December 1: Quitting Facebook (for one month)

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I’ve been pondering my relationship with Facebook for a while, and I’ve written about it in the past.  I happened upon the idea of quitting Facebook for a month, a few weeks ago. In the weeks in between then and now, I’ve been oscillating between doing it and not.

The fact that I have spent so much time mulling it over in my mind says to me, that yes, I need to do this. Like any addiction, there will always be a reason to keep going. But seriously, this is Facebook, why is even the prospect of coming off it a bit scary?

It’s that thought that sold me. That thought, and this excellent article by Mark Serrels, that appeared in SMH on Monday. The timing was amazing, and if I’m getting all woo woo on you, I’d say it was a SIGN! Another sign was that it didn’t appear in my Facebook feed. I found it all by myself!!! (Reassuring me that I don’t need Facebook to find interesting, meaningful and current content to read).

The truth of it is, I constantly feel time poor. I look forward to the evening so I can watch a documentary that I’ve heard about, or read a book, or finish a sketch. Or anything really, that’s not Facebook. But every night it is the same. I think ‘I’ll just have a quick look, before I start (insert lovely activity that is not Facebook that I’ve planned for the evening). Then suddenly it’s 10pm, my eyes have glazed over and I’ve not moved off the couch.

Just like Mark Serrels describes in his piece:

REFRESH… REFRESH… REFRESH

 

 

angryThere is also the outrage. I’m so tired of the outrage on Facebook. There are somethings that deserve to media attention, all our energy and outrage. But there are many other things that when I see them I can just feel energy being dragged out of me. There are beautiful and kind people frequenting Facebook, but there are also mean, bully, passive aggressive people on there as well, who are using it to be mean, to bully and be passive aggressive.

I don’t think it’s the forum for an argument. But it has become a platform for this, which is a shame.

I admire people who can log in once or twice a week; Facebook does not seem to have that same insidious affect on their lives. It not only robs me of my evenings, it’s now also stealing my thinking time from me while I decide whether or not to take this challenge. Thinking time while I’m hanging out the washing, or chopping spuds for dinner. Important thinking time where I work out what children need to be where, what’s happening on the weekend, whether I need to buy birthday presents, cook a cake, or take a plate. The sort of thinking that has to be done when you’re running a household with five people in it. Not very exciting thinking, but necessary nonetheless.

So I decided, it would be an experiment just to see. To see how it feels in the evening to have time to do all those things that I want to, to see how connected I still feel, to actually see how important it is to me.

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I’m staying on Instagram, it just doesn’t seem to suck my time the way Facebook does. I’m going to continue to blog, so if you want to continue reading and usually click though from Facebook, click on the subscribe link and my posts will be emailed to you.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable about this experiment. Again, this is further evidence that it needs to happen.

From midnight tonight, until January 1, 2017 I’ll be absent from Facebook. December seems an appropriate time to do this; I want to be fully engaged and present with my family during the Christmas period and I’m sure this will help.

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Is anyone else up for the challenge? I’d love to share the journey with someone else, but I’m also happy to go it alone.

Let me know if you’re up for the challenge.

 I’d love to know how you feel about Facebook, does it take up too much room in your life?

 

Self-Actualisation: Pushing Through the Hard to Find the Sweet

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I’ve never been interested in self-actualisation through my career. Business is too cut throat for my liking. I’ve seen people whose entire identity is invested in their job suffer enormously because of it.

It can never end happily. Indeed, a woman I knew was so invested in her work that a shock redundancy left her so blind-sided she had a breakdown and then joined the ranks of the long-term unemployed, simply because she couldn’t find the strength to put herself back together and get on with things. It stripped her of her confidence, her sense of self, and her self-worth. She became a shell of herself. [Read more…]

The ‘Could-Do’ List – Why It Makes Life Better

simple-things-photoI’ve mentioned before that I love to read UK magazine The Simple Things. I love that it keeps reminding me to slow down, take stock and enjoy all the small things. A regular feature in the mag, that I just love, is the ‘Could-Do’ list.

The headline “Your Could-Do List” then follows with a sub-heading “Things you might want to do this month (no pressure!)”. Quirky, and beautiful. Pregnant with possibility.

