Archive for August, 2011

are you there phone? it’s me.

It took me a while to get on the smartphone train. I saw people attached to theirs like it was an extra finger, and I honestly didn’t get it. So, I waited, thinking the extra cost of a data plan would be a waste. Then I began using Twitter more and more. Partly because of my writing, and partly to follow others and read their blogs. After many months of thinking about how a smartphone would be beneficial to my writing life, my husband surprised me with an iphone for my birthday. Woohoo! I was finally coming out of the dark ages. =)

A few days ago I saw a report by  MSN Money’s Partner, Main Street on a study conducted by PEW Research Center. The report said that “many Americans admit that they would have difficulty getting through the day without their cellphone.” Prior to receiving my wonderful gift, I didn’t quite understand what all the chattering was about. Remember, I do admit I was in the dark ages. Now, I have seen the light, and have more understanding of why Americans are so attached to their phones.

I am a fairly organized person (my husband would say this is an understatement). Now, instead of lists of to-do’s sitting on my desk, they are now compiled on my iphone in one nice, sticky-note free place. And, even though I’ve owned a Mac with iCal for over two years, the thought of getting rid of my oh so chic day planner (with cute flowers embossed on the cover) felt like throwing out my best friend (the one who helps me stay organized). I finally caved when I got the smartphone and entered everything on iCal and then synced it with my phone.

With those two amenities that I depend on day to day, added to the other “time wasting” conveniences I find myself in the same pontoon as those who would find it difficult getting through the day without their cellphone.

The PEW study also “found that 13% of cell owners have pretended to use their phone to avoid actually talking to the people around them.” I often wondered if all those walking around with a cell glued to their ear were really on a call. We honestly live in a fairly unfriendly society, and this just gives people one more excuse to ignore the person standing next to them in line at the department store.

Here is what the study found most mobile phones were used for: “text messaging (73%), picture taking (73%), sending photos or videos to others (54%), and accessing the internet (44%).” Despite the fact that I own an iphone, I am still in the minority when it comes to what I use it for. I don’t even have a text messaging plan, I pay for each one, if I even send any. I have taken a few pictures with it in the past month, but maybe it will become more frequent as I get used to the idea of having the world’s technology at my fingertips. I don’t send photos or videos from my device either. However, I do search the internet, which I have found to be of great benefit in this society of the immediate.

So, do you own a smartphone? If so, what do you use it for? Finding recipes? Chatting with friends? Getting the latest news? Or have you blown off societies attempt to separate us even farther from the human race, as in asking a friend for advice instead of “searching”?

August 29, 2011 at 10:23 am 2 comments

the condensed version

I feel guilty that I have to rack my brain to find a “worst memory.” The pain, heartache, and loss that so many have gone through make my life hiccups look pale in comparison.
I would say that my worst memory comes as an all over sense of self. One that feels less-than. For my entire life I have always had the inability to meet others’ expectations, I haven’t been good enough.
The fear has become so unmanageable that it invades my mind at night. Not in the form of dreams, but more like nightmares.
Maybe I could be the person everyone wants me to be, but if I had done that, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It has taken a certain bravery to attempt to shake off the expectations of a world where I don’t feel I belong. That bravery has brought me prizes that are beyond my dreams, AND nightmares.
…………
This post idea came from Write on Edge [Remembe(RED)]. “Explore your worst memory.
What was it? How did it affect you? What would you have done differently, if anything?
We wanted you to imagine the act of writing it would free you from it.”

August 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm 2 comments

someone stepped in my bubble

I have been intruded upon lately, and I ‘m not liking it. The latest episode involved a truck in my garage, and it wasn’t ours. Okay, my house is under construction, so there’s no garage door, and the words “Garage Doors” was slung across the side of said truck. My only question was why his vehicle was backed up to the door, and why he was standing inside! Yeah, yeah, it’s all unfinished, but it’s still my house.
I hadn’t called him, so I made a phone call to my husband, and he hadn’t contacted them either. So he talked to the contractor. Come to find out that when a building permit is submitted it’s available to anyone. Companies will look at them and make a guess at when you might need a certain product or service. So, that’s why there was a strange man standing in my garage. Still NOT okay.
Is this all because I am overprotective and private? Maybe. But this all came after my email and Twitter account were hacked.
It could be much worse. My family is safe, nothing has been stolen, I just feel infringed upon.
Is there a time when you felt this way?

