Monday, March 20, 2017

L A T E L Y

Wow-eee. We've had quite the week around our house. The day after we got home from vacation Zuzu got croup. Then Lamp got strep. Then PSP was diagnosed with mild pneumonia. And just for good measure I woke up Sunday morning with a sore through and body aches. Not our best week, but on another level pret.ty im.press.ive right? I mean if the diverse microbiological world could all come together for the soul purpose of reigning havoc and terror down on our family, I sorta have hope that our diverse government body could come together for the greater good of the American family. A stretch? Moving on. I've been working on a Disney Cruise post recap, but in the meantime I thought I'd do a good old fashioned post about what we've been up to lately (besides the plague) and other random thoughts bouncing around my brain.
Facebook fast. I'm finally taking a little break from FB. I had this realization that I was Facebooking/entertaining my life away the other day and man I almost had a panic attack. It has been way too easy to see my time eaten away piece by piece in the name of a "break" for far too long. I haven't been doing as many proacvtive things in my life that I've been wanting to do and while I can't entirely blame Facebook, it has certainly not been contributing to life goals. I still do post some things related to my blog, and I check my notifications--as there are some people who only reach me via FB--but I haven't allowed myself to scroll down, read news stories and related links.

It goes back to the saying, "The enemy of the best, is the good." For a long time I've justified my FB time because I sought out "good things." Like watching positive uplifting videos, informative articles and FB was becoming my primary news source for trending topics and political issues that I desperately want to stay on top of. But the fact is, even if I only seek out the good, positive and informative there is still too much of it to be consumed by one person. It was just too much.


I've often thought of taking a break or cutting back, but never made an actual commitment. I thought it was something I could do gradually or if I could just "watched it" a little, somehow my quick 10 minute peek on FB wouldn't turn into an entire hour down the drain. At this point I've only committed to a week, but I know I really need to set some hard and fast rules about my time online and how I use it, before jumping back in the game. Additionally, I made a short list of things to do when I'm feeling idle/not motivated and have that desire to just chill with my computer. A work in progress but it already feels so good. Which brings me to my next tidbit...

Better Than Before By Gretchen Ruben
I've been listening to this book on audiobook (still not quite finished) and it played a HUGE role in finally getting me to commit to a FB break. The book is all about habits. How we create them, how we cultivate them and why. What I really love about this particular book is that Gretchen Ruben (author of The Happiness Project) starts with an analysis of what motivates you. There are lots of books about habits (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) but what I love about her approach is that she acknowledges that not everyone is motivated in the same way, and rather than telling you what habits you should be forming, she helps you recognize how to use your natural tendencies to form habits that will work for you. I feel like that sounds really boring, but it's actually quite compelling stuff. (And if you still don't believe me I actually got the book recommendation from listening to Alison of the Alison Show's podcast and you know she's not boring.)

The opening chapters have helped me think not only think about my habits and what drives me, but they've also been extremely eye opening as to what drives my husband--a bit of a eureka moment actually. You know, maybe he's not actually doing some of these things just to drive me crazy. Maybe he just ticks a little differently than I do. I really want him to read this book and I highly recommend it to anyone else as well.

PSP got her ears pierced!
Kind of a big milestone for us. She actually wanted to do it on her 10th birthday, but for a few reasons we had to wait. So even though she was a little sick this past weekend (the least sick of the 3 thankfully) we went and got her ears pierced. I was in 7th grade when I got my ears pierced at the mall. I know that Claire's is still in the ear piercing business, but over the years I've heard that a lot of people don't recommend going that route. Some people do it at their doctor (I'm not sure our doctor does it) and others were saying go to a reputable piercing place. Which, as it turns out, are usually tattoo parlors as well. Not a big deal, but a little different as no one in my family (or B's family) has a tattoo (that we know of). I've never even been in a tattoo parlor. Anyway, we called a place that had great reviews and I took the two oldest girls down on Saturday. Lamp really wanted to witness this moment, I love her face peeking out from above. "I know it's not even me, but I'm really scared!" She said with a devious little smile on her face... Ha!

It was a great experience! The staff did a great job and PSP really loves having her ears pierced. If you live in Cincinnati I would definitely recommend Skincraft. Some big differences from my childhood mall experience:

