Sunday, March 17, 2013

Facebook VENT, and Reflections on Running, Motherhood, and MOVING

Not sure where I'm heading with this post but I do feel the need to write some thoughts down.  It feels almost essential for me to be still with myself and my thoughts as we are scurrying around on our last day in this house before the next chapter in our lives.  There are clothes all over the floors, suitcases in mid-pack, boxes stacked up along the perimeters of our bedrooms, piles sorted into "giveaways", "throw-outs", "pack away for keeps", etc.  This is it!  We are actually moving.  This is our first house. Our home for nine years.  It is the house that we brought all three of our babies home to.  It is the place we've come back to after travels.  The place that we've built so many memories in.  It is a place I thought that perhaps I would never leave.  My husband has tried for years to convince me that we should move to someplace new.  He talked of going on an adventure and seeing another part of the world while our kids were young and while we still had a considerable amount of freedom to just get up and go.  But I just was never ready.  I liked my comforts.  I liked knowing that my kids were right by their elementary school.  I loved that we had neighbors for our kids to play with.  Our busy culdesac full of bikes and strollers
laughing kids
sidewalk chalk scribbles
cardboard houses being painted
"children at play" signs
endless summer days of imagination
trees to climb
a community of people we love

I was never ready.
Until now.
It is hard to think of moving and leaving all that we've had here in this small and loved house.  But it is time.  I think life, the universe, God, makes it pretty clear to us when something is meant to be.  And this move just kind of happened.  It came quickly.  It started with a friend traveling to Asheville, North Carolina and saying how much it reminded him of me and how he thought we'd thrive there.  Where is this place in North Carolina?  My first instincts were to just assume that it was a place that surely someone from Portland, Oregon wouldn't like so much.  But then the seed grew.  Next thing I knew, I was falling in love with the idea of this small city on the other side of the country.  A place much like Portland actually.  But also so different and new.  And a place that would give us an opportunity to see much of the east coast.  I liked the idea.  It was energizing to think of just picking up and heading out on an adventure.  And for the first time since moving here, I was READY.  Then the seed grew and grew.  Things were easy.  They just unfolded so perfectly.  My husband's work allowed for him to put in for a temporary transfer, they agreed he could live in Asheville, and one door after another continued to open until we are now a week away from flying to our new city that we will call home.

There is still so much to do but for the first time in weeks or maybe months...

I am so excited!  

Things just seem right now.  My daughter's 6th birthday party was yesterday and my husband's 34th birthday was Friday.  These were big things on my list that I needed to do "right" (for me and them) before I could focus on getting all packed up and ready to move.  I also needed the process of saying farewell to neighbors and friends.  Having parties and special times with special people has not only been a way for me to transition smoothly but it has been so important for my children.  Making sure that they are feeling closure, understanding, and peace regarding this huge move has been at the TOP of my AGENDA!  And with TREMENDOUS love and support from our neighbors, friends and family, we have some very special memories (new and old) to take with us.  My head and heart feel so ready for this next chapter!

Just a few thoughts:

I'm at full peace with where my running is at right now.  It took a day or two after Napa to snap out of any sulky or disappointed feelings.  Really, I am thankful for the process I had in training for that marathon.  It helped me stay focused during an otherwise stressful few months of getting ready for this move.  I said from the beginning that it wasn't all about the end result.  It was about the training and ENJOYING training smart and happy.  So, in light of those goals, Napa Training was a SUCCESS.  Yes, bummer about the marathon being rough but OH WELL.  Lots going on in my life.  LOTS.  A full head here.  I'm sure the days of having a clear head and normal routines in life is just around the corner. This will make for a better time to be shooting for bigger goals IF I decide that's what I want.  In the meantime, I'm genuinely enjoying JUST RUNNING.  And after yesterday's run where I felt my legs come back to me FULLY, I'm so excited to run Boston.  I'm excited to continue to stay fit, put the mileage in, stay healthy and then get to Boston ready to enjoy the 26.2 mile run.  I like the idea of having a Boston without a goal other than to enjoy it.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of my best friends and meet some new running friends that I've enjoyed getting to "know" through their running blogs.  And I'm hopeful of some good running weather UNLIKE my first two Boston Marathons (85-87 degrees in 2004 and 90 degrees in 2012).

