Monday, October 16, 2017

The Pendulum: Social Media and Me

I'm in a bit of a quandary about my usage of social media at the moment, so I'm wondering what others think about this?


Do you just post whatever interests you on social media?  Or do you 'tone it down' so your 'friends' don't become annoyed or offended?

I'm usually a firm adherer to the rule that your blog, your Facebook page etc. is YOUR chunk of cyberspace, and how you express yourself is up to you.  I'm not advocating ungodliness here, rather that if you want to post one hundred photos of your cat, or share articles about gun control, or funny memes, then it's YOUR page to do it on.  If someone doesn't like it....well....they need to suck it up.

But lately I've noticed that the trend to unfriend over the slightest thing is growing.  People being unfriended because they post too many photos of their kids, or are honest about their fight against depression, pose for too many selfies, are too political, share too much about their weight loss journey.  It's not only a difference of opinion that's causing the unfriending, but a difference of interests.  I'm sick of the way you post about motorbikes all the time, so I'm ending the online friendship.

As much as people might say unfriending is 'not personal', it IS personal.  It is a rejection in some way, and sometimes over the pettiest of reasons. So many people seem determined to only have a friends list who affirms their opinions and shares every interest.

I don't want to post deeply sordid things, but I do want to share articles and quotes that I am passionate about.  I don't want other mums to feel like they're the only ones struggling.  But I've been a victim of unfriending because people simply don't like what I post. These aren't people I don't see anymore; these people I see regularly.

I don't want to bow to people pleasing, but if the whole point of social media is to be social, should we care what others think, to an extent?

So, has someone's rejection of your online presence made you reconsider what you post?

Or do you continue to post what you want, saying it's my way or the highway?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Funny

After this week, I need a Friday Funny...


STRANGE THINGS

1.  Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks, or it will digest itself.
2.  A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.
3.  The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.
4.  During the chariot scene in Ben Hur, a small red car can be seen in the distance (and Charlton Heston's wearing a watch).
5.  Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
6.  If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death (who was the sadist who discovered this?).
7.  Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
8.  The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.
9.  Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space, because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sometimes You Just Have To Cry

Sometimes crying makes you feel better.

On Friday, I ended up in the emergency department in Albany hospital. The boys and I had been staying with my parents for a few days in the school holidays.  I woke up with shocking abdominal pain.  It started between my chest and my belly button, went through to my back, and then up to my chest, and I started wondering if I was having a heart attack.  The pain was second only to my labour with Flynn.  I couldn't keep still and couldn't stop crying out in agony. 

What really distressed me was not the pain...it was the reaction of my own parents.  They literally didn't care.  My dad yelled at me to stop disturbing everyone.  He told me to take Panadol, put a heat pack on and be quiet.  My mum told me I was scaring the kids (I wasn't; they were totally distracted by the TV) and that I need to learn self-control and be quiet in pain.  I yelled at her furiously, asking if she'd been quiet when she'd hurt her back nine years ago and ended up in hospital for a week.  My dad told me he'd take me to the hospital as long as it didn't make him late for work.

What the heck?!?  They are not usually this horrible and I'm still hurting from it.  I confronted them later, telling them how much their attitude hurt me, that I was in a lot of pain and couldn't just be quiet because it was inconvenient for them.  But they still don't get it.

Then today I was in tears because a friend of mine unfriended me on Facebook.  If it was someone from high school that I hadn't seen since then, and had no 'real life' relationship with, I wouldn't care.  But this friend is someone I see regularly, am on good terms with (or so I thought), can talk about all sorts of stuff with, and Rory is best friends with her son.  I asked her, via private message, why she unfriended me and said I was sorry if I'd inadvertently hurt her.  She said she didn't agree with some of the stuff I posted on Facebook, but that we could still be friends in real life.  I asked her if she could clarify what sort of things she disagreed with and she said she'd tell me in person sometime (I saw that she'd also unfriended Duncan and another mutual friend).  Then, she messaged me this evening, explaining that she finds it too overwhelming reading about friends suffering (like when I posted about my abdominal pain).  I'm glad we have sorted it out, but the whole afternoon has left me somewhat drained and emotionally fragile. (I will do another post on the nature of real life/online friendships later, as it is a subject that has often fascinated and perplexed me.)

Just when I thought I'd been doing so well recently, too.

Side note: I am fine, physically.  The hospital did tests and an ultrasound, but all were clear.  It is not related to my recent surgery.  They thought it might be my gallbladder, but it doesn't seem to be.  After some heavy duty painkillers, which left me very drowsy, I was home a few hours later, and the pain has not returned since.

Related posts:
Facebook 'Friends'

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Can't Call Him 'Bubba Flynn' Anymore

Flynn turned two last Saturday, the 23rd September.  Although he's been 'toddling' for 10 months now, I guess his second birthday also officially marks toddlerhood and the 'terrible twos' (the 'terrible ones' have been bad enough).

