Dear Diary: Musings From My 21 Day Social Media Fast (Pt 3 of 3)


Day 15

Zoe left today for 6 days in Arizona with her Grandma. Packing her suitcase filled with swimsuits and shorts was strange.

The weather here is pretty gloomy and it made me think I need to be creating a little sunshine in my life. There are a few ways I like to do this-

  1. Buy a pineapple. There’s nothing like a pineapple to remind me of sunshine, summer, tropical places.
  2. Music. Make a playlist of songs that remind me of a warm vacation or a summer day. This is, of course, very personal. My playlist probably wouldn’t work for anyone but me. Songs that transport me mentally to warmer locales are songs that were popular around the time I went on my first trip to Hawaii in the early 80’s. “Let the Music Play” by Shannon, “Africa” by Toto, anything from Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down” album, and a lot of Hall and Oates. I know it’s weird, that’s why I said it’s a personal thing. General tropical or reggae music works too- Bruddah IZ, Inner Circle, Bob Marley.
  3. Get some flowers. No roses- they need to be tropical. Here in the Seattle area we have the Hawaii General Store, and they sell freshly made plumeria and pikake leis. Sometimes I will make the 30 minute drive just to buy one to keep in my fridge. When I am feeling down or stressed, I open the fridge, pull out the plastic container and take a giant whiff of heaven. I also will grab a hyacinth if they are in season. Occasionally you can find mini pineapple plants at the grocery store. They don’t have flowers, but they make everything feel more exotic. Jasmine always smells yummy. 
  4. Another sensory thing I like to do is put on perfume or lotion that reminds me of the tropics. Kai perfume, Maui Rain perfume, ginger, plumeria, pikake, mango or coconut lotions. When you close your eyes and take a whiff it’s like for that moment you’re in an island paradise. Candles work too.
  5. My local frozen yogurt shop has limited edition sorbets that come and go on a rotating basis. Currently they have POG (passion orange guava, also available at the store in juice form) but my favorite is the Dole pineapple whip like you can get at the Dole Plantation in Hawaii or at the Tiki room at Disneyland. I also like to mix coconut froyo in with my chocolate to give it a summery taste. My husband calls that “ruining it,” but he’s wrong. it’s amazing.

imagePOG Sorbet

6. Movies/TV. “50 first dates,” “Just go with it,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Lilo and Stitch” are some films with tropical themes. As with my music playlist, I have always connected “The Thorn Birds” with Hawaii because it came out around the time we went for my first trip. And of course, for TV shows,” Hawaii 5-0” and “Magnum PI” are two of my favorites. HGTV and National Geographic each have travel shows. A summery read can help you mentally escape also.

7. Bring color into my home. There’s nothing that gets me out of a mid-winter funk like bright colors. I think I may go hang out at the Tommy Bahama store for a while and just pretend I’m somewhere else, and then bring home a couple new throw pillows. Last year I painted a giant picture of a Caribbean waterfront scene.

8. Plan a vacation. ‘Nuff said.

Day 16

Sydney made curry again today, this time when she showed up at lunchtime with three of her friends. I was still in my pajamas. (Don’t ask me why I was still in my pajamas at noon.) I’ve noticed that even after the pans have been thoroughly cleaned, when I set an empty pan on the burner to heat up, the smell of curry comes wafting up again. Don’t get me wrong- I love that she’s teaching herself to cook, and that she’s experimenting with interesting foods. But I think I’m ready for her to move on to something other than curry.

I went in search of a new trash can today for my kitchen. I have had my current cans (I have a second for recycling) for 10 years now, and they are definitely in need of replacement, but I’m having a tough time letting go. You see, the trash cans I have are 18 gallon trash cans. They are tall, slim and rectangular, and they fit perfectly up against my kitchen island. But they don’t make 18 gallon cans anymore, and it’s getting harder and harder to find the trash bags that fit them.

The standard kitchen trash can is 13 gallons. Many are round or oval, which won’t sit flush against my cabinets. Plus, that extra 5 gallons of trash space means that’s how much less the trash needs to be taken out. I’ve resigned myself to the reality I will never find another 18 gallon can, but I refuse to spend $130 for a stupid trash can. Unless it takes itself out, I don’t see how they can justify charging that much. I didn’t see any today that I can live with. The search continues…

Meanwhile, my maturity level doesn’t seem to be improving on this hiatus.

Parker: Hey! You already had a cookie!

Me: So? Mind your own beeswax.

Parker: Well, that kinda means I can have another one too.

Me: No, it doesn’t mean that. I made ‘em. I can eat as many as I want.

Sometimes it feels good to use the phrase “mind your own beeswax.”  I think I will do it more often.

