Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maude VS The Conscious Uncoupling

I've been in an unhealthy relationship for the past two years.  At first when we got together things were great, at least they seemed that way.  Just like any relationship, at first it was all new and exciting, and almost sinful when we'd be together.  I really knew how to push his buttons, if you know what I mean.

But before long things just started to feel a little dirty, I mean I was taking him into the bathroom for crying out loud.  And what started out as just a fun little escape turned into an addiction almost for me.  Turns out I was in a bit of a co-dependent situation, me needing him, him using me to "recharge his batteries" so to speak.

It took me a really long time to figure it out. But when I finally did it hit me over the head like an old Motorola cell phone.  So I did what any semi-irrational female in a co-dependent relationship would do:  I decided it was time to break up.

Yes, that's right.  I have consciously uncoupled myself from my iPhone.  And, like any co-dependent relationship it's been hard.  My phone and I share a lot together: my calendar, my training tracking app, email, and the weather to name a few things.  Not to mention he makes sweet music in my ears!

I had to do the whole "it's not you it's me" speech, which is hard because the whole time you know he's thinking "bullshit, you don't love me anymore and you just can't say it" but this time, THIS TIME, it really is ME that needs a break.

Right now we're in the whole "friends with benefits" stage, so I don't take him everywhere with me, I don't use him to make phone calls or anything, but if I need him he's there, just like a good, old reliable booty call.

Imagine my surprise at the ATT store when I learned that my iPhone would become the equivalent of an iTouch, AND I'm saving $20 a month in data billing?!  Who knew!?  Best conscious uncoupling EVER!!!

So far this whole new stage in our relationship is working out just fine. I still rely on him for the things I really need (that calendar is a lifesaver) and I'm not using him for my own entertainment anymore.

I do think he's having a hard time with it, as I was leaving ATT the clerk holding the door said "See you in two weeks!", but I think HE put her up to it.  No, now that we're not together all the time, I feel a freedom I haven't felt in two years!  And now I'm free to focus on the other loves in my life: my husband and two children.

I know my iPhone is sad, lonely, and feeling left out, but I know once my kids figure out they can play games on him at home, he'll find his true purpose: buying me ten minutes to clean the toilets uninterrupted.  It's the little things in life, you know?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Detox Over

My Facebook Detox is over.  It’s been over for several days, I just haven’t jumped back on until I felt I was ready.  I needed to do a few things first, one of which is to get rid of my “smart” phone. 

I’ll be going old school with talk & text only.  Not having my calendar is probably going to cause some trouble, but extricating myself from unnecessary apps and distractions is far more important than the convenience of my calendar.

I think it’s been almost two years since I got a smart phone, so it’s fitting that I’m breaking up with it right about now.  Save for my husband, none of my relationships ever lasted that long anyways and always for good reason.  This time, it’s because life was passing me by and I didn’t even realize it.

While on my Facebook break I found myself engaging in conversation with my children WAY more and hadn’t even realized how much I was missing out with them.  Really, it was startling and also very sad.

While on my Facebook break I also discovered that I didn’t really miss it (I almost hate to even admit this but it’s very true).  I DID miss connecting with people and keeping up with everyone, but I didn’t miss that I felt an OBLIGATION to be engaged.

I just noticed a lot of things I didn’t notice before.  I noticed I had a LOT more time, which I thought I would spend writing ironically enough, but instead I spent it doing things I wanted/needed to do: FOCUS ON MY FAMILY.  That’s just basically about all I can say.  FOCUS.  On. What. Matters.

And I do need to be clear with everyone because it seems to me that some people think I’m saying Facebook is bad/evil and I NEVER said that!  I only said that Facebook was bad for ME and ME ONLY.  Let me say that ONE MORE TIME to be clear: FACEBOOK was BAD for ME.  It’s up to YOU to decide if it’s bad for you, too.  

I am hopeful that my (5 weeks? I think!) break was enough time to detox, refocus and re-engage.  But, I told myself I would go back to Facebook ONLY when I set up rules for myself, so here they are: 

1.   I will only check Facebook IF I have the time and NOT when the children are around.  They deserve my attention, as does my husband.  Although when he’s watching episodes of Breaking Bad I probably will be cruising the ‘Book.  Something about that show just turns my stomach.
2.       I will not check on days where I think I might have feelings of inadequacy because of other’s posts.  Granted, that’s probably almost every day, but case in point: last year on Mother’s Day of all days I thought about all my shortcomings as a mother because of all the wonderful insta-gram-e posts from everyone else and felt like I didn’t measure up.  If I need to shut down for 24 hours, so be it.
3.       I will not feel guilt if I don’t have time to check Facebook and comment/like other’s posts.  Honestly, for me this went from being a fun way to check in and see what everyone was up to, to feeling like it was one more thing I had to do and was almost frantic because I couldn’t see/comment/like everyone’s updates and I didn’t want them to think I was mad at them and I wanted them to like my updates and if they didn’t like them was it because I didn’t like their updates and were they mad at me and OMG.
4.       I will not feel jealous.  I will remind myself that we all (me included) post the best of the best on Facebook.  We post our best photos, status updates and life’s experiences.  And that’s OK.  Life isn’t always rosy perfect and that’s OK too.  It should be acceptable for all of us to show our best to the world and we shouldn’t feel bad about it.  And we should feel like it’s OK to celebrate things with others, after all Facebook is how we stay connected with friends & family near and far.  Let’s face it, even living in the same town with our friends doesn’t mean we get to see them in person often enough.  We’re all moving at the speed of light and sometimes the only way we can connect is in our new digital world.

That’s pretty much it, for me anyways.  If I break any of these rules I’ll put myself in a time out again.  I don’t know if I’ll do a 30 day detox again, but who knows.  All I know is that this break was VERY good for me and I’m looking forward to connecting with everyone again.  Peace out.