
I can't keep up.
And admitting this, is hopefully the first step to fixing the need to do so.


I get that I cannot possibly be all things to all people.  And at 40, I am ready to stop trying to be.  For my soul's sake, I have to do what makes me happy and what makes my days with friends and family worth reflecting on at the end of the day.

So I don't make an ecard for 6 months straight...the world will keep spinning.
So I don't write the world's most brilliant blog post...life will go on.
So I don't comment on my neighbor's photo of her cake she slaved over..the sun will shine again tomorrow.
So I wait until tomorrow to respond to an email...it'll be okay.

It has been so much fun.  This hobby.  Doing something that made me truly happy and proud.  I love watching others who love to blog find their success, reach their goals and celebrate their achievements more than I can express. The one aspect I don't care for at all is reading the posts that rip other people apart -  - then the rebuttal to that letter - then the rebuttal to that letter.  You've got Pinterest Perfect vs. Imperfect  posts - then more rebuttals, then more open letters - it's too meanspirited to read all of the time.  Add the nasty comments on those that multiply like rabbits and what do we have?  A tornado of negativity swirling around the internet that is so destructive people find themselves slamming their laptops shut from disgust and rolling their eyes so hard they damage their optic nerve.  I keep seeing articles on how Facebook users have depression tendencies - well is it any wonder?  When you are constantly being bombarded with the War of the Words in your newsfeed every morning?  My original goal was to make people laugh and spread joy.   My goal now, however, is to forgive myself if I don't write, forget the fact that I didn't make my kids' latest one- liner my status update for all to read, and to savor the moments in between instead of trying to work every highlight into a post or funny photo.

I'm not saving lives here...I'm nobody's poet, hell, I'm nobody in general.  I'm just a mom who tries to make her follies into funnies, to make lives a little happier, to spread thoughtful joy and a few laughs and make the world a little less scary. It's just time for me to get back to the basics right now and sometimes that means rearranging priorities and how you look at things on a daily basis.  I just want to write like I am one of your girlfriends that you have coffee with.  The one that makes you feel important and that listens to your stories and laughs with you, never at you.  I want to be the kind of blogger that always leaves you thinking about something pleasant, or that makes you think in a way that maybe you didn't before - or even someone who is a bright spot in your day.  Maybe I'm asking too much - but that's my goal.  Blog when I've got a story to share, a smile to spread, a laugh to send through the computer.

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
(same applies to blogging - sometimes you write and it's perfect, and sometimes you write and it's total shit...you just have to know what to publish and what to leave in drafts...)  


I'm so grateful to everyone who has read and supported and been a friend to me through this experience.   My new hope is not to be the funniest, most wonderful blogger in Cyberspace, my hope is to write when I feel moved enough to do so, to write quality, not quantity, and to love to blog again so that it shows and spreads joy to others.  In the meantime,  I'll still be around, just not running to my laptop like a crazed person anymore.  Baby steps to a simpler life.

Happy 2 Year Blog-iversary to me.  I hope this gift continues to give in the most positive way possible. 

Love and Hugs..Now and Always -
Until the next time I have something worth writing -Merry Christmas, and may 2014 be full of joy,
~DG

3 comments:

  1. DG, Life is what you make it and we have been blessed to get to know you through your writings! We have laughed and cried as we read your posts. You have opened eyes to new views shared your heartfelt thoughts and have not been afraid to be your self at anytime in your writings.I always feel like I have had a complete morning as I read your post with a cup of coffee in hand.You have taken the place of my newspaper. With these exceptions I get to read you whatever time it is I get up after you post, I don't have to worry if I miss it , I know where to find you! I don't have to worry about you getting wet or buried in the snow trying to get to your post either!! That said, take all the time you need in-between your post's I for one will still be here waiting to sit and sip and enjoy and get my read on!! Happy Anniversary:) !!

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    Replies
    1. Paula - your support and constant kindness to me over the past 2 years has been so appreciated. Thank you then now and always for your words. xo

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  2. Whoooah - you hit the nail on the head - and I'm not even a blogger, just an addict. Thank you for putting out there what so many of us struggle with. We'll be waiting for you when you're ready!

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