Thursday, May 27, 2010

140 No More

I don't like change. I like routine. I like normalcy. I like to do things the same way I've always done them. If you throw a monkey wrench in my plans I wig out. I do the quinessential cartoon run around in circles, waving my hands in the air, screaming my lungs out. On the outside I appear flexible and I will more than likely just go with the flow, but my guts are churning and my head is pounding and my heart is beating fast and I am fighting the urge to vomit. But only those closest to me see that ugliness. Everyone else sees me just smiling and saying, "Hey, great! Sounds good to me. You know me, I'm flexible."

But a change has been brewing for awhile now. And I've been sleeping and hiding and avoiding like a mad woman.

For the past few weeks I have been in a nearly constant state of unrest. Sure, the end-of-school activities were crazy and we're leaving on vacation next week, but that hasn't been the cause. I have been borderline mopey even, quick to tears and the main way I know something is wrong way down deep is when all I want to do it sleep. Sleep is escape from the things plaguing me. Some folks get insomnia when they have something on their mind, but me, I just want to sleep until the problem is gone. The problem with that, though, is that it's really hard to solve a problem while you're asleep. 

I have been blogging just almost six years here at Redneck Diva. I have been writing for since January. Last month we launched The Real Housewives of Oklahoma. I have a Facebook page, a Facebook fan page for Redneck Diva and I tweet more than that nest of birds in the oak tree out front. And I'm not doing justice to any of them.

My last article for WelchOK was about my intense love affair with my electronics. I realized the other day that I literally carry my cell phone with me from room to room because I'm afraid I'll miss something if I leave it unattended. I have permanent heat scars on my thighs from the laptop. (Okay, I really don't have scars, but I possibly could in the near future.) My thumbs ache. (Okay, they really don't, but when I'm an old lady I bet that's where the arthritis shows up first.) My husband has told me on more than one occasion he wishes he'd never bought me in iPod and that I'd never bought a laptop. I've been telling myself that at least with a laptop I'm in the living room with the family, rather than out in my office on the desktop, but if you're in the room physically and not there in spirit you're not really there and that's kind of insulting to my family. Recently I find myself giving my kids absent nods as they talk because I'm mid-text, tweet or status update. I should be ashamed of myself. And I am.

I love writing. It is truly a part of who I am. When I write and it all comes out the way I want it to, it is euphoric. It's cathartic. It's liberating, exhilating and I'm proud of my talent. When I write and it doesn't come out the way I want it to, it's a challenge, it's something to tackle, re-work, ponder over and fix until it does come out right. I cannot fathom not writing. God has given me a talent. I hope I don't sound conceited when I say that, but I know I have something here. If a person who has a beautiful singing voice sings in public they're not conceited, they're using their talent. They're not flaunting it, they're utilizing what God gave them. Right now, pretty much all I'm doing with my talent is putting out little 140-character quips. It's all appetizer and no meat and very unsatisfying.

What I'm doing with all of my many endeavors right now is like having a balloon that is fully is blown up with air. It's huge with potential energy. If you let out a little at a time, especially if you pull the opening taut and make it squeak, the results are okay, moderately amusing (sometimes annoying) and eventually the balloon is empty. But if you just let that balloon go and it flies around the room all crazy, bumping into things, making you jump and dodge and giggle, it's more fun. And much more gratifying.

That being said, I have decided to back off the Facebook and Twitter. I'm keeping Facebook because I have a 20 year class reunion coming up next year and that's how I intend to get in contact with the majority of classmates. I am, however, disabling mobile alerts. I will keep the Twitter account for awhile, but it will probably be deleted in the very near future. I'm nervous about this because it's a habit, and a fun one at that. I literally had a moment of panic this morning as I thought, "But how will I know what everyone's doing when they are doing it??" Then I remembered, I don't have to know what everyone is doing all the time. There was a time in my life when I didn't know who had PMS, who was shopping for a swimsuit, who just saw a celebrity in a coffee shop and who is the mayor of what location on 4square. Strangely enough, I survived and was happy living my own life. Now I am obsessively trying to keep up with the shenanigans of the 333 people I follow on Twitter (most of whom are total strangers), the 100 fans of Redneck Diva and 371 friends on Facebook (some of whom I haven't spoken to since 6th grade). It's exhausting. My phone chirps constantly. I'm sure my phone is tired. I'm tired.

