Authenticity in social media, is that even a real thing?

Everyone talks about it but is it really going on?

I’ve always considered myself pretty authentic. I say what I mean and mean what I say…pretty much to a fault.

HOWEVER, social media puts that authenticity into question, even for those of us who think authentic will be carved in our gravestone.

Because if I really think about it….no I most definitely do not put all of me out there. I don’t put relationship issues, sicknesses, or drama out. I put my highlight reel.

It’s not in an intentional

“hey look at us all loving life and shit! Yay us! You want to be us!”

way. It’s so not.

I just find repeatedly seeing negative, fear mongering, passive aggressive and poor me statuses/posts/shares don’t do anyone any good. Sure, once in a while it may make someone feel like they aren’t alone in their struggles which is helpful, but all the time is just not helping anyone.

Am I not being authentic because I’m not showing the miserable moments in life or sharing my problems?

Can authenticity and social media co-exist? Click To Tweet
I think so. We just have to remember we’re only seeing one part of what makes up that individual. There’s more to that package on the other side of the computer.

Always.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’ve never had the answer to that question. Ever. And if I were to be 100% honest, I still don’t.

Did you have one of those School Day Treasures books growing up? I think they were from Regal. Well every school year had a spot to write what you wanted to be when you grew up.

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All my entries were “don’t know”, nurse, or veterinarian. Coincidentally, that’s what two of my best friends wanted to be.

They truly DID want to be those professions. They had some seed of it planted in their very being.

Either I never had a seed or I just didn’t water it, but I can truly say I’ve never had the strong push towards a certain career. I’ve always just started something and ended up loving it.

Except Subway. And I even loved it until they wanted me to wear a visor. Seriously…who wears a visor???!

When I was probably 5 years old, a friend and I buried a dead mouse in a Mr. Bones candy coffin. (I’m a farm kid so gross is second nature to me. 🙂 ) As an adult I did spend a few years pining over becoming an Embalmer and Funeral Director, so maybe that was my seed? If so, that seed has now been buried, I will never be an Embalmer or a Funeral Director.

So if I had to fill in the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” form today? I’d still draw a blank, knowing that I love what I do today, but there is always something bigger waiting for me behind that next corner…and then the next, and the next.

What would  you check off? Same as when you were a kid? A new graduate from high school? University?

The internet doesn’t raise good kids. You do.

I feel inundated with posts in my Facebook feed and on twitter like this…

“7 ways you suck at parenting”

“Don’t let your kid use electronics until they are 10”

“12 things your kid should know to succeed at life”

STOP IT!

First off…I realize I need to unfollow Huffington Post..they are like the CNN of the internet.

Secondly…lets stop looking to the internet…to social media in particular for approval and justification for everything we do. Please? Just stop. As parents we are all just doing what we know best for our kids. That NEVER looks the same as the next parent. Stop comparing, there are no judgments. I’m starting to think it’s these very articles that are making people think there is all this judgment? Do what you know best for your kids…and when you know better, do better. I truly can not think of a single person I know who sucks at parenting…and yet none of us do it the same.

At 4 years old, my kid watched YouTube videos on his tablet for hours at a time (YES HE HAD A TABLET AT 4 years old!) and guess what? AT 5, he spends HOURS making books about dinosaurs, maps of the world, African animals, and doctor’s instruments.

At 3 years old, my kid watched Thomas the Train videos for hours at a time. And guess what? At 5, he spends hours watching documentaries on Dinosaurs and devouring the globe to learn about every country in the world.

I didn’t wreck him. TV, electronics, not explaining something a particular way, letting your kid do one thing and not another will not wreck him/her. All you need to do is love the crap out of them and respect their individuality to do things their own way.

You are doing fine. Ignore the chatter.

 

Xolair

I’m coming up on a year since my Drug Induced Christmas Miracle…C R A Z Y! What a difference a year makes. I feel really grateful right now. Grateful for Xolair and how this year has panned out healthwise.

