Given the ennui I’d been feeling, the cabin fever (I mean a week in the cabin, great, but that 9th or 10th day starts hurting….), I could see it starting. I was on a superslick luge track to gold medal snarkery.
Sure, I was proud. I mean this is what I trained for, right? My years apprenticing at the snarktory, my nights by the fire practicing my craft. Don’t get me wrong. I was up for it. I know my abilities to sear veins with vitriol, microsurgery to the heart of the heart. (Oh, did I mention? Scorpio! In my soul.)
And plus, I was Right. About every. single. thing. Every Facebook argument anyone implied (by breathing, coughing, not breathing, not coughing) they wanted to have. And I was ready to battle. Think Lost is the world’s best TV show; blue your favorite color, Beyonce, the world’s best singer?? Uh, no. Incorrect. FAIL. You suck. Lemme tell you why. In 27 points.
Think you know the most about snowflakes, government shut downs, politics, movies. You don’t.
I do. And I can’t bear to let you think so for a minute. Why? Because you’re wrong. WRONG!!!
But the thing was all this rightness wasn’t making me less blue, nor less tired, nor more proud. It was just making me mean. and tired. and empty.
I sat watching the scrolling letters of facebook / twitter/ blog feeds / email/ texts… I felt my teeth clench, knuckles tighten into a ball, eyes strain and bluegray washing over all the very rightness and joy and success I thought I’d been wanting to celebrate.
And suddenly, rising over the foggy, snarky, venomous place,I had a new thought: What if … it stopped? All of it, the feeds the one-upping , the posturing, the posing, the reading to react, the waiting to pounce?
What if *I* stopped?
It’s not like this is an earth-shattering epiphany, I know. Any therapist or mom (hi mom!) or Michael Jackson ditty will tell you “If you wanna make the world a betta place/ take a look at yourself and make that / CHANGE.”
And I am, most of the time. I’m working on it anyway. I snarl at metro riders much less, now. Instead of heaving huge sighs of disgust, now I politely ask “excuse me miss, I hate to bother you, but I wonder, would you mind just moving your loverly bag ever so slightly so its jagged edge doesn’t come quite so close to my head? I mean if you don’t mind. I hate to even ask. You COULD? REALLY?! Why, thanks ever so! ” Most of the time.
Except when I can’t. or don’t. Which is usually when I need to the most.
So like that dreaded trip to the gym you know you need, I imposed a ban. No facebook, no twitter (eh, i’m over that anyway, no loss), no texting, just writing (blogging was okay), working, focusing on the things I can change or work on or invest in, not the ones that don’t matter.
I made it 12 hours. That’s a lot!
I’d love to tell you that with my freedom I finished my novel, the thank-you notes, the house decorating and then did oragami and yoga with my free time after that. Not quite.
But I blogged a short piece for the first time in months, I took a long walk (over snow mountains), I made a big dinner, I got a massage, I read A BOOK.
And something else happened. I wasn’t angry. Or tired, or sad.
Yah, today, first day back at work and back to gym and back to metro, I’m tired again. But I’m here.
And no, I don’t think this is Facebook’s fault. It was mine. Nor will I be staying away forever. But I did do some pruning, mostly of time I just didn’t need to be investing. And I did some not caring. And it was good. Really good.
“Little pebbles on the ground,” a good friend and I used to tell each other. That’s what toxic people and thoughts were. Specks of dust on specks of dust. Sometimes being right is one of those specks I realize slowly. But I’m getting it. Slowly, slowly… steadily, steadily…
So I’m gonna try to care a little less for a while. Not about the people I love, not about joy, beauty, strength, talent, hard real work of improvement. Just about the rightness.
Oh, except that snow means no global warming crap. You people are wrong about that … wrong, wrong… eh, whatever. 😉 Ohmmmm.