this year has been a year of losses, most particularly the loss of my best friend which occurred last week. but counting up my losses is not as productive as counting blessings. my new friend boris certainly knows about counting blessings.
boris counts the ways
in 2011, i made a new year’s resolution to spend the year visiting each and every facebook friend i had at the time. it was a fun year, a year of discovery, a year of having to push my boundaries. 325 friends? oh, yeah, and 13 countries and just about every state in the nation. being an agoraphobic who has difficulty leaving the house it was a challenge. but it was also a pleasure because i got to be with friends, some of whom i had only known online, some of whom i hadn’t seen in decades, some of whom turned out to be, well, catfish.
this year, my resolution is to recover myself. and to do what my friend mark hashizume calls self-care. so every day i will do and blog about an act intentionally meant to care for myself. i ask you, i challenge you, to do the same with me. we all have had tough years–i have a friend who lost a husband to alzheimer’s. a friend who lost her five year old son to cancer. a friend whose son committed suicide. a friend who lost her home (oh, wait, i did too). and then there’s ryan gosling–
ryan, really, we both have to move on especially now that you and eva are becoming parents. think of her feelings! and the arlynn presser t-shirt isn’t going to make her feel strong and confident as she should! but truly, i understand your pain. i’ll always love you.
how do you self-care? how do you think should start self-care? and can we help each other self-care together?
If they had not told me I was ugly, I never would have sought my beauty. If they had not told me that they would break me, I never would have learned I’m unbreakable. If they had not told me that they were trying very hard not to be mad at me, I wouldn’t have known that they failed.
“We live in Bozeman,” my facebook friend Lanny wrote me. “Stop by. Sarah and I would love to see you.”
lanny wrote “william clark and the shaping of the west” which is an incredible account of how this dude did the lewis and clark expedition and other things. i have a william clark plush toy i take everywhere on my journeys. william clark has a facebook page which lanny runs. ain’t that neat?
I arrived in Bozeman expecting saloons, hitching posts, wood sidewalks and the clop-clop-clop of horses. Instead, there had been some geographical hocus pocus because Bozeman is basically a very sweet, charming college town with soigne restaurants and trendy clothes stores. It looked to be imported from Massachusetts except for the mountains at a distance.
“I could get used to this,” I thought.
To be fair, greater Bozeman seemed to stretch a mere four blocks in every direction, but that was so much larger than any ville I have been in for the past week so I was impressed.
I followed the directions Lanny gave until I got to the part where I was to follow the switch backs.
wow, just drive up to the edge of the side of the mountain, then do a u turn and go to the other side. yikes!
I am scared of heights. Sky rise hotels I’m the one asking for the second floor. All of the West Virginia by ways spooked me. I have never been to the top of Willis Tower even though I lived in the Chicago area 53 years.
I cried all the way up to Lanny’s house because at every turn I thought I was going to fly over the edge of the road and tumble down the mountain.
Shortly after I arrived, Sarah returned from a grocery trip.
“How do you DO it?” I cried.
“Oh, you get used to it,” she said.
And she’s absolutely right.
After I left the Joneses, I traveled up to Canada to Banff.
a sixties show f-troop included a cameo appearance from a character from banff. the town was pronounced banf-f-f-f because it is a little confusing about what to do with the extra f. i had such a crush on ken berry. is he my soulmate?
in Banff, I visited my facebook friend Madame X. Madame X doesn’t want me to use her name because she has a stalker ex-boyfriend. She’s even changed her name on facebook in order to shield herself from him. I totally sympathized. We had a wonderful evening in town and the next morning we climbed Sulphur Mountain. There is a series of switchbacks up the 7500 elevation mountain. There were spots when I would look down and cry. There were spots where I told myself that it was okay, I have lived a long, lovely life and I have two great sons to show for it. There were spots when I counted my steps “one, two” and then stopped and started over. This wasn’t altitude sickness, this was naked fear.
But there was a weird part of me that was proud that I was keeping up with Madame X. After all, she’s an adorable, athletic twentysomething year old. Here I am fifty four years old and I’m keeping up. Then we got to the peak.