--He really took his time. He marked and remarked the ear, compared the two sides and asked for both me and PSP's approval before moving forward. I don't remember them being quite so careful when I was young, but maybe most places are.
--They don't use an earring gun! I didn't know this. As our piercing guy was explaining the piercing guns use the blunt end of the earring to punch through your ear, so it's actually more painful. Here, they use a needle, and stick it through really fast. As you can see below they clamp around the ear hole first, so they definitely have a steady grip on it and then stick the needle right through. For some reason I was a little nervous at first but she barely flinched and she said it barely hurt all. Less than a shot! Also, there has been very little redness or swelling.
--You don't have to twist these earrings! Another shocker for me. When I was a kid we were instructed to twist our earrings often so that the skin wouldn't heal and attach itself to the earring. At a tattoo/piercing parlour they use titanium jewelry that is made for the body (the same stuff used for screws and plates that have to go in the body) and because it's hypoallergenic and non-stick they recommend actually that you don't twist the earrings, because they won't attach, but you could let bacteria in. You don't really even touch them except to use a little mild soap and water in the shower to wash them up then rinse them off. Another thing about these earrings, is that the back is flat--it's hard to explain but you don't have a little stick thinking poking you behind your ear. I think it's definitely a more comfy option for a first time earring wearer.
--It was a little more expensive than I remember, but that was due to the titanium earring selection (I called Claire's--it's free with the cost of the earrings, so you can go really cheap or more high end) and also someone who has more experience and expertise. In the end I thought it was really worth it.
Big Decision
Lastly, we've got a big decision looming over our family right now and wow, and I feel really split. This is one of those decisions that I feel like I will regret it if we do, and I'll regret it if we don't. We've made a pro/con list, talked it out as a family, done a lot of research, prayed and still don't feel 100%. I asked this question last week on IG, and we had some really good discussion, but how do you make big life decisions? A born and raised Mormon I've always been taught to pray, fast and seek the Lord's help, in addition to studying it out in your mind and in general using your brain. I have definitely felt divine intervention in the course of my life plenty of times, but not always (or even often?) when it seems I'm prayerfully asking for help in a big decision. And while I don't always think you need it and there are plenty of ways to interpret the "no answer" answer, I know that I'm someone who has a hard time looking back and asking "what if?" Which may just be my personality. Anyway, I'd love to hear from you--religious or not--how do you make life's big decisions? A move, another baby, marriage, career, etc? Do you question past decisions or do you always just keep on trucking? Any former questioners who have discovered the magical secret of not looking back?

I'd love to hear any and all thoughts about anything discussed above. Anyone else on a FB/social media break? Anyone else forgo the mall ear piercing route and try something a little different? Did you like it better or worse? Lastly, I'd LOVE to hear how you and your family make big, life-altering decisions! 

5 comments:

  1. Good luck on your decision. Sometimes, with prayer, one of us feels a little more sure than the other & if the "unsure" one of us isn't getting a "no", then we go with what the "sure" one thinks. We did the mall for piercing, but I think your experience sounds better. We had it done for Scarlet @8 yrs, but had to redo @ 9 & that's been much better. Also, I work in a pedo dental practice now. I love it! And it made me think of y'all;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I deactivated my fb account shortly after the election in November because it was just all too much...and way too depressing. I've given up fb before for lent so it's not like I've never gone without. But what really struck me this time is how much everyone uses fb as a soapbox and it drives me insane. I'm now on 0 social media platforms and it's kind of amazing. I know I will miss looking back on the scrapbook- of-sorts as I have 3 young kids. But hey - at least I'm not thinking of how I should announce my 4th pregnancy :) And it's also been good to not see many of my friend's posts. I find that I learn things about people that I would never know if not for fb - and they are things I wish I didn't know! Ha! For me, for the moment, the cons outweigh the pros.
    Good luck with your big decision!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:05 PM

    Im afraid I dont have any real insight to the prayer discussion. While Mormon myself Ive come to the conclusion that I dont need to pray about certain things. I just know. My gut my feel. ( I used to pray over EVERYTHING and agonized and worried about what if's, and was paralyzed if I wasnt sure exactly what the answer was....Now?? I dont pray about jobs- I dont feel God cares about that. Just be engaged doing good work. Whether you live in this city or that town. Bloom where you are planted and again be engaged in good work. My spouse, I knew when we were dating he was the one. I didnt need to pray about it. Anyway I have a different take on praying now and why I pray and for what. Prayer for me is to strengthen me when there are challenges, opportunity it be thankful and offer gratitude and to ask for inspiration when I need it. ( hence not needing to pray over decisions. Im seeking inspiration for those life decisions, and as such when they come up and spend time thinking them through and doing the gut check) My hope is that should I make a decision that is wrong, the gut will help. And it has. To each their own and everyone is different. and honestly mistakes can be good. so even if I set on a course that isnt the greatest- ive learned a ton too. So....who knows??!!! Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have so many news! I am really happy to read it! Cool that notext PSP got her ears pierced, congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I stopped looking at FB last July when I was on vacation and just never really got back on (as a conscious choice). It was such a controlling habit and I wasted so much time not just scrolling but worrying about people/things I hardly knew and going down rabbit holes of all sorts of random topics. Even though I almost never posted, I spent WAY too much time mentally composing funny or poignant posts in my head, ugh. Like you, I worried I would miss important announcements or updates on people's lives. I have to say, I am SO GLAD I stopped looking at Facebook. I'm an all-or-none person and just finally making that choice meant I was no longer interested. It has been tremendously liberating. A lot of angst I didn't even realize I associated with checking on people is alleviated. I highly recommend just stopping for a week, then maybe extending that decision forever. I occasionally go on to check something, but the addictive quality is totally gone.

    Re. making big decisions, I'm eager to hear your and others' thoughts. I've struggled with similar tensions that you've described.

    ReplyDelete