I'm hittin' that 3 month mark (although we are going on 5 months now , aren't we...goody) like a champ except *it's* winning. And I feel like telling a story.
Last Lent - yes, Lent, not Advent - I "gave up" Facebook. I gave up Facebook for two reasons.
1) The internet and all it's attractions were taking too much of my time away from my family. Not only was I chatting with friends and family through Facebook, but I was also reading blogs, articles, doing research for Homeschooling/Theology class, etc. Just spending lots of time on the computer. Not actively *with* my kids. And I hated the thought of them always seeing my face in front of a screen. Hated it.
2) Facebook was killing me. Literally.
Most of you practicing Catholics will know that the beginning of last year was a rough one for us ol' Papists living in the U.S. This year coming up will be no better, I fear. And any time anything controversial happens in America, it's not the news channel we switch on first, it's social media. Because we all want to discuss "it." We had to talk about it. It was important. We had to change hearts! We had to stand up for those that couldn't speak for themselves! We have a responsibility!! And I was *on* it. I entered all those debates. I read all the articles, I commented and posted and checked and checked and checked to keep the conversations going. Meeting the opponent head on. Because in my family, when someone is wrong, you talk it out to find the truth, until you both see the truth, and if you walk away in disagreement, that means you didn't talk long enough.
And it was killing me.
At first I seriously just thought I was ill. I was pale, having trouble sleeping, I had no appetite, prone to bouts of crying. I was short winded. Couldn't catch my breath. And the scariest thing...my hair was falling out, in huge clumps. No joke. This is what sent me to the doctor where she took a whole bunch of tests, asked me a whole bunch of questions. I was hoping something was wrong. Please just let it be anemia, or Vitamin D deficiency, something that I could understand and treat and get on with my life, because right then I couldn't take care of my kids properly, I had no energy, no patience, no presence. I was wilting. And I was scared. Because nothing was wrong with me. In fact, the doctor's words were, "incredibly healthy." And that was worse. Because I came home thinking there was nothing I could do to make myself better. No pill or diet. I couldn't live like this!
All of this happened right before Lent.
I decided to go off of Facebook for Lent. I figured it would be a good sacrifice because not only would I be giving something up but I would also be able to use that time to spend being really present to my kids and it would also help cut down on screen time overall. I made a rule that the computer would only come out after the kids were in bed, and that I would only check email. And I stuck to it.
Over the next 40 days, very slowly, my health began to improve. I felt some peace in my mind and heart. And I realized, as my body healed, that what I had been experiencing, was one long, drawn out, anxiety attack. Because I just couldn't shut it all off. I couldn't shut it all out.
Since then I have had people ask me why I'm not on Facebook and I try to explain (I leave out the hair falling out part because then they sort of just start moving away slowly ). I always get the same response, "just block those friends," "just skip the articles," "just get on there every once in awhile to look at pictures," etc. etc. I tried that. The moment I started to put in my password to reactivate my account I had a panic attack. Facebook represented sleepless nights and a sour stomach, not friends and pictures, and funny convo's about the smells you smell in a public restroom. I just couldn't do it. It might help you to know that my personality type is an INFJ, and that I am a Melancholic, if you are into that type of stuff. Needless to say, these types of personality take everything to heart and can be passionate to a point of obsession. (they are also really friendly and kind, and make good cookies, and I promise I'm not weird, and you still want to be my friend right?, right?!...*crickets chirping*.........)
And since then I have visited Facebook about 10 times. And for only one purpose...to see the people I love.
It's the only place where I get to see pictures of my very pregnant sister sheathed in all black accepting her doctorate degree. It is the only place where I can see that same baby wearing the knitted things I made for her just a couple months later. And it's the only place where I can see my godchildren. And when you can't hug people, you at least want to see their faces.
Darn you, Facebook! (keepin' it G-rated, but boy, I oughta'...)!
Why did you just have to read all that?
It's Advent. Advent is the beginning of a new Liturgical year in the Catholic Church. In our house we try to celebrate the people, events and seasons of the Liturgical Year as much as possible. Advent is a big one. We try to stress to our children - who are so young, and so very excited about Christmas Day - that this is a time in the Church when we are preparing and waiting in joyful expectation for the birth of Christ. An event that changed the world forever. I once told a friend (over Facebook, ironically) that I like to think of Advent in the same way that people like to look at New Year's Day. Purging, Clearing out, Preparing, Examining.
There are a lot of reasons why I am having a hard time right now, all related to the move of course. And while I promise that my hair has not been falling out (although I'd probably have to brush it to know), I have been feeling without patience, not present to the kids, and anxious. It probably doesn't help that along with the lovely peace and clarity that came with dumping Facebook, also came a complete void in terms of human, adult interaction. Couple that with moving to a new country, and you have complete isolation. That doesn't help. And as much as I would love to keep filling the blog up with crazy stuff that happens in Poland, and the plans for our new home (first drafts are in!), my heart is just not in it.
Something has to change. I, who had a handle on life in Texas, but apparently not in Poland, am really gonna have to change things, because I have a lot of plans for this family and none of them include me wasting away in sweats, eating December 12th - 23rd out of the chocolate Advent calendar wallowing in a mixture of self-pity and resentment. "Deactivate."
I've got 4 weeks.
So, only 3 weeks really...darn....
|Yesterday. It has been snowing on and off for the past 3 days. It started Sunday night. A beautiful start to our Advent season.|
|Lina's new sweater! I am proud. (why is her forehead so massive? that's a picture of a talking house)|
|This happened while I was knitting.|
|Not one to be left out...|
|Veni, Veni, Emmanuel...|