I'm using all my potential energy in little blasts all the time and when it comes time to produce something I'm already deflated. I feel like writing these days is homework and who likes that? What I'm producing these days is comparable to essays like "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" and "The Person I Most Admire" assignments from 8th grade English. I miss making you laugh. I miss your comments. I miss feeling proud of what I'm putting out here. I miss using inspiration to create something good.

I love my little blog here and I love all the people who made it what it is. I love writing for WelchOK because it's fun and different and makes me feel all grown up and important and stuff, like the syndicated columnist I someday hope to be. I am thoroughly enjoying the adventure that is the Housewives site and can't wait to see where it takes us and what we can accomlish though it. I have no intention of not doing what I'm doing here and those places (unless the housewives kick me out for being a heinous procrastinator), but above and beyond being a blogger and a writer I am a wife and a mother and a person who needs to reconnect with the four most important people in my life - the ones who live in my house.

And I'm going to do it in more than 140 characters at a time.


Dawn said...

If there is one person out there (who does all those things) that doesn't feel this way, they'd be lying.

As you know, I'm not addicted to Twitter. I could take it or leave it. I just could never find the time to update that regularly. I get on, at best, three times a week. ha!

I'm on FB more than I should be. I've spent WAY more time blogging since The RHOK started. I've been out there reading and commenting on blogs like a crazy person in hopes to build up my blog again and The RHOK blog. All that takes so much time.

I have seriously started getting carpal tunnel. That was a big sign I needed to back off a little.

It's quite convicting when you think about how much of life passes us by when we have our heads stuck in our phones or laptops.

This post is inspiring. I'm proud of you for following what you know in your heart to be right. It's hard to remove oneself and think of being left out.

Enjoy the time you'll now have creating new memories with your family. =)

As long as your still writing here and on The RHOK it's all good.

Megan said...

I will miss you dreadfully...but I understand and respect your decision.

I too began to have a problem when I got my first smart phone. And then I turned off the alerts and things have been much better. I check it when I can check it.

Good for you for overcoming your fears and breaking away from the 140 character addiction.



Okie Rednecks said...

Matt has told me that my phone going off constantly irritates him so I am trying to start backing off of it with the twitter and the facebook. Facebook will probably be first to go and then start thinning out my twitter. How knows, I may take the time to delete them also some day. I know that we will keep in touch no matter what and that you will keep me laughing on here. You are amazing at what you do and you are the reason that I even started my blog. Thank you! :)

MamaKBear said...

Oh, man! I will HATE it if you leave FB!! That's the main place I know what's going on with you, my fellow asthmatic's Mom! I first met you through your blog, of course, but FB is what I do now. I'll miss you! :(

MamaKBear (Destiny and Meghan's Mom)
Much love!

Just Me said...

I will miss you but I understand. I will need to get connected another way. I'm hoping to meet you IRL soon!

Jennifer said...

WOW! Talk about hitting me right where I live.

Just how did you know that I have been struggling with my addiction lately? That I have been hearing God talking about my Twitter,Facebook, Blog, email issues?

Kristen thank you for sharing and putting into words just what so many of us are feeling.

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for a while and I just want to you to know that I'm proud of you for recognizing what needs to take place in your life. I recently did this with a job situation and it has made a ton of difference.

The 4-Crows Blog said...

Kristen, I am just now getting around to reading this! Thank you. I feel sometimes like I am on the computer all the time also. And I know my family does. I don't have my phone set to chirp. I guess one advantage to having a private blog is that no one expects me to write too much because no one ever really goes to it. It is still kind of my own little diary of sorts! Social Media really does SUCK it out of you and your time away from your family and your day. Thanks for sharing!

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