It's not you, it's me

Today had the potential to be such a good day. And I needed a good day.

REALLY BADLY.

And then...

Well.

It was not.

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Let me back up a few days.

On Saturday, January 12, 2013, with myself, my sister, my brother and his wife surrounding him with as much love as we could, my father passed away from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

I have written about our reconnection and how bittersweet this whole process has been for both of us. Time, the one thing we needed, was the one thing we really did not have.

He was suffering and now I know he is not. We had a brief moment on Friday to talk and forgive each other before his level of consciousness prevented him from having further conversations. Given the situation, I am at peace with that and I can only hope that he was too.

So, I am grieving.

And on two fronts. I am grieving for the loss of the man that he was and I am also grieving (again?) for the loss of the father that I could have had. Details are not important anymore and life takes us in all kinds of different directions that are not in our control, but this is hard. Hard to try to understand the circumstances of the past and the motives of the people (including ourselves) that kept us so far apart, and hard to reconcile the fact that answers will never come.

Add to all of that the fact that I am also prepping this little family of mine for a whirlwind vacation half way around the world that starts VERY soon, and well... let's just say it is a busy week up in my head.

I don't have time to grieve. I have to pack, and I have to get kids to school and back, and I have to make meals and actually feed these people who depend on me and also find time for regular things, like showering and shaving my legs and such. There is playing and reading and laundry and dentist appointments and walking the dog and getting in a workout and doing my volunteer commitments and keeping up with the everyone on Facebook and well....

Something has to give.

Remember the good old days?

If someone had a baby, or if someone had a birthday or yes, if someone died. Remember what we would do, or what our parents and our parents friends would do? They would come over with a meal. Or call. Or send an actual card or note or flowers. They would come over and give you a big heartfelt hug. Not a ((hug)).

Now we take to the internets to express EVERYTHING. Our congratulations, our condolences, our breakfast, lunch and dinner and every waking moment in between. We are all more connected than we have ever been before and yet, I can't help but feel so disconnected right now.

This has been bothering me long before this past weekend and I was afraid to do anything about it, but now...

Now, I am done.

I am done with Facebook.

I am done with feeling like I am a good "friend" because I didn't forget to write "Happy Birthday" on whomever's timeline is listed on the top right hand corner of my page. I am done reading about peoples passive aggressive feelings through silly meme images. I am done with feeling the "Oh, that would be a good sound bite on FB" thought about something that happens in my day-to-day life, instead of actually BEING IN THAT MOMENT in my life.

My friend Tom wrote this very poignant post last week and in it he says,

"...you get only ONE chance at being a dad or a mom to your child. You won’t be allowed to try it again. You’ll be left with a void, a gap where you could have done something for or with your little one. And sadly, those are gaps in life we will never be able to go back and fill."

This week that message hit home for me more so than ever before.

Because I am that little one. I am that kid that lost out on having a father because of reasons that I will never understand. And yes, I know for a fact that there was a big void in my fathers life as well. And while we did get a chance to reconnect in the end. The sad reality is that it really was the end. We had less than 2 months to fit in 30 years of life.

It was not enough.

This week has been rough on all of us here at the SAHF household and I am trying to figure out what we all need around here.

The best solution and answer I can find is that we need MORE of each other. Or more specifically, my kids and my husband need more of me. And I need more of me.

We need more playing together. We need more reading books. We need more cuddles and silliness. We need more kitchen dance parties. We need mommy to NOT get on the computer the minute we walk in the door . We need to actually go visit with friends and family and spend time with them. Time that does not include any kind of mobile device bleeping every 10 seconds. We need to take pictures for us alone, not to be shared on Instagram or Facebook immediately. We need to get our validation from the joy of living, not from the amount of "likes" we get on a status update.

So like any addict who has to hit rock bottom before they see the light, here I am.

Today was my bottom.

My name is Natasha and I am addicted to social media. I check my phone and my computer all the time out of fear that I am going to "miss" something. And I do mean ALL. THE. TIME.. I panic if I can't find my phone. It is the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I check at night. And sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll check it then too.

What hit me today, is that I AM missing something. I am missing my life. I am missing my children's lives. All the things that I keep saying that we will do later, just one more minute, one more message, one more video to watch....well, one day it will be too late. And I won't be able to go back. There is no 'delete' or 'undo' or 'refresh' button in life.

There is just DO and DO it as well as you can.

So...

As of tonight at midnight, I am deactivating my Facebook account.

I will still manage the community Pages that I am responsible for, but even that will be at a limited capacity.

If anyone wants to get ahold of me, call me, come and see me, meet me for coffee. Let's really CONNECT.

And hug.

Really everyone, it's not you, it's me.

I just need some space.

For a REAL life lived in the moment.

Lots of love,

Natasha~

P.S. {For my online friends who are far away, you can still find me on Twitter or via email or here too. Baby steps folks! :)}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's OK, I don't like you either.....

