how social media is trying to kill me

…and why I haven’t written a real blog post in a month.

Well here comes one… At last.

I know, right? Cra-zay.

 

Facebook. Twitter. Blog. Pinterest. Instagram.

 

I have never been more connected to a network of people I barely know in my ENTIRE LIFE. I have carried on intimate, personal conversations with people I’ve never even laid eyes on. I’ve poured over the blogs of fellow “mom-bloggers” until my eyes crossed. I’ve read, with some envy I add, the beautiful blogs of women I’ll never know. I’ve watched women create clothing patterns, knit blankets, crochet doilies, score thrift store finds, create funky, adorable outfits and generally look a lot more put together than I feel like I ever will. I’ve watched women lose weight and felt some mix of jealousy, self-pity and self-loathing until I couldn’t watch anymore. I’ve watched women struggle, like me, with me. I’ve felt joy. Inspiration. Envy. Solidarity. Anger. Strange mixes of all those emotions.

I’m human after all.

 

And this is why social networking isn’t always the best venue for people like me.

 

See I’m a 100% kind of woman. Not a 42% or a 77% woman, a 100% woman. I give everything I do, everything I have.

EV-ER-EEE-THANG.

So you can see how if I give my husband a 100% (and truly he deserves 110%) and the kids 100% (they probably deserve 120%, if they don’t demand it anyway) and the house 100% and my crafting ventures 100% and social networking (we’ll just lump all of those outlets together) 100%… well, that’s 500%.

I’m not a 500% woman.

And here’s the funniest part… I don’t even really LIKE to be that plugged in. I prefer a simple life. I like soil. I like to grow things. To be outdoors. I love to bake. To create. To tap in to the creative parts of myself. I love to watch my kids grow. To see them achieve. To meet their needs.

 

Also, I love my phone and I’m seldom parted from it but honestly, it’s more compulsion than it is actual interest.

(that’s where the whole 100% thing comes in.)

If someone text messages me, I have to text back. I HAVE TO OR I’LL DIE.

If someone comments on my blog I feel compelled to respond. I HAVE TO OR ELSE NO ONE WILL LIKE ME.

I wish I could say that if I miss an @ on twitter it’s no big deal but it’s a BIG DEAL. I feel like I’ve let someone down.

(I’m just being honest here people. I know the truth is people don’t care.)

We don’t have to go into why I’m this way (but there are pretty reasonable explanations). If I see Person A doing X, Y, Z thing then it automatically follows I SHOULD be able to do X, Y, Z ANNNND V and W too.

Case in point: I am a RN which of course means I went to nursing school and nursing school is hard. Dude. That shit is no joke. It’s busy and it’s full of information.  When you’re in nursing school you go to class and clinicals and THEN when that’s over at the end of each day you research pathophysiology and you write long complicated care plans for your patients and you research EVERY. SINGLE. MEDICATION they take. Even tylenol. Every day. For two (or more) years. It’s trying and exhausting and just that alone is enough to tax any normal person to the point of “WHAT THE HELL DID I DO? EFF THIS I QUIT.”

But not me.

I went to nursing school and I kept a house tidy with three small children whose school activities I tried to never ever miss (I had to miss the first day of school because of my Psych class and I cried the whole day).  And when I say tidy I don’t mean there was a path from the door to the kitchen. I mean CLEAN. Like clean clean.  And I held a busy job at church. Plus I held weekly study groups and posted practice test questions online. THREE family members ended up in the hospital. One of them was my son who had surgery TWICE.  Oh and I worked two twelve hour night shifts a week. Oh AND i was class president. Ooooooh AND valedictorian.

Yeah.

It might seem like I did all of that to make myself look better, smarter, more capable than the people around me who were just barely surviving. Like I was a show off or trying to make people feel inferior (and it may seem like I’m trying to do that now but I promise I am NOT).

No. I did it because I HAD TO.

I HAD TO.

Just like in high school when I had to take 5 AP classes and work full time. Until I literally passed out in my Chemistry class (someone scooped me up and took me to the office thankfully).

 

Remember that movie where Jack Nicholson can’t step on a crack and has to lock and unlock his door like 8 times?

Yeah. That.

OK It’s not THAT bad but it’s close.

When people say to me “OH I wish I had your energy” or “I wish i could do all you do” or “WOW. You do SO MUCH, I wish I was like that” I think…”NO. No you definitely do NOT want THIS.” You do NOT want to have so much ‘energy’ that you can’t sleep because there is a pile of laundry haunting you. You do NOT want to do all I do if it means that you can’t sit next to your husband at night without thinking about the toilet that needs to be scrubbed. I promise you, you DO NOT want that.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to every person EVER who has had to deal with me when I’m in overachieveritis mode. Mostly my husband. I’m sorry. And my kids. Yeah. Sorry.

