Posted on October 13, 2016
Hello my friends. I am so sorry it has been so long between blogs. I always feel so guilty when I realise that those who are not on Facebook and hooked in with my Five Fairies page there (which I try to keep up with to a degree), might really worry about me.
I have been quiet, especially with my online presence. There are a lot of reasons for this, and none of them are “bad”, it’s more just been a natural progression from the online world which has played a big part of my life since I have been sick (since I have had kids really, I joined my first online parenting group in the year 2000 – 16 YEARS people!!) back into the “real” world, while still loving the connection it gives me to other people.
When we lived in our first cosy 11 square house and had little kids which I was home alone with all day, I got into the internet big time. The computer was in the lounge room, and if the kids were asleep, or playing happily and not otherwise needing me, I was on there. Then, Gaz would come home, and we’d launch into the bed, bath and book routine, and I would turn the computer off for the day, I was NEVER on there at night. After that, because Gaz and I don’t share any taste in television, I would go to bed and watch TV and he would watch it out in the living room. Since the day my first child was born, I have been lamenting the loss of my ability to read, when I used to hoover down 3 or 4 books a week. But after children, I just couldn’t do it, I would read a page and a half and have no idea what I had read, so I pretty much gave up reading altogether. And since then, it’s been the same….can’t concentrate, always something going on with the kids, husband gets cancer, I get cancer, somewhere in there we have a child with a disability. How good is Facebook? You can chat with your mates, find and share information, and exchange all this in a matter of a few lines of text, and even I managed to ingest that.
Then one day, Gaz bought me a laptop. I was DELIGHTED. But of course, the internet started to come to bed with me, often until late into the night. Then there were smartphones, so you could take Facebook with you everywhere you went. The kids NOTICE, they do, but I would look around the park where the kids were playing and hey, every mum in the park was immersed as well. So, no big deal.
This is not a judgement on anyone who uses Facebook a lot, I have done it for 16 years to the point of addiction. Others are into it for the friendship and connection, and there is nothing wrong with that either (I would fit into that category too). Actually, I am not sure what year Facebook came to be, but before that it was my parenting forum, which I was equally enamoured with.
My two middle children have become voracious readers. So, a little while ago they started coming and getting into bed with me at night and they would “do bookclub” and I would muck around on the laptop. Then one of them said to me “mummy, you have got so many books, don’t you want to do bookclub too?” It’s the running joke in this house, I can’t go past an op shop without going in and coming out with at least 3 or 4 books that I add to the pile that is known as my “leaning tower of books”, along with a line from Gaz “another few that will never be read”. So, I said yes, I do want to do bookclub, and instead of picking through the big pile, I am just going to point to one with my eyes closed, and read that, no matter what it is about. That way I get a nice cross section of different styles and subjects. Well, as it happened, the first one I pulled out was by an author I had never heard of, and it was a cracking thriller of over 600 pages, and I read it in 24 hours. I decided no more internet at night, back to the good old days of expanding my mind by reading words on a page. I’m back to three books a week, though I have done 4!
It’s spilled into the day times too. If I have some spare time when the kids are at school, I’ll usually pick up the book. Writing this blog is the first time I have spent more than 10 minutes with my lap top in my hands for many weeks. I check Facebook on my phone a few times a day, and sometimes through the night if I can’t sleep, and I can get everyone’s news, but it DOES mean that I engage less with people, and I do miss that. I have also become disconnected from my writing, which is extremely important to me, and the one thing that keeps the brain machine ticking along, and stops me from turning into a complete hermit.
So, I have made a deal with myself. Slightly longer Facebook sessions at strict times, where I can talk to people rather than just read. Bookclub stays. No laptop in bed stays. Writing is back. I pitched an article yesterday and have also agreed to write a couple of pieces for other people – then I will be back into it.
And this blog – I promise I will keep this up more. I’m going to finish this post here as it is getting so long, but there is lots more to tell which I will over the next week or two, including my rather long period of poor mental health, which set in AFTER I got my huge news about my tumours having shrunk. And I am not sure that I mentioned it on the blog, but I was nominated for BUPA health fund’s blogging awards, and made it into the top 5 of my category “Health”. That is a night that deserves a whole post to itself, it was incredible, especially when I went on to WIN my category, while feasting on degustation by Shannon Bennett at Vue de Monde, on the 55th floor of the Rialto. Really amazing stuff, and more about it next post.
I have a scan next week which will determine whether the treatment is still working. Nervewracking time, where I enter “scanxiety”…there is nothing you can do about the terror but just live through it, and come out the other side, with either good news, or a plan.
I hope everyone is doing ok, and much love and hope to anyone who needs it.