Day 17

I scheduled myself a massage for today. Before you start thinking that I’m some pampered housewife, you should know that I go to Massage Envy, which is like the Target of massage places. It’s typically found in strip-malls and for the bargain price of 39$ you can get a decent one hour massage. I originally became a member when we lived in Huntington Beach. After trying several different people, I finally found the perfect masseuse. About 2 months later we moved.

Since we relocated up here in Washington, I have gone through a variety and have yet to find the one I want to commit to. I went to see one guy for quite a while, but he liked to talk religion and politics and I always came out of my massages more stressed than I went in.

The next guy was amaaaazing. I think at one point during a massage he had a foot up on the wall for leverage. He did something to the base of my skull that was pure ecstasy. About 2 weeks after my first appointment with him, I called to make another, and was told he had transferred. I went into a period of mourning.

I did the masseuse merry-go-round for another several months, and ended up with a young muscle-headed guy who worked at a body building supplement store when he wasn’t giving massages. He liked to talk football and conspiracy theories. At one point, he tried to tell me that he found out through genealogy that he was related to King David. You know, David. Bathsheba. Goliath. That David. Sometimes I would make up conspiracies and say “have you heard about…” just to hear what he would say.

I took a break from Massage Envy for over a year while I was in physical therapy from my car accident, so this was my first massage there in quite a while. As a matter of fact, they looked me up in the system and found that I had 16 massages saved up (you get one per month with a membership.)

When I called to make the appointment, the first person they offered was the religion/politics guy. I said, “Uh, who else do you have available?” The said another name, which I didn’t recognize. I thought unknown was better than the “Why did you stop seeing me?” conversation I would have to have with the other guy. Besides, I really needed to be able to relax.

I will say the new guy gave a decent massage. He’s got some strange affected whispery breathy voice that I’m not a fan of, but I’m willing to give him another chance. When he whispered, “How do you feel about me working your abs?” I almost bolted. He didn’t smell like smoke or his lunch, which is always a plus, and he didn’t talk except to ask about pressure. The sound of his hands slurping together as he oiled them up was a little off-putting, and they were sort of cold at first, but they warmed up.  Since I have so many saved up, I’m going back in a week. Fingers crossed that I have got a keeper!



Day 18

Have you seen the movie “About Time” with Rachel McAdams? If not, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful movie, and it probably didn’t get the attention it deserved from the general public. The premise is that a young man, Tim, is called into his father’s library to be told that the men in their family are able to travel back in time. They cannot travel forward, except back to the time they had come from, and they cannot travel beyond their own lives.

His initial goal is to use it to help him find a girlfriend. He does. And they create a beautiful life together. As time goes on he realizes the consequences of making changes in his choices. He has to be willing to let some bad events remain because in undoing the bad, sometimes it can undo the good in his life as well. We like to isolate incidents, but so much is connected, part of the progression of life. Like the domino effect.

It sounds like a silly movie, but in reality, it teaches a great lesson. After all that he experiences over the course of several years with this amazing ability, he says, “And in the end I think I’ve learned the final lesson from my travels in time; and I’ve even gone one step further than my father did: The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

I, of course, had tears streaming down my face by this time. I feel as though that’s the point of this whole endeavor I have undertaken these past three weeks. I want to be present in my own life, to experience it fully, not just in pieces. I want to really see the people standing in front of me, I want to appreciate the small details, expand my horizons and live in joy.

Day 19

Well, this morning when I got on my phone, I discovered that my Facebook app was open. Either someone has figured out my password and was looking at my account, or I did it in my sleep. At this point, I’d say either is a possibility. Are there many documented cases of Sleep-Facebooking?

facebook bed fbed2

If there ever was a day I wish I could be on Facebook, it’s today. The best part of Facebook is being able to share experiences with people near and far, and today I want to be cheering on my Seahawks with all my friends.

I bought a new jersey to wear- a Marshawn Lynch. They are so tough to come by I ended up with a youth XL. That a youth-sized shirt fits is great for my ego. That it has a giant patch on the front that says “XL,” not so much.

We are headed in a bit to the neighbors’ to watch the game. I went to the grocery store to grab stuff to make bean dip and it was a surreal experience. Except for two 49’er fans, every single person I saw had some sort of Seahawks gear on. There’s a palpable buzz in the air, everyone looking at each other with nervous smiles. Since the very last game of last season, we’ve all sensed this could be it. That finally, after all these years of disappointment, the refs gifting the Steelers a win in our only Super bowl appearance, this is our year.

Even Sydney is putting on a Seahawks shirt and heading to the church to watch the game on the giant screen.