August 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm 2 comments

Clean freak or lazy geek?

Long distance relationships.
Kim is in her early forties, and has two teenage boys. She was married to an emotionally abusive man for fourteen years. Their marriage ended quite a few years ago, and she’s now in one of those long distance relationships.
Kim is beautiful, and kind. A little strange at times, but kind. She lives in Colorado, and this man, Jeff, lives in California. The two of them have been together for six years. He has come out to see her a few times, and she has taken several trips to see him. Seems oddly one-sided.
He finally proposed three years ago, but has done nothing to move toward a marriage, which in my limited understanding, usually comes after the man asks the woman to marry him.
What’s stranger than this is, when asked if she reads non-fiction, she said, “No, I can’t even sit down to watch a movie. My boys try to get me to, but I just can’t. I think it comes from all those years with my ex. He always expected me to be doing something. The boys and I had to make sure everything was perfect when he came home.”
So I asked, “What do you and Jeff do when you visit him?” Thinking that watching movies would be something they would do together.
“Oh, that’s all we do. Watch movies.”
I looked at her quizzically.
“His house is a mess, but I would be stepping on his toes of I started cleaning up after him. I don’t feel like there’s anything that needs to be done when I’m with him. We can just relax.”
I was left wondering who Jeff thinks she is. A woman who loves to sit down with him all day (because we aren’t living in reality where people go to work and have things to do), drink wine, and watch the latest cinematic thriller? What about the woman he doesn’t really know? The one who keeps busy because she feels she doesn’t deserve to enjoy herself for a few minutes.
These two have spent six years attempting to get to know each other, yet what do they know? It’s the same thing with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and countless other reality t.v. dating shows, they are living in a fantasy world. No commitments, no jobs, no kids, no in-laws. Even though it’s a reality t.v. show, there is no reality.
So, I ask, and I wonder (because that’s what I do), who are we? Who do we want to be? Do you want to be the woman who spends time with her family, watching movies, playing games, and reading good books? Or do you want to be the woman who works from dawn until she collapses in bed after midnight, making sure the house is spick and span, and there are four courses at every meal?
Do you want to be the husband/dad who enjoys spending time with his wife, attending his kids games, and goes to the grocery store (no embarrassment included)? Or do you want to be the one who lives in front of the t.v. every evening?
Are you the person you want to be, or the person you think you’re supposed to be?

August 19, 2011 at 3:46 am Leave a comment

two peas. pod not included

Think about your friends. Where did you meet each one? They can come out of the oddest places and at the strangest times.

A very good friend of mine didn’t come at a strange time in my life. No, that part actually made sense. What was odd for me, was where she came from.

You see, I live in a safety bubble, especially when it comes to people I might get close to. That’s why my friendship with Karen is so interesting to me.

I met Karen online, which is kind of weird in itself if you know me. She had adopted, and was about to do so again. She was on an adoption forum (a place online where people who are interested in the same things can chat), and that’s where we started talking. Over three years ago.

She’s an amazing woman, and has turned into a great friend, which was completely unexpected. What was even more unforeseen than that was when her family traveled from Iowa to the Colorado Rockies for their summer vacation. Well, not so strange as her and her husband had honeymooned in Breckenridge, CO, which happened to be the same place my hubby and I honeymooned.

She said she wished we could see each other, and I replied that I wished the same (this all done via email). Next thing I knew we were going to meet them near Breckenridge, and then she invited us to stay in their condo.

I couldn’t believe their generosity. We had only emailed, never spoke on the phone, had never met in person. In that moment our friendship took on a new meaning for me. It didn’t matter if what we had was formed through conversations at Starbuck’s, play dates with our kids, or over hundreds of emails, we have a friendship that is closer than many I have experienced in my lifetime.

I was so excited to finally spend time with Karen face to face, and meet her family that I had heard so much about.

We ended up meeting in Glenwood Springs because of some issues that came up with our extended family. Karen even offered to drive the two extra hours to meet us there. That was added on top of the fourteen hours they had driven in the two days prior.

It takes situations like these to get to know a person on a deeper level, and I really appreciated how far Karen and her family went out of their way to see us. Her kindness showed through every moment.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them surprise us. I am happy to be surprised. Her support through our experience in foster care and the adoption of our children has meant the world to me. I only hope that I can do for her, what she has done for me.

August 13, 2011 at 3:55 am Leave a comment


Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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