Why I’m not interested in your magic

We all have them.  Friends and/ or family who are super excited to share with you the revolutionary new product they have the inside scoop on.  And we are so lucky… I mean really really lucky… that they have decided to share this with us… get us in just before it explodes onto the market.  We’ll be rich.  We can retire early.  We will literally have the life that everyone dreams of.  For just a modest sign up fee, a modest investment into the “business builder” package and a commitment to autoship…… hold the phone…. what??  When did I get moved from the “friend” pile to the “opportunity” pile?

The latest example of this in my life is a revolutionary weight loss product that a branch of the family tree  is peddling. Guaranteed to work without changing a single thing in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely immune to this… I have struggled with my weight since college and I have drunk this type of kool-aid many many times.  But getting older has a way of turning down the noise in this department.  I am truly happy and I am truly tired of looking for reasons not to be happy.  I know that I could lose some weight, but I have closed the door on self loathing and body image.  1) we eat very healthy 2) I don’t smoke and I barely socially drink… a couple drinks a week.. maybe 3) I exercise almost every day…  not crazy gym/ bootcamp stuff… fun family stuff like walking the dog, bike riding, hiking, skiing.  4) I still turn my husband down for sex more often than he turns me down (this is an important pendulum in my opinion) and very important 5) My children are watching me and learning, even when I think they aren’t.

So I’m not interested in the magic potion… I am choosing not to open that door again and that is the #1 reason I am not interested.  Here are a few more pretty important ones.

1- It is not a lifestyle change.  Adding a supplement to your diet is not a lifestyle change.  A lifestyle change leads to healthy long term benefits.  If you do not improve the food you put into your body and increase the exercise and energy output from your body you will gain all the weight back when you stop taking this supplement.  The habits that got you here in the first place will lead you there again.

2- Weight loss supplements are not healthy and natural. The active ingredients in these products manipulate your digestive system and unnaturally suppress your appetite.  It is hard on your kidneys, liver, gall bladder and potentially your heart.  Many of the thousands of promotional social media posts promise people that by taking these products they could control their diabetes, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and people could stop taking their medications.  My god… how dangerous it is to make these promises to people!

3- Multi Level Marketing models are not the gateway to fortune.  There are literally thousands of them out there and millions of people participating.  Less than 1% of those people actually gain financial independence  from the commissions paid.  Less than 1% actually make a respectable wage and you are giving up benefits as well as CPP or RRSP contributions.  Over 97% of people barely pay for their own personal use of the products and/ or end up losing money on this.  100% of the people trade personal/ family time for marketing time and sales.

4- My relationships are important to me.  I have a respectable professional reputation with a valuable network of people in my field.  I have friendships built on support and trust that I consider a gift.  I have a deep love for my family, again based on support and trust.  I will not exploit the connections I have.  I will not pretend to care how people are when my real end game is to screenshot the conversation and share it in my quest to make a dollar.  My relationships are a gift.  They are not an opportunity and they are not for sale.

People were meant to be loved.  Things were meant to be used.  The world is in chaos because things are loved and people are used.  Dalai Lama

 

Put yourself first.

Put yourself first.  You see this advice everywhere from safety messages on an airline to time management workshops to financial advisers.  Don your own mask first… schedule your downtime….pay yourself first.  What they don’t say is “Except for you, mom”.  But it is just in our nature to nurture and this rarely means we actually put ourselves first.  My favorite quote about being mom has to be this one by Tenneva Jordan “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

I am not quite as eloquent as Ms. Jordan when I have finally reached my breaking point and my child asks “why do you (insert behavior here)” and my answer includes some watered down version of “just wait until you have your own kids and you too can feel like a POW.”  I’m kidding, I don’t actually say that… it’s usually much more guilt ridden and peppered with F-bombs.  I have 40 plus years of catholic experience… believe me; I can lay on the guilt. How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb? Four. 1 to change the light and 3 to feel bad it went out.

I run into people and they ask me what’s new and I say “work, kids, laundry, groceries…. you know… living the dream.”  And they nod knowingly, say “yeah, me too” and we laugh and walk away.  At one time in our former lives I’m sure we were dynamic.  We were trendy, we were sporty, we were well read, we looked forward to social events because we knew that at least for some of the time we would be the center of attention and we would shine in the spotlight.  I have not been that woman for a long time.

I recently had lunch with 2 old friends from high school.  One is a single mom, with an interesting career and a new love interest who adores her.  The other is financially secure and is embracing “40 is the new 20” with an action packed single lifestyle.  I sat there feeling like I have never had so little to offer to a conversation.  Don’t get me wrong… I love my life.  I have a happy marriage, a successful career and 2 beautiful well adjusted kids.  But nothing about our lives is newsworthy… oh wait… they did seem surprised that my husband and I still had sex regularly.  You know, the surprise like “really? And you aren’t bored to death? Do you picture someone else while you do it?”  Harmless comments really.  And it never fails that we end the visit with them saying “You’re so lucky… that’s what I’m looking for.”  Apparently everyone is striving for a life where “bored to death” is the first thing that comes to mind.

