Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Leaves become most beautiful as they're about to die"

Last weekend we went walking around in the fall leaves. There is something about being in nature that makes one feel more at peace. To me it seems evident after being out in the woods that man was never made to be apart from the earth. At least for too long. We need to be outside. To see the trees, feel the sun, and hear the water running around us. When we got back from our walk we all smelled like sweet leaves. It may sound funny, but it was the smell in my hair, and in Blanche's too. Even my camera smelled sweet.

I know that I do have friends that love being outside, to disconnect from the busy world. But many of my friends seem to never really do that. I know that my generation is worse than my parents about it, and I fear Blanche's will be even more so. Technology is so great. But it also can slowly kill you. I may sound dramatic, but it is true. It is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Sometimes I long for my life to be simple. But there is something inside of me that knows its not like that anymore. At least my brain thinks so. My brain thinks, "I need to scroll through a newsfeed on Facebook". What I started to realize though, was that I wasn't looking through facebook to keep up with people. I was just scrolling to scroll. To help my day go by. Then I started testing myself. I would literally stop and try to remember what I had looked at and read. And most of the time I couldn't even remember. So then I thought, maybe one day Blanche would be grown. And I wouldn't be able to remember the way she would look at her baby dolls at a year old. Or I wouldn't remember what her laugh would sound like when it broke through the silence. And then maybe I would be sad that I had given up hundreds of "small" moments to look at something less important on my phone. Something that I couldn't even recall what was so interesting.

I have this problem with wanting to feel really important. I want hundreds (maybe thousands) to know my name and think that I am wonderful. That my daughter is amazing, and that I must have a life worth living. And for some reason, I a lot of the time believe that I can achieve this by getting several likes on a picture I post. Or how many people read my blog. Its kind of funny, because as soon as this blog actually started getting views (Almost always because of me posting and linking it on Facebook) I decided to get rid of my Facebook for awhile. Meaning maybe no one would read anymore. Meaning I couldn't post my witty little comments anymore. And the funny thing is, its only been about a week, but I can tell that much more of myself was invested in facebook than I thought. Maybe some of you think, "wow, I am not like you. I don't have that problem". For the older generation, I am sure you are right. But for anyone my age, I challenge you to try it. See if you are more invested in it than you realize. Maybe I am worse because I am home alone every day with a person that can't talk to me. Well, besides "baby" and "boo". Maybe I get on to feel like I have hundreds of friends in my apartment with me. Maybe social media is so huge because there are lots of lonely people.

Anyways, I am admitting that often times I am lonely. And that instead of numbing the feeling by looking through online forums and meaningless information, I will embrace it. I guess I will find out why I am lonely. I will look and see if I am happy. I will go on walks with my family and leave my phone at home. You know, like the old days, when your phone couldn't travel everywhere with you. Yes, I'm keeping my instagram and blog and posting pictures. I want to keep my family that is far away updated. But I am trying to put down the phone. Even when I rock or nurse Blanche to sleep sometimes for 45 minutes. I found out that I haven't allowed myself to be bored or mentally silent in a long time. If I felt stuck laying in bed with Blanche in the dark... I just got out my phone. But this last week as I lay there with nothing but my baby and my mind... it has been so interesting to see what it is that my mind wanders to. Almost all of the time my mind would go to memories. Would go to thinking and reflecting about my life. I always claim to be so busy, but when we don't have cable and I'm not online all the time... suddenly I have more time to think. And as far as I know, thinking and reflecting are good things.


  1. Oh I think it's so important to learn how to be alone with nothing to entertain you. Good for you!

    And on the subject of being outside - have you read 'The Last Child in the Woods'? It's a very good read with lots of great evidence on why we should do more of just what you're trying to do: spend some time outside every day without any distractions, just be outside. I don't agree with the world view this book is written but I do agree with the evidence it shares.

  2. I have always admired you honest and transparency! Andrew and Blanche are blessed to call you wife and mother and I am blessed to call you daughter!

  3. Jenny, Yes Andrew has that book! I have started it in the past but do need to try and read it. I am in the middle of another at the moment, but I am going to put it on my winter reading list!

    And thanks for the encouragement mom : )