Monday, December 31, 2018

Connection In The New Year, Embracing 'Before'

Today is the last day of this year.

I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve and its shenanigans so tonight will be quiet, just as I like it best.  In our household there will be a couple of glasses of wine early in the evening, and I think we might have fondue because dipping things in cheese is not a bad way to spend any night.  JP will try to stay awake but will ultimately go to bed by 11pm and I'll fall asleep on the couch around the same time but I always wake up minutes before midnight, in time to watch the ball fall in Times Square.
Then I'll take Luna (dog) outside and we'll wrap up in a blanket and listen to the sounds of the New Year. I don't know why I always do that but I do it every year. That strange New Year's melancholy will hit me and I'll think about the past year and the coming one. I'll hear fireworks in the distance and some woo-hoo's shouted out by nearby revelers. But mostly I'll hear silence...night noise.  It's that new year quiet that I like the best.

I am also not a big fan of New Year's resolutions although I do like the concept of a fresh new slate from which to start new things.  I've noticed that my usual contempt for social media has been steadily building even stronger for ever quite a while and I've decided that now is the perfect time to spend less time on it following people who have not tried to be a real part of my real life despite my attempts and invitations. I'll still follow the myriad of internet people who inspire me on a regular basis and I actually really enjoy following small businesses, so that's going to be my new thing.  I'm excited for this.

I have too many stories about people I know well - relations and long-time friendships - that have been reduced to semi-annual text messages and/or the nanosecond click of the like button.
It leaves me empty and sad.

I'm staunchly old fashioned. I like many, many things before¹.  Before what?  Before cell phones and text messages. Before social media. Before the god-awful selfie fanaticism/narcissism. Before relationships became technologically driven and reliant. Before the world went crazy.  I won't elaborate beyond that; you get the idea.

I'm going into this new year not longing anymore for real connection with people who'd rather click a like or send button instead of hearing the inflection in each others' voices or good conversation over coffee or wine or coming together at the dining room table and sharing food and laughter.  Are we all really so busy that taking a drive to meet someone who likes/loves/cares about you is too much trouble?  Are you really okay with pretending it's fulfilling to find something funny to post somewhere so you can feel happy when some people who otherwise don't bother with you 'like' it?
I can't and won't even try to wrap myself around that anymore and I don't want to settle for it anymore.

I believe in not accepting mediocrity but I'm going to amp that up for 2019.
I deserve quality relationships...and so do you.

I'm going into this new year nourishing my real relationships and cultivating new ones with like-minded people.  People who have time for me. REAL time.

I'm putting my own spin on things in 2019:  Out with the new (ways), in with the old (ways).

Here's to a deeper, more authentic and genuine new year.
I'll be over here being happily old-fashioned.

A Blessing of Honest Days

Take a moment to be real then settle
into the absence of any existing restraints.
No commitment to meet anyone,
no urgency to be somewhere.
The arrival of a fresh year is gracefully nearing
and it is not asking for any resolution,
nor begging for you to do better.
It simply wants to invite you into its presence
and make of it what you will.
No need to worry, no cause to fret.
No requirements to fill or conditions to be met.
No more strict promises or guilt.
No needless pressure, no sweat.
Try a new approach to a different year:
Let time be an encouraging mother
and her daughters a blessing of honest days.
Words by: Susan Frybort

Further Reading:

Three Things We Can Learn From People Who Don't Use SmartPhones Or Social Media

More Being Social, Less Social Media

¹It is perfectly okay if you don't agree with me.  We were not put on this earth to agree with every single person (which is a really good example of the way people used to think before).

Friday, December 28, 2018

362 Days 'Til Christmas

I haven't posted since November 23rd.

I was pretty surprised to see that but then I realized it made sense considering how angst-y I get during holidays.  The holiday season really is a miserable time for me.  I actually had started to make a video about why I can't deal with holidays...but even that overwhelmed me - like everything else does during December so the video is sitting in fragments on one of my computers, incomplete.

Now that Christmas is behind us (phew!), I can think and write about it with freaking out. So the Cliffs Notes version of the causes of my holiday aversion are as follows:

1. Anosmia.  Ever since I lost my sense of smell 10 years ago, nothing has been the same.
Not being able to smell is like I am cut off from the real world; like my world is black & white and everyone else's is in color. Not being able to smell robs you of the ability to recall memory or create new memories based on smell.  I can't smell holidays anymore and everywhere I look are the reminders of what is now out of reach for me. It's very painful.  Maybe one day I'll put something together about the real effects of losing the sense of smell.  A lot of people think it's not a big deal and they always say that's the one they'd choose if they had to lose a sense. But losing the ability to smell is a profound loss on so many complex levels; the tremendous loss is one that can't even be imagined unless you've experienced it.  Trust me.

2. Family.  The holidays bring families together, right?  That's the big message but not the case in our "family"¹.  Nothing can do that.  Holidays are a constant reminder of that sad fact.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...