Happy Song

This week @lesleehorner has been very low key.  It’s actually an interesting story.  For a long time now my intuition has been telling me to spend less time online.  I think you guys know this about me by now.  I’ve written about it before.  When I try to do it on my own, I can’t seem to resist the urge to just “check” my email and pages.  The checking usually turns into chatting, replying, tweeting, and updating.  By the time I am finished my 5 minute check turns into an hour or more of playing.  On Sunday, I had popped onto the blog and thought my Sunday Quote had not published.  I was frantically trying to post a new quote when suddenly the internet just stopped working.  Mark went to troubleshoot and realized the router had just died.  What a coincidence?  I still have internet access but not on my own computer and the set up is complicated.  So my goal for the week has been to spend no more than 30 minutes online per day.  Luckily I had scheduled the entire week’s worth of posts except for today’s before our problem occurred.

So with that in mind, I’m keeping it short.  I went to the gym on Monday and listened to my Ipod while on the elliptical.  It’s when I am working out that I realize just how much music touches me.  I don’t have extremely sophisticated taste in music.  I mostly enjoy what’s popular.  I like a catchy tune and sweet lyrics.  I recently added a few new songs to my collection and one of them is currently my favorite.  It’s odd to say it, but as I listened to it during my work out Monday, I experienced pure bliss.  It was like my entire body was smiling.  I allowed myself to forget about everything else, including where I was and what I was doing, and just get lost in the song.  So for today, in honor of simplicity, I decided to just share my current happy song.  Catchy tune, cheesy lyrics, enjoy!  (And if this is not your happy song, I suggest finding one and letting yourself escape in it for a few minutes!)

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Naked

I have mentioned before that I am in a writing group.  Since I started this blog, it has become something we discuss from time to time in our meetings.  There is one member who is very open about her dislike for the art form of the blog.  She has on more than one occasion said “I don’t understand why you do it.  Why do you want to put yourself out there like that?”  To me though, it is becoming normal.  My generation and younger seem to not have a problem with baring their souls to the world.  In comparison to most blogs, I’d go as far as to say I hold back.  There is stuff about me that will never make it to this blog.

The internet allows us to be “naked” and sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow.  Last week a Twitter friend was killed by a train.  Her fiance directed me to the article about the accident.  I was shocked to see that of the 40 comments, 20 of them had to be removed because they were offensive.  A man lost the love of his life, 4 children lost their mother, a family that was being built has now crumbled and all of this just 2 weeks before Christmas and people had the audacity to post to a public newspaper forum comments so rude that they had to be removed.  It broke my heart.  The lack of compassion was difficult to comprehend.  In reading a different article about another train accident people were commenting more about their annoyance for being held up than the lives that were lost.

People complain about the state of our society.  They ask what is wrong here and where will it end.  The truth is, this is nothing new.  I don’t believe things are any worse now than they have ever been.  The only difference is we’re all exposed, the good and the bad.  Celebrities and politicians can’t get away with negative behavior.  With the technology of today and the general interests of the public, it’s very hard for them to have secret lives.  Regular people no longer make derogatory remarks to their friends and families, they do it online so everyone can read.  The good souls among us no longer just encourage and teach their children, but they go out and start websites (like Owning Pink) and spread their wisdom across the world.

There was a time when pedophiles could molest their children and grandchildren right under their own roofs and no one would speak of it.  It never crossed the minds of people that something like this could happen, unless of course it was their family.  I am not so blind to believe this doesn’t still happen, but thanks to the media and people’s willingness to bring it to light, I’m sure it doesn’t happen as often.  People are less afraid these days to tell the truth.  They have a stage for better or worse where they can release the skeletons and find support.  There are many dark corners of the internet, but there are also countless bright places.

I choose to take a positive stance on this and believe that this window and all the people who stand in front of it will ultimately make us better.  I know some of it looks very grim.  The worst and best out there gain momentum with each click by someone who believes in them.  But I’ll hold onto the idea that God has got this all under control and at the end of the day…good will prevail!

Validation

A few weeks ago, when I was in the midst of the funk, I read a blog post by Truthwalker.  He made mention of how when he is sad porn seems like a good idea, but always leaves him empty.  I commented on the post saying that I could relate, only my “porn” seems to be the internet in general (especially Twitter, Facebook, and this blog).  I think the internet is wonderful.  There are tons of things that I could be doing online that I am not.  I have discovered and connected with a lot of excellent writers who have entertaining and informative blogs.  I could be reading those.  I am interested in using my writing talents to help others.  There are tons of resources online that I could be utilizing.  I could be researching my novel idea.  I could even be searching for conferences and workshops I’d like to attend or classes I might like to take.  I could be learning and expanding.  If that was what I was doing online I could easily excuse the hours I spend in cyber-space, but for the most part it is not.  I’d say that what I do with my time on the internet can only be described as seeking validation.

We all want to be validated.  It’s human nature and for most of us the opportunity for this validation is incorporated into our daily lives.  The majority of adults spend their days with other adults.  They get their “atta boys” and empathy/sympathy from bosses, co-workers, and friends.    I have been a stay-at-home-mom now for 5 years.  In the beginning, I was a member of a big playgroup and was with other moms almost daily.  The group was fun, loving, and supportive.  But ever since school entered the equation and the moms in my life have less time, the daily adult interaction I get mostly just happens when Mark arrives home from work.  I miss the validation.  I miss sharing myself with others (besides my husband who knows all there is to know) and being able to listen.    So I’ve recently found that the internet can provide that for me  in small doses.  The problem is I find myself surfing between email, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.  I send an email and wait for a response.  I mention someone in a tweet and wait for a re-tweet.  I post an update on my Facebook status and wait for people to “like” it.  And finally I check and re-check my wordpress dashboard looking to see if any of my lovely readers have left me a comment.  If they do, I am validated.  If they don’t, I’m left feeling deflated.

This neediness is something I am ready to let go of.  I’m tired of thinking that my worth is measured by how many people approve of me.  I want my validation to come from some place else, some place deep inside of me.  I want to put my thoughts on paper (or computer screen) and not give a shit if anyone is reading them.  I want to tell my truth and not care if anyone accepts  it.  I want to be convinced from within that I am enough.  That’s a click worth waiting for….

Here’s a wonderful video someone posted in their comment!  It’s about 15 minutes long, but worth the watch.