“Sorry I was pretty slow,” Madame X said. “But I twisted my ankle a few days ago.”
Still, I got up the mountain. I even sat on top for a bit and even looked down. But now I had a problem.. . . how to get down. i am a western girl used to switchbacks but not quite ready for the ride back down. Maybe you’re afraid of something–lightning, clowns, spiders. I believe you are not afraid that you are inadequate, but your deepest fear is that you are powerful beyond measure. xxoo
for an agoraphobic, i sure do get around! today, i’m heading into des moines and from there i’m striking north for canada. i’ll be out of the country for close to a full month with a catch me if you can schedule–
in 2011, i made a new year’s resolution to spend facetime with every one of my then 325 facebook friend within the calendar year. it was an adventure and in one 17 day period, i circumnavigated the globe and visited friends in 11 countries. my passport is a mess.
so how do you pack for a month long trip? i do it in two bags, one that serves as my office and one for my clothes. i buy hanes three pack t-shirts and good news is that they are cheap enough that i consider them disposable. i am a huge fan of reversible clothing. i like baby wipes for everything, including the inevitable disasters. . . .
i always take with me my william clark doll. william clark was a fearless adventurer, famously traveling from st. louis to the northwest coast with his friend merriweather lewis and the lahmi shashone woman sacajawea charbonneau. i bet he was a big believer in baby wipes, especially since sacajawea had her son jean-baptiste with her!
some of my friends are very much like me and are afraid to leave the house. jeez, i spent most of my life with anxiety attacks that kept me trapped in my house. in the year 2011, i learned to get out of the house. when someone asks me how i did it, it’s very simple: you have to make your car your home. you have to make your seat on the plane your home. you have to be exactly where you are and make that part of the universe yours. you are entitled to peace and calm and a sense that you are welcomed by everyone.
it wasn’t graceful it wasn’t pretty, but i did it. when my friend asked me to feed his snake.
when i first met dude, i had no clue. because frankly, nobody buries a girl in the backyard on a first date.
unless, of course, you are mina el houari who traveled to morocco to meet a dude she had corresponded with on the internet. apparently, the date went well until she suddenly collapsed into a diabetic coma. dude panicked, thought she was dead, and buried her in the backyard where she died of suffocation. which pretty much ruined any chance of a second date.
what started as a tender, sleek hug became a sharp tooth trap. and i realized i no longer did anything because i wanted to, because it was the right thing to do, because it was good for me. and i didn’t do anything because i loved him, needed him, respected him, admired him. nope, at some point, pretty much everything i did because i was scared of him. and there was no aspect of my life that was under my control. i was living in the snake’s cage. and i knew it wasn’t going to end well for miss mouse.
but one morning in january, i called a locksmith. he had done this sort of thing before. it took twenty minutes. dude was locked out. i have never regretted doing it, but i have been scared of him.
changing the locks on a boyfriend is pretty crazy, but sometimes crazy is the only thing that works. this gal looks like she’s a little more fight while i’m generally more of a flight chick.
he’s not done with me. but i don’t have to make it easy for him to hurt me. i sold my house, i’ve put my stuff in storage, i cleared out of the community i have lived in for the past quarter century. i have no fixed address and i don’t intend on having one anytime soon.
i really have discovered that i don’t need a lot of stuff. this is everything going into storage.
not that i’m all minimalist. nosirree, i love my car. i also love my boxing coach reygie puangco. see if you can spot him in this video:
so we gotta ask. . . .
me, pongo, mister tibbs, and william clark are on the road.
a few years ago, me and the toys hit the road to visit with facebook friends. i videoed, posted blogs nearly every day. i’ll be doing some of that now. . .
so many people are worried about the disclosure that facebook, twitter, verizon, google–all the fun stuff we play with on the computer when we’re supposed to be productive–have all been giving the government our posts, tweets, messages so that the government can determined whether we’re losers at dating, whether we are team downton abbey or team kardashian and whether we really did call our mom and try to leave a message but something happened. . . .
