Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Deep Breath. It's 2009.

My blogging has slowed to a crawl. Facebook addiction took over my nighttime hours, and I just lost track of the writer in me for a fairly long time. I'd consider these pages, and wonder what I could possibly add to the daily online dialogue. I kept coming up blank. Little twittery status updates took over. Has my life merely become a series of daily headlines, instead of the prose I once experienced?

Perhaps Yes.

We met with some lifetime friends over New Year's week--there was all sorts of child-centric chatter, and then I realized, I have lost my purposeful parenting plan! In the middle of scooping another handful of nuts into my mouth and trying not to choke over a joke, it hit me! I rise in the morning tired, feel defeated for one or two critical moments in the day, and go to sleep too late, exhausted, and not feeling fulfilled. This is NOT good.

Where have I fallen astray? I think it is with unmet hopes. Many of these are private, but they do loom alongside me as I go about my business. I fold another load of laundry I swear I just folded yesterday, and try to track down all 12 of our Tupperware kids' cups once again, then I look in the mirror and wonder, Where did I go?

Facebook. LOL.

On one hand, I have been overwhelmingly inebriated at finding the people who have so deeply affected & shaped my existence: my first babysitter & her family; my youth group Bible Study leaders in two states; girlfriends who moved away just when we'd shared all of our secrets, boyfriends about whom those secrets were told! Since I moved away so many times in my life (the big ones being in '79, '80, '83, '87, '89, twice in '91, '00, '06), reconnecting with the people I knew in this place or that has been miraculous! Look where technology has taken us! I attended three elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and too many churches & colleges to count. In bygone years I would just consider my old friends as lost to the moves. But then, in bygone years, I would likely not have moved so frequently, nor so far away! From Michigan to Virginia back to Michigan. From there to Texas, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. On to North Carolina, back to Connecticut, and then to two opposite sides of Virginia (again)! Good grief. Three hundred "friends" later on Facebook, and those parties I had in my dreams for years are starting to come together; all of the people I've known throughout my life are dialoging on my "wall." It's insanely addicting!

How about these words by this-year's-celebrated president?
"How miserable things seem to be arranged in this world. If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them and be doubly pained by the loss." ~Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Joshua Speed, February 25, 1842

Yes! So, when you can suddenly "find" them all again...what joy!

Besides connecting me to the peopleof my past, this social networking has also connected me to the people I have been in my past. The popular one (once upon a time...). The newbie & outcast. The punk. The geek. The vocalist. The songwriter. The pageant girl. The marketer. The writer. The event planner. How do I reconcile all of these personalities into the one person I am now? With my 20th high school reunion just 8 months away, I wonder, WHO will be attending that event? Which one of ME?

People who have met me in the past two years know such a very small portion of who I am, and I don't know when it is appropriate to reveal the other angles--if ever. My new friends know me as active in my community, a converted Anglican, and a homeschooler. Um...that's about it. They don't know how actively involved in politics I once was. They don't know my past ambitions, or my current ones. They don't know me as a leader in ministry.

Don't you contemplate how others see you? I think I have projected myself as one who talks too much about things that matter too little. What does 2009 mean for me and for this blog? What does it mean for me as a mom, wife, co-ed, colleague, etc.?

These are the questions we all ask in a New Year, right? Am I too heavy? Am I too irritable? Am I too much of a tightwad, or too big of a spender? Do I have addictions I need to kick? We look in our respective mirrors and ask,

Am I authentically that Self I want to be every day?

I really only had one NYE resolution. I slipped a ring onto my right hand & made a covenant to my family to be more patient and less short-tempered. Truly, when my obituary is written some 50 years from now (God-willing!), I don't care if anyone knows about what I DID. Let people know who I AM by how I lived with my family. Ah, good ole St. Francis sum this up better than I:

"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

And, Happy Belated New Year.

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