I can’t believe it. We won. We’re actually going to the Super Bowl.

I don’t know that I have ever watched a more stressful, aggravating, exciting game in my life.

I went from nervous eating to feeling nauseated.

I was sitting hunched forward. I was standing. I was up, I was down.

Parker had no clue what was happening, but when the other boys lost their minds with excitement, so did he.

When that ball tipped into the hands of Malcolm Smith it took me a moment to understand what it meant. My husband ran over to give me the double high fives and said “we’re going to the super bowl!” It was over. We won. There was screaming and hugging. I believe I launched myself awkwardly into the arms of one of my neighbors.

It was blissful, euphoric. A feeling relatively unknown to Seattle sports fans. And I savored every moment.

There’s been a lot of talk about Richard Sherman’s comments in his post-game interview. I have no intention of going into any long dissertation on the topic. It’s been talked about to death. I will only say, Richard Sherman is an intelligent, passionate player. He is a good man who gives back to this community and the one in which he grew up. I am proud that he is a Seattle Seahawk.

The end.

65676_10152148843024089_1913281331_n Me with Richard Sherman’s brother Branton


Day 20


Today, we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King jr.

Today, I am reading, Twitter is afire with racist tweets.


There’s a common misperception that racial hate always stems from ignorance. If only that were true.

It’s probably because when someone spews racial epithets, they sound ignorant. Stupid. Moronic.

Many times their sentences are riddled with grammatical errors.

Often, their posts on Facebook and Twitter are filled with misspellings. 

Unfortunately, if ignorance was the root cause, it could be solved with education.

However, when major university fraternities are hosting racially offensive theme parties, you start to realize it’s not just about ignorance.

Racists run the gamut from the least educated in our society to the elites.

The way I grew up, the environment in which I was raised didn’t prepare me for dealing with people who proudly, publicly post disgusting racially charged words for the whole world to read.

I continue to be shocked and horrified, and my black friends continue to be surprised at my shock and horror. Much to the contrary of the claims that people are constantly trying to cry racism even where none is intended, most of the racism that happens every day goes unreported. It’s just a part of life. It’s expected.

The outrage is reserved for naïve whites like me.

Somewhere along the way a contingent of our country decided that we live in a “post-racial” America. That we are so far removed from our past of slavery, segregation, institutional racism, that our having elected a biracial president means racism has ended.

It hasn’t. We’ve just gotten better at disguising it.

I hear people say they’re tired of this conversation on race. “Get over it already.” “It’s in the past.”

And then I see those who feel emboldened in their tweets, their Facebook postings, their interviews on international news channels.

I was going to post some examples, but I don’t want to give a forum to those people.

I don’t have far-reaching impact on the world around me. But I do have impact on my kids, and I realized a few years ago that it’s not enough to just not set a bad example for my kids, it’s imperative I set a good example. Not one based on platitudes, but one based on my deeply held beliefs regarding the value of all human beings.

I asked Parker if he knew why we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday. He said he couldn’t remember.

I tried to think of something that would help him understand, that he wouldn’t zone out while I was explaining.

“So, you know London’s parents?”


“There used to be a time when it was against the law for them to be married. Because of the color of their skin.”

“You mean because his dad is brown?”

“Yes. And people would be mean to those who had brown skin. They forced them to do things they didn’t want to do. They didn’t let them live where they wanted to live, or work where they wanted to work. And you and London- people wouldn’t be okay with you being friends with each other. Just because his skin is darker than yours. That’s what Martin Luther King fought against. He fought for you to be able to be friends with London.”

His eyes got big.

He got it.

A couple of weeks ago, Zoe said ” I know what the N word is now.”

(Last year she came home from school saying that a kid in her class had told her there was such a thing, and she wanted to know if it was true. I said yes, but that we never use that word, and I didn’t feel she needed to know what it was.)

“Tell me what happened.”

“Well, I had a black crayon, and my friend was looking at it. Under the word black it had another word. She said, ‘that’s the N word.'”

“Well. No. Negro is Spanish for the color black. Pronounced differently, it’s the term that people used to use when referring to the people who are black. No one really uses it anymore, it’s outdated and offensive. But it’s not the N word. The N word comes from that word though.”

“Oh. ”

I have to admit, I was relieved. She’s gonna hear it eventually, but I’m glad to know that time hasn’t come yet. Until she understands the history of that word, until she understands why it’s not ok, how it’s been used, it is meaningless.

I kind of like that the word has no power in her mind. I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.


Day 21

Well, this is it- my last full day off of Facebook. I’m a little apprehensive, to tell the truth. I don’t know what exactly to expect.