So why is it that aging is not restricted to our bodies?  Why does our vivaciousness have to sag along with everything else?  I already know that as the kids get more independent and **sigh** spread their wings, the minutes will come back and I will have more and more to spend on me…. but does the rest come back? Will I ever walk into a room full of peers and start conversations with “I” again and have that energy… that shine? Will I ever truly put myself first again?  Sometimes I miss me.

Why I quit Facebook

Hello. I am a Facebook addict. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? There probably are groups for social media addicts out there…. but really who has the time? And I imagine fluffy support groups like that only exist in big cities…. in sunny climates…. or in the movies….Here, just slightly north of the 55th parallel we like to save our crying in large groups for when summer fails to fall on a weekend. In all seriousness though, after 8+ years as a faithful Facebook contributor, I am finally free. And I started this blog approximately 3.5 minutes later. So in reality… I’ve only succeeded in swapping my cocaine for heroin. The bonus though, is that I can do this anonymously, instead of inviting everyone into my living room to run their proverbial finger along my ledges and tsk tsk about the dirt.

Introduction… okay…. as my title says, I am a northern wife. My family hails from just north of the 55th parallel, where we have actual seasons. We have hot summers, gorgeous autumns, cold snowy winters and fresh wet springs. We transplanted here on our quest for employment from a small town much further south, temperatures are always mild. Blah blah blah mild… except for the summer where it’s so hot your face melts off your skull. The expiry date on our “5 year plan” passed a very long time ago, and this is now home. My tagline theme says “everything” because that is what is in my life. I’m a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend, I work full time, I sit on various committees, I volunteer in my community… and sometimes…. very rarely… I get to just be me.

So, back to today’s theme ~ Why I quit Facebook. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you should quit too. These are just my reasons…if they ring true for you… I’m happy with a nod of the head or a “hell yes”. Putting the reasons down on paper will help me stick to my conviction. Or so it says in the handbook I am writing on the back of a napkin as we speak… Step 1- write down all the reasons why you should quit “insert social media”.

  1. It really does take up a lot more time than you think. I check it first thing in the morning, throughout the day (at the risk of getting a snotogram from the IT department), and in the evening. It was like every spare moment was a quick check to see what’s going on. Oh it wasn’t all gossipy stuff. I joined all sorts of news pages and it was helpful to be “in the know”. But truly….. the minutes add up.
  2. Being “in the know” all the time is exhausting. It is information overload… and really does it matter that I know cars are being broken into 3 neighborhoods over within seconds of it happening? What am I going to do with this information besides text all my neighbors saying “lock your doors” and miss the last half of “The Good Wife” talking about it.
  3. My kids are entering pre-teen junior high life. Maybe they are getting a little old for having their day to day issues, their smart ass comments and their goings on plastered on the internet. It’s really hard for me to teach them that social media powers are usually more evil than good when I am a user myself. I’ve toned down social drinking, reduced the amount of crap in the kitchen pantry, tried to minimize negative relationships and am trying really hard to stop f*&#ing swearing. This is just another puzzle piece.
  4. Can I blame the extra 20lbs I am carrying on Facebook? Yes. I think I can. F*%$ you Mark Zuckerberg.
  5. Everyone has an opinion, but nobody has a responsibility for that opinion. People post comments that overstep so many lines and then hide behind a picket sign that says “I have a right to my opinion.” What happened to kindness? Can’t kindness be a right? Good manners? Agree to disagree? Freedom of expression? I think that’s actually a recognized freedom. Yes. You have the right to have an opinion. But your right to an opinion does not trump another person’s right to conduct their life as they feel fit, within the laws of Canada. I guarantee that if everyone had to pick up the phone, write an email or write a letter to express their views on something… most of these “right to my opinion” posts would never materialize.
  6. Not everyone in my life wants good things for me. Not everyone in my life celebrates me. Not everyone in my life thinks fondly of me, smiles when they see me or even attempts to keep in touch with me outside of Facebook. But, there are mutual relationships, and I can’t remove them from Facebook because of the shit storm it would cause. So I find myself either not sharing things I’d like to or editing my privacy settings for different posts because, lets be honest, I am a turtle and I will avoid confrontation if I can. Ridiculously juvenile behavior and I’m tired of it. Actually, in a way I have freed these people too (you’re welcome). Now if they want to be connected with me they will have to pick up the goddam phone and call or actually come see us. And when they don’t because we both know they don’t want to, well that’s okay too. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I am okay with that because my own cup is overflowing already.

I was going for 10 reasons but I think I actually doubled up on a few so 6 will have to do. Sometimes “good enough” actually IS. So there you have it. I guess there I have it because this is my first entry into a blog less than 12 hours old so I have no readers yet. There I have it. My first journal entry. I’ll call it a blog if I get 10 followers. Maybe 5. Okay… if anyone actually follows this blog I will call it a blog… until then maybe I should start with “Dear Diary” or “Are you there, God? It’s me……