Motherhood guilt.  My new year's resolution was to start living my life with way less GUILT over the things I'm not doing and focus on more of the things I AM doing.  This has been 80% successful so far.  I still find myself feeling guilty for things I do and say and things I don't do and say but I've really been good at recognizing what I AM as a mother.  We are too hard on ourselves moms!  At least I have been.  I'm still being intention on BEING INTENTIONAL with my kids.  I'm conscious of BEING PRESENT with them, looking them in the eyes, having meaningful conversations, apologizing when I need to, making memories that count, and not being afraid to be REAL in front of them.  Part of being a good parent to me means that I show my kids that life is imperfect and that we always have opportunities to grow and change things if we don't like them.  I am so eager to start exploring a new city and a new side of the country with my family.  I am looking forward to exploring the libraries, ice cream shops, nature hikes, and all that Asheville and the surrounding area have to offer.

Well, Life....See Above.  :)

One of the things that has been on my mind a lot lately (and meant for another post in and of itself) is the topic of FACEBOOK.  I've noticed so much criticism and negative tones in regards to facebook lately.  And I have some pretty strong opinions.  Just some thoughts off the top of my head in Bullet VENT form:

  • If you don't like Facebook, don't use it.  Period.  But don't knock on the people that do like it and use it.  As with everything in life, we are all at different places and stages.  Let people be.
  • I hear a lot of people make fun of others for their posts or for  how often they post or for what they post, etc. etc.  As if they are better people for not posting. Again, if it isn't your thing, Then DON'T USE IT.  Why even get on it if you think you're better than that?  
  • I get that there are people that just like to "lurk" or "look" or "catch up" and  not post.  I understand this.  This is great if that's how you are.  
  • I'm also finding it interesting to see how people view the people that do post.  I had a conversation the other day that really made me think.  A person was saying how they didn't feel like they really had much to share that people were interested in.  But I disagreed.  I happened to think that their life was interesting and I think so many people would love to hear what they were doing with their kids and how they were living their life.  But, that's me.  I think we can certainly share too much but I think sharing our LIVES is what makes LIFE SO BEAUTIFUL.  I love seeing things that inspire me to be a better _______, ________, ________.  I love posts that make me think and make me think "Ah, I want to do that too!".  And I love sharing my life too.  I think this is part of giving and receiving in light of HUMANITY.  
  • But somehow Facebook has come to mean different things to MANY.  Somehow people have come to see it as others trying to "get attention" or "show off".  My friend mentioned that he thought that there was no reason why someone would post a picture of their child's birthday cake or project except to get recognition from others that they NEED.  I think maybe this is true for some.  But so not for others.  As humans in this big big world with all of our friends and family stretched out all over the place, it is fun to share and celebrate with others.  It is fun to have a community outside of our closer community where we get to have windows into others' lives.  
  • And for those that do find the need to use Facebook simply to "show off" or "FAKEBOOK" or say things that are annoying to others....Um, you can "hide" them.  Or for crying out loud, heaven forbid you just see them and love them for where they are at in life without judging them or thinking you are better than them because you are cool enough to NOT SHARE a darn thing about your life because you are somehow "ABOVE THAT".  Twitter is way cooler?  Or Instagram...THAT'S the new thing?  Good grief people (you know who you are), we all are just getting by in this world in the way that makes us happy.
  • Not sure why this bugs me so much lately.  Perhaps it is because I do like Facebook.  I think it can be overused for sure and I do plan on trying to reduce my use of it by A LOT.  But I also think it is funny (and a little sad) at how some people are almost scared to share their life ...their thoughts and pictures on Facebook for fear of being judged or seen as "needing recognition" or "showing off" even when they aren't.  So instead of posting, they just look and then get mad when anyone tags them, mentions them or draws attention to the fact that they actually use and enjoy Facebook.  Really?  
  • I also respect the fact that there are just people that are NOT into social media and that genuinely have no interest in making their life public.  I respect these friends.  And I have quite a few.  But I'm also thankful that they don't judge and look down their noses at me for ENJOYING social media...Facebook included.  And I do enjoy it.  I like writing my thoughts and sharing moments of my life as they come.  That's part of my personality.  And it isn't because I'm "needy" of recognition or that I'm trying to be "Fake" and make my life look cooler than it really is.  I tell the the shitty stuff too.  I share the ups and downs and highs and lows.  It is about sharing my life.  And those that want to know about it, awesome.  Those that don't, that's awesome too.  .....
  • Do I think Facebook and other social media forms are overused and take away from actual living sometimes....HECK YES!  I think I've found myself in this rut at various times over the last 5ish years too and I'm thankful that I've been conscious and reflective over it so that I can put it in its right place.  
  • Just Stop Judging.  Stop criticizing others for being different from you.  Stop looking at things that annoy you and judging the people that post things that make you feel "less".  This is something in YOU.  Not in the person posting.  Nobody can MAKE you feel allow yourself to feel this way.  
  • And if you don't want people to see pictures of you on Facebook when you are tagged:  Um, CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS so that people don't see.  Or get off Facebook if you just really have an issue with it.  
Woo Wee, that was quite the vent.  I have so much more to say on the topic too.  It has been one of those things I've observed quietly over the past year and there are several different trends and attitudes in light of social media that have my brain heavy with thoughts and reflections.  But I'll save those for another day.  

