June 26, 2010

le sigh

What a fah-reek-ing week. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, with more changes to come. I'm writing for a host of reasons, though I have no idea where I'm going with this. First off, I have to mention that I have deleted my facebook account. I want to start there because I know that the handful of people who read this blog will eventually notice my absence there and be wondering what's going on.

The decision to delete my profile was not made lightly, nor in haste. I've felt the pull of facebook and the sense of affirmation I seek there growing stronger and stronger of late, and I finally started to realize that not only had it become an unhealthy addiction for me, it was also becoming a crutch as well. Even when I had nothing to say myself, or anything to say on the status updates of my friends, I "had" to be logged in and checking it constantly. I needed affirmation that people found me funny or witty. I needed the sympathy, the love, the interaction. It was becoming quite unhealthy.

When I went to conference, I decided to not log into facebook at all, even though I did post the occasional picture or status update from my phone. Due to the settings on my account, I was receiving emails notifying me of photo comments and messages people left directly on my wall or in my inbox, but other than that, I was free from the chains of needing to log in.

When I finally logged back in last weekend and scrolled through a couple of pages to see what I had "missed", I finally realized that I really and truly hadn't missed anything. There were the occasional updates involving "real" life and "real" news, but for the most part it was just the same random stuff like always. Not that I'm judging the content of what my friends have posted, as I'm probably more guilty than most in the mindless drivel department. It just took a week away from it to realize that the connectedness that I thought i felt was for the most part false.

I've also realized over the last few weeks just how very much time I waste on the computer in general. I have unsubscribed from a lot of blogs in the last 2-3 weeks to keep from spending too much time seeking out entertainment in my false worlds rather than quality time and relationships in my real world.

I've not been healthy in the head as of late, and I felt that taking a step (or several) back from the little online world I had created myself was essential. After some of the events of the past week, it became clear to me that the idea of deleting my facebook account was a crucial step in my journey towards wholeness and peace of mind.

When the "last straw" occurred a few days ago, I admit that I was angry when I went through the process of deleting the account. In the peace of a new day and a fresh perspective, I realized what I had done and reactivated my profile (it takes 14 days for your account to be totally deleted once you start the ball rolling, and signing back in during that time reactivates everything). It took less than 12 hours for me to realize that even though the final decision was made at a time of anger and emotional unrest, the decision was still the right one to make.

It has been odd since that time, as I'm used to being able to interact with people whom I otherwise have no means of connection. I miss a few of them terribly, and will probably continue to do so. Yet the people who matter most to me are able to contact me or vice versa through email or telephone anyway. It may take a while to adjust, but I will be fine in the long run.

I have also decided to adjust some other things in my life that were causing stress or strife as well, but out of respect to those people which it affects, I'm going to refrain from saying much about all of that until such a time as I am able to give them a personal explanation for my decisions.

At any rate, the Cleveland Gay Pride Parade and Festival is today, and I have a lot to do before I leave. I'll be marching in the parade with my church, as well as helping to babysit the booth for a period of time. I'm looking forward to a bit of frivolity and entertainment today.

God knows I need to lighten up a bit...

June 16, 2010

it's a hard-knock life

Seriously gang, it just doesn't get much worse. I've got the whole week off of work, which if you know me well, you know how much I love going into the shop every day. I'm stuck in Columbus, OH with a large group of friends from my church attending our Ohio District Adult Conference. To make matters worse, when I decided to update my blog this morning, the most relaxing spot I could find to sit and type was just outside the sliding glass door of our room, in a lounge chair that overlooks the hotel pool.

I just don't know how I'll ever survive this torture until Friday afternoon!

In all honesty though, other than the few boring or less-appealing parts of the day down here, this week is already going by too quickly. I'm used to the whirlwind vacations that Cody plans going by super quick, mostly because there is always something to do all day long, and they're always enjoyable. I knew that our "free time" from conference in the afternoons would go quickly while we were hanging out with some awesome people. I just didn't realize the WHOLE week would fly by like this!!!

One big down-side is that Cody and I are in a completely different hotel than the rest of the participants from our church. We were "forced" to look for a different hotel since the "official" hotel that the conference partnered up with for a group rate didn't have any smoking rooms. In addition to that, even with the group rate, we're still getting a much better deal where we're at. We're just a couple minutes farther out in the opposite direction from the other hotel, it's much cheaper, and seems to be nicer in my opinion. The other hotel is newer, but ours has been kept up quite well, so I'm happy with the choice we made. Not to mention that, with Cody still not working, a cheaper hotel (provided it's a clean and decent one) will definitely take priority over being with the rest of the group.

So far the conference has been pretty cool. There are definite pluses and minuses to it, but overall I'm pleased we decided to attend. The best part for me is getting to know a handful of friends a bit better, followed closely by the class I chose to take. We can take up to two additional classes each morning, and Cody and I decided to only take one so that we could spend a little more time relaxing before we leave each morning. This is our vacation in addition to a conference, so even though we don't have big enough blocks of time to do some other things we might have liked to do, we are trying to make the most of it and get the best of both worlds.

I enjoyed the Bible study yesterday morning, and look forward to the remaining sessions, but unfortunately Cody was a little less impressed. He may take that time to kind of meander and meditate for the rest of the week, but I'm not sure.

I decided to join the conference choir at the urging of a couple of friends as well. While there have been a few frustrating points that I won't go into out of respect for a couple of people whom I otherwise like quite well, it's been kind of nice to sing in a choir again. Plus we get to keep our music and take it back to our congregations! Since recently taking the interim choir director position at church, I've been looking for some ideas and music, and I'll definitely be utilizing one or two of these new songs.

The evening vesper speaker has been getting some kind of mixed reviews so far, and I have to say that I haven't quite made my mind up yet. I know that I haven't gotten anything out of it that I've taken to heart to walk away with as of yet, but hopefully the matters he's spoken of will be seated somewhere in my heart or subconscious to still be somewhat effective in my life at a later point.

Cody and I went to the other hotel during free time yesterday to hang out with a few of our friends and go swimming in their pool. It was actually quite nice. We had a chance to talk amongst ourselves without anyone being called away for this, that or the other. I know that our Pastor really enjoyed it. I think that's the longest I've been around him without someone coming to him with something that needed his attention or his phone going off. Pastors need to relax, too ya' know!

This afternoon we'll be headed out as a group to visit the shops and such on High St. It's supposed to be a nice little eclectic row of mom & pops, novelty and kitschy stores. It's a bit of a tradition for our congregation and they all seem to have really enjoyed it in the past, so I'm looking forward to it!

I think several of us may skip dinner tonight at the conference and go out to eat, as fish is on the menu, and most of us are either not into it or indifferent enough to be willing to skip it for something a little better with the group.

Alas, Mr. Man has just reminded me of the time. I need to shave and shower so we can head out in time for our first session.