Life Without Facebook

So I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. Facebook is where I go to vent, it’s where I go to share good or interesting news, and it’s where I go to catch up on all my friends and family. Facebook makes me laugh, it allows me to make others laugh, and I just generally had no clue what I did with my life before Facebook. … until now. 

I blogged! Before sites like Facebook and Twitter came along, blogging was pretty popular. I mean it still is now, but it was more popular among the average schmoes than it is now. Whether they were good writers or not, most of my friends did blogs. And we all commented on each other’s pages. There would be dozens and dozens of comments on each of our pages. It was how we kept up with each other. Now the simple blogs like that are lucky to get one or two comments. Everyone can get their thoughts out in a few characters on Facebook now and be done with it.

But since making the decision to give it up for a while, I’ve decided to go back to blogging and journaling. Although it’s harder (and almost impossible) to stimulate the same conversation and debates in a blog like this one, I can still use it as a place to vent and just feel free. 

I’ve always had a harder time saying words than I have writing them. I’m not sure what’s so much more satisfying about typing or writing out words than speaking them but it works for me, it feels good, it feels natural. 

I’ve also taken to texting friends again. Although chat programs like AIM were better for that sort of thing, no one really does that anymore so I’m limited to the tiny tap screen qwerty pad on my iPhone. My husband always tell me to just call the person, but that doesn’t work for me. Like I said, I’d rather type than speak. I am not the most clever person in the world and putting thoughts into words live and in person just doesn’t go well for me. I like that typing or texting allows me a moment to think before I say what I want to. 

And I agree with my friend Deb who says texting is better because you don’t have to deal with the “Hi, how are you? I’m fine…” garbage every time you want to just ask someone a question. Texting allows you to just jump right in and get to what you really want to talk about!

I’ve also taken to writing in an actual journal again since leaving Facebook. It feels pretty good to get my creative juices flowing again and to write more than just a short post here and there. The only problem with blogging and journaling is that it’s harder to reach people.

It’s not that I feel like everything I say is so important or hilarious that I need all my friends and family to read it but I do like being able to witness to a large group of people at the click of a button. I like that when something like Abortion comes up, I can jump in with “Oh, you mean murdering innocent babies?” and try changing some minds. I can’t really achieve that in a low key blog like this in the same way I can on Facebook.

Also I did try giving up Facebook a few months ago for a while and failed. Though that was not my fault. I was surprised by the number of people coming up to me at church, telling me they missed me and that I needed to come back. In fact, I got a direct order from one of the Pastor’s wives to come back! And so I did. It was nice to learn that people did find me funny and inspiring and that they were enjoying my Christian posts. 

But this time I wanted to give it up for real for Lent. I love that my Facebooking makes other people happy and interested and gets them talking but I felt this time that giving up Facebook was more important. I visited Facebook multiple times every single day, even when I was in labor! I thought it would be hard to give up and that’s why I wanted to do it. 

Though it is hard and I have to fight the urge every day to check my page, I also feel that it was a good decision. It’s only been a few days since Lent began though, so we’ll see how much hair I’ve pulled out in a few weeks or so.

Happy Henry

All of my family and friends often comment on how happy my baby is. I can’t even take him for a quick trip to the store because we will be stopped by so many people that want to come over and tell me he is the happiest baby they have ever seen. To be honest, I am amazed by it every day myself! Even if he is tired, hungry, or teething, this kid will smile right through it until his joy is contagious.

Some people ask me what my trick is or if he is just really spoiled (yes, even strangers will ask that) and I do wish I could say I have some secret up my sleeve. But honestly, I can only place the blame on my Doctor.

I know this will probably sound silly and maybe it won’t work for everyone, but I followed my OBGYN’s advice as perfectly as I could and so far the result has been incredible. The very first time I went in for an appointment, my doctor told me she loved how happy I was. She went on to explain that studies show if a baby has a happy mom during pregnancy, the joy will be contagious. More often than not, the baby will come out happy too!

Of course when you’re pregnant, you don’t always have control over your emotions. Staying positive and happy for nine months was not always easy for me. In my last trimester, I left a job that I loved so that I could be a stay at home mom. I knew my life as a mom would be a lot better but it was still difficult to say goodbye to what had become such a big part of my life.

To add on to the emotions, one of our cats was dying of kidney failure. She had great vets that got her through it and she is fine now, but let me tell you that was one emotional roller coaster! And if that wasn’t enough, a new but good friend of mine learned he had a brain tumor. He also had wonderful doctors and he too is fine now, but trying to stay upbeat with such shocking news was pretty stressful.

I don’t think anyone can be perfectly and sincerely happy every day for nine months and I don’t think my doctor expected that of me. Being pregnant is terrifying. Not only are your organs moving about to make room for a HUMAN BEING to grow inside of you, but at some point that human has to come out. And then, and here is the real frightening thing… you have to bring the baby home! You and your husband suddenly get this strange tiny house guest who never goes away, yells a lot and always wants to eat!

But even though the baby couldn’t really go anywhere while I was pregnant, I was still able to keep my emotions separate. It’s really good to talk and sing to your baby and to play music for them while they are in the womb. Almost every time I talked to my baby or touched my belly, I made sure to get myself in a positive mood first and get a smile on my face. I also sang upbeat songs and played cheerful music. And even if there were moments where I couldn’t control myself and my emotions got the better of me, I would stroke my belly and tell him directly that everything was going to be OK. I would explain that I was sad for now but soon it would go away and I would be happy again. Of course baby isn’t going to understand all those words but they do pick up on tone, tenderness, and joy.

