Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Passivity and social media

I've noticed a trend recently of people abandoning social media. It starts with taking a "vacation" from Facebook, dissing Google+, and leads to a deletion of Twitter and Facebook accounts.


In the past month a few people have announced their intention of not using Facebook anymore. Reasons why vary from being sick of status updates that detail the minutia of someone's day, to it not fulfilling a need to connect, to just being a time sucker.

One particular person I only connect with on Facebook, and I really enjoy her updates, photos, and comments on my photos. But she left a forwarding email address and blog site, so I'll have to be more proactive in finding out what she is up to.

Then I realized, that is the problem with Facebook: it's passive. Feed me more updates! What? No one has posted since 1 AM? Where is everyone? Not that I'm going to search right now. I'll just play some games while I wait. And the people appearing in my feed are interesting, but I find myself connecting with them only because they are showing up. Some people who don't post every week may as well have fallen off the face of the earth. If I don't see it in my timeline, it's not there.

The same goes for Twitter. I can just log on and read updates, many of which are repeats of Facebook postings. But I still log on, even though I'm not sure why. I have random twitter people following me @Rt95Chevorlet why do you follow me? I'm pretty sure you are a car dealership. The last car I bought was a used 2002 VW in 2003.

Social media does pander to its audience, but I feel like I can't even change the channel.

That isn't to say there aren't good days. Just yesterday I participated in a 41 comment post on Facebook about swimming, zombies, bikinis, and cats with string. But that creative spark isn't always showing.

So is it any question as to why people are leaving? They are bored. The only way to change the channel is to turn off the set.

In thinking about this topic, I remember a few years ago how people were talking about the rise of the global community and how we were all going to be able to learn from each other no matter our nationality, culture, gender, etc. The worry was that our local, "real" [read: non virtual] communities would go undeveloped. Neighbors shutting out neighbors.

A young lady I tutor said that she deleted her account after taking a break last fall. She felt free. She found other things to focus on in the real world. I have to admit, when I'm not online for a chunk of time, my frontal lobe relaxes. At night now I make an effort to not be on the computer (or tv, or phone, or xbox) and take care of myself and family's needs.

As a matter of fact, since I began limiting my social media time to office hours, we've been eating dinner at the dinner table. Which is now cleaned off because I'm not checking email every 15 seconds. I wouldn't say it's changed my entire way of being, but it's given me the 30 minutes I need at night to get stuff done.

Personally, I love Facebook and have found it easier to communicate with family, actual neighbors in my community (I hate phone conversations except with 1 or 2 people), and to stalk people. Don't laugh, you know you've done it. But I am posting less and less. And I don't think it's to be secretive about my glamorous life. The passivity is now overtaking me. I'm a lurker, wanting to be entertained.

So, I put it out there to you...why are you laying off the social media?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Touche universe

I have to hand it to the universe. You really know how to get a message across.

Yesterday I put it "out to the universe" that I wanted my boss' job. Honestly, my boss has been acting grumpy all week, and we've had some production issues spring up that resulted in a 8 person conference call between 4 offices. It was chaos. However, during that conference call, my boss started taking his pulse. Odd, right? Turns out he's been having an irregular heartbeat for the last 3 days (and 6 months...this has been going on six months). He's worried he will have a heart attack, as his father died from a heart attack fairly young.

Well, I don't want to get his job THAT way. Him dying is not how I would usher in my year of the EDITOR.

To further prove a point, I was contacted by a head hunter this morning about changing jobs.

So, what I'm hearing universe, is that if I want a new position, I need to leave this current office. OK, got it. We'll see what type of benefits this other position can offer--because it is all about benefits these days.

I just hope my boss doesn't have a heart attack in the office, because I am very rusty on my CPR.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You know it's bad when you want your office to implode

I've been with my current company for 12 years. It's been a long haul, and what kills me most is that I'm really good at my job. I love publishing, I love editing, I love working with authors.

I don't love working with people who don't know what they are doing, however. Or understand how publishing works. If you aren't going to learn about the industry you have a job in, you shouldn't be in it.