and it’s pretty scary to think of obama reading my facebook posts and my cell texts. . . (p.s. note to youngerstud, i
facebook “bug” has been of more than six million users for the past year.
the social network began offering a “download your information” tool, which facebook now says has also been downloading other people’s information, including other user’s email addresses and phone numbers, since at least 2012. this information was shared to people who “had a connection” to the affected users.
my relationship to brad pitt is more spiritual than a mere acceptance of a friend request. still, is that enough that facebook would pretty please send him my cell phone number?
facebook says it has fixed the bug and is in the process of notifying the affected users via the same email addresses that the company has already freely given out. however, i have noticed that nobody named brad has been calling me. facebook, could you please use your loose lips talent for the forces of good instead of evil???
are you shallow and insecure? egocentric? imbued with a false sense of your importance and popularity? maybe even, well let’s be fair, a jerk? okay, the clinic term is narcissist and it’s a disease that is so tragic and profound that it doesn’t even have a celebrity spokesperson.
narcissus was a mythological greek dude who fell in love with his reflection in a lake and died because he just couldn’t tear himself away from the beautiful sight. narcissism is a catch all psychological term for anybody who thinks to highly of themselves. narcissism also refers to the personality disorder of any one of your exes.
the university of michigan has released a study that concludes that social media sites like twitter and facebook draw in narcissists who want to bolster their fragile egos, control everybody’s great opinion of them, and post about what they are having for dinner. study director elliot panek says that young narcissists opt for twitter while middle aged narcissists (a.k.a. jerks) use facebook.
“young people overvaluate the importance of their opinion,” he says. “through twitter, they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.”
mr panek, there’s ovulate, there’s overvalue, there’s evaluate. unfortunately, there is no :”overvaluate” unless, of course, you have overvalued your . . . oh, never mind.
middle aged narcissists, according to this study, choose facebook. slow, stately facebook.
“it’s about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image,” said panek. “middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles.”
okay, well, glad we cleared all this up for everybody. young narcissists and middle aged narcissists . . . we gotta ask. . .
me? i’m on facebook, i’m middle aged, i’m willing to entertain all diagnoses.
just in case you’re curious–as near as i can figure out elliot panek is a linkedin social media user. wonder what that means?
facebook, instagram, twitter, we call it social media but really it’s selfie media. you post about what you had for dinner, you share the link to your favorite song, you opine.
the former nickelodeon actress and erstwhile fashion designer amanda bynes has been posting “selfies” — pictures of one’s self that often include one’s hand holding the camera or phone. amanda has been tracking her path of self-destruction with twitter posts including increasingly bizarre selfies. she was recently evicted from her apartment in new york and arrested on drug charges. there is some indication she suffers from schizophrenia.
this sharing sounds fierce, brave, and just an extension of being open and honest. we share ourselves and, you know what?, this week we’ve been shaken to the core by disclosures that the obama administration is using over fifty companies to harvest information about everything we communicate. if you have a verizon account, for instance, every message, every text, every phone call is potentially in play. it’s gotta be pretty boring for government agents to sort through “whaddup?” and “r u around?” and “c u l8r!”
edward snowden, a 29 year old cia consultant, fled to hong kong with documents that outline the extent of our government’s trampling of our privacy. as he says “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” he is quite aware that he has forfeited his freedom, the option to ever return home and quite possibly his life.
so while snowden does his best to highlight how the government is peeking at stuff that might be considered private, the amanda bynes of the world are tweeting and posting and updating us on all sorts of things. . . .
a lot of amanda’s tweets are about ugliness. as in courtney love is ugly, jenny mccarthy is ugly, and that rhianna was beat up by chris brown because she is ugly. weird, because amanda was really a very beautiful girl before she started posting and tweeting her transformation. i’m glad she doesn’t know me because i’m sure she would tweet that i’m ugly too.
you can’t permanent erase this stuff and it is just so easy to issue the usual “don’t post stuff that you wouldn’t want an employer to see” or “everything on the internet is forever”. . . i’m sorta wondering about all those selfies i’ve posted on facebook. i might be pissed off the government can spy on me but what do i expect? i’ve made it incredibly easy for them.