Saturday, September 17, 2016

Leaving the "Me" Out of Facebook.


Photo Courtesy of Myers Creative Photography

It's a BEAUTIFUL day here in New England. We woke up to chilly weather in the 40's and 50's (love it!) and the high today is supposed to be 70 degrees, with lots of sunshine. Of course today is the day that my body has hit the wall, especially my already messed up ankle. I can't complain really; I have definitely been active and enjoying my share of nice weather lately. But the second I got up and tried to put weight on my ankle this morning, I knew I was in trouble and would have to stay off it as much as possible today.

Luckily, we have a recently redone, large deck in our backyard. I improvised one of the Adirondack chairs to accommodate the back problems I have been having and I have to say, it is so peaceful and beautiful out here, I don't even mind anymore that I am restricted on my activities this weekend.

My husband and I have been on the go a lot lately since we got back from vacation on August 26th. Some of it has been fun stuff we've had planned for a while and then of course, there is work for my husband, some volunteer work for me. While my Sjögren's symptoms have been relatively quiet, I have a couple of somewhat significant medical issues going on that I have been trying to push to the background of my life until my specialist appointments, which start this week. I am more than a bit concerned about two of these issues, but it would appear that I have finally gotten a good handle on my health-related anxiety and while the issues remind me every day they are present, I have been able to carry on with my day-to-day life without that sense of impending doom.

In addition, we received some upsetting news within our family about a week after we returned from Ireland. You know, the kind of news that you never see coming until it is actually here. Possibly life changing news, but it is still unfolding, so we deal with it as each day comes. Because it is not my news to share, I will leave it at that, but I would appreciate it if you keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

Because of all this, I have been looking for some encouragement online, mostly through social media outlets like Facebook. I follow a LOT of  Facebook groups whose mission it is to inspire optimism and all things good and encouraging, which is very necessary for me because lately, there is so much negativity on Facebook regarding politics, athletes protesting during the national anthem, racism, etc. My brain can only process so much of that stuff and it seems like since we got back from Ireland, my tolerance for the negativity, arguing, and bullshit on social media has dropped significantly. I do think these issues are important, VERY important actually, but I just don't see much good coming from all these posts, even the ones that I put out there in the world. I guess I am more of a believer in action rather than reaction and to me, action is best done out in the real world, rather than on social media.

However, over the past few days, as I have been looking for some inspiration and encouragement, it dawned on me that I am finding the most inspiration from many of my Facebook friends and some of the updates they have been posting. You guys, I am surrounded by some very strong people-some I have known my whole life, some of whom are newer in my life, and some I only know through the online world. There are all these little, and sometimes big, acts of heroism going on each and every day.

Then I got to thinking, what if I changed the way I use my personal Facebook page for a while? Personal meaning my own private account, and not my blog one. What if instead of taking about myself and MY life, I talk about all these amazing, strong people that exist around me and talk about some of the awesome things they do in THEIR lives...the things that they do and write that inspire me?

So that is what I have decided to do. I have decided that for a while, instead of talking about myself, I am going to focus on other people. The only exception will be the two photo albums I have left of Ireland to post.

Each day, my status update will be about somebody who inspires, motivates, or touches my life in some way. I won't be able to do this for everybody that positively affects my life because not all of them are on Facebook and just as importantly, some of them are very private with their personal lives and don't want to be discussed on Facebook. So, I will try to honor and respect that. I plan on only sharing details that people themselves share on Facebook. And sometimes, I probably won't share any details at all. I also have intentionally decided not to do this on my Thoughts and Ramblings blog page because that page is public, whereas my personal one is more private.

I am curious to see how this little experiment goes and if it changes anything for me personally. If it does, I will report back to you. Because let's face it,social media can definitely become an "all about me" kind of place for all of us. It's important to take care of ourselves,work on becoming a better person, and all of that stuff, but what would happen if we all spent some more time on other people? It could just make the world a better, more loving, place.

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