7 Quick Takes

#1  "Being Real" or Oversharing?

I've been thinking about social media and how open some people are or aren't online.  There's been a lot said bout how most people only show their best faces online and aren't really showing you the real story.  I get that, because I've visited some cringe-worth blogs full of perfect children, perfect homes, and perfect lives.  So I do appreciate authenticity, people who share about their failures as well as their successes.

But I wonder if there isn't sometimes too much sharing of every emotion in some places.  I'm thinking of several examples which I won't go into detail about, but I've come across several people in my life over the past couple of years who seem to deal with tragedy by writing online about it constantly, going over their innermost thoughts and feelings, sharing things that might be better left unsaid.  Frankly, it's exhausting to read, and I wonder if I'm being un-compassionate by not wanting to hear or read about every thought and emotion a friend is experiencing during their tough time.

But then I wonder how much of that might be personality.  I personally like to process things, think them through, and really gain some perspective before I write.  I hold back, not to hide my problems, but because I want to be sure how I really feel about them before I start sharing with others.  Emotions are such fickle things.  When you're exhausted, for example, it's easy to be irritated and overemphasize the negative in a situation.  Late at night, you might stew over the unfairness of something that seems so silly after a good night's rest.  I don't like to give voice to emotions that might be temporary or complain about a situation when I might view it completely differently a month or a year later.

So I wonder about these friends that want to write about every emotion.  Is this just a different way of processing life?  Is their online presence via blogs or social media just a substitute for a personal journal that they'd be writing these thoughts in anyway?  Is this just a different way of approaching things -- more intense perhaps, but perhaps also more connnected with themselves?  I don't have an answer, but I'd love your thoughts.

#2 Birthday

I had a good birthday last week.  Even knowing that a lot of people are remembering my birthday only because Facebook told them too, it's kind of a thrill to have so many people wish me well.  I decided to celebrate by taking my kids up to a children's museum after getting my blog post written last week.  I texted a few friends to see if they wanted to come, but no one could, so I went alone.

I was there less than five minutes when in walked my best friend with her kids.  I hadn't texted her because she has just one child at home and is often busy with kids in several different schools.  But one of the schools was out for the day and she decided to head to the museum with three of her kids.  It was a delight to visit with her.  After the museum, we took the kids up to IKEA for "kids eat free Tuesday" and she bought me lunch.  It was really fun.

My husband brought me a lily, a friend brought me roses, and I got to attend the Provo Temple with my husband and this same friend plus her husband (that part was planned in advance).  We went out afterwards to The Chocolate, which is as yummy as it sounds.

On Thursday, my husband and I went out to Restaurant Forte for my birthday dinner.  It's our favorite place to go.  Run by the UVU culinary school, it is a five course meal designed to give the students real-world experience with a variety of dishes.  They typically have a theme, then three to five choices for each course.  Each table is encouraged to have each person order something different from their neighbor to give the students the best experience, and that's part of the fun.  Everything is always delicious and plated beautifully.

#3  Family Games

We're not a huge game-playing family, but we do play occasionally, and I think we'd play more with more interesting games at our fingertips.  So I've been looking into buying us a few more games for Christmas.  I asked my Facebook friends what they recommended, and here is what they recommended, along with how many times it was suggested (I told them we already had and love Dominion and Apples to Apples, so they aren't on the list):

Ticket to Ride 5 (Get Europe version)
Bananagrams 3
Quirkle 3 (fun for all ages)
Settlers of Catan 3
Sequence 3
Forbidden Island 3 (Desert version is more challenging)
7 Wonders 3
Carcassone 3
Flash Point: Fire Rescue 2
Wits and Wagers 2
Pandemic 2
Zoolaretto 2
Telestrations 2

So now I just need to get ordering.  Think there will be better deals later, or should I just stick a few in my Amazon cart now?  Any suggestions on which of these are your favorites?

#4 Studio Project

I've been slowly but surely setting up my indoor studio.  I have an amazingly talented friend who has crocheted me some beautiful newborn things (thanks, Katie), plus I have headbands, some other work from two other friends, and some scarves.  I've been keeping them in baskets but it wasn't my favorite way to have to dig through to find them during a shoot.  So last week, I ordered a couple of drapery rods and hung up all my props.  