In the meantime, a 10 mile run and the task of packing up this house is ahead of me. 



  1. I love Facebook. Love it. I have a brother and at least one work friend who are virulently anti-FB, and I do tend to feel defensive about it. I don't judge you for not being on, don't judge me bc I am.

    Good luck with the move! What an exciting, exhausting time!

  2. Ooooh I'm first! As soon as I saw you had a vent I thought I have to read this - I have been venting a lot recently! And funnily enough I had a long conversation with someone last week about FaceBook - he was lamenting its existence and dreading his kids going on it and talking about all the negative stuff that can happen - kids showing off, inappropriate pictures, etc. etc. As the mother of a teenager AND a lover of FaceBook I told him that I think he was right to consider some of the pitfalls but that social media was very much part of our children's lives and denying it or denigrating it was like saying something they all value to an extent was meaningless - not a message to give your children. Instead, I pointed out some of the advantages and value it has brought to my life - and lord it has brought me a lot! - and that I discuss all the pitfalls and issues with my daughter very regularly and hopefully help her negotiate her way through them and get as much out of it as I do. Oh I agree with you - and I need to remind myself - stop judging. Stop judging. Do what makes you happy.

    SO happy that you are SO on board for your move - it IS very exciting and I cannot wait to see how it goes for you. I lived in North Carolina briefly in the 90s and loved it.

    Big hug sweetheart - exciting times ahead!

  3. I positively love Facebook! It has put me back in touch with so many that I'd lost touch with and is my only real connection to some people. It's a busy world we live in! I love being able to go to one place and stay caught up on everyone--and keep everyone caught up on me!

  4. I love this honest "rant". Who knew... WHO KNEW Facebook would cause so many issues among people. I think Facebook usage really helps one hone in on insecurities. It took me awhile to just remember that Facebook is not real life, nor should relationships solely exist on Facebook (even if you meet on there, there can still be a relationship outside of it).

    I'm finally at a place where I do love Facebook, I'm able to give grace, and if I needed to get rid of Facebook for some reason - nothing would change because life does exist outside of it as well. It is fun though, I swear, some of the funniest things I see throughout the day are on Facebook :)

  5. Good luck with the packing. When we moved into our house (26yrs ago) I decided that I hated packing so much that we'd never move again. The plan is to die here and have the kids sort out all the stuff in the cupboards.

