Unplugging

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Unplugging- what *is* unplugging and if it is what I think it is why on earth would anyone want to do that? It seems like every day there’s another device that makes connecting to the internet, the television (you can get cable on your phone now and netflix? Well, that’s been a godsend on doctors appointments running late and grocery trips where the list is more than “milk, eggs, bread”), and each other just a little bit easier. Heck, right now I could be writing this, listening to pandora, checking my email, texting a friend, and surfing the web all at the same times from. my. phone. It’s crazy. With all this at our fingertips it’s no wonder I sometimes find J and I both sitting side by side intently staring at our phones. Or, I find myself obsessively checking facebook or playing silly games whenever I have a lull between changing diapers and teaching Anya letters.

Sometimes, it gets overwhelming to say the least. Sure, I love being able to stay in touch with friends who I don’t see often (or in some cases never have- hello baby group friends who live all over the USA) with facebook or being able to text my best friend every day in betwixt all the chaos that is life with children. I no longer need to set aside an hour for us to chat on the phone- we can stay caught up with each other every day in the minutes here or there that we have free without setting aside a chunk of time that to be honest, neither of us really have! But, there comes a point when it just gets to be too much. In fact, I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t sit through a whole television show without needing to be doing something else (I do often like the TV as background noise to other activities but when the phone is disrupting Downton Abbey viewing something must be done). So, I decided to give up most internet perusing/gaming on my phone for lent (along with Diet Coke- though I give that up on and off throughout the year and I usually fail pretty quickly…so far so good though..it’s been all of three days).

And, so far, it’s been…liberating. I still find myself scrolling through my phone when I’m bored (the age of information has severely damaged my attention span- and we wonder why all these people are popping up with ADD- it’s society that’s a-changing not our minds) but quickly snap out of it and shut it off. Disconnecting from facebook is another thing that has helped me focus on tasks at hand- every day this week we’ve been dressed before noon and with colds (heck even without) this is kind of an impressive feat in the Fuller household (in our defense we often don’t make it out of bed until 10 am…but I’m not sure if that’s better or worse). I do miss being able to hop on facebook and share highlights from the day or funny things the girls are saying/doing now or heck even to vent a little. But, maybe it’s not a bad thing not to document every time we eat a meal, hear a joke, or watch a movie. I’d love to say it’s giving me more time to be productive and sew or blog but really- our life is just as hectic as ever, just slightly more productive. And, I’ve found myself actually having conversations where I don’t absent mindedly nod and realize I did not hear a single thing that was just said (this mostly happens with Jonathan- though I’m not sure I’m missing much since it’s mostly when he’s talking about playing “Ingress” *eyes glazing over*=).

Lenten sacrifices are not supposed to be like a New Year’s resolution, but sometimes they do have similar benefits. Hey, fasting and giving up sweets can leave you five pounds lighter and that’s just how I feel about disconnecting even if it is only a little bit (hey, I still need to occasionally skim pinterest- how else would I find delicious recipes like chocolate peanutbutter cheesecake brownies???)- I’m emotionally and mentally 5 lbs lighter- and this is only three days in!

Saying goodbye to facebook and hello to a Valentine's celebration with my little girls.

Saying goodbye to facebook and hello to a Valentine’s celebration with my little girls.

Everybody Wants to Love

I think it’s fitting that the following thought occurred to me on my birthday. I was watching the Olympics at my parents house in passing really (which is the only way I watch any type of sports- just not my idea of a good time) and a commercial came on *for* the olympics. It was showing all the girls on the women’s gymnastics team and giving an inspirational dialogue about them. In it, the announcer said “this is what they’ve been giving up time with loved ones for”- or something to that extent. And, I sat there thinking really? This is what they’re spending hours away from the people they love for? Does it really matter? Is it really worth giving up time with your children (as their parents have to allow their children to spend so much of their time training)?? My answer is no. So, maybe I’ll never do anything great or important or be recognized for anything by millions of people around the world. But, you know what? When my girls grow up they are going to have millions of memories with me and their daddy that can’t be replaced by money, medals, or prizes. To me, that announcer could have phrased it differently because to me it seems more like, “you gave up time with loved ones for this??”

 

(Disclaimer: I am not belittling people who devote many hours to becoming great and contributing to our history- it’s awesome in a way, it’s just not a priority to me. It’s nice to realize that even though I may never accomplish anything “noteworthy” in my life, it’s exactly what I want to be doing- no regrets)

What I’ve been reading…

There’s a place for everything and everyone, you know. That is the mistake they make[…]They think that only certain people have a place. Only certain kinds of people belong. The rest is waste.

~ Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I’ve been reading a lot lately (which is one of the reasons I haven’t been posting much- all my free time has gone to reading instead of crafting!). I started with some Orson Scott Card that J bought me for Valentine’s day but still need to order the book that was missing from the Alvin Maker series at the book store (OSC needs to get with it and stop being so stuck up about e-books =). So, I moved on to the Hunger Games and from there it’s been more sci-fi teen-ish fiction. The funny thing, though, is that these books actually tackle some pretty relevant issues. I mean yeah the actual writing is a little teen-ish (though not awful by any stretch…I’ve read some pretty awful books in my day), but the actual concepts are pretty interesting.

The first series I jumped into after the Hunger Games, was Matched by Ally Condie. The premise is that there is this world where you don’t have to make any decisions at all. You never actually choose anything from the clothes you wear (everyone wears the same thing), to the food you eat (delivered three times a day to your doorstep), to your job, or even who you marry.

The one I’m reading now, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, depicts a world where love is a disease and scientists have found a cure. The government has made any form of affection a crime and forced all the citizens to receive the cure whether they do so willingly or not.

The ideas in the book are very similar. The government is doing it for the citizens’ own good. Disease and deformities are wiped out, peace and order are maintained with little force, and everyone is happier because of the government’s intervention. Or so it seems. In both stories, the focal point is the heroines awakening to the falseness of her life. Everything she has been brought up to believe is false and ultimately, she must join the “resistence” in order to fight the flawed system.

Both books have been somewhat entertaining and thought provoking, but it wasn’t until tonight when I was reading the second book in the Delirium series that something really hit home. The heroine, Lena, encounters some “invalids” (the term refers to uncureds and those not accepted by society). Throughout the story we have met invalids but to this point these were people who were either born outside of the boundaries of cured society or people who chose to run away to avoid the cure. These people, however, were obviously rejected by society because of their appearance. The people are all deformed: missing limbs, disproportionate features, humpbacked. They have escaped underground to escape death from the governing force. This is obviously supposed to be a shocking and disgusting idea. That all people without physical worth lack any worth at all. However, is that really any different than what is going on in our society today? Ninety percent of all down syndrome babies are aborted. The first question when faced with a possible  in utero trisomy diagnosis is whether or not you would be interested in an abortion. Heck, in the news right now, there is a lot of controversy over whether or not gender selection abortions should be made illegal. According to Planned Parenthood, not only should they be allowed but if you want one, it should be encouraged. A recent undercover operation captured a PP employee giving advice to a “patient” seeking information on acquiring a sex selection abortion. The employee also gave helpful tips on cheating the medicaid system and getting pregnant immediately following an abortion. See the full video on live action’s website.

I wonder how many people are shocked and disgusted when reading these types of things and, yet, these things are actually happening every single day in our own country and so many people not only see nothing wrong with it but see it as “freedom.” Of course the same people who support such “freedom” often also support forced healthcare which kind of seems the opposite of freedom to me but that’s a whole different complaint about our society that I’ll save for another day.