Whenever I bemoan the lack of time I have to do everything I want to do in a day, my husband helpfully reminds me how much time I ‘waste’ on Facebook and I wonder again if I should come off it, even if only temporarily?
Unlike many in my age group, I signed up to Facebook in those early days when, as a mature student, FB was adopted by university students en masse and the concept intrigued me. Gradually many of those young ‘friends’ have dropped off – as virtual friends at least – to be replaced by people I actually know and am friends with ‘in real life’.
I would agree that there are times when the site frustrates me – I don’t need a blow-by-blow account of your cat’s latest illness, or hourly updates on your husband’s recovery from an ingrowing toenail operation. However, with friends and family scattered across all corners of the world and spanning several generations, Facebook is a brilliant way to keep people in my life who would otherwise disappear off the radar, as well as sharing and receiving information at a local and international level. It provides a continuity and sense of community that might otherwise be missing in my life.
Where else could I:
- Support a campaign to stop Dubai (or Abu Dhabi?) opening a SeaWorld;
- Read Ricky Gervais’s pithy and poignant comments on animal cruelty;
- Follow the plight of Nepal as the international struggles to provide support;
- Share the adventures of my globe-trotting sister;
- Enjoy the incredible wit and humour behind some cartoons and jokes shared by friends;
- Connect with friends around the world who speak different languages and share items globally at the touch of a button?
Yes, there are days when I think I really shouldn’t spend so much time on FB and times when I vow to return to keeping a book of Crossword puzzles next to the kettle to entertain me in the couple of minutes whilst waiting for it to boil and not immediately reach for Facebook on my iPad. But, on balance, I think FB is more friend than foe and enriches rather than impoverishes my life and so, while ever that equilibrium is maintained Facebook has a place in my life. Hubby be darned!
Feeling rather restless and rootless at the moment I am constantly reminding myself to:
- live in the moment,
- be present,
- accept the present/intend the future
- this moment is as it should be because the whole universe is as it should be
I eat well, meditate daily, walk in the countryside, rest, have fun and generally love life. But. I find living ‘in between’ incredibly difficult. My brain is screaming to get stuck into projects, communities, things, things, something to keep it active and busy. I panic that life is passing me by and I’m not achieving anything, not fulfilling my purpose, wasting precious time.
And then I take a deep breath, slow down that monkey mind chattering away and remember that my life, right now, is filled with blessings, love, discoveries, good health, friendships and all the things that make it so magically wonderful. So what’s the problem then? I think that it’s the void. We have been living in Cardiff for four and a half months and really love it here (partly because we know we’re leaving soon?). It’s a fabulous City, great culture, architecture, people, scenery and so many things to do and keep us occupied that we’ve barely scratched the surface. But it isn’t home. We came here because it’s the city of my birth and I wanted to be closer to my parents for a while. And I’m loving spending time with them and with the City and all it has to offer. A lot of time though is spent planning and preparing for our move to Spain at the end of January so my heart is only ever half here and the other half across the water.
There is something to be said for that feeling of discomfort and ‘being’ in the void as I’m convinced that that is where the magic happens – where creativity can bubble up to the surface and be heard. It’s like the analogy of dropping a pebble into a raging sea and it having no impact whatsoever, whereas the same pebble dropped into a calm lake sends ripples far and wide. Today then I will enjoy the calm lake and drop pebbles of creativity into it and see what happens!
Well, having spent a few months trying out Blogger instead of WordPress and acquiring a new iPad mini along the way, I think I’m back!
They say to embrace change but I wonder when I’m changing something just because I can, or to try out the latest ‘thing’ and when change really is to the benefit of me and those in my community.
Having struggled to access WordPress while in Vietnam I switched but it occurs to me that I prefer WP and now that I’m back in Europe there really isn’t any reason not to return.
So, here I am, back up and running and plenty to share from the last few months – about life, identity, family and a sense of belonging.
To be continued …!