We have to say what we believe...whether it is popular or not. ~Howard Dean

There is a lot of animosity on the web these past few days. At least in the mommy world. And specifically in the "I am a breastfeeder" and "I am a formula-feeder" world. Now, I am not going to go into this debate again, because, well, A) you all know how I feel about it and B) it is kind of "useless, never-ending round and round we go saying the same things and not hearing each other" conversation.

This latest round of "She said, She said", has just solidified a thought that has been brewing in my head for a long time. And likely in a lot of other's heads too...

So I am just going to say it.

NO, we DO NOT all have to get along.

It's true. I may not only not agree with you, but I may genuinely not like you. And you may not like me.

And that's OK.

I had the pleasure of sitting in a room full of 200+ women last week. We were described by some as a 'sisterhood', digital women from all walks of life coming together to learn, to network, to connect. Some of these women are moms, some are not, some are more successful than others, and some were 'working the room' like an E-Talk reporter clamoring for sound bites on the Emmy Red Carpet!

And each and every one of us was sizing up the person next to us and figuring out if they were someone we wanted to get to know, someone who is 'competition' or someone whom getting to know would somehow get us further along in the game. THIS is human nature people, it is not a judgement of anyone, it's just a plain and simple fact of life.

You know the sayings..."Like attracts like", and "Birds of a feather, flock together", well, they are true. Just look at your own life. Who is in your 'tribe'? Your core group of friends? They are most likely people who share your beliefs, your values, and who give YOU validation for the choices and decisions that you make in your life.

I met some really amazing women at the ShesConnected Conference. People that I want to get to know better, that I think can offer me something in my life and people to whom I think I can offer something as well. And yes, I also met some people who I was immediately turned off by. People who made no effort to get to know me or who were perhaps just as turned off by me as I was by them. And so I moved on to the next person...

Which brings me back to the 'She Said, She Said' battle again.

And I will use myself as an example.

I believe in living as close to a natural, chemical-free, and so-called 'crunchy' life as possible. Especially when it comes to parenting. I use cloth diapers and practice elimination communication, I wear my babies in beautiful baby carriers, I do not believe in letting them 'cry it out', and I have breastfed each of my children to the ripe old age of three years. I am not opposed to home-schooling and I also believe in a delayed vaccination schedule.

In doing all of these things, I have met a lot of other mamas that feel the same way as me and that share my parenting philosophies. And I have met a lot that do not.

And while I respect all people and all parents to make decisions for their own families....

...who do you think I am more likely to hang out with?

I am not saying that if you don't do things exactly as I do that we can't be friends. Personally, I love diversity in my life and I learn so much (about life and about myself) from people who are NOT like me.

What I am saying is this. Respect others, yes. Agree to disagree, very likely. But do I have to always like everyone and everything they say or do? Absolutely NOT.

I liken this to the nursing in public argument. If it makes you uncomfortable, than JUST DON'T LOOK!

So if I see or read something that I don't like, or meet someone I just don't click with, then I do not have to click on their link, share it, or if it is a person, engage with them, either online or in real life. MY choice. Simple as that.

So with all the talk this week of Mom Vs Mom and more about how we are shaming each other and blah, blah, blah, all I have to say is...

...SUCK IT UP LADIES!

This whole line of 'dialogue' (and yes, I am using the term lightly) is getting us nowhere.

Please just OWN your choices, your decisions, and your opinions. Share your knowledge and your insights if you so choose, but know that once you do this, you are opening yourself up to scrutiny and other's opinions too. Be prepared for what may come, don't take it all too personally and know this.

Not everyone is going to like you or what you have to say...

I will leave you with the words of a brilliant man.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

 Steve Jobs, 1965-2011 

All work and no play makes for...

....late nights alone with your computer!

The other night a fellow blogger posted on her Facebook page that she gets all her best writing and work done between the hours of 10 PM and 1 AM.

I totally agree with her, as this also happens to be my most creative and focused time of the day as well.

BUT....

..this kind of schedule.... well.....

It does nothing for one's love life!

Let's face it. We are up at the crack of dawn with little ones (often after an interrupted night's sleep, because of said littles). We feed them all day, play with them, take them to play dates and the park and various other activities. Some of us work full-time jobs, some of us work from home. We make dinner for the family, give baths, read books and finally put them all to bed. And then it is grown-up time....

Or so we think.

For those of us who work from home, or write a blog, or try to maintain some kind of social media presence, after this kids are down and the dishes washed and the laundry sorted, it is often time to get down to business.

And if we are working till the wee hours on most nights, well, there goes any shot of spending quality time with our spouses.

And as I sit here and write this, I .....

....actually, you know what? I'm not.

I am going to make a choice tonight. I choose NOT to stay up until 1 AM. I choose to actually go to bed at the same time as Natural Urban Dad and {ahem} cherish some time with him (at least until one of the kids wakes up!) So this is all you get tonight!

Good night everyone, get off your computers and go snuggle with your loved ones!

I mean it!

Natasha~

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Summer Blog Challenge posts for August 14, 2011