I picked Zoe up from the airport this morning. I’m happy to have her home following her week in Arizona with her grandma. I took her to lunch and she told me funny stories about her adventures.

Afterwards we headed to the pet store to pick out a fish to keep Angel company. Now we have a new goldfish named Juicy, and Zoe has renamed Angel “Bruno.” She also got herself a beta fish that she has named “Cali.”


A few people have asked me what I have learned about myself over the past three weeks. I wish I could say that I had this amazing life-transformative experience. It turns out I’m the same person I was 3 weeks ago. I have found that if I want to disconnect or mentally escape, I’ll find a way. I’d probably have to get stranded on a desert island without electronics in order to truly break myself of these habits I have created.

I did make more of an effort to connect face to face with people, and I have tried to really listen to the people who are talking to me. I have spent more time watching my kids, and engaging them in conversations than I have in quite a while. Most of Parker’s conversations have to do with video games or toys or something he saw on a show or a video game. But instead of just nodding my head absently and saying, “oh really?” (they have all caught on that I have been doing that when I am not really listening) I have tried to ask follow up questions. I’ve gotten insight into how they think and how they view things around them.

I’ve also noticed how much OTHER people use their phones and tablets to disconnect. I think that has been eye-opening, viewing others through the lens that I’m sure people have often seen me.

I’m not making promises about the future. I haven’t cured myself of my social media addiction. I do think I have learned to manage it a bit better.

I guess time will tell.

I’m excited to see what everyone has been up to. And what they’ve been eating.

Thanks for your patience during this experiment… And hopefully I didn’t lose you guys in the meantime.

It’s 11:55… Maybe I’ll just take a peek. What’s 5 minutes anyways?


Dear Diary: Musings From My 21 Day Social Media Fast (Pt2)

Day 8-

I picked out Parker’s clothes last night for him to wear to school today. He came downstairs wearing them and said, “I look like a DJ.” I’m not sure if that was a compliment or a complaint.



I got my hair done today, which is often my favorite day of the month (well, technically every 5 weeks.) I get terrible reception in the salon, and usually it drives me crazy that I can’t get on Facebook while I’m there. Instead I read my kindle and got pampered.

Meanwhile, Facebook started sending me emails and messages begging me to post something, like a clingy ex-girlfriend. After all this time, did you really think I had simply FORGOTTEN to post? Silence means there’s nothing to say, get it Facebook, ya stalker?


1:33 am? Really? Was it last call at the bar and you didn’t want to go home without one last try?


And now tonight I came to the end of Candy Crush. Again. I may have to take up knitting. Or drinking.

Or both.



I decided to fill my night by building a bookcase. I’m kinda impressed with myself about now.


I think the time equivalent for how long it took to put together is like 4 status updates and 15 games of Candy Crush. Yes, that’s how I measure time now.


Day 9

When I got home from the grocery store tonight I had the following conversation with my husband-

Me: There were an inordinate amount of people wearing camouflage clothing at the store.

 He: How could you tell?

I won’t tell you how long it took me for my brain to understand how funny that was. Let’s just say he’d already left the room by the time I got it and started laughing. They say you lose millions of brain cells with every kid. I have 4. (Kids not brain cells- although I do wonder sometimes…) You do the math. Seriously, you do the math, because I can’t do it anymore.

He went into the other room to do work on the computer while I made dinner and Zoe did her homework at the kitchen table.

Soon I heard him talking/kind of singing to himself.

J: No. I don’t want your number. No. I don’t wanna give you mine.

Me: (singing) And no, I don’t wanna meet you nowhere. No, don’t want none of your time.

Zoe: (singing)I don’t want no scrubs. A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me.

Me: (singing) Hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at me.

J: (singing from the living room) noooooo scruuuubs.

Me: I’m pretty sure this is the first time a family has ever done a multi-room round of “Scrubs.”

Zoe: What IS a scrub?

Me: (singing) A scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly. He’s also known as a buster. Always talkin’ ‘bout what he wants and just sits on his broke ass.

Zoe: That doesn’t help.

Me: A scrub is a loser.

Zoe: Oh. That makes sense.

Her homework for tonight was to write a “How-to” paragraph. She had a difficult time coming up with a topic, and didn’t care for any of my suggestions.

Me: What about “How to make a bed?”

Zoe: I can’t write on that.

Me: Why?

Zoe: Because the maids make my bed.

Me: First of all, you should be making your own bed daily and not waiting for the housecleaners to do it every other week. Secondly, I cannot believe those words just came out of your mouth.

Zoe: Well it’s true.

I think I need to rethink some of my parenting strategies.

