Facebook’s Effect on Mood

SOMETIMES I WONDER why I subject myself to Facebook. I think I should avoid it on days when I’m already a bit on edge because those are the days it pushes me off the ledge. It’s like watching a bipolar person rapid cycle!

“My life is over. Everyone sucks. Nobody loves me. I’m done!”

“Jesus is my savior. I’m blessed. I love life!”

::shared horrible news story::

::shared funny video::

::shared thug video with expletives::

“My child is the best!”

::shared political news, views, or opinions::

::shared funny cat video::

::shared beautiful photo with bible verse::

Shared photos:

  • Selfies with duck face
  • Selfies with puckered lips
  • Selfies from high angle with raised eyebrow, sucked in cheeks, and cleavage

After perusing my Facebook news feed, I walk away feeling like…

Mixed EmotionsToo much life coming from all angles in rapid-fire fashion. How is this a good thing? Facebook Groups are good where the focus is on a common topic or centered around common interests. The overall news feed, however, is a hot mess!

I’ve been catching up on Downtown Abbey and love seeing the dainty letters and telegrams they receive multiple times per day. Texting in the early 1900s! :D Teas and luncheons … Google Hangouts circa 1920! Though I’m not sure how much I’d have enjoyed those either being full of gossip.

On days like today, when I’m already in a grim mood for reasons that I choose not to share with the public (compounded by sinus trouble causing dizziness and overstaying its welcome), I should avoid opening Facebook entirely.

NINE ELEVEN

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 … People are posting pictures memorializing this day of tragedy with the phrase “We will never forget!”. These tributes are touching, but I can’t help but wonder what message it’s sending to the terrorists. I wonder if those monsters are capable of feeling threatened by the strength of this nation. Are they, instead, feeding off of our mourning, our sadness, our fear, and even our pride? Yes, we are a proud nation – but pride can be a tricky thing if not kept in check.

Instead of “We will never forget!”, I say “How could we possibly forget?!”

When the nation observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. Central Time this morning, I was sitting in my car and had just pulled into my garage after dropping my daughter off at school. I remembered waking to the news 13 years ago, taking the kids to school, and coming back home to watch it all on TV. Shock … disbelief … sadness.

A powerful video on YouTube:

The History Channel’s 9/11 Timeline.

 Across the Years, Obama’s 9/11 Message Varies

Of course we will never forget.


>>>>> silence <<<<<

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Expecting Second Child

There could be a new little prince or princess born on my birthday in March next year. Odds are already on a prince, but I hope it’s a princess! The official announcement was made this morning that the Duchess of Cambridge is indeed pregnant again and experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, for which she is being treated at Kensington Palace.

I’m what they call an anglophile. I’m a bit of a royal watcher and dream of traveling to England someday. I hope to be able to go within the next two years.

What Anonymous Got Wrong in Ferguson – The New Yorker

What Anonymous Got Wrong in Ferguson – The New Yorker.

When the wrong man was named as the person who shot Michael Brown, that innocent man immediately received countless death threats, many of them very graphic. His reaction:

When we spoke this week, Willman was back on the job, but struggling to recover. “I’m stressed out, and don’t sleep very well,” he told me. Though he isn’t looking over his shoulder in real life, he feels scarred by the trauma online, and doubts he will ever return to social media again. He told me, “For a group who want information to be released to be willing to put peoples’ lives in danger—that’s pretty low. They turned me into a victim. They got it wrong.”

The whole incident turns my stomach from all angles. I see the fear and anxiety on the side of the cop – the adrenaline rush driven rapid fire. But to see the resulting far-from-peaceful demonstrations and riots and looting … it’s just sickening.

I grew up in North St. Louis County, ending my Missouri residency in Ferguson actually. I never saw or heard of anything like this when I lived there. It makes me sad that this is now the image of St. Louis that the rest of America who has never been there will have. This incident does not define all of St. Louis!

