There’s so much content running through my brain as well as content already contained. I’d like to invite you, dear reader, into my world of Busted Flip Flops. We’ll explore observations of life, musings about becoming Mom, Cherry Pearl the snorting pug, weird dreams, recipes, movies, ’80’s nostalgia, picking up strays (the furry and the non), and unfeigned poetry. Watch for weekly upcoming posts as these beach reads begin to build and form like, well, a castle in the sand...
Where has all this communication at the tips of our fingers brought us?
I’ve always been a proponent of texting. I’ve had six conversations at once doing this. Texting and instant messaging has kept many of my relationships alive, especially with those who live miles and miles away.
But recently I’m becoming a bit annoyed and confused at all this ability to instantly “connect” with others. I’m feeling lonelier than ever.
Texts can be misconstrued. And the fact that everyone has a phone and seems to be on them all the time doesn’t bode well when someone doesn’t text you back in a proper time frame. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions and self over-analyzation.
“Did I say too much? Not enough? Is their phone working properly? Are they dead in a ditch somewhere?”
Two days or two weeks later you finally get a response. And there’s no mention of a hey I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you, excuse excuse excuse.
It’s enough to drive you insane.
Not that I haven’t done the same. And for that I am truly sorry. My excuse is that I was either in the throws of single-working-momdom or I did not know how to respond to you so I just sat on it for a few days hoping the words would eventually reach my brain.
I’m not saying I hate texting. I’m a writer so it’s a lot easier for me in most instances to type out what I want to say rather than find the words straight from my head.
I just don’t know if this ability to connect instantly is helping us or hurting us. I’m half thinking of doing an experiment where I only actually talk to people on the phone.
There are things you can detect from the human voice. Like if they sound distracted, bored, distant, excited, nervous, cheerful. But there are also those empty spots of uncomfortable silence. Or even worse when you talk over each other and can’t hear what the other is saying. And even more people like me who don’t know how to end the conversation without dragging it on and on.
And what about the dying art of letter writing? The last time I received a letter was at least 3 years ago. It came from a friend overseas. And when this friend came to live state side our messages paled in comparison to the lengthy, thought-out detailed letters we’d written.
I guess it boils down to the age-old manners rule of do unto others what you’d prefer done to you. Try not to leave people in the dark. Do your best to communicate. And stay off your phone when you’re actually face to face with someone. And keep your arms from crossing in front of you and your eyes from blinking too much…
What are your thoughts on electronic communication? Is it helping or hurting?
It’s a rare cold day here
one meant for staying close in
and keeping the biting breeze out
Or perhaps to face the bite
let it rattle your bones for a bit
then come inside and take a warm sip
There’s tea on the stove
coffee in the carafe
Sun is gleaming on the chilly
palm fronds outside
But my couch is empty
too many cups in the cupboard
January can be an icy stare
smoke-filled rooms with nowhere
Resolutions already falling away
A need for connection
but the line is dead
Suit up and carry on
it’s just one more day
one rare cold day
But with the birds flight
a struggle to let go within.
OK so it happened again. There was a definite come-down two days after Christmas for me. Did it happen to you, too? This was a particularly zen holiday so that makes it worse. I didn’t Scrooge one second this year. But since I was a chubby cheeked toddler and all the Christmases in between the come-down creeps in. Like New Year’s morn when your head is pounding and the clock to punch back in at work is ticking furiously.
I know the holidays aren’t great for everyone. But can I wax mystical about mine this year? Just for a minute.
It was so peaceful. None of my perfectionism reared its ugly annoying little sharp-tongued monster head. My son said it was “The best Christmas ever!” He says that every year but for some reason I think he meant it most this time. We saw lots of family and friends and also had quiet time at home. Our usual traditions still intact (although our fave Indian restaurant was closed on Christmas Eve so we had Thai instead. And they gave me a gift of hugging hippo salt and pepper shakers!) Me and my son’s dad, or as I will now call him my co-parent, had a truly lovely time together. Like old friends again. No stress. No high expectations. And the weather was fabulous.
So I had my little come-down pity party after. I had a short cry in the shower. It would have lasted longer if “Cat’s In the Cradle” had shuffled on my iPod.
Now onto the list. There have been years where I was like, “I’m not gonna participate in making that ridiculous resolution list. They all list-fully fall away in a matter of months or even weeks anyhow.”