This all comes about because one of our production people is leaving next week. She was fabulous. British, smart, productive, and communicative. She once sent our office a box of Roses chocolates, so she won me over long ago.

Replacing her are the people underneath her. While I am not enthused, it's fine. But then...we are also changing production flows. Again. Today we have a conference call to discuss our office taking on more production work. Which is really ME taking on more work, because heaven forbid someone else have to do stuff here except look over other people's shoulders.

I'm adaptable, I really am. At work. Not many other places. But at my job, if you have a valid reason for changing something, I will listen, offer an adaptation to make it even MORE productive, and change.

But not my boss. He fights everything. And it's really annoying...especially when his reasoning sounds like my 2-year old's "I dont want to!" Or worse, "we've never done that before!"

So, when the call begins at 1 PM today, I'm actually secretly hoping he does cause a giant fuss for no reason. I want him to scream and cry. I want him to hang up and quit.

I want his job.

There universe, I've said it. It's out there. Make it happen. I'm already doing 90% of his work. Give me the full posting and salary.

Crossing fingers for a tantrum-like melt down. I've already started pushing his buttons this morning...it's like punching in the code.


Monday, January 23, 2012


Ahhh, the glory of Monday mornings. Especially when your team wins.

No Monday morning quarterbacking here, although Brady played a horrible game. The Patriots were given a gift last night when the Raven's kicker (ex-kicker?) went wide on a 3-point field goal.

And I was there. Not just there, but mere rows away from the goal posts the football did not sail through. It was majestic. The crowd did in fact go wild. Men around me threw me up in the air, something that hasn't happened since the Pats won the Super Bowl title 10-years ago. High fives abounded and this morning my throat is scratchy and hoarse.

To celebrate I bought my son a Gronkowski jersey this morning through the Patriot's website. While he is not yet 2, he somehow (thankfully) has become a football fan. True, we watch games with him, but on Friday evening we had the news on and Ty Law (honorary captain of the Pats) was on TV being interviewed, and Dylan pointed at the TV and said "Football". How he knew Law was a football player we are not sure, but he got really excited and refused to come away from the TV until the interview was over. Any time he sees anything to do with football he gets excited, so I figure he will appreciate the fact he had a jersey as a child when he is older. I bought it big so he can wear it for a few years.

So now the Super Bowl is in front of us. A Patriot/Giants rematch...14 days from now.

Let the nail biting begin!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Product blurb

The past few winters my face decides to shed a few layers. It gets dry and flaky and gross. My pale skin turns bright red. It ain't pretty.

This year I tried to head it off. I began to feel the dryness settle in with the new year and took a good look at my moisturizers. I had 2 daytime ones but one of them I only used if I ran out of the other as it burns my eyes (no, I don't put it in my eyes, but it finds its way there). And the other I was nearly out of...and it obviously wasn't doing the job. So I treated myself to a solo (read: non-kid) run to CVS to find some killer moisturizers.

First off, let me say that shopping without a child is heavenly. I could read labels, take my time, and not look up every 15 seconds to make sure no one has snatched my beautiful child, or that the little devil wasn't wrecking the place or running out the door.

I decided on the Aveeno line--although the Burt's Bee's that were directly above them got a good screening too--and chose 2 moisturizes to help me through the bleak months. I nearly got the eye cream as well, but the areas around my eyes are not dry...probably from the unnamed moisturizer above leaking into my eye area to blind me.

After much wandering, I settled on Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer and Aveeno Smart Essentials Nighttime Moisture Infusion. And let me say, I am happy with the moisture control they offer.

I've been using the products for 1 week and notice a difference in my skin. Before I started using them I exfoliated in an attempt to get the dry flakes off. My first use was the night cream, and although I think the bottle is TINY it glides on so you do not need too much of it. The next morning my skin was nice and springy (I think marketers would say supple) and I used the daily cream next. I haven't had a chance to test the SPF, because it's January in New England. Cloudy.