There is a picture I have of a games night with the girls a year ago. I look at it and feel a rush of emotion…I remember EXACTLY how I felt that night. Exactly.

I felt terrible. I wanted to cancel because my breathing was brutal and I really had zero energy to even sit upright, let alone host a whack of rowdy wine-drinking women 😉 I was so exhausted and just so done…mentally and physically done. I was glued to my inhaler that entire night and couldn’t wait for it to end so I could just wheeze openly, lay down and try to get it in check.

Since Xolair, it has been a year of discovery. I think I celebrated for a number of months because my allergies weren’t nearly as sensitive. So I ate bread (supposed to stay away from yeast), ice cream (supposed to stay away from cow’s milk), pounded back the cupcakes, and drank wine. I ate chips, dip, chocolate bars. Four months ago, I decided it was time to shut down the party.

Not only was I packing on the pounds, but my asthma was noticeable once again. To be honest, I was genuinely scared that the effects of Xolair were short lived and the party was over for me. I knew I had to stop pissing around and look after myself because if my asthma was coming back in full force I had better be in good enough shape to offset it. I started eating healthy…cut out all processed foods, refined sugar, dairy and grains. Paleo virgin in full force. It took me a couple attempts, but once I researched and understood that the very foods I had sensitivities to, where those not included in the paleo lifestyle. It made sense for me. Inflammation needed to come down. Paleo makes sense for me for a couple other reasons too, but that’s a later post 😉

The thing about all the crap being out of my diet is it’s really easy to determine what my body can’t handle. For me, that is always in the form of inflammation and trouble breathing. First discovery was that the kombucha I was sooooo loving (and brewing my own!) was making me wheezy. So…gone. Then I noticed days when I really threw back the eggs, my asthma flared up. Eggs are also a source of inflammation. I’ve cut back on them huge (only have in my baking for a snack) and already my asthma is in check again.

So yes! Xolair is a life-saver and total game changer for me…but as with everything, there is never a simple pill or easy route to health. I still need to really stay focused or I will slip back into that girl in the picture that even looking at makes me so sad.

No. frickin. way.

 

Social Media Etiquette

I’ve had this conversation with a number of people the past couple months, so it seems blog-worthy.

Support in social media.

Scenario:

You LOVE a business. You love the staff, you love the management, you love the service, you love the product.
You promote the shit out of it, twitter, facebook, off-line conversations.
You do this month, after month, after month.

That business never reciprocates. Never retweets, never likes your post, never acknowledges how much support you are showing them as often as you can. Never says the simple, yet powerful words – Thank you.

Does your brain say…

a) Who cares? They rock and I will tell the planet every chance I get. No thanks or acknowledgement needed.

b) Stop handing out the compliments. Because really, would it kill them to send out a “HEY thanks for the undying, somewhat stalkerish support” response now and again?

c) Bad mouth them. They may have the best product/service/management/staff on the planet but now I’m pissed off and unleashing some wrath.

What is your social media etiquette? Same as real life, face-to-face? Or do different rules apply?

“The secret to happiness is low expectations.” ~ Barry Schwartz

Sounds pessimistic, but is it?

Today I watched this TED Talk:  The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, where he touches on how we have a bazillion choices from choicesRSeverything from salad dressings, to clothing, to cell phones. It’s hard NOT to be frozen when faced with so many choices because either;

a) our expectations are insanely high, or

b) we are going to feel disappointment & second guess what we do end up choosing

True right? Wasn’t it easier when we didn’t have the expectation of perfection? And weren’t we WAY less stressed out? I know I was. A few months ago we were looking for health benefits and the levels of different coverage presented to us made our heads spin. Husband wants to get the BEST and I just want us to not overpay. So what did we go with? Nothing…because it was overwhelming and seemed like we’d make the wrong choice. Give us 2 options? Easy peasy and less likely we’d put it off.

“The more options there are, the easier it is to regret anything at all that is disappointing about the option that you chose.”

Just under 20 minutes…grab a coffee and watch it. He’s entertaining too.

