Lent Day Two: Why Facebook?

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I have been asked why someone who is working on establishing themselves as a professional author would take themselves off of social media, when the best way to advertise and gain readership is to maintain a social media page.  First of all, I am quite reclusive, and the only social interaction I will get often for days will be off of social media.  Even though I am socially awkward as a result of having Aspergers/ADD/whatever social dysfunction is the diagnosis di jour.  I still crave social interaction, so removing myself puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to seek out social interaction with out the crutch of having a phone.

However, I sight happiness as my number one reason for going off the social media grid.  I am loads happier being disconnected from what’s going on in my social media world.  Sure, I miss positive news– friends finishing races and getting PRs, announcements about babies, birthdays, and other fun stuff, but I also miss a lot of the negativity.  For example in my feed, there has been a lot of discussions on the vaccination debate.  I will not go into detail on my opinion of vaccinations, but I get very tired of the constant negativity strewn by both sides of the debate.  There have been studies linking internet use and depression.

I have been off of social media for two days, and the biggest difference I have noticed is time!  The sheer amount of time I have spent checking statuses, updating my status, taking pictures, and posting comments is unfathomable.  Since stopping all social media interaction, I have so much free time.  There have been times during particularly busy days that I sit and wonder now what do I do with myself.  I even have gone so far as to go to Facebook, and then I realize that my husband, who is at work at the time has my new password, and the only way to get it would be to call him while, and it seems silly to call for something as silly as a password, so that I can feed an addiction.

Fortunately, today was not nearly as bad as yesterday as far as my desire to go on the Internet.  I was up at 5:00 AM and ran 5 miles, then sent my kids off to school.  I went to my physical therapy appointment, where I endured torture from a sadist (if you want to do the whole “50 Shades” thing without demeaning yourself sexually, just go tell a physical therapist that you are a marathon runner and would like to get back into training shape after an injury).  Grocery shopped, had lunch, and surface cleaned my home for the babysitter.  Then taught art, picked up the kids, went to speech, violin, and then a work function for my husband.  Hardly time to miss Facebook..

Unfortunately, I didn’t accomplish all my daily Lenten tasks (namely, one thing daily I enjoy for myself and finish a home improvement project).  Better luck next time.  (The picture was taken a few days ago at Turkey Creek Park).

Lent Day 1: Ash Wednesday…

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I didn’t actually get out today to take photographs.  It’s Ash Wednesday and per the tradition I am fasting.  According to our Pastor, you can have a light meal in the morning, a small meal at lunch, and then a normal meatless dinner.  I have done a 24-hour cleanse starting last night, and tonight I had intended on going to a dinner with my husband, but life had different plans.  I feel rather mopey regarding the whole ordeal.  Basically, my husband has work functions that go well into the night all night, and because I can’t find a babysitter, I’m stuck at home with the kids.  I’m little angry about the situation.  Not that my husband has work functions, or the work functions are kid-free.  I’m more angry that I can’t be like other parents.  If I had a typical child I would not hesitate in going to the function tonight, and let the kids stay home by themselves for a few hours.  I would feel comfortable calling back to the house to make sure everything was going alright, and maybe my kids would be over at other kids’ houses playing with friends. But my situation is hardly normal.

I know that many autism self-advocates will yell and scream about me “hating” my children, but this is a little known fact of my life.  I don’t get date nights.  I don’t get to go out and get my nails done when my kids are at home.  The reality is that I have a child who is 11-years-old, and functions at around a 3-year-old. It is difficult finding people to watch the kids for the sheer number of things that are planned.  Life would be so much easier without autism, but it would be so much less enjoyable.

Anyway, I am amazed at the amount of time I have when I am not checking my Facebook status.  I got home from church and dropping the kids off at school, and then thought to myself, “now what?!”  I watched part of “Silver Lining Play Book,” while finishing up my 15,000 steps, I wrote in my blog, and I started a new home improvement project.  Namely, I am finishing our kitchen remodel.

Lenten Observation 2015

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I am not overly religious.  I am a practicing Catholic, so I normally try to give up something for Lent. When I was little I gave up things like chocolate, candy, or I promised to clean my room.  Those sacrifices normally lasted a few weeks at most.  And each year, I ended up not being very successful at keeping those sacrifices.  Since I started Isagenix, I have been really careful about my diet, though I plan on cleaning it up a LOT.  Here are 10 things I intend on doing in observance of Lent:

10.  I will be closing down my Facebook pages, both my professional and personal Facebook pages.

9.  I will be blogging every day that I am no longer on Facebook.  I find that I’m a much better runner when I run a lot, and the same goes for writing.  Practice makes me a more focused writer.

8.  I plan on continuing my walk/run streak.  The last three weeks, I have been walking/running steps, and I plan on continuing this trend.

7.  With that, I plan on also tracking my calorie intake and output on My Fitness Pal.

6.  Shane is giving up alcohol, and it is so much easier to do so with a partner, so I will be giving up alcohol starting on Tuesday as well.

5.  I also intend on finishing one household project a week.  Lent is only 6 weeks, so I am picking 6 projects to complete before the end of the season.

4.  I also plan on finishing the novel that I started to write in November, and then attempt to send out manuscript to an agent and/or publisher.

3.  Along with blogging every day, I also intend on doing more things I enjoy, like painting and doing some photography work.

2.  I have a substantial amount of money tied up in credit card bills, so I would really like to make a significant dent in my credit cards, while increasing the amount money in personal investments.

1.  Finally, I plan on taking advantage of the more time I have while off Facebook, and spend the time with my family.

A Walk In The Woods

I got some new lenses for Christmas.  Since I was in the Air Force, photography technology has changed.  Even though I used DSLR cameras, they were a LOT bulkier, and everything was manual.  So in order to get used to some of this new technology, I go out for walks at our local park– Turkey Creek.  It’s a boardwalk positioned above a swamp area.  The area is teaming with wildlife.  It’s winter, so there’s not much there, but in the summer you can often see Manatees, Alligators, snakes, and the most amazing animals.

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Here are some of the photos I took with my Telephoto lens

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Wide Angle Lenses

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Fisheye lens

After playing with my lenses, I decided to show some of the life and texture that exists at Turkey Creek:

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I noticed that the sunlight was shining through the trees and reflecting on the water.

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The color was also amazing (please note, I did not use any color filters):

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