After I had the baby and I took him with me for a checkup with the doctor, she told me that she knew he would be a happy baby. And before I left, she stopped me and said “You see that big smile on his face? That’s your fault, you know?!!”

So if you’re pregnant now or thinking of having a baby and you want to know my big secret to having one that’s so happy, now you know. Just be happy yourself! I really do believe that laughter and joy can be contagious. And who better to share that with than your child?

Zumba!!!

Today I shall write about one of my newest passions. I’m sure this comes as no surprise since I rave about this on Facebook all the time. But my topic for the day is… (drum roll) … Zumba!!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t know what Zumba is, well then I’ll be getting my flashlights and backpack and trying to find what cave you’re trapped in. Zumba is a dance workout and it is awesome.

I’m the kind of person who hates working out. I don’t lift weights, I don’t jog, and until Zumba, I never really went to a gym. Besides some swimming in the summer, I had never really worked out at all. After having my first baby 8 months ago, I really wanted that to change. Not just because of the post pregnancy pooch that most moms get but because I wanted to be stronger and more healthy so I could be a better mom. Well I finally decided after months of thinking about it, to just sign up for some Zumba classes. I did a ton of research about it online first and everyone raved about how great it is because you don’t know you’re working out. Got to be honest, I thought there was no way that was true before I started the class.

As it turns out, the official Zumba slogan “Ditch the workout, join the party” is absolutely accurate. You go to class, you feel like you’re dancing with a bunch of friends and then it’s over and you’re drenched in sweat and every part of your body hurts.

But before I get more into my own personal experience with Zumba, I want to explain what it is in more detail. It started in the 90’s when a man named Beto forgot the music for the aerobics class he was teaching. He ended up just using what he had on hand, which was a bunch of latin salsa music. While still teaching the aerobics to his class, he changed things up a little and threw in some authentic dance moves to go with the music. When his class went bonkers for the new class and how fun it was, he polished up the choreography and turned the workout into Zumba! Although it started off as a latin based class, it now includes a TON of different styles of dance. I’ve personally experienced Salsa, Hip Hop, Raggaeton, Egyptian, Indian, African style dances, and even swing dancing in my own class! And in videos online I’ve seen Zumba instructors throwing in some country line dancing as well.
So back to me and my experience… it really does feel like a party. You know at wedding receptions when they do the Cha Cha Slide? Zumba feels like that, only it’s an hour long and after a few classes, you actually know what you’re doing and look good doing it. This class hasn’t just improved my confidence though, it’s also greatly improved my health.

Although I do still have that pesky pooch, I’ve lost a few pounds and in just a few weeks, I’ve noticed a considerable difference in my health. Since I had never worked out before, I would get so tired and so weak just taking a long walk. I would drive my husband and friends crazy whenever we went hiking, actually feeling like I would pass out after just a short amount of time. I could do such little amount of work and feel exhausted and be sweating like mad. Now I notice that walks don’t bother me, I can be on my feet all day and have no complaints, and I’m just generally in better shape. The other day our Zumba instructor decided to add on a weekend class. With this new class came a bunch of new people, first timers who had never done Zumba before. As the class went on, these new people would be hunched over, soaking in sweat, gulping down water, complaining they felt like throwing up, and one woman even gave up and walked out halfway through… which believe me, I felt like doing myself the first couple of times I went. I had all those same problems when I started. Now here I am, only need a few sips of water by the end, I break a light sweat, don’t get sore any more, and am so pumped by the end that I could keep going if the class went on longer.

I play a game on my iPad called Celtic Heroes, it’s basically a free version of World of Warcraft. In this game, you get two bars on the top of your screen, one shows how much Health you have and the other shows how much Energy you have. Since taking Zumba, I’ve watched my real life Health and Energy levels go up and I could not be more happy with the new me. So if you’re looking for a boost in stamina, health, confidence, and FUN… give Zumba a try. But know that an instructor can make or break a class so shop around until you find one that’s good for you. And I promise, there is one out there that will be a perfect match. There are a ton of Zumba classes available.

Optimism

I’ve been wanting to start a new blog for months now and struggled with what it should be about. I have interest in a lot of different things and find it hard to focus on just a specific topic. So I’ve finally decided what I want my blog to be about… my life! Just my everyday life. Of course it’s been done before, in fact it’s been done by ME before. But I wanted to started a new blog journal because I want to start a new me. I’m not going overboard here and changing a ton of things about myself or my life but after looking at my old blog, I’ve decided I could definitely stand to be a more positive person. My old blog reads like one big complain fest and people stopped reading it. I mean who wants to read a person’s complaints all the time? And who even wants to be around a person who just complains all the time?

This may sound like I’m an unhappy grouch but anyone who knows me knows that I’m actually really upbeat and happy most of the time. I even remember on my wedding day, my friend Andy said it was was so strange to see me in the ceremony because I was so serious and he had never seen me that way before. People don’t think of me as a serious person and I actually like that, I like being silly Chrissy! But I do always manage to find things to complain about and I really want that to stop. I have a really great life. God has spoiled the tar out of me and though I really do appreciate that and am so grateful for that, I have a lousy way of showing it.

I do plan on remaining human in this blog though, I mean I can’t be pooping rainbows here. We ALL encounter reality so don’t expect a constant stream of joy either. I will still be real but just more positive about it. I hope the explanation of this blog makes sense and I hope people read it. I like to write and I’ve stopped for way too long. So let’s start this journey and have some fun!

 

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