 

2013!

What a year!

Personally I think I covered in my last blog post…and professionally? Professionally was fantastic! FANTASTIC! Thank you to everyone that supported me, encouraged me, inspired me, and hired me.  I learned a TON this first year of business from too many people to mention.

and…this is turning into a lame awards show speech, so I’ll leave it at that.

My goal for 2013?

To be better. Just better. In absolutely everything.

 

What’s on your plate for 2013?

My Christmas Drug-Induced Miracle

I’m writing this for anyone else who has asthma and thinks maybe they have to settle for strained breathing every single day. And how it can gradually take over a big chunk of your life.

I got asthma when I was 16…always coughing, drinking cough medicine like a mad woman because we thought it was a cold that wouldn’t go away. And snorting Dristan like some sort of junkie.

Until I had my kid it was always VERY manageable. I’d go to ER maybe once a year, but the rest of the time no problems, meds always worked, it never affected my life whatsoever.

The past 2+ years have sucked healthwise. I’ve been tested for everything under the sun. I switched doctors, cried, and got seriously pissy with them, because NOTHING they were doing was helping. Beyond frustrating. $350 to get the air tested in our house. Nope. Every type of inhaler. Nope. Yoga. Nope. Oils. Nope. Allergy tests. Nope. Biopsies. Nope. Natural medicines. Nope. Work out like crazy, build your lung capacity. Nope. Eat 14 cupcakes a day. Nope. (ok…I made that one up…but it didn’t work either)

About 8 months ago, my Lung Specialist (who I have a mad crush on now) suggested Xolair. An injection at a mere $25,000/year.

Um…no. We’re self employed with no benefits. So just no.

Last month I went to see him and was worse again. My husband said enough. Do the shots, if after a few months nothing, we quit, but at least you’ll know.

So…..Monday last week I went for my Xolair application appointment. Cindy was awesome. AWESOME.

NEVER in my 23 years of asthma doctors has anyone REALLY REALLY explained the disease to me. Because it is that, it IS a disease.

With asthma, you look fine, no visible ailments but you can really feel like hell. It can make you stop participating in certain things because you are worried you’ll have to quit because you can’t breathe and you feel like a puss because of it. I’ve kind of always considered it a minor thing that I needed an inhaler for, and I always kind of felt it was my fault it was getting worse. Cindy was very direct with me. You have a disease. Stress didn’t do this, stress can’t create these numbers, it’s a disease and we need to aggressively treat it because it is getting worse.

Ya…I cried. Like any unstable mother would do, filled out the Blue Cross applications, and cried.

And Cindy…awesome, caring, smart Cindy said “You know what? I’m going to give you a compassion shot right now, no charge”.

And then I cried more because, well that’s a $650 please stop crying moment worthy of some tears of gratitude 🙂

She told me not to expect overnight success like I know some have had.

First 2 nights I had my attacks early evening…usually they are late at night which is why I never get to sleep until morning, after I’m pooped from fighting to get my breathing in check. And…I slept! I slept hard…lol…I felt like I haven’t slept in 2 years, which I kind of haven’t had a deep, uninterrupted sleep in that long. And I’ve slept every night since. AND I’m 5 days with no asthma symptoms. FIVE DAYS! I haven’t had a stretch like that in a looong time 😀

Freakin miracle…I can’t even tell you.

If your health is going to shit, it really is up to you to keep at it, search out specialists, research, research, research, try everything. Eventually something has to click. And don’t quit until it does. Keep asking questions. It’s up to you to get better.

I was told this drug can change your life. The first week has me feeling rested, relieved, and I could not be more grateful.

Just don’t get it

Kinda heavy subject on my mind. Suicide. I don’t get it. I know you aren’t supposed to judge, but I can’t help but be pissed off at all the pain it causes to the people left to clean up the pieces. The body. The funeral. The house. The bills. The telling of what happened to people who loved them so much it strikes them to the ground. And now…this new memory. Horrific, sad, memory.

So much pain. Read more