    You're going to have so much fun exploring your new town on foot. That's probably the best part of going to a new location. All those new running routes yet to be explored. The potential is limitless.

  6. LOVE this post!!! I totally agree with you!

  7. You know how I feel about facebook, and things in general. People should do what they want to do. I try to not waste energy on whether people like what I post, or FB in general. I do what I like, ha! I also think that at times people don't necessarily hate on FB, but just share an opinion... Opinions are good:) Lots of blogposts over the past month on whether people are posting only positive things or not, and whether FB is skewed. I am happy people are posting mostly happy things. I mean, I want to be happy when I read FB. Of course I want to know about things that are going wrong with my friends, but I like to get that over email. And of course I don't think that FB is a reflection on someone's life, and that there are no negatives, ha. Anyway...opinions again:) Gotta go! Excited for your move and to see you soon!

  8. Great post! And welcome to the semi-military lifestyle (without the military, of course). My 9 and 6 year-olds have already lived in 3 states, and the 4th state is coming up in May. New adventures are always fun. The move itself though? Not so much. This too shall pass, right?

    Best of luck and post about your cross-country journey on FB. I won't judge! ;-)

  9. Facebook helps me keep up with my siblings and I found my best friend from childhood on FB after we'd lost tough over the years. We reconnected and I went out to visit her and we had a wonderful time! And had really changed very little in 20 years. Now I do get aggravated with endless games and requests on FB, but most you can block or turn off - and I've hidden about 90% of people I graduated with and were "friends" with when I was class president. I needed the way to communicate then, but since then I've realized that most of the class only posts obscene or rude political statements, so I went on a hiding frenzy. Things are much more calm on my newsfeed now :)
    I will be thinking about you as you brave the move. It's an exciting change. I can't wait to read about your travels and getting to know your new place.
    Oh and Boston! Yay! You will be so fast and fabulous! :) :) :)

  10. I loved this post and agree with you on the whole facebook thing. I actually had my husband's cousin tell me he was going to delete me because I talked about running too much. I am sorry. For one thing, I rarely talk about running on my personal page and number two hide my damn posts if you don't like them. So annoying.

    So happy for you and your family and this amazing adventure you are about to embark on. Cannot wait to hear all about Ashville!

  11. Facebook Rant: YES. It's bizarre to me that people complain about how OTHER people use Facebook. Umm...that's basically your problem, not theirs (as long as they are being generally respectful and safe). Log off, or hide them, or ignore them - if YOU are feeling inferior because of what someone else posts...whose problem is that, really?

    As someone who's living faaaar away from all her family and most of her friends at the moment, I LOVE how Facebook lets me "keep up with" the day-to-day in their lives - things we probably wouldn't really discuss during our rare and precious one hour per month phone chats. But if it's not your thing - I'll respect that. Just offer me the same courtesy.

    It's like you were in my brain while writing this!

    Hope you find all the closure you need in your old place, and find excitement and adventure in your new one!! Good luck with the logistics. :)

  12. Glad you are running for fun right now!!! (my favorite type of running!)
    I hope the move goes smoothly and the adjustment period is easy for all of y'all!
    Love the FB rant! I think some people are just going to gripe about it no matter what! (I have a couple of friends who feel the same way about blogging which I really don't understand - just don't read them if you don't like them.)
    People are funny sometimes!

  13. Thanks for the Facebook part of that post. I needed it! I did take a 3 month break from FB in the summer of last year. I found it made me feel a certain way and I didn't like it. I let certain people annoy me. And yes, I was judging people! I'm glad you wrote all of that, because it made me step back and see that I was being a butt about it really. Part of my problem was looking at FB while I was injured from running and all of my running friends were posting about PR's and wonderful runs... etc. So, there was jealousy and that's why I ended up logging off and staying off. Now I'm back, and being more accepting of people. Like you said, everyone is different!

