Tag Archives: internet

Taking some time off

Just so you know where I’ve gone, I’m taking a bit of time off.  I foresee a couple of weeks doing the trick.

I have gotten quite addicted to my internet activities, blogging most of all.  I love to read and I love to write.  Probably my favorite aspect is getting and leaving comments, just because that means we really cared about and/or enjoyed what the other person had to say and took the time to respond.  That means the world to me.

But I am losing more than a few marbles at the present moment because of the weight I feel on my head.  For the sake of my sanity, I fear I have to ditch all the priorities that I can, which means not my family or my familial duties, but everything else, no matter how important a part of my day it is, in order to relieve the pressure I feel.  Come at it again hopefully refreshed and eager for more.

I might just be taking everything a bit too seriously.  (Ya think?)

It makes me sad even thinking about it because I do love these words, I do love to sit here and imagine you reading them, I very much love visiting your sites and seeing what is new in your world and what you make me ponder or remember or dream.  It feeds my brain, my social self and my soul.

From my overwhelmed position under the mountain of life that has fallen on my head, I don’t know what else to do right now.

Sorry, too dramatic.  You can see why I need to back off and get a grip.  Or maybe let go.  Whatever gets me where I need to be.

I will see you, or rather, read you all soon.  

Take care, my friends.

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Friends

My parents never had any friends.  I know you’re saying, come on, don’t exaggerate, but I’m being perfectly serious.  They still don’t.  It’s the two of them, punto final.  They are not particularly anti-social, they just can’t be bothered.

So, having had no example, I’ve always had to make up the adult friend thing as I went along.  And I’ve moved around… a lot.  So whatever friendships I’ve managed to build up have fallen apart.  With Facebook I am able to salvage some, and with blogging I find I can get super attached, because I don’t feel like I ever have to lose any of the great people I meet over the internet, assuming we all continue to choose to inhabit cyberspace, and assuming the continuing existence of cyberspace.  (Now that we have it, can you imagine our reality without it?)

But in real life.  That’s another story.

I joined a local group of homeschoolers.  I met them at the park a couple of months ago.  Instantly, I was home.  I’d known them forever.  Not a moment of tension or awkwardness.

Great, right?

Leave it to me to put a negative spin on it.

First, they’ve known each other for years and are like a real community.  It would take me years to catch up, even though they do make me feel welcome now.  Wah, woe is me, I wish I’d stayed somewhere so I could be an integral part of some great group… blah blah blah.  Pity pot. 

Second, there is no guarantee we will stay in this area for any length of time, and if we leave they just get added to the Facebook list of blasts from the past.  My husband and I have an agreement that we will go where his career leads us.  My life is about my kids, who I can raise anywhere, my writing, which I can generate anywhere, languages, which I can speak anywhere, cooking and crafts… you get the idea.  I am willing to make this sacrifice to be a part of the wonderful partnership we have.  Most of the time it doesn’t feel like any kind of sacrifice at all, especially if I think of my parents’ social norm.

And I really like these folks.  They make sense to me.  We are on the same page.  I don’t want to lose that… again.

There is a get-together, a winter party, tonight.  I haven’t RSVPed, I am using the lice, the fact that today is my husband’s payday and thus I need to run multiple errands, and my own social inertia to blow it off.  But I’ve been told by one of the moms that I can just show up, and I secretly really want to go.  I’m at the point now where I am entering the “Cheers” phase of belonging to the group, where at least one person will instantly know my name and greet me when I walk in the door.

I think it might be a need we have, as social animals, to be recognized by not just the people in our hut but by the village at large.  Some kind of security, some kind of mental and emotional nourishment.  Don’t know how my parents manage without it, but I guess that’s their prob.

I’m so glad I woke up early this morning so I can sit here in the quiet (such a rare treat!) and get my head together.  I’m so glad you were here to listen.

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More Facebook Insights…

Every once in a while a few new observations occur to me about this social networking site.

Or maybe the observations are simply about my own life.

For example, you can organize your friends into categories.  I currently have five: people from high school, people from college, friends my husband and I met through his job in the last town we lived in, people I have met in our current town, and family.  

What is most interesting is that these categories do not overlap one iota.  Most likely none of these people will ever meet each other.  It is as though there are completely separate pockets to my life story that are totally unrelated.  There are even more pockets than these five, but I haven’t met up with anyone from the others.

I have discovered friend surfing.  If you aren’t friends with a person, they almost always have their profile set to private so you can’t see any of their information.  BUT you can see their friends!  Thusly, I can surf the friends of a friend, and from there find someone I know, or used to know, and surf their friends, ad nauseum.  It is a strange journey down a bizarre garden path where names and faces from the past bloom amongst the unfamiliar flora.  

When a certain person comes into view, it is as though the memory of them casts a light on a part of me that had been asleep since I last held them in my mind or saw them before me.  I am not completely me without all the people that have shaped my existence.

My final thought of the day is to meditate on the act of “catching up” on the last 20 years with someone who was only ever an acquaintance.  Of course any story we tell, no matter how many facts it relates, is in some way a lie due to all that we decide to leave out.  So which version do I tell to whom?  It is kind of fun to think about, really.  I can highlight a particular chapter of my crazy journey to give a certain impression.  I can turn my face slightly and appear a writer, a housewife, or a clown.