These days we are all slaves to our ‘To-Do’ list. There is always something being added, even when you happily cross something off it. With that comes that heavy feeling, the weight of responsibility, the slight panic of drowning under the pressure of all the things that need doing.

[Read more…]

Exploring: Making An Ordinary Life Less Ordinary

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On the road to Adelaide

In the past month I have been lucky enough to visit two capital cities in Australia – Sydney and Adelaide, and a few places in between. I love to travel but having three small children makes it harder. Having said that, it is getting easier – hence the Sydney and Adelaide trips.

Going to new places sparks something in the imagination. It refreshes and energises.  Hanging out somewhere that you don’t normally go makes you see things differently; look at things in a new way.

Here are a few things that I saw, and some of the thoughts that this tripping around triggered.

Let’s Abandon The Beige

In Sydney I was fortunate enough to attend the Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera exhibition  (which has been extended to October 23rd, by popular demand, so if you get a chance to go, it really is worthwhile). Looking at Frida Kahlo’s work got me thinking about her; her beauty, her exuberance, her talent. It made me wonder why women today (including me) are so set on making ourselves disappear. We are the greys, blacks and beige – we choose those colours, and variations of them to represent and express ourselves. Frida reminded me to bring back the colour – abandon the grey scale, abandon the beige.

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There is only one you, there is only one me – we have only one life. We must show ourselves. Colour is a way to do it.

Art Is Everywhere If You Care To Look

I was also lucky enough to view the Archibald Prize exhibition, and the Telling Tales – Excursions in Narrative Form exhibition  at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Being a writer, of course, I am deeply interested in story telling and alternative and unique ways to do it.

Often personal stories are complex and not at all linear. We are are used to straight forward story telling but modern art challenges this: it can be the perfect channel for these meandering, non-linear, but deeply moving tales.  Here is one of the installations from the Telling Tales exhibition that appealed to me both aesthetically and narratively.

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Emily Floyd, It’s because I talk too much that I do nothing 2002

But you don’t need to seek it out, it’s in the streets, public places, and in nature.

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Sign to the ‘Cave Gardens’ in Mt Gambier

We followed the sign to the Cave Gardens and this is what we found!

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It Is Worth Creating A Monument To Someone You Love

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On the way to Adelaide we stopped in a cute country town, called Smythesdale, to stretch our legs and grab a coffee. I encountered this beautiful bench seat when the others had gone to use the loo. I saw it in the distance and was so intrigued by this beautiful seat, standing alone on a grassy verge, painted in maroon-red, that I went to investigate. Beautifully ornate, it also had a plaque that said ‘Joyce’s Seat’. I thought this was so lovely.

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I don’t know who Joyce was. I’ve tried to find out since I’ve been home. But have turned up nothing. I should have asked the lady who made the coffee; but I also quite like not knowing. I like the idea that Joyce is who ever I want her to be. But also, she must have had an impact on someone, for them to buy her a gorgeous seat and put her name on it. Joyce must have been some kind of lady. Whoever organised that seat for Joyce must have loved her and by creating that place to sit, Joyce remains. She touches strangers, like me, if only for a moment, when we take a rest on her very inviting seat, or wonder for a while, who she might have been.

I love the idea that without these little trips of exploration I wouldn’t have experienced these enriching moments, thought processes or things of beauty. Exploring the world enriches my life in monumental ways, that are really the small ways. Going to see some art, moseying down the street, stopping to stretch your legs – ordinary things making life extraordinary, in small ordinary ways.

 

What about you? Have you seen something ordinary, that was extraordinary?

Taking Stock: September

My Happy Place

The change in seasons always brings about contemplation; for me anyway. It marks the passing of time much more significantly than the start of a new month. It’s the physicality of season change that does it. Suddenly I feel too warm in all my layers, and I can leave the house without worrying about a coat (sometimes).

With that comes the feeling that time is escaping me; it’s a border-line panic about something I can’t quite put my finger on. When this feeling sets in it’s time to take stock; the perfect antidote to this uncomfortable low-grade panic.  [Read more…]