Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Randy and I haven't been on the same page.  Sure, it's the same book, but recently, there have been days when I'm entire chapters ahead or behind where he is, struggling to find a place to meet--a paragraph, line, or phrase that grounds us in what it means to be in this together.  

The thing is, I've been feeling pretty down.  Sure, I recognize that I am blessed in immeasurable ways with my family, our home, the things we have, the opportunity to spend this time with the kids, freedom, etc, etc, etc.  Just listening to the guest speaker at our church this past weekend, I was humbly reminded that while I'm feeling blah about *little things*, there are countless men and women who risk their lives so that I may enjoy freedom.  Of course, while that is true and does compound the guilt I feel for being blah, it does not discredit my own personal battles.

I'm a social media addict.  My i-Phone, I believe, could be considered an extension of my body.  I spend more time accessing various forms of social media {Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, various blog sites, etc, etc, etc} than I do actually cleaning house or working out each day.  While that's embarrassing to admit, it's even worse when the person with whom you share your life points it out to you.  Or when your kids' time is compromised because you've *got* to post a picture, check an email, or respond to a comment in the blogging and/or cake world.  What the hell have I allowed myself to become?  A guilt-ridden momma {not just because I had this fact pointed out to me...I've recognized it all along...} who can't tear herself away for an entire day to spend some time 'looking around', rather than glancing down.  

When there's a problem, I need to find the source and fix it immediately.  It's what mommas are programmed to do.  Scraped knee?  Neosporin and a Band-Aid.  A fight over a toy?  Remove the toy and provide two separate time-out locations.  Lizard in the House? Screaming, a broom and a dustpan.  Quick, easy, relatively painless {minus the scrape and of course the raised blood pressure from the lizard}.  

But there is no 'quick fix' for loneliness.

I've been thinking about what it is, how it is that I've allowed myself to become so wrapped up in a world through a screen, and I honestly believe it is because I am lonely.  Yeah, I know.  I share my house with my husband and kids, the neighbors across the street are a fortunate blessing, and I have kinda-sorta-maybe started to get to know a few people through Gavin's school.  But that's about it.  

I am a people person.  I crave interaction with others--and sometimes {hard as this can be to admit}, it goes beyond playing Sorry and Mousetrap, watching a Pixar movie for the twelfth, and going to story hour at the library {where even if you did find a friend, it is looked down upon if you spend your time 'chatting it up''s a library, afterall}.  I know that it might sound mean to say that my kids and husband aren't always enough, but it's the truth.  And honestly, I think that anyone who feels differently, might be lying to themselves and denying themselves the opportunity to expand their connection with others.    

Enter the world of social media, right?  I mean, where else can you connect with anyone, anywhere in the world whenever you find the urge to do so {I mean, of course that whole *telephone* thing has been a great companion, don't get me wrong...but it was just a matter of time before there was a desire for more.}  The technology and intricacies of it all are astounding, and I for one, have been caught up in the amazing of it all.  Facebook, along with other social media sites have provided opportunity for my to stay connected with friends and family scattered across the country {and even around the world}.  A few touches of the screen, a couple clicks of the mouse, and I'm instantly able to read and write comments, posts, or messages to and from friends near and far.  It's almost like the miles between us aren't there.


There's something to be said for the human interaction.  The energy of two or more people in the same space; talking, sharing a meal, laughing, crying, or just *being together*.  It fills a lonesome void in your heart, even if you're just sitting on the couch watching television together.  And, while I have four other people with whom to 'be with', there are times I'm at a loss for finding the commonalities that I crave between us.  Shocking, I know.  But Elmo, Barbies, Legos, and the oil and gas industry don't happen to be on my list of 'top ten things to contemplate/discuss'.  It doesn't mean I won't, it's just that sometimes I need more.  

Which is why I've been changing things up on my blog a bit.  Originally, I started writing to tell the stories of my kids, to document things for them because I'm awful at keeping baby books.  I realize that while I might have a 'way' of writing that family and friends enjoy {or so they've told me}, I was finding that what I was craving was actually the time for 'me'.  When I was working, blogging gave me a way to wind down after a busy day filled with children and grading and connecting.  Now that I'm home pretty much {all.the.time.}, I'm realizing that time for 'me' is harder and harder to come by.  Sometimes, it feels like there is no escaping the duties a busy household with three kids {one of whom can be really, really demanding}.