But, my skin is like silk again. You can resume your jealousy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Voices inside my head

Down but not out. Up up up. Nope. Dowwwwwn. Psychic...um. Psychotic. No, no. I'm fine. *hold breath*

I got a nice glimpse last week of how I spent my late teen years and most of my 20s. I want to blame it on being over caffeinated, but being over stressed, mixed with darkened days, and an arctic front moving in I hit the trifecta of anxiety, depression, and angst. I'm pretty sure the universe sent that gorgeous 55 degree, sunny Saturday to the northeast for me. By Saturday morning, as I pushed my son in a swing at a gorgeous playground in Sudbury, I was OK again. A-OK.

But basically, I remembered what I had felt for years. Blackness, sadness, and paranoia. I became antisocial, had conversations in my head with people (um, creative energy!?) and tried to remember they weren't true. It was like lucid nightmares all day Friday. Gray and twisted. For no reason at all, which is the hardest thing to understand. It began Thursday evening as I skipped my yoga because...for no reason. I just sat on the living room floor. For 4 hours. Then woke up Friday feeling blue. I immediately told my husband so he would know and understand, and just tried to make it through the day. I skipped another workout--which may have helped me, it definitely couldn't have hurt--and barely spoke at all at work. A writing assignment got pushed back. A creative thing I was doing was filed away. My knitting needles were clumsy in my hand. OK, that one is normal. Friday evening at our house was quiet as the flickering TV held conversations for us. Husband was coming down with a cold, and I was trying my hardest not to be dragged into the depths of the creases of the couch.

When we went to bed I couldn't sleep. I can't remember the last time this happened. But I drifted off, and when I woke up the film had lifted. It was sunny, warm, and bright. Plus we were running late, so buzzing around helped get my energy level back up. When I went for a run later that day, I tried to stomp the negative thoughts out. And I could tell they were weakening. Finally I screamed at them to stop. And they did.

Determined not to start the week the way it ended, I changed my routine today. Curled my hair and parted it differently, took my time going out the door, had a coffee in the car, and read a book on the train instead of sleeping. I approached my office work as something I was good at instead of someplace I was stuck. Friday remained in the past.

So the voices are quiet again. I'm not entirely energetic, but it's January and cold.

I am going to chalk this one up to the end of the holidays. For the past three weeks we have celebrated and seen family and friends. Plus, my mother just left for Florida until April, and I think this bothers me more than I thought it would. I have a week in Florida to look forward to, and a supportive family around me.

Countdown to palm trees: 34 days.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keeping up with the Jones

So I guess that should have been my new year's resolutions, as everyone is doing a new year's resolution post. Hmm. Right after I posted my blog I went over to Practical Whimsey and read about 5 reasons NOT to post a new year's resolution.

I should have written about Bill instead.

Happy New Year

A happy 2012 to you!

January 1. Again. Rip the page off the calendar and plan to make yourself a better, thinner, healthier, more omniscient being. No? Not this year?

Do people even do resolutions anymore? Write them down, burn them at midnight, shout them for the rooftops so people know with the hopes that the more people who know will make it happen.

I'm trying to be a more positive person in life. Have been for a while. But that's not my resolution. As part of that constant battle, I decided to become more yogi like. Take the time to appreciate the moments I have, and not have it rush by so that in twenty years I'll wake up and be like, "where did it go?" Because I'm headed there. Rush, rush, blindly rush.

My resolution then is essentially to control time.

I'm not sure if I should rethink it or try it.

But basically, this will involve me attending yoga classes more, writing more, running more, and perhaps even getting the word patience tattooed across my hands. All the while continuing the ever challenging house-work-home balance. Thrown in with a little friends-home variables, 2012 will most likely make me juggle a bit.

There is always a chance I can grow another set of arms. Wouldn't that be awesome?

But now as I write this I am in front of a fireplace with my feet on a pillow, enjoying the extra day to my holiday vacation. I am very much starting on the right foot this year. One more day off from work life, enjoying the friends-home variables at their apex.

I hope you're enjoying the New Year as well.