We spent the rest of the evening looking for northern lights through the rain clouds (no luck)  and watching Lego Bigfoot videos like this Lego Bigfoot wedding video:

I never claimed we were a normal family.

Day 10

My husband: What were those two eels from “The Little Mermaid” called?

Me: Flotsam and Jetsam

My husband: I think that’s what I’m going to call your boobs from now on.

I don’t even want to know what he saw that inspired that statement.

flotsam and jetsam   

At least he didn’t compare me to Ursula


I took Sydney to the Mediterranean Kitchen today. Confession- it was my second time this week eating Shawarma. I may need a Shawarma intervention. Earlier this week I went to a place called” The Shawarma King” where a nice man named Mohammed made my food. I believe he was the aforementioned “Shawarma King,” but I didn’t have the nerve to ask him.

I now have garlic seeping out my pores. I don’t think there is enough mouthwash in this house to dissipate my breath.

Jeff told me the smell is so strong on my skin, my hair and my breath, if he closed his eyes and I started belly dancing and making jingling sounds, he’d swear he was in the Middle East.

Day 11

Today we got a sneak preview visit to the new community pool in my mom’s town. Because she works for the school district, she got special passes. We drove through a heavy thunder storm to get there and Parker said, “Good thing it’s indoor, or the pool would be cancelled.”

As we drove through the valley, we noticed dozens and dozens of snow geese hanging out on the fields. We drove across the river over the bridge and Zoe shouted, “Bald eagle!”

Parker looked and said, “It has brown on the bottom and a white head! It IS a bald eagle!”

Zoe: “And what’s that over there?”

Me:  “I think it’s a nest.”

Zoe: “Oh, you’re right. It is a nest.”

Parker: Yes, it’s a nest, Zoe. Good Zoe, you’re learning.

Me: How do you, at the age of 8 years old, have such a highly developed ability to be condescending?

Parker: I just do.

I blame his father.




After the pool (which was very cool, by the way) we picked up fried chicken (Heaven Sent, formerly Ezell’s. As Parker said, “It’s my favorite kind of turkey!”) and headed home to watch the Seahawks play the New Orleans Saints.

It was one of the times when being off Facebook was extra difficult. I asked my husband to go and see what everyone was saying about the game.

“Well, I see a lot of ‘Go Hawks!’ but not a lot else. Oh and some lady posted a picture of her bright green tennis shoes with a caption ‘Oh yeah. Let’s keep this party going!’”

I knew who that was. It was my mother and her lucky Seahawk shoes.


It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work, right?

In honor of the Hawks’ brilliant defeat of the Saints, I made bread pudding smothered in rum sauce. To my friends who are New Orleans fans- your team didn’t play well, but your food is delicious!


Day 12

A week and a half remains of my fast. I’ve passed the halfway point, yet it still seems interminable.

I went to bed last night to the smell of Sydney making curry for her friend. I decided that I will continue my trend of trying new foods by making a visit to the Indian restaurant down the street. I am praying that it won’t destroy my intestines.

Sydney reheated her curry from last night, just as we had finally eliminated the smell from the house. I’m not sure, but the smells emanating from my house lately may be a violation of the HOA rules.

Tonight, my husband casually dropped this into our conversation-

J: What do you think of me wearing vests?

Me: What kind of vests? Three piece suit vests? Sweater vests?

J: Any kind of vest. I’m thinking of becoming the “vest guy.”

Me: You already were the “vest guy.” That was after your “Tommy Bahama Guy” phase.

J: I’m thinking of bringing it back. I might even add fishing vests into the mix.

Me: No.

Seriously, I’m doing this for his own good.

Day 13

Today I took Nathan to his quarterly appointment with the endocrinologist. He’s hit 5’5 and we are hoping for 3 more inches of growth. Considering how far off the bottom of the growth chart he was when he was first diagnosed as growth hormone deficient at the age of 2, 5’5 feels like a miracle.

When we came out of Children’s Hospital I gave my ticket to the valet who handed it back to me and pointed through the lot to where my car was parked. Thankfully they don’t allow tipping because he would SO not get one.

As we came closer to my car, I caught a glimpse of this beauty:


Upon further inspection, I realized I was looking at a car completely devoted to hydroplane racing. Hydroplane racing is something I think about one day a year- Seafair Sunday. The rest of the year I forget it exists. But this guy- he lives it 365.


I would think every time he got behind the wheel of his car he’d feel like he was in a race… that he’s losing. Badly.

After the appointment we went to Dick’s drive in. For those who don’t know, Dick’s is the place where the cool hang out. The swass like to play and the rich flaunt clout.