Physically removing myself from the scene isn't always easy, because aside from possessing tracking skills that rival a tactical bloodhound, the kids aren't exactly old enough to be left alone.  It seems only natural that I find connections through the screen of my phone, the slim design of my laptop, or the toddler-print-laden i-Pad.  And connections, I have.  Friends with whom I commiserate, become inspired by, and share adorable photos of the little people who have infiltrated our lives and changed our outlook.  People I don't know personally who write for the same reasons I do, or who write for different reasons entirely, but speak to me through their words in ways that I can connect and relate.  And then there's this blog.  A place where I can spend some time with my own thoughts {with countless interruptions for more Goldfish, a potty training success, or helping button or tie the fifth outfit change of the morning}, however scary or honest or funny or random they may be.

And yes, I know that joining 'mom's groups', church groups, or other 'groups' can help give me some of those human interactions that I'm so desperately craving.  Don't get me wrong, I have found a few places where I can seek out others with whom I can share some face time {not 'Facetime'}.  The thing is, it's a scary place to be--the 'new' girl.  I'm an 'outgoing oversharer'.  I'm open and honest and {sometimes} my opinions aren't always the 'popular' ones, which can turn people off to deepening the connection.  That used to get to me, frustrate me that I couldn't just 'shut it' and 'ride the tide'.  But, I realize now that it's more important to be honest with yourself, portray the 'true you' at all times, and if others don't like it, respect their decisions and opinions {however hurtful they may be...and trust me, they can be hurtful}.  

When we were getting ready to move, I had countless people who told me that I'd adjust in 'no time', that I'd 'fit in' easily, and become a 'Texan' in no time.  Their messages were sweet, they came from their heart, and whether they were 'just saying' them or not, I appreciate the way in which they viewed my personality.  But I also have one friend who told me that I needed to give about 18 months to adjust from our Colorado-Texas move.  At first, I honestly scoffed at the idea, mainly because I was nervous about feeling 'in limbo' for that long.  Now that I'm smack-dab in the middle of that limbo, I appreciate her upfront honesty because I'm aware that these feelings of loneliness might be hanging around for a while.  Which is why it has become so easy to slip into the world of social media.  It's connections with people you already know.  It's comfortable. It's not-so-scary because your support system {albeit scattered over thousands of miles} can brighten your day with kind words, inspire you to attempt something wonderful, or even give you a much needed {virtual} hug when you're in need of one.

But when your significant other and the wee ones with whom you share your home make it apparent that your need to connect is causing a disconnect in your own home, it becomes apparent that things need to change.  It's not going to be easy, it's going to take a bit of self-control and a lot of figuring out other ways to fulfill the void of really 'knowing' about 6.2 people in this entire state {the majority of whom I live with}.  Sacrificing {some} time from my social media connection addition is vital if I want to get back on the same page with Randy {and the kids}, but I'm not going to lie and say I will stop entirely.  I will still share photos, update statuses, 'pin' inspirations, comment, write, read, and connect.  I am just going to set a time limit each day, and then disconnect when I've reached my limit.  It may not be the 'answer', but it will at least put me in the same chapter as my husband.  From there, it should make it easier for us to find one another. 

For now, I disconnect.  I will bake and decorate cookies.  I will dance with my girls.  I will do laundry {ugh}.  I'll spend time with my thoughts, fill my 'lonely' void with a few chapters in my book.  I will walk to the bus stop to pick up my son and we'll talk on the way home {he might want to run ahead...but I'll slow him down with a 'secret snack'}.  I will sign on later tonight; after dinner is made, eaten, and cleaned up.  And I will be fine.  


  1. Hi there! This is a great post. I'm the opposite - a bit of an introvert - but I still crave those connections. I often feel i am on the outer edges of many groups of friends. The moms at the elementary school know me, but don't invite me to their book club. Other bloggers know me, but I'm not "in their circle." I totally get it. I never really thought of my attraction as a way to fill that void, but maybe it is. Maybe it is easier for me to "connect" through a screen. Definitely, food for thought!

    Ironically, found you through HV Facebook group! I've liked you on FB from my blog Page - The Golden Spoons.

  2. Hi! (several days late...but!)

    I appreciate your comment...and love that although we may seem to have differences in our 'vert-ness' (is that a word? I'm claiming yes for this purpose), that we still value and need those connections with others--regardless of how we attain them. I agree that through a screen, it can be easier to connect because there's the anonymity of it all. I also find it can be a challenge because it can be hard to get 'full read' on someone, and therefore their message can be misinterpreted or misrepresented.

    Thanks for the like...I've returned the like and look forward to reading further!