Tag Archives: friends

Saturday SHOUT-Out: My BFF

Standard

This morning, I would like to give a huge SHOUT out to my BFF, Nikel.  She does not have a blog, but  is one of the few people in my “real” life who read my blog.  She is a huge support in my life, even though we don’t really get to hang out with one another that often anymore.

I met Nikel ten years ago, when we were working together at the same agency.  She left to go on to bigger and better things, and then had her babies and spent some years at home.  Out of all my friends who have come and gone over the past decade, she is the only one who has stood the test of time and space.

She’s back at work part time, which is pretty impressive.  Her ability to juggle stuff never fails to amaze me.  She’s the person who is always super thoughtful and does things like leaves a lasagna with fresh basil on your doorstep when you are eight months pregnant and having a nervous breakdown.

I quite frankly am amazed by her, and flattered she would choose to have me in her life.

She loves me, despite the fact that after ten years I still can’t remember her birthday (a. I don’t remember anyone’s birthdays other than my kids, it is a mental defect in me, and b.  her birthday was Friday in case you were wondering, but I wished it to her on Thursday because I suck like that).

Nikel “gets me”.  We are like Meredith and Christina on Grey’s Anatomy.  She is Meredith of course because she’s skinny and looks great in jeans, and I’m Christina because, you know, the butt face and irritability.  She’s my person.

One time I got the random urge to make up a song and sing it to her when we were working together.  I marched up to her desk, my arms pumping back and forth and sang, “Nikel, she is a friend of mine!  Nikel, she is so nice and fine!  Nikel, she makes me giggle.  She has brown hair and a really nice smile!”  She laughed and we got a coffee.  How many people would just accept such silliness and not have me committed, I’ve wondered throughout the years.

Here are a few other things that make her great:

  • When I had postpartum depression after my first baby, Nikel (who’s first baby was just a few months older), got me to come to a baby yoga class that totally helped me bond with Jack and feel less isolated as a new mom.
  • Nikel can totally tell when I am texting her in my Napoleon Dynamite voice.
  • She also replies compassionately to my ragey PMS texts without thinking I’m a total freak.  Or maybe she does but she doesn’t make me feel that way.

She’s been there for me with understanding and quiet perseverance through dating woes, wedding planning, fights with my spouse, miscarriage, pregnancy, and all the little highs and lows of parenting.  Even though we haven’t known each other since we were tiny kids, I still feel like we have gone through almost as much life together.

Big love to Nikel!!  And happy belated birffday.

Who is your BFF?  What makes them so special to you?  

Saturday SHOUT Out is my way of acknowledging other bloggers and friends who touch my life and make the world a better place. If you would like to be featured in a Saturday SHOUT Out, please let me know in the comments below. It is also encouraged (and good etiquette) that you check out the others featured, and be familiar with the format and vibe of Momaste. Thanks!

Advertisements

Un-Friending With Mindfulness

Standard

Have you ever unfriended anyone?  Has anyone ever unfriended YOU?  What did it feel like?  Did you press that virtual “unfriend” button in a fit of rage and despair over a relationship broken beyond repair, or did you just do it as a matter of fact?  Did you contemplate what you were about to do, and why you were doing it?

Using the internet mindfully is one of my biggest challenges.  Technology often stands in my way of leading a productive existence.  I numb my stress at the end of the day with television, and my hand forever reaches out for my iphone to check “notifications.”

Of course sometimes tech is handy.  Texting my husband to let him know I am late, or texting my BFF to vent can be convenient and comfortable.

But there are so many other times when I click that button solely by force of habit, and scroll. . .

What could I be doing with the minutes and hours I log while logging on?

I have a love/not love relationship with Facebook.  I like checking in with friends and catching up with people from my past.  I was a shy loner in high school and had lost touch with friends from college as well, so when I first joined Facebook five years ago, it felt healing to reconnect with people, to see how far we have come, and to bind old wounds.

Initially, I wanted to “friend” as many people as I could.  It felt like a popularity contest.  I looked at other profiles that had hundreds of “friends,” and felt stabs of envy and wonder.

As time passed, Facebook morphed into a stream of memes and advertisements for other products and pages.  I find myself less engaged with my friends and more of a techno zombie, scrolling down through statuses and political commentary in which I am not really interested.

When I stop to check myself, I realize I’m bored and wonder why I allow social media to suck up my precious time.

The whole issue of privacy is also a curious conundrum.  On one hand I hold privacy sacred, but on the other hand, I put my private thoughts and pictures out there for nearly 200 “friends” to view (and I realize that is a relatively smallish friend list).

Or maybe I “like” a status or page that is controversial to someone and causes drama or harsh feelings.  Not everyone shares my intense feelings about breastfeeding and saving the orcas.

Have we all done it?  Scrolled down and witnessed someone’s hideous new tattoo or very public meltdown and either cringed inwardly or licked our lips in satisfaction?  I can’t speak for you, but I’ve done it.  It makes me feel judgey wudgey.  When I tune into the thoughts, I don’t like the negativity which leads to insecure anxiety–  what if people I consider friends are looking at my statuses, or pictures of my children. and thinking, “Oh wow, I feel sorry for her and her sad life.”