Before you start questioning my sanity, check this out:

Dick’s is a local fast food icon, where you can get great burgers and fries for not a lot of money. It’s a walk up, so we ate it in the car. I tried not to make eye contact with the guy in the car next to me as I shoved fries slathered in tartar sauce into my face. It’s all part of the experience.

When we got home, Sydney was in the kitchen beginning “operation curry- day 3.” I’m really never getting this smell out of my house.

Tonight was the second episode of “The Bachelor.” Parker posted up on the end of my bed with his head resting on his hand. Sometimes I wonder what goes through his head when he watches this show.

Jeff: You know what’s better than Juan Pablo?

Me: No.

Jeff: Two Pablo.

Me: You’re so wrong for that.

Jeff: You know, I just realized what my watch collection is missing.

Me: A Pacman watch?

Jeff: Yes! How did you know?

Me: What else could it be?

Jeff: I had one when I was a kid. It had a joystick on top, but it broke.

Me: I think mine only had buttons.

Jeff: Buttons would be way better. I’m gonna look it up and see if I can get one.

Me: I’d like to point out the mind-meld that just took place here.  It’s like we share a brain or something.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s kind of scary. Hey, do you know what the Bachelor calls his house?

Me: No, what?

Jeff: Juan pueblo.

Me: You’re killing me.

Day 14

 This morning I met my friend Lisa for coffee. We met up at 1030 and didn’t leave the coffee shop until 1. When I got there she said, “I’d like to know why my son is here and not in class.” I looked over, and sure enough, her 20 year old son was sitting at a table with his headphones in.

“Oh last week I asked Sydney the same question. It turns out they don’t have class on Tuesdays anymore.”

“Interesting. I wonder where he’s been going .”

“Probably here.”


Kids these days. Sydney was gone at a church retreat last month and forgot to mention it to me. I posted on her Facebook page at 1AM asking her where she was and Lisa responded that she was probably at the retreat. If they weren’t such good kids, we’d wring their necks.

Her son came over to where we were seated and stood, towering over us. We looked down at his feet and he said, “Yeah, so I have two different shoes on today.”

She said, “I see that. How exactly did that happen?”

“Well, I wasn’t really looking, and I just slipped them on. “

We’ve all done that once or twice. I told her I can’t count the number of times I have discovered my shirt was on backwards or inside out. Or both. She told me she spent a whole day wearing one brown boot and one black boot before she realized. She said, “The crazy thing is they were two different heights. I hobbled around the whole day and it never occurred to me why I was uneven.”

I always love my time with Lisa. She’s funny and smart and insightful. She’s the real deal, and there aren’t many like that out there, so I’m grateful for her. And she puts up with my babbling.

I’m glad that my Social Media fast created more urgency for face to face encounters, because that 2 1/2 hours with Lisa was better than scrolling on Facebook any day.


Dear Diary- Musings From My 21 Day Social Media Fast (Pt 1)


Well, I’m back. You may not have even noticed I was gone, but boy did I miss you all. Today marks my first day back using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram after a 3 week hiatus.  I’m not gonna lie- it’s been tough. Putting it in perspective, though, I’m sure there are things that people have given up that were more difficult than giving up social media.  My friend recently quit smoking. As “addicted” to Facebook as I have been, it doesn’t come close to the strength required to give up smoking. Others who participated in this New Year’s fast gave up sweets, meats, music and/or TV.

And I do have to admit, as the director of social media for our company, I didn’t abstain from social media completely. I did have to log in to our company Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I promise I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t take a single peek at my own accounts.

The following are my journal entries from the days I was on the fast.  I don’t know if I made any monumental self-discoveries, but it has been an interesting three weeks. I spent more time doing things than reading about other people doing things, so that’s something, right?

I’ll be posting these in increments so as not to make for laborious reading.

Day 1– January 1, 2014:

Well, it’s New Year’s Day. My fast has officially begun. What’s 3 weeks in the scheme of life? It’s nothing.  A few years ago I gave up sweets for Lent- that was pretty tough. Six weeks without chocolate, without dessert. If I can do that, I can do this.

I’m sure the shakes will go away eventually.

In an ironic twist, I’m sitting here with no one to communicate with.  My first attempt to work on my real life communication by eliminating Facebook communication, and I’m left all alone.

Our New Year’s Eve was pretty uneventful. Zoe was at her aunt’s, Sydney and Nathan were with their friends, Parker spent most of the night playing games on the computer, and Jeff spent his time either working on his laptop or catching up on episodes of “Boardwalk Empire.” At about 10pm I popped open a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne. I forgot that you are supposed to cover it with a towel, so after loosening the cork, I watched it slowly work its way out, exiting the bottle in a massive explosion, ricocheted off the kitchen ceiling and landed across the room, nearly nailing Jeff in the head. I’ll work on better trajectory for next New Year’s Eve.