Anyway, I’m 36 years old and I’ve had about 20 years to figure out why I’m this way (part nature, part nurtue) and while I KNOW my weaknesses that doesn’t mean I actually DO anything with that information a lot of the time. Because honestly I can’t. Mostly I just worry about spending quality time with my husband and cleaning the house and writing the blog (and twitter and facebook) and my FOUR kids and when the last time I baked cookies was and when I’m going to finish that afghan and who needs what and where do I need to help this or that person and when am I going to reorganize the closet and oh crap I need to clean out Ella’s dresser and oh shit I haven’t worked out in three days. And. And. And. Oh and while I’m doing all of this I’m watching person A and thinking, “CRAP V and W aren’t going to be enough. I wonder if I can add it T and U too?” And I’m paralyzed by all that I feel I have to do and cannot. Paralyzed.  Sometimes to the point I can’t do anything at all. If I can’t give it 100% then I will rearrange my sleep, my sanity, myself to do it all the way.

 

So when I disappear, when I don’t blog, when I’m off twitter, when I’m just sitting on the floor with my baby DOING NOTHING but being with her or talking to my other 3 kids, know this… I am seeking balance and the only way I know how to balance is to back away completely.

I am seeking balance but don’t always know how to find it.

 

 

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Comments
13 Responses to “how social media is trying to kill me”
  1. liz says:

    A to the M-E-N. I hear you. I am lax on the cleaning front, not because I don’t want to be Bree from Desperate Housewives, but that is my lax area. It keeps me sane. I am off the charts ADD-sometimes I fear its Alzheimer’s but that only feeds my hypochondria. I am slightly skilled at everything. Professional at nothing. A walking trivial pursuit game that spouts facts like I have Tourette’s Syndrome. I would love more than anything to completely unplug, but amassing more knowledge sucks me in. The sad thing is, I am not just filling my head with science, history, or medical knowledge, but with gossip, politics, and complete garbage.

  2. Svanhvit says:

    Been there. Done that. Made me very sick. Still fighting the consequences. So now I sometimes look at the dustbunnies and stick my tongue out at them. They will be there tomorrow.
    Now I am off to read with my kids and play with them and our new kitten.

  3. Genny says:

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I am a total slacker in my photography because it is the one thing I can let dangle, but it seems oddly strange that it is the one thing that makes me focus, slow down, enjoy (love, life, light, the world happening) and laugh. Yet it is the first thing I stop in order to de-pressurize all of the goings on. I feel for you and can only suggest that since you know your limits you keep maintaining them and I promise to be here when you come back…cause I love your photos, recipes, crafts and lovely stories of LIFE.

  4. Staci says:

    Like I said at lunch…I’m in YOUR nursing school currently, working my butt off…and I KNOW that your life is busier than mine. Sometimes I lament the fact that I’m not more of a 100% kinda girl, but really…I just don’t have the time or the energy, or let’s face it…the time management skills to be…MORE..I’m an 89% kinda girl…and that’s ok (most days). I am in awe of all that you do…and I have said many times I wish that I was 1/2 as creative, 1/2 as knowledgable, 1/2 as energetic, 1/2 as capable as you, but the key there is 1/2. I think that whether you’re running the race at 89% (me) or running it at full steam (you)…the important thing is, no matter the speed, if you’re in the race…you eventually cross the finish line. You are an amazing Mom/Wife/Sister/Friend/Baker/Blogger/Crafter/Gardener/Chauffeur/I have to stop the list…it’s never ending and let’s not forget, I’m a little bit lazy. :) What I love is that you are so honest about this stuff, it would be sooo easy to gloss over it and make it look easy and fabulous. Cuz, you make it look easy girl, for real…I’m really glad that you’re telling it like it is. xoxoxo

  5. Stef says:

    I love Staci’s comments above. I’m a 90%er myself and I’m definitely in awe of all you do. You rock the freakin’ house. And you make it look easy and you make people, like moi, envious without you having to try at all. You are who you are and are well-loved for it.

    When I get overwhelmed I obsess over inconsequential things – like conquering Plants vs. Zombies or making myself re-read an entire series of books. It would be great if I could obsess over something useful but, no, that’s just not me.

    Find your balance in the way that works best for you. Maybe that’s unplugging for a bit. Maybe it’s unplugging from certain things but not others. Whatever works for you – as long as you come back here and tell us all about it. :)

  6. Erin says:

    I have a tendency to lose myself in the craziness. People always ask me how I “do it”. I don’t do it. I just do what I like to do and what makes my family the happiest I can make them with the small amount of time I have. If that means that there are dishes in the sink and a HUGE pile of laundry waiting to go downstairs to be washed (for a day and a half) then so be it. I have to remind myself of that all the damn time. That it’s a-ok to not do it all. It’s ok. :)

  7. momofm&ms says:

    ummmm Yeah! I know this about you.. in a lot of ways.. and I am so happy you are seeking balance.. love ya!

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