Sunday, August 18, 2013

Facebook-A Love/Hate Relationship

Facebook-A Love/Hate Relationship

“What’s on your mind?”

What would Facebook look like if we were real? What if we TRULY answered that question?

 I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love posting my family’s photos for friends and family to view. I can easily reach out to old and new friends in so many different ways. Recently, I was able to raise $10,000 for a family battling a devastating illness by posting on Facebook within a month!

I also hate Facebook. I actually despise it. I attempted to deactivate my account but I was back on it like a drug within days!

 Facebook is a half truth of a person’s life. It is partial look into what we are really thinking and doing. I worry about our children and the affect Facebook will have on their lives. It is a fa├žade. For the most part, you scroll through Facebook and what do you see? I’d say 95% (if not more) is rainbows and sunshine with a sprinkle of truth.

A friend of mine recently committed suicide. She did it in the most tragic way. She was so vibrant and charismatic and a truly, truly wonderful friend. I miss her and think of her often.  

She was a big Facebooker. A few weeks before her death, she stopped using Facebook. WHY?

Could it be as she scrolled down her newsfeed she was bombarded by photos and updates of people’s “perfect” life?  As I scroll down my own page I see cute little sayings, a few inspirational videos, updates on dinner outings, beach days, date nights, hiking adventures, vacation photos with a few more dramatic posts  like  “pray for our family as my husband goes off to fight another fire” etc.

Smiley, smiley, happy, happy!

In her despair, maybe she couldn’t take it anymore. In her right mind, she would know Facebook is just a snapshot into people’s lives.  Unfortunately, when life became I hard I believe Facebook helped push her over the edge.

I imagine in her sorrow she felt very alone. I don’t blame Facebook for her suicide but it didn’t help her either. I wish she had just known that on the other side of my beautiful family photos and charming girls’ night out pictures, there was a person who could relate to her struggle of depression.  I can’t relate to the thoughts of suicide but I know there was someone on Facebook who could.

What would Facebook look like if we were real? “What’s on your mind” What if we TRULY answered that question?

Friday, August 9, 2013



                                                      THE LAST LECTURE

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a reminder that time is a gift. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Randy Pausch used his last days wisely. While his goal was to leave behind a piece of himself for his children and wife during his video taped Last Lecture, he set into motion his digital legacy which turned into a YouTube phenomenon and best selling novel. His lecture and book have touched many lives. He touches my life to this day. It is a book that I keep often on my night stand when I need inspiration or when I'm quite frankly, feeling sorry for myself.

The topic of his book is "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". Have I?  Have you achieved your childhood dreams? While Randy was taken far too soon, he led a very fulfilling life. He achieved his childhood dreams and then some!

I talk a lot about taking care of yourself, as I truly believe this sends a positive and strong message to your children. Wouldn't you want them to do the same?

My childhood dreams:

1.) Be a movie star. Specifically, in a drama where I could cry. To this day, I can fake cry on cue!
2.) Work in musical theater. It didn't matter whether I was on stage or sweeping the key to happiness was being a part of something bigger than myself.
"There are no small parts, only small actors".
3.) Join the Peace Corps. I wanted to make a difference in the world.
4. ) Join the Air Force. I really, really, really wanted to be Private Benjamin. I actually STILL want to be Private Benjamin. But dammit, I'm too old!
5.) Live in a neighborhood with lots of kids.
6.) Meet Super Man. The real super man because he is real!
7.) Make out with one of the New Kids on the Block.
8.) Marry that middle school crush of mine:)

Did I achieve any of my dreams? It depends on whether you are on optimist or a pessimist. I'm an optimist so here it goes.....

1.) I never did make it in a film but by chance my children did (they are identical twins). They had small parts but the thrill of being on set was a dream come true. Thank you to Mike White the nicest guy you'll ever meet (Freaks and Geeks) and Paloma Jackson!

2.) I don't have a career in theater but I make it a point to support all my theater friends in every  show they appear, direct, produce, write or choreograph.

3.) I never joined the Peace Corps. I did become a foster parent for a short period of time. It is a sacrifice and hopefully someday I can make a difference in another way if given the opportunity!

4.) I did join AFROTC in college. The problem back then I was too shy. I still wish I had continued. Hopefully, others can learn from an introvert...just push yourself through. It will get easier.

5.) I happily can say I live in the most amazing neighborhood with lots of families with children. I think I was going for the neighborhood in the famous movie E.T. Well.....I've got it.

6.) I have yet to meet Super Man.

7.) I never had the privilege to meet or kiss a New Kid on the Block. I'm sure my husband would give me a pass. I think, he'd encourage anything if it was Mark Wahlberg as we're both HUGE fans.

8.) My middle school crush? I don't think he even knew I existed.

With all this said, my question is there an age where we are too old  to continue to pursue our childhood dreams? Can we still strive to reinvent ourselves at ...40? or even 50? Or is it too late?

I have some adult dreams I'd like to fulfill (PG of course).

Do you?

What are they?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Careful the Things You Say! Your Digital Legacy

Please play the beautiful Bernadette Peters while you read!
Express myself creatively. Share it on facebook and Twitter.

My dilemma?
I'm an INTROVERT.  As a child and teenager I was painfully shy but.... I could perform in front of a packed theater.  I expressed myself through singing and musical theater.

As an adult I've strayed very far from that lifestyle. Now, as an adult the venues to express myself are endless and the need for this outlet more intense. (The responsibility of raising three boys to the best of your ability will do that to you.)

My dilemma...well.... I'm an introvert AND everything I write will my digital legacy FOREVER!
The pressure!!!!! Yet, the need to create outweighs the fear.

It is my legacy. Everything I post or comment about  my legacy is for for family.
Many years ago before Facebook, Twitter, Reality shows... Stephen Sondheim said it best:

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.

Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.

Careful before you say,
"Listen to me."
Children will listen

Words and music that have more meaning today than ever!

Yes. Children will listen. We as a society need to take better care of how we present ourselves to the world. So, be careful the things you post, the things you like...100 years from now your great-grandchildren may be searching for what their legacy is. My question is: Will they like what they see?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Boys to Men

Self Sacrifice! It is the plight of a mother. Good mothers give and give until they can give no more. Right? I was raised believing this. One of my favorite books growing up was The Giving Tree. It was so touching and reminded me so much of my mother. The tree that never stopped giving until she no longer had anything left for herself or the boy. Now, as a 38 year old mother of three highly energetic boys, I wonder. No doubt the tree loved the boy but did he ever learn anything from her gestures of giving and self-sacrifice? I think not. Raising healthy boys is not achieved by sacrificing your happiness to help them achieve theirs.
What is this teaching my three young boys? It is teaching them that their happiness is more important than mommy’s. This isn’t so terrible when they are young but fast forward to the teenage years. I envision three boys assuming that mom’s job is to do their dishes, do their laundry, clean their bathrooms, clean their rooms while they lounge on the couch playing video games.
No. My role is to take care of myself which will in turn make my boys better prepared for the world.  It is a fine line. A balancing act. I will teach them to become self sufficient young men by challenging them in and out of our home.  Raising healthy, self-sufficient boys means teaching them how to do their own laundry, wash the dishes, sew a button, balance a check book and change a tire. Their wives and girlfriends will thank me!
So, instead of being left with only a stump and a silly old man as in The Giving Tree my goal is that my boys will become self sufficient MEN.

Disclaimer: While raising boys into good, honest, strong, successful men is my goal , sometimes you
just don't know what the future may hold.