Or worse.

I admit to feeling supreme satisfaction when I post a photo and it instantly gets 20 likes, or when I write a status and people comment like crazy.  It feels good to be liked.  That’s only natural, right?

What is that all about?  What kind of validation are we seeking with all our selfies and photos of food?  It feels like on one hand we want to be seen and realized, yet on the other hand we only want to be seen behind this literal and figurative screen.  We crave closeness but tech is keeping us farther away from people in the physical world.

It gives me pause.

As I evolve with Facebook, I find I don’t want more “friends.”  I want less.

I’ve contemplated whittling down my friend list.  But how?  “Un-friending” seems such a harsh term.  Would people’s feelings be hurt?  Should I send a message letting people know it was nothing personal, but I was just trying to reduce my digital footprint?  Or would the people even notice?

I’m sure I’ve been unfriended plenty of times.  I only noticed or was hurt by it once.  When I first got on Facebook, I reconnected with my high school boyfriend.  We had not talked in over 15 years and it was cool sharing our life stories.  He married the woman he dated after me and had two children.  We chatted for a few weeks, and then I noticed he was gone.  Confused, I messaged him to ask if I had done something to offend him.  He let me know he wished me well, and I had done nothing wrong, but his wife was creeped out by our “friendship.”  I was incredulous, and it stung.

I pondered these issues, and in the end, I decided to just do it.  I found 25 people to delete:

  • That mom I met on the playground (four years ago) and was going to have a play date with but never did.
  • The guy I knew for five minutes in high school who became a big shot makeup artist and posts really snarky, narcissistic stuff.
  • Parents who had kids in my son’s daycare that I haven’t seen in two years.
  • The people I added from high school I never really knew.
  • A lady I worked with eight years ago who left the agency and we never talked again.
  • Someone who routinely posts negative and passive-aggressive comments.
  • That guy I dated 20 years ago.  Oh wait, that was my husband.  He can stay…

It felt uncomfortable for  a moment or two.  I was anxious I would offend someone, or that I would miss out on some important information.  The discomfort passed and I got on with my life.  My Facebook experience is already more concise and pleasant.  In a few more weeks, I may go back and delete a bit more. . .

At the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt.  But I also don’t want to read all the exercise and diet-shake posts from that personal trainer.  They make me edgy.  I can’t tell you why; they just do.  I also want to be sharing with a more exclusive, intimate, and real group of friends.

How about you?  What size is your digital footprint?  Do you have any feelings/opinions about unfriending?  

 

MY Inaugural Saturday SHOUT Out– January 25th 2014, Boof And Monk Monk

Standard

Today I would like to give a very, super, happy, fun, yippie skippie, and warm shout out to my pal Monk Monk over at her blog, Boof and Monk Monk.  If you do one thing today, check.  her.  out.

Even though we’ve never met IRL, I’m pretty sure Monk Monk and I were twins separated at birth.  We have this weird blogging kismet where we come up with similar thoughts or topics at the same time, have similar senses of humor, and share similar interests.  Oh and we are both six-foot-tall social workers and mothers of toddlers.  If we hung out together we would constantly be saying, “Jinx, you owe me a coke!” (or a cosmo),  because we would both just be saying the same stuff at the same time.  The only difference between us is that she lived in India and I’m terrified of snakes.  True story.

Monk Monk and I found each other through the former Offbeat Families site, where we had both guest posted.  She commented on a piece I had written on sucking as a working mom and I was drawn to her Wonder Woman avatar like a moth to a flame.  Turns out we both blog here at WP, so it was easy to follow one another’s blogs, and we quickly became friends.  She never hesitates to leave a thoughtful comment or some supportive advice.

Monk Monk is a devoted wife and mom, and currently works as a teacher.  Her adorable little man, Sir Potamus, is often featured in her blogs, teaching her all kinds of life lessons.  She has a passion for heated yoga, her family, and taking photos in thrift stores.  She writes posts that are at once humorous, sensitive, and transcendent.  A recurring theme in her work is adoption, and being an adoptee who has connected with her birth family.

One of my favorite posts from Monk Monk is Coyote Mother.  Trickster Mother.  I love the poetry of this piece.  It has warmth, humor, truth, and strength that really resonated with me long after I read it.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Blog on Monk Monk, you gorgeous yogini!  Momaste loves you!

As many of you read in my teaser post yesterday, I am doing a new segment called Saturday SHOUT Out.  It is a chance for me to give a virtual, but loving pat on the back to a fellow blog-bud out there who has touched my life in a special way, as I have met some truly amazing people through the bloggie boogie.  It was exciting yesterday to see how well-recieved this idea was!  

If you would like to be featured on an upcoming SHOUT Out, please let me know either by emailing me, or in the comments below.  If would also be good karma if you check out the other featured blogs, and add them to your roster of blogs in your reader if you enjoy them, so that we are all sharing the love!   Hugs and MOMASTE!!