I started to write a post on Facebook for what I was thankful for today. Then something hit me. I could post it there. You would see it (or you wouldn’t, depending on where you ranked in Facebook’s “You should see this person’s post” algorithm). And then it would just fall off. It might pop back up next year or in 3 years as something I remember. Good Lord, if I’m still sucking on FB’s teat in 3 years, please fucking shoot me.
But here, on my blog, I’m free to stretch out, there are no ads to distract me as I type this. My best friend is sitting on the other end of the couch working on her plot to take over the literary world (and later, the literal world). There’s a little white-haired, neurotic furball curled up on the middle cushion. My belly is full, and my soul is sated.
Life is good. Actually, that’s not quite true. Life is neither good nor bad, but I am good.
Today I’m thankful for the fact that I got to see my daughter. She has grown into a wonderful young woman. And my grandfather. Who, at 95 has some amazing stories of his own. And my parents. And my brother and his family. It was a day of family. And friends who are family. A day that in years prior, I would have to still dial in and do work to ensure that our stores would be ready to open tomorrow morning (Black Friday is one of our busiest days of the year). But this year, someone on my team took that ball and ran with it and there were only a few minor bumps that needed my intervention.
Otherwise, I got to make my White Castle stuffing and my eclair cake. Both of which were received quite well. I brought home an empty stuffing dish and everyone took home some eclair cake.
I’m sitting here and thinking about my life. And they are good thoughts. They are happy thoughts. Things are falling into place. Well, things have been in place for a while, I’m just finally getting to the point where I recognize and appreciate those things for what they are. And that’s a damn fine place to be.
It might be a little early in the game to put my “these are my 2019 goals” cards on the table, but I don’t want you to be caught off guard.
I’m going to actively work to minimize my social media footprint. It’s not helping my quality of life. And the screen-addiction usually winds up making me more miserable. I am ascribing to the philosophy that the technology in our lives should not replace our interactions with other people, but they should facilitate our real-live (meat space) interactions with people.
I want to have people come over for cocktails. I want to hang out with my other author friends and talk shop, or talk shit, whatever the case may be. I want to have jam sessions with my musician friends. And I want to be in a house filled with Love and Laughter. Real. Live. Laughter. I want to cut down on the number of times I type LOL to you because you’re going to be in the same room, at the same gathering and you’re going to actually hear my goofy ass laugh. Out Loud. And with any luck, it will be infectious and you’ll laugh too.
I am thankful that I am to the point in my life where I’m ok with stepping away from my online presence. And the people in my life who care about me won’t feel hurt or abandoned, because they will realize that it’s not really about them. It’s about me. Reclaiming me.
To that end, there will be a day in the near future where I will not show up on your feed. You may do a search on the social media platform of your choice and I won’t be there. And soon I’ll just be a name that you sort of recognize, but that you can’t really remember that much about me. And that’s OK. Because if this thing goes the way I hope it will, you won’t be looking for me online. It won’t be a post from me on your Facebook feed that makes you smile, but rather a letter or postcard or invitation to a swanky gathering at the Gallifrey Annex in your real-life mailbox. Those things will bring the smiles.
I have tried this before, this ‘getting Facebook out of my life’ thing. And what invariably happens is, someone will see that I’m not on their feed…or they can’t find my page or posts and will think I’ve unfriended them. I’m then left defending my decision not to use this wonderful tool for keeping people connected (which ironically makes people feel more isolated than ever). That’s not going to happen. I’ve come to realize that when it comes to the things in my life that are for my health and well-being, there are actually very few people that I have to give any kind of explanation to.
What I’m saying is, bookmark this blog (CTRL+D for windows users, CMD+D for mac users), reach out and shoot me your snail mail address. If you want to stay in touch and are worried that I don’t have a way to reach you or you reach me, then fix the situation. I’ll do the same. But I’m done assuming the intent of others based on what they do or do not post on social media. I am done trying to read minds over the ether. If you’re upset with me, tell me. If I’m upset with you, I’ll do the same. If I haven’t told you, then chances are–we’re good. There’s a lot going on in my life and the possibility is high that I’m focused 100% on the shit in my own life and not worried about yours at all.
The beauty is, on this day of giving thanks, I’m thankful for that epiphany. I’m thankful for the realization that it’s OK for me to keep doing my thing (you just keep doing your thing man, in my best Strongbad voice).
Sure, I’m thankful for the standard stuff, too. Health. Having a roof over my head. Food in the pantry. Clothes on my back. And a job where I feel I’m appreciated and making a difference. I don’t take those lightly. I’m thankful for those things every day I wake up above ground.
I’m also thankful for the hard times in my life that got me to this point. Two divorces. Open-heart surgery when I was 25. Not knowing if my premie daughter would make it past the first 48 hours of her life. These, as much as the good things and people in my life, make up the person you see before you. And you will see me, because we’re gonna hang out soon. For reals.
On that note, I need to get off this thing and get ready for bed. I have to be at work at 6AM tomorrow to make sure all 25 of my stores are ready for Black Friday.
I hope you have a wonderful day. And I hope whatever you face today you remember that you can kick ass and prevail.
Alright, I’ll talk to you soon my friends.