We headed to Perth for the long weekend, but, sadly, his birthday wasn't all that happy.  He's been suffering from an ear infection (he's had a fair few) for the past couple of weeks and will be requiring grommets.  His birthday involved screaming, a visit to the doctor, and yet another lot of antibiotics.

All that aside, I can scarcely believe it was two years ago I met him and saw his red hair for the first time, and remarked, "Hello, Bubba.  Where did you come from?"

I love him so much!

Peppa Pig cake he took to daycare on the Monday before his birthday.
Or maybe it's George...not sure (Duncan said it can be a 'gender-
neutral pig').

He didn't want his photo taken.


Nope, still not keen on a photo.
We had a small party for him in Perth.  He also loves dinosaurs,
so I made this cake. I got the idea from here.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Marriage 101: When Art Becomes Life

It's been a long time since I updated this series.

Recent happenings in my local town have prompted me to write this post.  A few weeks ago, I was considering auditioning for the latest play.  As I read through the script at home, I mentioned to Duncan that the two female parts to which I would be suited both involved romantic overtures, including stroking the face of a much older man, or wearing 'suggestive' outfits.  Duncan immediately told me he would feel very uncomfortable if I were to play one of those roles, even if it is 'only acting'.  I respected his wishes and did not audition.

Now I have found out that the two people who played the leading roles in last year's pantomime went on to have an affair!  The twist is that although he is single, she is a married mother, who I'm guessing is probably about fifteen years older than him.  The result is the ending of a marriage, children in a broken home, a devastated husband, a school community in conflict.  Both parties have left town....and aren't even together.  So, was it worth it?

This was a huge wake-up call for me.  Duncan was right to have reservations, even before we heard this scandal.  I might think it's 'only acting', but I have to be careful.  After all, how many Hollywood couples got together after playing on-screen lovers?  A lot!

This isn't just about acting.  I'm guessing most people reading this aren't involved in amateur theatre, but a heck of a lot are married or in relationships.  We need to be careful about how we spend our time with people of the opposite sex who are not our spouse.  I'm not saying don't have friends of the opposite sex, but be wise.  If you're single, respect these boundaries.

It's not worth throwing away your marriage for.

Related posts:
Lesson 9 from Sarah's School of Dating
From Head to Hand: Being a Christian Writer (just as relevant to being a Christian actor)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Gossip or Fair Warning

I like to take people at face value.  One of the negative things about living in a small town is that you inevitably hear ABOUT some people before you hear FROM them.  It's hard to give some people a fair go when your ears are ringing from warnings by the town gossips.  But, nevertheless, I do try.  I would hate it some people had made their mind up about me because of something (potentially) untrue that someone else had told them. That has happened because we are Christians and some locals don't like the church, so they therefore decide not to like us.  It's also happened because of where Duncan works.  He works for a corporate farm and some locals don't like the fact that farms were bought by a big businessman in Perth (never mind that he has brought heaps of young families to the town, but....I digress).  Duncan has had to put up with a few rude comments from some old codgers.

I remember receiving a warning from two (rather gossipy) people about another woman I had got to know.  As I got to know this woman, I found out that the gossip was untrue.  But, after a while, when the only interaction I had with her was via Facebook, I saw a different side to her.  She was quite rude to me online and I ended up unfriending her on Facebook.  I realised that what the gossips were saying had some merit.

That's the hard thing about friendships.  Sometimes people are nasty and start rumours that aren't true.  But sometimes they are just wanting to warn people not to become friends with a toxic person.  To be honest, I've wanted to warn others NOT to be friends with some people because of a negative interaction I've had.  At the same time, we're all different and attracted to different qualities in our friends.  A person I think is rude, you might think is lovely and vice versa.

It's a tough one.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Pendulum: No-one is an Island

One of the key arguments for the 'Yes' side of the same-sex marriage debate in Australia is that gay people getting married doesn't hurt anyone else.  If it doesn't affect us, we just need to mind our own business.  (This article begs to differ)

That's the argument for many decisions people make every day....it's none of your business, it's not hurting you.  In a way, I agree.  Some of my decisions are mine (or mine and Duncan's) to make.  Why does it bother people if my child still has a dummy, or isn't toilet-trained by the time they think they should be?  Why does it bother someone else if we're against using the 'cry it out' method for sleep training?  Their sleep isn't being affected.

But that's not the case with all decisions.  No person is an island.  Some of our decisions DO affect others.  For example, I might decide that disciplining my children is wrong and they should be 'free spirited'.  It's all well and good to say that this parenting philosophy doesn't affect anyone....until my children go to school and their teachers have to deal with them, shoppers and diners have to deal with their unruly behaviour in public, other parents have to put up with trashed houses and disrespect during play dates.

Some of my decisions are mine to make.  God has given me freedom and, although others may have a different opinion, I will have to wear the consequences of my decision.

Other decisions have severe ramifications.

Think through your decision-making carefully.