We feasted on crackers and cheese and sipped champagne until the ball dropped and fireworks came shooting out of the Space Needle. Parker had managed to stay awake, so he got sandwiched between us for our 21st New Year’s kiss.

After putting Parker to bed, we headed to our own room.  While I was in the bathroom Jeff turned off the light, and as I made my way through the dark, I managed to trip over something, my arms went flying, and so did my champagne glass.

Me: See?! This is why we need the lights on!

Jeff: Between the cracker crumbs that you dropped down the front of your shirt earlier and the cheap champagne you just spilled all over yourself, a person could take communion off of you.

Me: It’s not cheap champagne! It was $39 on sale!

Jeff: Yeah, you’re just like Jay-Z with your $39 champagne.


It’s going to be a long three weeks.

Day 2

I kept myself busy yesterday by taking down all the interior Christmas decorations. It’s nice to get the house back in order, and it kept me somewhat distracted from what I may be missing out on.

Sydney got a wild hair and decided to make pesto from scratch. We didn’t use a recipe and didn’t have a ton of basil, so it became quite an ordeal. In the end, we had dishes and appliances everywhere for what netted out to be about 3 tablespoons of pesto.

My mother-in-law came by to grab my leftover boxes from our flood remodel. One of her sister’s friends’ houses burned down a few days ago. It was a total loss. She was going over to see if there was anything to salvage. It sounds like most everything is either covered in soot or smoke damaged. Definitely a good reminder that no matter how many times I think about setting fire to my garage rather than cleaning it out, the reality of a house fire is devastating. I’m counting my blessings, messy as they may be.

Today I learned a new appreciation for working moms. We had our company yearly kickoff meeting, which required getting Parker up early, dressed and fed before dropping him off at his grandma’s for the day, as well as getting myself up and showered and ready to leave by 830. I know that for many of you, this is an average day in your life, but it’s not in mine, and I salute you for making it happen.

I started writing a fictional story today. I can’t tell yet whether it’s crap or not, but it has to be better than some of the drivel I have come across lately. FYI- don’t ask me what I’m writing about. I can’t talk about it or I will have to stop. It’s just a thing with me; probably why I have about 30 partially written stories over the years. My goal for 2014 is to actually get it finished and send it off somewhere to see if I can get it published. Hey- you never know until you try, right?

Day 3

This morning I awoke to the sound of Zoe and Parker loudly playing “Mario World 3D.” Not my favorite way to start the day. I had told my mother that we would make a trip down to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle to check out an exhibit on race in America (ethnicity, not fast cars) and today was the day. I was waffling about whether to wake Nathan up and have him watch them or bring them with me. I decided I would bring them.

Me: We’re going to the Science center today.

Parker: I don’t want to.

Me: I don’t care. I don’t want you staying home, sitting around doing nothing, playing video games all day.

Parker: (blank stare) How is that doing nothing?




The exhibit was great, although having the kids there definitely limited me on my ability to take my time and really absorb it.


487 Parker looking through his skin


After we finished with that part of the exhibit, we headed for the rest of the Science Center. Of course, being the genius science-minded people they are, you have to go through the souvenir/toy shop on the way to the rest of the exhibits. We got waylaid there for a bit before, upon promise of a return, I finally dragged Parker out of there.

The kids ended up really enjoying the science center, particularly the animatronic dinosaurs

520He enjoyed this more than it appears


and the butterfly garden.



That butterfly garden was amazing, not just for the flowers and butterflies, but also for the calm it brought over Parker. They emphasize you have to walk slowly and carefully, so as not to step on a butterfly that might be “resting” on the ground. He spent quite a while just watching the butterflies and the fish in the pond. Zoe figured out that the Koi liked to eat the lily pads, so she fed them. I’m pretty sure that broke about a dozen rules, but it was so serene I just let her.





They also liked the body exhibit, and their favorite aspect was the aging computers. The program took a photo of your face, and then showed a natural aging process, along with aging that is influenced by smoking, obesity and sun exposure. They tried to get my mother to do it, but she said, “I already know what I look like old.”

578Zoe at 70?


When we finally got back to the gift shop, Parker decided on the Thor hammer. It probably wasn’t my smartest parenting move. Sitting in Seattle rush hour traffic, I eventually had to take it from him, as he was whacking the back of my seat and his sister’s fingers with it.

Overall it was a great day, though,  and I’m glad we went.

Day 4

I thought about Facebook a lot this morning. I miss it so much I felt a little queasy thinking about it. I’m trying to take my mind off of it by doing laundry and watching cheesy lifetime romance movies.

