Hiatus Over - I'm Back! How long has it been.....well I haven't blogged in over 4 months and I haven't Facebook-ed in over 3 months. Wow! I never thought I could go without them for this long. So why the long break? Many reasons.
Around her first birthday, Arissa was also very sick...She had Roseola for a week. She had completely stopped eating for 4 days :( I was so scared. She got better at week's end but she had lost over a pound. And then a couple of weeks after her birthday she had a bad case of diarrhea and that caused her to lose even more weight. I realized my Pumpkin, my baby needed even more of my attention now. Then I thought, what was the most unnecessary activity of my day - Facebook. The reasons:
1. I calculated that I was spending a good 2-3 hours a day going through Facebook. Only a few minutes each time adding up; refreshing homepage to see if anyone's new status update was up or a new picture had been uploaded. Sometimes when Arissa would be asleep, I would just stare at the screen wondering whose profile to browse next :S
2. I've never had a problem expressing my opinions openly...however, people don't always agree with them and around Arissa's first birthday, I found that they could even be pretty mean about it. During that time, I was stressed to the max trying to get everything done for Arissa's birthday party, and on top of that I had to come on Facebook and have "friends" attack me even when I tried to explain that they were mostly misinterpreting what I was trying to say. The incident just made me realize how much of a unneeded stress Facebook can be. (more on this in a blog post to come).
3. Actively Facebook-ing requires commitment - uploading new pictures, commenting on other people's pictures and status updates. It can become an addiction (and to all those teens out there who spend like 8 hours a day on Facebook - so not worth your time. Get off Facebook and you'll realize you can do so many more productive things with your time).
When a cousin of mine deactivated her Facebook to focus on her exams, I thought to myself, "Why can't she just NOT log in...why deactivate?" Well I get it now, it's because you are so much more likely to go on when you know you just CAN anytime. I tried just not logging on - I gave in after a few hours. Then I thought "Oh, I'll just go on for 2 minutes to check my notifications and then I won't log in the whole day" ...I ended up clicking on my handy Facebook|Home toolbar bookmark within an hour. So finally I asked Sunvi to change my password and deactivate my account. I honestly thought I would be back on Facebook within a couple of days. However, after 2 days, I felt so free to be off Facebook...I decided to extend the hiatus to a week. The 1 week turned into 1 month and that turned into 3 months :)
Honestly, I've had so much more time to spend with Arissa and on Arissa that I haven't missing FB at all - SHOCKING!
When I do something, I like to be able to put all my energy into it; I mean I can multi-task...but I don't like to. Blogging was never a 'waste of time'; I loved being able to put most of my thoughts and memories down on paper and sharing some of them with you all. The reason I first stopped blogging was simply because I couldn't find the time. Arissa started toddling around 9 months of age and full on walking at 10 months and man oh man does that little angel have a lot of energy! Running after her all day and even constantly being in a ready to jump up because she might fall or get hurt state can really drain one's energy. But that wasn't all, I had also started reading again. And not just my huge stack of parenting books, but all kinds of other books - I was reading story books, fiction, again for the first time since I got pregnant. I was also reading-researching books on nutrition, psychology, the food industry, health and well-being, and once I started reading I couldn't stop, so I kept going from one book to another during my free-time. I have done tons of research in an attempt to better our live (more on this in a future blog post). And I've been keeping a regular diary as well, since I haven't written a birthday letter on this blog for a while now.
What else have I been doing?
Cooking for Arissa. I did a whole diet change for her (and myself as many of you know - I've been a Veggie now for 7 months). Fresh, Healthy, Home-made. I'll be blogging about this soon as well.
The late night during weekends in April, May and June were spent watching All the seasons of 24. I know some of you consider that I waste of time as well, but IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! That show is so insanely addictive and exciting, with keep you on the edge action ALL THE TIME. Besides Friends and The Office, 24 is my favorite show ever! If you guys have some free time this summer, or the couples out there ...if you like watching something together every week...Start with season 1 of 24. I 99% guarantee you will become a Jack Bauer fan - he was the awesomest character on TV!
Ok seriously though, I'm so glad I took this break, I mean I had the reasons figured out before I took the break, but I never thought how powerful the consequences would be. I often wish I had been born during simpler times...like in Jane Austen books or in Anne Shirley's world. I think the world now is far too chaotic...we as mother's have to focus on so many things now a days besides being a parent. I'm not just talking about work or school, I'm talking about dealing with distractions from all the technology that bombards us every day. I know there are so many advantages to all this technology - heck I'm using it right now as I type - but sometimes, the over use of cell phones, internet, laptops, TVs, IPODs, and tablets take us away from what's really important - our families. Children, even the youngest babies are very smart, they understand when they don't have the full attention of a caregiver and it bothers them. I remember reading a study in one of my parenting books - newborns were put in rooms with their mother's who were asked to make eye contact with the baby and then asked to lovingly talk to the baby. The newborns were perfectly extremely happy, cooing and making eye contact as well. Then the mothers were asked to look away from the babies and continue talking to the babies in the same happy loving tone. The break in eye contact caused the babies to become stressed and upset even though the mother was still saying the same things and was still right in front of the babies. The newborns' stress levels didn't decrease until their mother's re-established eye contact letting the babies know they had the mothers' undivided attention.
I mean think about how frustrating it would be for us if we couldn't express it but constantly needed the loving attention of someone? And if a child gets used to always having to ask for your full attention...it really doesn't make them feel as important as they truly are...and that can leave a lasting, negative effect.
That's why I have decided that even though I am resuming blogging and Facebook-ing, I will only Facebook 3-4 times a week and blog 1-2 times a week. And I can totally do it this time :)
Last thing I want to write about before I end this long post - did you guys notice the URL change? I went ahead and bought the domain name - raising our difference - because that it exactly what I am determined to do. See, during the past few months of research...I've had a chance to re-examine myself and to remember things that I used to be passionate about once. I mean I was that kid who was in every single club at school trying to help the orphans, the endangered species...I had forced my father into giving me money to donate monthly to the World Wildlife Fund - in the 3rd grade. I was that kid who, along with a few other 'green nerds' tagged along with out 4th grade hippie-ish teacher and planted trees around our neighborhood because we wanted to save the planet. I recently realized that I had forgotten that these things had once mattered to me and I felt like I missed my opportunity to make a difference. Well, then I realized I was wrong. I still have every opportunity to make a difference in this world, however small. And that difference starts at home - I can raise a difference by raising my daughter to be Aware and Active, Compassionate and Passionate. I want to raise her to be good, but not just standing on the side lines good...I want her to truly care for all the other children in this world who are not as fortunate as her, I want her to be humane towards other life forms. And by helping her to be this good person, I can ensure that one day when she becomes a mother, she will raise another generation of her own differences.
I think there are many more conscious and deliberate parents out there who want to be more active in making this world a better place but feel they don't have the opportunity to or can't find the time to. I am planning on sharing this concept (I'm not yet sure how, but hopefully through a organization) with more parents in the coming years in hopes that they too will see the simplicity and power in doing small things in their homes that can collectively make a BIG difference in generations to come :)