  14. Happy belated birthday to your daughter and hubby

    I use to like FB, till a friend, who I use to think we were close, blasted me personally about putting up a race picture of myself. I am going to be honest, it stung, because I thought they were a good friend. So I kinda abandoned posting things after that, I still like to see how people are doing about once a week on FB

  15. I like your FB rant- and consider it more of a commentary than a rant/rage type. I enjoy facebook in many ways and have chosen over the years to unfriend (or block) people who I am irked by. I think it's a great tool to use to stay in touch with friends and family and to share certain parts of your life (and notice the words "tool" and "certain"... hahah I have a lot of stuff that I wouldn't put on FB and also don't think it replaces one on one time!)

  16. I always enjoy reading your posts and truly appreciate how raw you are. It is something I truly admire about you. I am so glad you touched on the facebook topic because I feel so much like you do about it. I love facebook and love the people it has connected me with. I try to be positive and supportive in all my comments, ect and it makes me sad when I hear people saying I only post for attention. Thanks for speaking your mind.

  17. Good luck on your move. My girlfriend and I just drove back up to Rhode Island after a weekend in Virginia Beach for a race and talked about moving. Not to Virginia Beach but just in general. We both like adventure so your post made me smile. What a wonderful time for you!

  18. I can't believe the move is actually happening! You will be so missed here in Portland but I know you are going to love living in Asheville. What a fun adventure and you picked a gorgeous part of the country to live for the next exciting phase of your life. I can't wait to hear about your new neighborhood (once you find one!), the friends you make, the trips you take and the beautiful runs in the Blue Ridge mountains!

    I love your FB rant. I couldn't agree more that if people don't like it, then they don't have to use it. Or if they don't like reading what one person posts, block/defriend that person. And, yes, there are lots of happy things posted on FB and I can see where it might make someone depressed. But you just have to realize it is what it is -- a lens through which we allow people to look into our lives. And like all lenses, it doesn't show a full 360 view of our lives. I always love reading your thoughts, Amanda. :)

  19. Hard to believe that it's moving time for you. These things come up on us faster than we realize sometimes. The change will be good though- new adventures, new places to discover. I would love to try to make it out there to see this little, unique place that has drawn you to itself. I will miss you.

    I don't know what to say about facebook. Most of my friends and I don't talk about it much, so I haven't heard much of these complaints- and then, I haven't been on it much lately. Seems there have been a few changes there recently, though.

    So good to see you glad to be running. Boston will be fun for you this year! I really wish I was running it too (for some reason) this year. Hope you enjoyed your run. 10 miles to clear the head sounds perfect :).

  20. You had me choked up for awhile. That truly (I say truly a lot) felt as if I just closed a chapter on the book you wrote. I can't wait to crack the next one open. I'm so excited for you and scared for you all at the same time. Scared only because I think that is the emotion I would be feeling right now given your situation. I am so happy that you have found so much excitement in this. I have no doubts that you will find what you love in SC and you will richly bless the lives you are about to come in contact with.
    And the FB rant.... agree, I actually wrote about FB a little today too in a different way, but people really get very judgemental on there, so I don't put up with it. If there is something they say that offends me they are either off of my feed or I will give them my opinion. It all depends on how they react as to whether I CHOOSE to continue the "relationship" or not. I like FB. I'm thankful for it. It has helped me stay connected to so many people in my life that have gone on with their lives after our time together.

  21. Thanks, Amanda. Well written. I am one who likes to share aspects of my "regular" of my kids, workout posts, plates of beautiful food. But I always feel bad when others post how "annoying" people like me are. :( Maybe they should go do something else that doesn't annoy them so much.

  22. Amanda, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Facebook. I resisted FB for a long time. It wasn't until I had to move from San Diego to San Francisco and uproot myself from my friends and community, that I opened up a FB account to keep in touch with my friends. After a year, I didn't think anyone could be interested in what I had to say about my life, but your thoughts have put it all back into perspective for me.