Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘GPS’

The Purge

Most married couples have their fights.  After you’ve been married a while, you realize that you’re really  just having the same fight on a different day.  Slightly different versions of the same fight.  But still, the same fight.    At least that is what Scott and I do.

A typical danger zone for Scott and me is when we are in a new place.  He is driving, and I am navigating.  I am terrible at navigation.  He is terrible at patience.   The first time Scott used GPS to navigate, he was alone with Eddie. When they arrived at their destination, Scott called me right away.  He wanted to tell me that the  GPS was marriage saving technology.

Another thing Scott and I  fight about is stuff.  Things.  Objects.  We treat stuff differently.  Scott treats his stuff very carefully.  He keeps it organized and in good repair.  He holds on to his stuff FOR.EVER.

I’m not so careful.  I think it’s just stuff.  Here today.  Gone Tomorrow.  I usually want to get rid of our stuff.

Recently, we were driving somewhere in my car.  Scott was in the driver’s seat.  He found his sunglasses that he had been looking for in the pocket of the door.  They were broken.  He was a little irritated.  He said, “Can’t we agree that you should just use your stuff, and I’ll just use my stuff?”  Then, he added, “If you do use my stuff, could you at least try to take care of it?”

I’m like, “Can we agree for you to  not be so picky?  They’re just sunglasses.   I don’t know what Scott gets all worked up about, anyway.  They work, don’t they?”



I thought Scott would never change.  For years we have been arguing about all this stuff.  I try to haul it out the door, he tries to drag it back inside.  He admits that one of his biggest fears is that we will be in need of something that we have given away.  It’s not his fault.  He grew up in the Great Depression.  Well, he didn’t, but he certainly could have.  He would have done well for himself in the Great Depression.

Scott has had an epiphany lately. This summer he is becoming a new man.  He is finally ready to get rid of stuff.  I’m shocked at what he’s finally ready to let go.  We have been tearing through the basement, and hauling away bags of silly, old stuff.

He has had these slippers for as long as I have known him.  He says he’s ready to give them away.  He was thinking to charity.  I was thinking to the incinerator.  Think of the lucky young man who will stumble across these shiny slippers at Goodwill.  The things our family does for those less fortunate.  I didn’t mean to make you cry.  I’m sorry.   Let us just be an inspiration to you and your family.  Give until it hurts.




The slippers were a huge indication of how serious Scott is about ridding ourselves of all of these things that are unnecessary.  Something even bigger than slippers happened though.  Scott said we could get rid of this:

dubuque girl


You know what that is?  That is a signed poster from the spokes model for Dubuque Star  Beer.   The model signed this for Scott when he was a freshman in college.  Yes, that’s a cornfield behind her.  In Iowa we laid out at the cornfield.

She wrote on the poster, “Dear Scott, you’re the hottest guy I’ve seen all day.  Thanks, Mary”

This was a big moment for Scott.  I know he had a lot of unspoken emotional attachment to this poster.  Mary was a special lady.   Scott spent some quality minutes with her while she took the time to sign this poster.

Over the years we’ve run across that poster several times.  Scott never failed to show me what Mary wrote.

“Miki, did you see what is written on this poster?”

“Yep,” I said. “I read it.  Again.”

I could tell it was a fond memory for him.  I was always impressed.  I felt like a pretty lucky person to have gotten the guy Mary thought was so hot.  The hottest.

After we cleaned the basement and threw the poster in the garbage, I told Scott I was proud of him.  I said that I knew it was a big deal for him to get rid of all that stuff, especially the memento from his special lady friend.  I said, I’m sure you really were the hottest guy there that day.

He was watching TV when I said that.  He didn’t bother to look away from the TV.  He casually replied, “Oh, I asked her to write that.”

This whole thing.  This life of mine.  It’s all been a lie.











I’m Addicted to Facebook

I’m usually a “I won’t be mastered by anything” type of gal.    I don’t eat too much (most days), drink too much, or shop too much.   Everything in moderation.  Except Facebook.  I Facebook too much.  I definitely Facebook too much.

Facebook addict

Recently, I had to give my Smartphone to Scott for a day.  He needed the GPS.  His rotary phone doesn’t have that app.  I offered my phone to him, because he was traveling with our sons.  I didn’t want them to get lost.   It was hard to give my phone up for a day.  I check Facebook from my phone.  I decided I didn’t want my family to get lost  more than I wanted to maintain my access to Facebook.  Barely.

I was with my parents and sisters the day I gave  up my phone.  They had some fun at my expense.   My family knows my Facebook dependence is hardcore. They said they’d be there for me when I hit rock bottom.  They’d wipe the sweat from my forehead, and hold my jittery hands as I fought through my compulsion to check on my Facebook friends.

For Gosh sakes, that was a long day.  Who knows how many naughty kitty sightings,  inspirational quotes and pictures of what’s for dinner I missed?  It is sad.  I’ll never get those moments with my Facebook friends back.


cat post

I made it through the day without being admitted into rehab.  We met Scott and the boys later that night.   I was so happy to see him again.  My phone, I mean.

I started thinking about this day without Facebook.  It started bugging me.  Once I get bugged, I have a hard time getting unbugged.  I thought there might be something I was supposed to be thinking about.  Something I might need to  learn.

Facebook is just a perfect fit for people like me.  I have always admired and been attracted to shy, humble, introverted people.  Many of my closest friends fit that description.  I married one of those people.

I like shy, humble, introverted people so much that I have wished I could be like them many times in my life.  Especially right after I do or say something I’d like to forget.   I love the idea of being private.  I want to measure my words and share information sparingly.  I want to be slow to trust, and have a small circle of friends.