A Beautifully Imperfect Wedding

PERFECTION IS AN ILLUSION … an idea formed in the mind based on what one has become programmed to believe is the exact way something is supposed to be. There are certain things I want done a particular way, but that’s more on the obsessive side and fodder for another post entirely. So we’ll leave that alone for now. :)

Wedding Photography by Steph Steinmark PhotographyMy son got married this past weekend, and it was a beautiful, unique wedding in the mountains. There were some hiccups with the music, but everyone kept walking. As soon as they started reading their vows to each other, the music glitch melted away and tears began to fall. My heart grew again in that moment.

There were things that were planned, changed, rearranged, and changed again up until the last minute. We were supposed to have a small group of family members all do a shot in memory of two grandfathers no longer with us (one being my dad). When I first heard the idea many months ago, I cried. I was a little disappointed that it never happened, but everyone was having so much fun that it’s fine. Letting it go. The shots were not those people. Those people are in our hearts forever.

The ceremony was at 9am at Lily Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. We did have to get up super early to drive up there, but it didn’t matter to me because the day wasn’t about me. The day belonged to my son and daughter-in-law, and that’s all that mattered. Knowing that the weather in the mountains can turn from sunny to stormy in the afternoons, it worked out great! Cocktail hour was at 10am and reception from 11am until 3pm at Twin Owls Steakhouse in Estes Park.

I didn’t take one picture the entire day. My camera stayed home, and I didn’t touch my cell phone. I left the photography to my dear friend, Steph. Many snapshots have hit Facebook already, but I know that the work that goes into processing professional photos takes time and is worth the wait. :) And if I have a droopy eye or anyone has stray hairs or crooked clothes in the photos, it really doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as perfect. The fact that we were all together is what matters.

Does Not Posting Routinely Make Me a Slacker?

IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I’ve stuck to any sort of a blogging routine. I think I hit a groove once when I was determined to hit a certain number of posts since the creation of my blog site. Then vacation ended, and my writing dwindled. Life and work pushed their way back in front of the line. The passion was all but snuffed out. It’s still in there … somewhere.

Why does it matter?
It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of all that is life, but it’s something I enjoy doing. Do I really need any other reason than that?

What’s so important that isn’t already covered by other media or social networks?
Absolutely nothing … at least to the average Joe (or Jane). Isn’t it enough that the subject matter be important to me? It’s enough for me. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll branch off and start another blog that is important to someone. I can dream. Having dreams is a good thing!

So what are you going to do about it?
I’m working on that. I have ADD. No, I’m not tossing that out there flippantly as a humorous excuse for my poor memory and lack of organization. I have an honest-to-goodness diagnosis of A.D.H.D. The “H” (hyperactivity) isn’t so present physically in my case, but it’s certainly there mentally. My mind hops from one thing to another at break-neck speed. It’s also why I have trouble with articulation. My thoughts try to rush out all at once and end up tripping over one another and resulting in a puddle of incoherence.

Case in point ^ – that paragraph took a left turn and kept going.

What I need to do is come up with a schedule since I need structure to keep me on track. So I’m going to come up with a new plan and see where that takes me. I’m sure I’ll need to make changes along the way. Who doesn’t?! :) Maybe having a new tech gadget (Microsoft Surface 2 with keyboard) will help, too. If I find myself in a fog, I can grab it and go just about anywhere … library, park, coffee shop. A change of scenery often helps get creative juices flowing!

BOTTOM LINE: I want to write. I’ve always wanted to write. I want to write about many different things. It’s important to me, and that’s all that matters. Right?

So hold onto your seats (but maybe don’t hold your breath too long). There are thoughts and ideas brewing in my head!

Facebook Messenger Privacy Uproar

Facebook MessangerI CHOOSE NOT TO INSTALL Facebook Messenger, but it’s not for reasons relating in any way to paranoia. There are many apps that request the same permissions, including the Facebook app itself. I choose not to install Facebook Messenger because it’s unnecessary and will consume even more of my time.

People are posting news articles and blog posts about one side if the issue (that of privacy) without considering both sides. I did research both sides and while I didn’t go directly to Snopes myself, this article on Snopes did appear in my search results.