The last one I watched was about a woman waking up to find herself living the life she had dreamed of, only to  discover the reality of the fantasy wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Not a novel concept for a movie, but it did make me think- be careful what you wish for. Many times what we believe is a step towards a better life is really just exchanging one set of problems for another set.

You know, like in Jay Z’s song “Holy Grail.”

I noticed today that Candy Crush keeps trying to get me to send extra moves to two friends who passed away last year. “_____ has been stuck for 164 days. Send them extra moves.” It was a sobering experience. Two vibrant young women whose lives were cut short by cancer, and I’m spending my time playing Candy Crush. I’ve given up Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing anything other than biding my time until I can get back on. The whole point of this fast was to improve myself and my life. I know it’s only day 4, but I still don’t think I’m getting it.

On a side note, I’ll bet Heaven has unlimited Candy Crush lives.

Day 5

Delirium has set in. I keep hearing voices…


Turns out it’s my children talking to me. I wonder how long that’s been going on.


On the bright side, I’ve figure out how to get Parker interested in football. All I needed to do was sit him at the kitchen table with his homework in front of him and the game on TV. Suddenly he can’t tear his eyes away from the screen.

Day 6

The kids went back to school today. Hooray!

Zoe isn’t feeling well, but I told her to suck it up and go to school. I can’t tell whether I’m the meanest mom ever, or I’m teaching her good life skills.

I took her to the walk-in clinic, which turned into a 2 ½ hour ordeal. I’m sure we’ll both end up coming down with some horrendous disease from sitting amongst all those sick people.

Tonight was the official first night of the “Bachelor.” I have been watching this show since it began in 2001. I think that technically makes me an expert.

Case in point: I picked the girl most likely to have a meltdown simply based on her intro segment. Not only was I right, she completely came unhinged before the end of the first cocktail party on the very first night.

Jeff said, “You were right. You spotted the crazy. I think you were tuned in to her frequency.”

I pretended to ignore his implication.

I always wonder what the friends and family of these emotionally fragile (unstable) women are thinking by encouraging them to go on this show. They should be in therapy, not plying themselves with booze and thrown into a houseful of catty women, just so they can be rejected on national TV.

And yet, this is why we watch.

Oh, and the quest for true love, blah blah blah. I think after all these years I have developed a healthy cynicism for the whole endeavor, in spite of my inner romantic wanting to believe in fairy tale happy endings.

The limo pulls up, and the girls begin to shriek and giggle. I mumble to myself, “Girls are stupid.”

My husband responds, “Oh like you never acted like that?”

After a long silent stare I said, “Do you even KNOW me at all?”

Trust me, I’ve never been the type to titter and flutter around a man. I’m more the “punch him in the arm” type. Less Betty Boop, more Lucy Van Pelt.

As these women pour out of the limo, they’ve already imbibed more than enough alcohol to enable their truly awkward introduction shenanigans. Hint to Juan Pablo- Any woman who shows up on the first night with a fake baby bump talking about having your baby…run! As fast as those nice little soccer legs of yours will carry you. Run far away.

I did like Andi the attorney, though.  I said, “She’s cute and smart. She’s a prosecutor.”

Zoe: “She’s a prostitute?!?”

This is how nasty rumors get started.

I’m a little stunned by the reaction of the girl who received the first impression rose. I don’t think anyone in the history of the show has ever answered the question, “Will you accept this rose?” with a grimace, a long pause and a terse, “Sure.”

This, of course, means she’s likely to be the one he will chase after the whole season. Mark my words.

Day 7

I’d have to say the most frustrating part of this whole experience is the fact that I’m not cheating, but everyone has taken it upon themselves to try to catch me doing what I said I wasn’t going to do.

Now, if I had said to them, “I don’t think I have enough self-control to do this on my own without supervision. Please harass me several times throughout the day to make sure I’m not on Facebook,” then I could understand. But I didn’t. This was my choice, and if I fail, I am the one who has to live with it. I’m not a fan of being babysat.

Today at school pickup my friend said to Parker, “Thanks a lot Parker. Now that you have an Instagram account, MY son wants an Instagram account.”

I looked at him.

“You have an Instagram account? Since when?”

He shrugged his shoulders.

I looked at Zoe.

“Did you help Parker create an Instagram account without my knowledge or permission?”

“Yes, but he hasn’t posted anything yet.”

I’m only off Social media for a week and I have one of my kids creating Instagram accounts, and, so I hear,  a Facebook friend using a close-up photo of my t-shirt (boobs)  as his cover photo.


One week down, two to go.