People who do that seem so dignified and respectable, don’t they?  They don’t make fools of themselves.  They don’t have to retract their words, and apologize for saying too much.  And under no circumstances would it ever occur to any of those people to post silly/embarrassing  pictures of themselves  on Facebook, or spill their guts in a blog.  Those kind of people have nothing to regret.      I want to be like that.  But, really?  Who am I kidding?

wrestling moms 036

I have a small circle of trust too.  I have a strict rule about only sharing my personal thoughts with my 400 Facebook friends, and the thousand or so strangers who’ve stopped by my blog.   Other than that?  I’m a closed book.  You’re not getting a word out of me. I mean it.  Don’t even try.  I’m too shy.

I tell my kids that honesty is always our best option.   A good place to start is being honest with yourself about who you are, and how God made you.    Once you know who you are, you have to own it.  You have to fight your weaknesses and develop your strengths.

Honestly,  I’m not introverted or shy.  I guess you knew that. I like people.  I like a lot of people. I like to tell people I like them.  I like to share what’s in my head.

You know what else I like to do?  I like to listen.  It’s true.  I like to hear about people’s cats, their headaches and what they had for dinner.  And that’s why Facebook rules me.  Facebook was made for suckers like me.

Well, I won’t be ruled.  I decided to give up Facebook for 10 days.  I gave up blogging too.  My blog and Facebook are kind of package deal.  I don’t know how to do one without the other.

I said goodbye to all my virtual friends, and decided that for 10 whole days I would only communicate with people who I could talk to in person, or on the phone.  My dad told me I’d never make it.   That is  why I knew I would.

I wanted to see for myself what was wrong with Facebook.  I wanted to get answers to questions like these:

1. How much time am I REALLY spending on Facebook?

2. How much more productive can I be without Facebook?

3. Is Facebook detracting from my in-person relationships?

4. Does Facebook feed into my pride and ego?

5. Is my life better and more meaningful without Facebook?

It was a long 10 days.  I was out of sorts for the first few days.  Breaking a habit is hard.  After the first 3 or 4 days, I started to figure it out.  It got easier.

Here’s what I learned:

1. How much time am I spending on Facebook?

Answer: Too much.  I realized that for the most part I do not choose Facebook over other activities, but I always defer to Facebook.  I scroll through Facebook any time my mind has an opportunity to be silent.   Sometimes you can learn things from silence.

2. How much more productive can I be without Facebook?

Answer: Not that much.  I was disappointed by the results to this question.  I thought maybe I was on Facebook so much that I would free up hours to do things I’d been meaning to do.  I thought I could finally add that half hour of strength training to my morning routine, or have a cleaner house.  None of that happened.

I use Facebook as a distraction.  I check Facebook when I’m on hold, waiting for the dentist, or when I’m a passenger in the car.  I don’t check Facebook instead of making supper or watering the flowers.  Darn.  I really was hoping to find some lost hours in my day.  I could use them.

3. Is Facebook detracting from my in-person relationships?

Answer: Maybe. I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  I know a lot of awesome people.  I didn’t call any of them to meet for coffee during my 10 Facebook free days. I did really miss communicating with some of them on Facebook though.

4. Does Facebook feed into my pride and ego?

Answer: Yes.  For sure. This was another primary reason I wanted to stop Facebook for a while.  Humans are egocentric.  We are born that way.  Our instincts are to promote ourselves and our interests. Fighting that instinct is hard.  I think it’s worth fighting. I want to fight it.

Facebook is just  so “look-at me”.  How can we pretend it isn’t?  I hope you don’t think I have a good justification for this part of Facebook.  I don’t.

You post a picture of your family, or something you think is funny.  Then,  you go back because you want to see if anyone liked it?  What part of that scenario is about other people?  Yeah.  None of it.  What a bummer.

I know I really enjoy posts from my friends.  I like hearing what they’re up to, and what milestones they’re crossing.  I love a funny thought, or story.  I like cute pictures of pets.  I like to be inspired.

I just have to think about all that.  I have to figure out what is too much from me,  and when enough is enough.  I haven’t figured it out yet.

5. Is my life better and more meaningful with Facebook?

Answer: Yes. No. Yes and no.  Facebook gives me a an opportunity to develop my God given interests and abilities.  I love to communicate, listen and encourage.  I love getting to know people, and I really like to write.  Facebook is an ideal platform for all of that.  I’m grateful I’m alive in the era of Facebook.

We can always have too much of a good thing.   I missed Facebook when I didn’t have it.  I can see there are some valuable things that have resulted from my use of Facebook, but I also liked NOT being on Facebook.  It was relaxing.

Checking Facebook status every quiet moment had become a  fetish. Having a fetish is not like having a relaxing hobby.  Having a fetish is like having an irrepressible tic.  People take medication for that.

I really, really, really liked having more peaceful moments.  I felt more in control.  I don’t want to give that up.

The end result of this experiment is that  I know more than I knew before, but I still don’t really know anything at all.  I don’t think I’m supposed to give up Facebook or blogging right now.   I do think I’m supposed to keep my Facebook app off of my smart phone.  That app is dangerous for me.  Those little red numbers are the devil.  They tell you how many messages you have.  I find that number impossible to resist.   That Facebook app on my phone  to me is  like carrying around a bottle of  Gin is to an alcoholic.  Too convenient.


My new experiment is an attempt to use Facebook in moderation.  Is that possible?  I don’t know yet.  I hope it is.









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