vendredi, février 10, 2012

Kissin' my old faith (and loves) goodbye

I've been doing a lot of mental housekeeping the past few weeks.

And I have to say, it hasn't been easy.

Or pretty.

Or fun.

I like easy, pretty and fun, just sayin'.

But not only do I need to put the puzzle of my life (and that of my kids) back together, but in a way, I need to take the pieces and put together a new puzzle.

Within the next month, the battle I'm waging with my son over schooling must be resolved.

Somehow I need to find space in my life to accommodate work and the practicum I've begun at a local community college.

Living within a more modest budget is crucial, now that the house is done.

And I need to move purposefully towards a future that will hopefully include a very different sort of work than I've been pursuing before.

Then there is the whole relationship piece.

I'm done with compromising myself to make room for men who aren't willing to do the same back.

After grieving for a long time over a relationship I thought had potential, I've seen enough to figure out that it probably would have ended in epic disaster.

OK, well, maybe not "Titanic" -- more of a "b" grade weeper.

Cue the Lady Gaga.

Sometimes I wish I'd had a bad romance, just to know what it was like.

Most days, not so much.

I'm reminded of the lovely scene with Joan Plowright in "Enchanted April," where she says that she is remembering "better times, and better men."

I'd love to think that "better man" is still in my future -- but I'm also a realist.

Two kids to get through high school and on to college.

A new line of work, and a pressing need to bring in income.

Old work, and the ongoing belief that I could work harder and achieve more.

Not to mention the effort that goes into reestablishing friendships and making new ones.

That's enough for the moment.

I think I've been saved from heartbreak.

And I can't dance about it yet, but the day is coming when I will -- before it slips into the past, a half-regret, remembered only in prose.

mardi, février 07, 2012

Unfriend, delete, block: three strikes and you're out, baby

Yesterday I stared long and hard at the name of a guy who popped up green on my gmail chat list now and then.

Then I pressed the block icon -- calloo callay, he's gone!

To understand how weird this felt, you have to appreciate that I used to view it as a last resort, to be used only if someone was harassing.

Now I'm pondering it as a potential means of self-expression -- a way of putting someone's bad behavior behind me.

In the case of this guy, he'd been very rude -- and not just once.

In the old days, I might have withheld judgment -- or waited to see if I should give him another chance.

Blocking someone, "unfriending" or dropping them from a social media site is a pretty serious statement...and it's usually a statement about you.

Depending on the circumstances, it can feel pretty hostile. So although I've been tempted before, I haven't gone nuclear.

I worry about the consequences, mostly for my own temperament.

Am I becoming a person who uses the click of a mouse rather than my brain and tongue to communicate?

I've come to the conclusion, however sadly, that there are some people who simply don't deserve my time, energy or compassion.

To hold out the hope that they will change is to sell myself short.

I don't like the "unfriend" option, so I pledge to rarely use it.

It makes me feel rather cheap, stupid and inept. As I said, it's time to look in the mirror and ask myself: could I handle this better?

But when I do, when I finally reach the point where patience and kindness evaporate like steam, I'm not looking back.

lundi, février 06, 2012

Virtually alone


Or maybe it was just click, click.

Yesterday the New York Times offered its readers a glimpse into the cost we pay for living so much of our lives online -- and the picture is scary.

Fact is, when it comes to online privacy the Titanic is already going down -- and chances are reasonable that you are on it.

Have you ever posted drunken meanderings on Facebook or Twitter?

Exchanged sexually suggestive musings with someone not your spouse?

Complained about your boss?

Made some dumb choices about what you choose to post as links?

Not only do data aggregators know about your indiscretions, but so may the government and people where you work.

There are benefits, many benefits to having an online life. One of them is communication.

An email to one of my son's teachers was sent earlier this morning and promptly returned.

Bingo. Connection.

During my ex-husband's medical crises of last fall, I asked for prayer support -- and I know that I got it.

But the unpalatable fact is that we are being watched and that the observers do not have benign motives.

In the end, all of your Facebook friends can't protect you from the consequences of your confessions - or even spur of the moment ramblings.

Those we will face alone.

What's even more unsettling is the fact that we will never know what "they" know, what "they care" about knowing -- and how "they" choose to use what they know.

Feeling a bit paranoid by now?

Good. That was my slightly, slightly, rhetorical intention.