They did a nice job summing up the issue. In a nutshell … If you’re going to be paranoid (I’m sorry … concerned about your privacy) about the Messenger app, you should consider the permissions you’ve allowed on the other apps you have installed on your cellular devices.

I have a cell phone on which I can receive text messages and phone calls. Huh! Imagine that! A device that receives MESSAGES. Why do I need another method of receiving messages? I can also access my email through my cellular device if any remembers that method of private communication. My cell phone number IS on my Facebook About section, so friends who wish to send me a private message with hope that I will receive it quickly CAN do so. Of course, I have my Facebook privacy set to Friends. Sorry, people around the world I do not know, you’ll have to settle for leaving a comment on my blog. ;)

Technology is supposed to make life easier. In many ways, it does. However, when it comes to managing and keeping track of the many ways in which we are contacted, I don’t consider that easier. It’s just more time consuming.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

St. Louis Cardinals vs Colorado Rockies

GAME 3 IN COLORADO ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, and I was there with my girls to cheer on the Cardinals on the Rockies’ turf. There are a lot of Cardinals fans in Colorado judging by the amount of people in red (ourselves included) and the noise they made cheering the Cards on!

We nabbed $14 seats online at the last minute. They were in section 204, row 4. If only five more rows up were available, we would have been in the shade. Luckily, we had cloud cover for at least half the time. The view was great!

Coors Field | Rockies vs Cardinals

The photos above were taken about 20 minutes before game time, but you can already see a lot of red in the seats! We were surrounded by Cardinals fans in our section, too.

Baseball is my second favorite sport to watch. Hockey is my favorite because it’s fast and intense. :) Baseball is more leisurely. In Wednesday’s game, this was especially true in the bottom of the 9th. Maybe it just seemed that way because the Rockies were down by 3 runs and while it was possible, the odds of pulling off a win were slim.

Perhaps most exciting was watching Colorado native, Marco Gonzales, make his rookie debut on the pitcher’s mound, strike out Tulowitzki in three pitches, AND hit a line-drive double on an 0-2 count in the third inning! I love this article about him. :)

It was an afternoon game, and I had the day off so why not! I felt a little guilty sitting there for 3+ hours enjoying the game and not multi-tasking or getting anything done that needs to be done in my house. I shouldn’t, though! I finally got to experience something that’s considered to be one of America’s favorite pastimes live, and it was the perfect game. :D I had a great time, and I have no regrets!

The Desire to be Wealthy | Is it worth it?

The Bible is said to be the inspired word of God. Whether you believe that or not, it’s certainly full of common sense and goodness. Many of us know the following verse to be true:

Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
~Proverbs 23:4-5 (NKJV)

money flying awayWho has not known this to be true? How many of you out there have worked hard to build up a savings only to have something unexpected happen to wipe out a huge chunk (if not all) of that savings? How many of you find yourselves so close to the top of a hole only to slide back down and have to begin your ascent all over again? Viscous cycle, huh?

You can’t take it with you. Don’t be afraid to enjoy it while you can. Don’t go nuts and blow it all in one place or at one time, but you should use some of your hard-earned money to do things that bring you joy and happiness. For some, that may mean world travel. For others, that may mean going to the movies or to a baseball game or even simply buying a new outfit.

Sometimes this gets tricky if others are aware that you may be in a tight financial situation. They are confused when they’ve been told you can’t afford one thing yet you’ve spent money on something else. They may not realize that you set a goal and saved specifically for that thing you spent money on long before they presented their idea or situation to you. In an incident like this, it’s hard not to feel guilty about seeing your goal through and making that purchase instead of dipping into those funds and setting your goal back even further.

I realize the preceding paragraph may be a bit cryptic and hard to follow, but I hope it made sense. We found ourselves in such a predicament this year, but I’d rather not be specific about that right now. ;)

I’m not encouraging anyone to spend every last dime they earn. I’m just expressing the importance of spending a few of those dimes on yourself no matter how tight the budget may be.