But in my concerted effort to continue the forward motion of zen, I shall make one this year for sure. So off the top of my clear head here it is.
- Lower my expectations and put a pillow on top of the mouth of the perfectionism monster.
- Give gratitude. Every day. And infiltrate this into my son’s brain as well.
- Have more game nights.
- Less technology. Or at least stop bringing my phone to the dinner table. And infiltrate this into my son’s brain as well.
- Write more.
- Balance work-life. Try to stave off exhaustion and have a dinner party once in awhile.
- Get to the beach more. Even if just for 30 minutes to watch the sunset.
- Let go of the things I can’t control, like my son being an almost teenager and not loving all the things I like to do.
So there it is. I’m sure I could add more but I’ll stop now. Eight is my favorite number anyway. The first and the last on the list are definitely the most difficult.
I’ll refer back to this list in times of turmoil. And look back to the zen of Christmas holiday 2016. What are your resolutions? I’d love to know.
And oh yes, I wish you a beautiful 2017. Happy New Year!
Soaked in cold spring water
engulfed in it
I want to paddle against the current again
you helped me walk over their slippery path
A mountain’s bald peak
grass as soft as cotton
No stress there
Can we go back
on days like these
where life has sucked out
all the marrow of zen
and time is on fast-forward
The summer of 12
the best in my life
You 12, me 42
But among those swaying pines
and silly laughter
I was the same as you
One of my favorite holiday movies of all time is Love Actually, an early 2000 British classic among Gen X-ers and the like. Throughout this humorous, heart-felt, quirky, kitschy film they use the line, “Because it’s Christmas….” to rebuild friendships, confess love, and just downright be real.
I’ve been using this line for weeks now. And it’s liberating.
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to give candy to the kids at school.”
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to have a piece of chocolate at breakfast.”
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to stifle the angry urge to curse out the person who just stole my parking space and instead give them a nod and a smile.”
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to spend more money than I should on gifts for my loved ones because it just feels good.”
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to wear ridiculous holiday-themed hats and slippers and shirts.”
“Because it’s Christmas… I’m going to drink more tea and coffee than I have in over a decade.”
You get the point. Call it an excuse. Call it an opportunity. Whatever the case, Christmas gives me reason to be a little nicer and a less frustrated perfectionist.
Some people hate the holidays. It’s too commercialized. Too much pressure. Too many sad memories. I get it. I’ve been there.
But not this year.
Because it’s Christmas I’m doing everything I normally do but with even greater purpose and zen. And I’m doing it in fuzzy elf slippers and a t-shirt that reads “Santa is my Sugar Daddy.”
The hollow acorns spill like fat hail onto the clay
I wonder if the squirrels had their party
When night time comes and silent calmness still
we hear the gunshot pop of the mighty oak seeds
fall onto rooftops and roll to their woody graves
Aye the hibiscus still flitting about
although her petals dry and withered
Sweet smells of night-blooming jasmine
permeate the nostrils instead
as we waft by their perfumed doorway
Dawn’s cloudy turns to sunset’s muted glow
and all between is mix of haze and bright
cool and warm and wishing for snow
but only in dreams does the icy world flow
for here we have wind and sun and fallen acorn hull.
It’s been over 2 months since I’ve written. I’ve sat down at my computer multiple times since then and just stared at the blank, white screen. But nothing. I can’t type a word. I’ll think of a dozen ideas and lines when I’m biking, driving, scouring the aisles at the grocery store, walking up the gravel drive toward the classroom to work. But at the computer, NOTHING.
I don’t like writing about not being able to write. I’ve done it several times on this blog. But what’s a writer’s blocked mind to do?
I’m hoping at least this will unclog the faucet and let something flow again.
It’s been one crazy 2+ months. So much so that I can’t even divulge it all. Let’s just say I’ve dealt with death, loss, sickness, physical pain, emotional pain, disappointment, anger, sadness, despair, sometimes all those negatives at once. Most of it being out of my control, which makes it that much worse.
However, among all that imperfection and just plain suckiness a warm blanket covers me with children’s hugs that squeeze me from the core, family support I forgot I had, the kind ear of friends, a rogue, sweet birdsong in the middle of a dark silence.
I told one of my dear friends if we don’t have Hope, we have nothing. There is always hope here, even in somber moments when the only faucet flowing are the salty tears plopping down my neck.
I’m grateful for so many things. There is light and laughter and happiness. And that’s what keeps me, all of us, afloat.