Just a couple of phone pictures:

#5 The Last of Fall

It's been very cold here for the past week, and I'm sad that October couldn't have lasted a little longer -- wasn't it Anne of Green Gables who said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"?

We still have some color in our backyard, however, and I took a short walk in the cold to capture a few images.

Reds are harder to find naturally in Utah (yellows are everywhere), so I love these two reflections in the water.

#6  Tragedy

We had a very heart-breaking week in our stake last week.  On Sunday, we had the amazing privilege of hosting Elder David Bednar at a unique stake conference.  It was just our eight wards (regular-sized congregations, which in our case include a Japanese and Spanish ward) gathered together to hear from an apostle.  My son was so excited for the opportunity, he chose to go over at 6:30 a.m. to save us seats in the third row.  It was a very good meeting.  

One thing that our young stake president said was that he didn't know why we were chosen to host Elder Bednar, but he did know Who chose us.  And perhaps we were chosen partly because of what happened on Monday, when a fifteen-year-old girl, Jenna Ivins, in one of the wards disappeared. They searched all night for her, but it wasn't until Tuesday that they found her, lying in a dry ditch, curled up as if she was asleep, but gone.  They weren't sure if it was the cold that killed her or something else, but it sounds as though she had Aspergers and didn't quite process things the way others might.  My heart goes out to her family and they have been in my prayers.  My daughter went to camp with Jenna and knew who she was, but didn't know her well.  Jenna's older sister was one of the young people called on to share their testimony at stake conference on Sunday, and Jenna had taken copious notes.  She'd also given her dad her Christmas list Sunday night.  

#7  Tragedy, Again

Last Thursday, my friend Wendy lost her husband unexpectedly.  He'd been hospitalized for pneumonia but had been released earlier in the week.  He was having some trouble that evening and they took him to the hospital where he died of what they thought was likely a blood clot.  My heart is broken for my friend and her six children, ages 15 down to 3.  She is also in my prayers.  The news was a shock to all of us.  The family was just about to move out of their cramped pioneer-era home to a newer home, but those plans are now cancelled and the family will stay put.

And wow, it doesn't seem fair to end this newsy, random thoughts post with those two stories, but there it is.  Life is fragile.


Crystal said…
I love Ticket To Ride. The kids love it as well. Highly recommend!
Kierst said…
You're more like my husband. He stews over what he wants to say so he can write it just right. I, on the other hand, write because it's how I think. I'm constantly talking things through. Or writing it out. That said, not everything I write is posted on the world wide web, but I do tend to get personal on occasion.
JMadd said…
I think there are lots of reasons that people over share and lots of reasons people think another blogger, Facebooker, or tweeter has over shared. I shared on FB that I had a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and my mother and aunts literally blew up my phone with calls about how uncouth that was. They also get upset when I post pictures of my children. Fact is, there's no rule book for social media. We all bring our different personalities, experiences and boundaries with us. I am sometimes uncomfortable with things I see on social media and blogs, but it has to be pretty gnarly.
I write to process. I'm glad I have those ephemeral emotions captured in print so that I can go back and see what I really felt step by step instead of just the resolution at the end--resolution that came perhaps years later. I'm also glad that the process of writing helps me to find out what I actually think; sometimes I start a post in one frame of mind and end it in another. That's a blessing for me. I always feel clearer and cleaner after I've written something down. I try to keep a certain boundary of appropriate sharing in mind when I write, but perhaps my boundary isn't the same as someone else's.
Handsfullmom said…
Thanks for the comments and perspective on the over-sharing issue. It is interesting to think about what is likely generational, like sharing about miscarriage is taboo for some older folks.

I may not have been as clear as I wanted to be because I didn't want to mention too many details about what exactly made me uncomfortable, but let's just say it was NOT someone sharing about a miscarriage or posting a birth story.

To give you the idea of what I'm talking about, it would be like a person going through a rough patch in their marriage writing daily about it, telling us how angry they are or how guilty they feel about not doing some part of it right, etc. And getting really emotional about it and perhaps sharing too many details about their spouse that you really don't want or need to know.

It is interesting how different people have different comfort levels online, isn't it? I don't think everyone should be like me in any respect and I really am drawn to people who share their stories in poignant and sensitive ways.

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