2017: A Year Without Facebook?

The end of the year is near. That means it is time to resolute.

One of my 2017 resolutions is to stay off Facebook for the whole year. Come January 1, I am deactivating my account. I want to determine if Facebook enriches my life or robs me of opportunities to have deeper connections with those closest to me. Over the last month-and-a-half I have hardly gone on Facebook because I felt like I could not ‘keep up’ (especially over the holidays) and that trying to ‘keep up’ was stressful and poor use of my time.

Continue reading

List of Seven on Sunday 4.3: MOXIE

1. Lifelong learning —

My new favorite word is moxie. Basically, moxie is energy, courage, pep, determination. This past week I learned I need a little more moxie in my life. We’ve been dealing with sick kids, tiredness among all of us living under the roof of this house, and pushed agendas with hopes that tomorrow will feel more productive.

2. Personal progress —

I am finally making some progress on the novel I started in November. This is probably the longest I have ever taken to finish a book, but I refuse to quit. I’ve renewed it twice already at the library, had to check it back in once, and then re-check it out a third time. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. In my heart of hearts, I know I probably should have just quit reading the damn book back in December when I was still on p. 94, but I refuse to lose when it comes to a book. Must finish. Now I’m up to p. 180 (of 433). Progress, progress. Must finish.

The thing is, I did have a hard time getting into the book initially, but now I am feelin’ it and more interested in the plot line. Part of my stalled progression is due to the amount of online reading I am doing lately. I started following a few more blogs, I’ve been researching the ins and out of the blogging world, and I’ve been surfing more news/info sites on Twitter. So it’s not like I’m not reading, it’s just that novel-reading is taking a backseat right now. I’m not sure how I feel about that because I love sitting and reading a good book, but all of this online reading is ruining me as a novel reader. I want to read 1000-1500 word article or essay and move onto the next one. Novel reading doesn’t work that way. Hence, 253 pages to go.

Lord grant me some literary moxie to keep me turning the pages of Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. My initial moxie stemmed from reading The Prodigal Summer five or six years ago, and then meeting her in person at Virginia Tech in 2010 — by far, my most thrilling encounter with a renowned American author. When she published her newest novel, Flight Behavior, I knew I wanted to read it at some point.

3. Writer’s world —

So Twitter. Yeah, I mentioned Twitter in the passage above. Or the “Tweeter” as I like to call it because that’s what Regis Philbin used to call it when he was still on LIVE, and who doesn’t want to model Regis?!

new-twitter-logo

Anyway, as typical, I was late to the Twitter party. I am usually late for every party or the “last to know” so no surprise there, but when I finally did create a Twitter account in July of 2011 and tweeted “First tweet!” to which nothing happened, I felt lost. Miraculously a few people started following me (think under 10), but that is only because Twitter, like all social media, tries to connect you with people you already know on Facebook, Google, etc.

Lately, however, I am finding more and more use for Twitter. Sometime early last fall, I started to become more active on the Tweeter and began using it for news and information. I didn’t follow hardly anyone I actually know in real life, but instead started following news sources, social media gurus, blogging champions, parenting resources, and personal interest organizations and people. Now I am no expert, but holy shit, I am finding so much use for the Tweeter. Who knew?! (Evidently the 650 million or so other people who use Twitter).

The point is, I know I am probably sounding like a total uninformed dumb ass to all of the expert, elitist Twitterer’s of the world, but there is really something to this that keeps me coming back for more. Sure it can turn into a time sucker if you let it, but I am finding strategic ways to use it based on my interests. The more I am learning about blogging and the importance of social media for online writing exposure the more I am beginning to love Twitter.

For example, last week I tweeted an article written by one of the most well-known mom/family bloggers, Kelle Hampton, and included a short sentence and her handle @Kelle Hampton and she favorited it. You might imagine my moxie! This is how people’s work gets noticed. This is how things go viral – pictures, articles, stories – if they are good enough. So much of it depends on who you know. So I guess that’s what always keeps me going back for more as a writer. So many networking possibilities out there on the Tweeter. Plus, it’s fun!

You can follow me on Twitter @Britta326

4. Photo of the week —

We got snow in Southside Virginia!

We got snow in Southside Virginia!

5. Picture-less moment —

Vivian turned one last Monday, and my poor girl was miserably sick. High fevers, congestion, rivers of snot, leathery, and overall discomfort plagued the days leading up to her first birthday and the days after her first birthday. The girl had no moxie!

I’ve always heard other mothers talking about how, “Oh I just hate it when my baby is sick, but the snuggles are so nice because all they want is to lay on you like a newborn again.” Well I’ve never had a sick baby quite like Vivian was last week, but let me tell you – I get it now. Tiny Lady only wanted Mommy and she never wanted me to put her down unless she was ready to sleep in her crib. 

On her first birthday I rocked her in the rocking chair in her bedroom late in the day. She sunk into my chest in a cold-ridden defeat and let me rock and rub her back as I lulled her in and out of a fit-full sleep. At one point I glanced at my watch – 5:45 p.m. A year ago on that same date, January 27th, Vivian Isolde Petrich was born at 6:18 p.m. I grabbed my phone and cued up the playlist I was listening to during labor and when she was born.

I’m not going to lie – I shed some tears. Both for how badly she was feeling this year and for how blessed I felt last year when she was born. But who knows how she felt last year? I guess when you think about it, babies kind of feel like crap when they are born. They surge out of a nice warm womb into bright lights as they are unassumingly greeted with pokes, prods, and overstimulation before they can even open their little eyes.

So you see, it’s kind of ironic actually, as I continue to think more about Vivian being sick on her first birthday. In a way, she regressed back to that tiny, blob-like baby state where she only wanted to sleep on a warm body. Aside from the fact that her weight has increased two and a half times from what it was when she was born, and her legs reach down much farther than my belly button. Ok fine, they dangle past my waist now when I hold her. But still, she kind of resembled that frog-like position on my chest and down across my belly as I rocked her and we listened to familiar music together on her first birthday. It took me back to the feelings of late-pregnancy when she was all curled inside me to the wonder of growth in her first year. These thoughts brought me right back to the present moment as I pondered my deep love for her then and now.

It wasn’t at all the kind of first birthday I was hoping for her — we still haven’t done a cake and all of her presents yet and had to cancel a gathering with friends — but I guess it’s kind of the one that needed to happen in order for us both to get our moxie back and appreciate the forward moving current of the relationship we share together as mother and daughter.

After over a full week of being sick, I am happy to report, she is on the upswing. Whew! Onward!

Vivian’s first birthday certainly put an odd, unplanned twist on how we celebrated, but I am unbelievably thankful for her life and her many birthday’s to come. Preferably sick-free.

6. Parenting thought —

Through all of this, it’s pretty crazy how you own your child’s sickness when they are ill. I slowly felt like I was the one in a deep, dark funk as I tried to comfort Vivian. All I wanted was for her to get better, and I did everything in my power that I could to make that happen, but the virus needed to run its course. I think as parents we become like John Coffey in The Green Mile and want to suck all the illness and hurt out of our babies, but then we ourselves end up fatigued. This past week was trying, but after all good storms the light shines brighter. The moxie in our step returns.

7. Humor —

If you can believe it, I have nothing left to say?!

Now Tweeter me that. #familyblog #listofsevenonsunday

Have a great week,

The Banter Lady