I know it’s a bit of a waste of time, commenting on someone’s status that isn’t even in my immediate vicinity just to make a witty joke or empathize with a human I once knew.  I know it’s a bit extravagant to send them good karma or pass them a drink, poke them, throw snowballs at them, or buy them a fish for their aquarium.  All kind of silly, really.

Yet, it apparently feeds me in some way since I keep going back to see what’s going on with everyone.  And occasionally, it is also food for thought.

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The world is still spinning…

And I didn’t have anything to drink!  Just the whirlwind of vacation that leaves one needing a vacation…

Being around so much family made me want so much to bring it back with me somehow.  I am getting to know some people in my new area but my level of community is nothing like when we visit my husband’s family and I am surrounded by loving people that know me and accept me.

I always wanted that as a child.  My parents love me, I know that, but my family is a bit stand-off-ish, and there aren’t many of them (on my Dad’s side, that is, which is the only side I ever hung around with due to geographical proximity.)  As a child I didn’t even eat dinner with my parents, who preferred to pretend they were European and eat at 10 p.m., and I was an only child until I was 13.  So it was meal after meal alone.  You would think I didn’t know what I was missing, but I jonesed so hard for a big gathering.

Now I’ve got my own family of six to gather around the table, when schedules permit.  But Thanksgiving, with 30 plus people, is a dream come true.  Some part of my soul just gobbles it up like a starving wolf.

We need connections in this world.  I always come back to that.  I get inside my own head, I philosophize, I spend time with my nuclear family, I put out tendrils into cyberspace and into the folks who live in my area.  All this is satisfying.  But there is also a real need to be in a realtime space and see an extended group of faces where you belong, unconditionally.  A tribe, so to speak.

You can live without it.  I did for most of my life.  I feel so blessed that now the very intimate and personal connection that my husband and I have has led to so many other important relationships that feed my soul: a blossoming of our nuclear family, time and resources to develop cyber companions as well as maintain connections with my childhood nuclear family who are all far away now, a new group of friends in a new town, as well as the huge extended family I always wanted.

Thanksgiving is over but there is still so much to be grateful for…

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Have a Fabulous Holiday Full of Food and Love…

…and football, if you’re into such things!

I’m going to be off-line until next Tuesday at the earliest… Even more than a premature jonesing for my daily internet fix, which I have survived many times, this is the first time in my life that I feel like I am actually going to miss my internet community.  I’m going to miss reading all the amazing, funny, original and/or wacky things that the blogs I visit provide me on a regular basis, and I’m going to miss sharing my world with my regular readers, and also the thrill of seeing that a new face has dropped in.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful time.  I will be looking forward to when we meet again.

Love, 

Elena

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“Each instant…”

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“Each instant is a place we’ve never been.” — Mark Strand

And here you are with me.

Even though as you read this, I have gone off somewhere else, to another place.  But I was here in this moment of now once, as you are.  I was aware of the letters on the screen, how they were coalescing neatly into words that you recognize, that trigger “Aha!” because we’ve seen them all before.

The familiarity of the words does not prevent them causing an almost imperceptible shiver down the spine at the moment we realize the mysterious dance of human communication.

Each word I write has been used countless times before, worn along the edges so that they slide effortlessly into your mind and fall into the groove of understanding, but you’ve never heard them exactly as I say them to you now.  Each time is the first time that you look at the screen today, at this hour, with the new experience you have acquired since yesterday.

This instant now is another place we’ve never been, many thoughts away from the first sentence, where you took my hand and I yours and we walked a ways.  We ended up here, in this other place, this new instant, looking each other briefly, perhaps affectionately, catching the awareness there inside the eye, before saying farewell, until next time.

May the places you go and the instants you live today feed your soul.

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New Feature: Top 5 lists

I love to play the game “Top Five…” which is of course inspired by the novel “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby (upon which was based the 2000 movie of the same name starring John Cusack).  I want to play it here on a once-a-week basis, and hopefully some of my readers will be inspired to add their responses in the comment section!

RULES:  

  1. Your list is not set in stone.  If five minutes after you get off the computer you remember a fruit you like better than kumquats and want to go back and modify it, that’s perfectly okay.  So don’t avoid answering just because you think we’ll hold you to your answer forever and ever.
  2. Answers on a list are in no particular order, unless you indicate otherwise.  In other words, you don’t have to think of your five favorite pizza toppings AND THEN decide which one should be #1, because order will be assumed not to matter.
  3. If you need to add a #6 and #7 because you just love too many actresses and don’t want to hurt any of their little feelings by leaving them out, feel free.  Go nuts.  As long as there is a little space left over in cyberspace for the rest of us when you’re done, knock yourself out.
  4. If you HATE the thing, like say the list is Top Five favorite flowers and you wish all flowers were extinct, then you can indicate at the top of your list that it is your Top Five Despised flowers or some such.  

(As an aside, does anyone have an opinion on whether I should provide my list when I announce the Top Five? Joy shows such great restraint in not answering her own Question of the Day right away over on her blog but on the other hand, someone has to go first, so I figured I would just start us off.)   

Now that we’ve established the rules of the game… wanna play?

In honor of Nick Hornby, let’s start with your Top Five Books.

My Top Five Books:

1. Escape From Mexico by Lewis Horton

2. West with the Night by Beryl Markham

3. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tse

4. Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu (God’s Bits of Wood) by Sembène Ousmane

5. Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Okay, I guess I might have honored Hornby a bit more by including him on my list… suffice it to say that I love all the books of his that I’ve read!  I highly recommend them!  He would be #6… I swear!

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