What a “Selfie” did to my self-image

 

I’ve never been one to pay much attention to looks. I’ve always had more confidence in my personality than my looks. I’m just average. I’ve always been the tallest in my friend groups, which worked against me all through high school, college and early adulthood. Face it – if there is a group of girls hanging out together, most of them under 5’6”, then the one over 5’10” is not going to be the pick of the litter. And I would DEFINITELY not win any awards for “most photogenic.” (Thus the reason for my lack of a profile picture). I can’t take a good picture to save my life! Really…I’m not exaggerating. I even dreaded taking wedding photos!

Enter “The Selfie.” This last week, I met up with some friends that I’ve known since elementary school. We only had a few hours to catch up, but it was fun seeing them. We decided to take a picture to document the occasion, and since I have the longest arms (a blessing if I want to reach the top shelf, a curse if I’m competing for most petite), I was the one to hold the phone and take the Selfie.

I knew as I pushed the button, it wasn’t going to be pretty. And boy I was right. #selfiefail

My friends look fabulous in the picture. But since I was holding the camera, and straining to get everyone in the picture, I was already at a disadvantage. My head was tipped back slightly, and while I had my hair pulled back (big mistake), the grey hair across my hairline virtually DISAPPEARED in the photo and I look like I’m going BALD! I already have a big forehead, but…my God…IT WAS HUGE!

And then there’s my nose – you can see right up that honker! And it’s now on Facebook, for all our childhood friends to see!

As I said, I generally don’t care about looks. I’m fairly low maintenance…AND IT SHOWED IN THAT SELFIE!

I was using root touch-up on my hairline to cover up the grey, but sadly, that simply will not suffice anymore. The grey is taking over! So I’m faced with a dilemma:

Do I gracefully grow grey or do I do like most every other woman in my area and COLOR….COLOR…COLOR!

I admit that I hate to get stuck in the color trap. I don’t WANT to color. It’s inconvenient and a pain in the you-know-what.

I thought I was okay with my grey hair. I thought I was a confident woman. UNTIL THAT SELFIE!!! I really hate that it shook my confidence.

I guess it’s time to break out the hair color. Any recommendations? I’m not the type of woman to spend money and time at the hair salon every three weeks re-coloring, so it looks like I’m going to have to go the home hair color route. I’ll take any helpful hints you have.

I Miss Talking

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Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy blogging and exchanging ideas and stories with people from around the world, but I miss the ONE ON ONE CONVERSATION. How much better would it be to share the same stories over a cup of coffee? #coffeefixeseverything

I miss talking on the phone. I know texting is convenient, but face it, if we’re texting someone it’s probably because we don’t want to “talk” to them. We just want to say what WE want and move on with our lives without all that “messy” conversation.

I also miss hearing my children talk. I know they’re getting older, and the age difference (11 and 14) makes them less interested in each other, but I used to love waking up to hearing them quietly playing together in their rooms. Now they can go whole days without talking except to say “It’s my turn on the computer!”

They really don’t even fight. I guess I should be grateful for that, but aside from fighting over the computer, they have nothing to fight about because they don’t engage with one another. I suppose part of it is the age difference. I know the younger misses playing with the older more than the other way around, and would change it in a second if he had the power, even at the expense of missing computer time.

Our weekend mornings are spent in silence. Sometimes even the weekend days are spent in silence too, each on their own electronic device. I used to try to fight it, to try to get everyone to do things on the weekends. But I got tired of the fight, so the last few weeks I’ve given up and joined the electronic club. And you know what? I don’t think anyone even noticed. They probably are grateful that Mom finally stopped bothering their personal time.

I guess it’s just a part of growing up. Kids speak less and less to their parents the older they get, unless they have to. Maybe it’s me that has to give in and change, and get more creative.

Now to figure out how.

Think I’ll go call my mom even though I’d rather text her.

*A side note: when I looked up images to use for this post I used the key word “conversation” and was hard-pressed to find any images WITHOUT a computer or smart phone in them. Ahhh, the irony.

Should I Clean Up My Friend List?

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I know it’s unheard of and probably morally reprehensible. But I did it. I cleaned up my Facebook Friends List.

After the events that occurred in my last post, I did some real soul searching. I know it seems silly. I realize we’re talking about Facebook for goodness sake. “Just ignore the lame comments,” you say. “Get  thicker skin.” And I agree, for the most part, but I also consider Facebook to be a communication vehicle, and I don’t appreciate people mucking it up with their criticism and trolling. #notrolls

I’m not one to give up on people, or to cut ties, just because we have different opinions. I still speak to friends that I’ve known since elementary school. I’m not sure if that’s an attribute to my character or a sign of mental illness, but it’s the way I’ve always been.

But if you’re a “troll” masquerading as a “friend,” then prepare to be cut.

When considering “Spring Cleaning” my Friend List in the middle of winter, I had to be sure that it was something I wanted to do.

Since moving across country from the town I grew up in, keeping in touch with old friend has been essential to my survival in my new surroundings. My old friends “get me” they’re my “peeps.” So, you can see where avoiding Facebook all together would be a drastic option for me.

But when I looked at my Friend List, I realized how many of those people made the list simply because we were acquaintances, or “I knew them back when,” and that was all. #norealconnections

So to make my decision, I broke it down into criteria:

  1. Have I talked to them (as in, heard their voice) in the past 5-10 years?
  2. Do we comment on each other’s Facebook pages?
  3. When they do comment, are they supportive? Am I happy to hear from them, or are their comments like nails on a chalkboard?
  4. Do we have anything in common? Would I be able to carry on a conversation if I ran into them at the mall?
  5. Do they understand the difference between opinion and fact? Do they respect others’ opinions?

As I’ve gotten older, I realize that I don’t have time for instigators or people who enjoy making life miserable for others.

I want to fill my life with positive influences in my family’s life and in my own life. #friendzone

I’m happy to say that I only “unfriended” a few people, which tells me that I’m discerning about who I surround myself with, and that’s a good thing.

Have you ever cleaned your Friend List? Did you feel bad or was it liberating? I’d love to know how it affected you.

The Value of a Village

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

P1000038I love my village.

By that, I mean, the friends, family and acquaintances that touch my life in all different aspects, and in all different ways.

When we moved across country, my village changed. I lost the everyday interaction with most of the friends and family that I had come to rely on. I had to learn to establish a new village, and it’s been a struggle. My old village sort of happened organically. We grew up together, or met through our spouses, or raised our children together. But now, I had to figure out how to establish a new village.

I think connection is essential to our survival. There’s something about feeling responsible to one another, to being accountable to someone besides ourselves that makes us inherently human.

Your village may be different, but I think a village takes time, it takes commitment. It takes loving one another, not just texting one another. It means picking up the phone when it would be much more convenient to send a text or email. It means filling an empty chair and spending some of your own precious time on someone else.

I will never be able to repay many of the people in my village for what they’ve done for me and my family, for the support they’ve given, the prayers they’ve offered, and the times they’ve been there when I didn’t know where else to turn.

All I can do is love them back, and offer my support when they need it, and encourage them when I think they need it most. Being part of a village is not about owing. It’s about being willing to give…and then giving some more…happily.

Think about who makes up your village. And if you don’t have one, perhaps you need to find one. You will always have more to offer than you ever realize.