Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Fossil

When I first met Jeff, I could not believe he was 12 years my senior. That is a number so large, that it is OK to use numerics when writing, say, instead of three or five. 

My groovy room mate and I coined a nickname for him; 'the Fossil'.

There are a lot of things you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at him. Like that he is 43 years old today. The man is smokin hot. And his use of emoji when texting is elaborate. It still makes me chuckle whenever I see a random cat, or something else that he clearly scrolled through to find, pop up on my screen.  

And he is a wonderful father. A role he might never have planned for himself, but he has fantastic instincts and loves his children. A lot. 

And he is one of the most morally sound fellas I have ever met. He does what is right... almost all the time. In fact, just sitting here now, I can't recall a single time that I have been disappointed with a decision he has made when morals are called into question. 

He is fair, generous, kind and funny. Hilarious, when he wants to be. 

He is a good man, and today is his birthday. 

Happy birthday, Jeff! We love you very much.


Monday, June 3, 2013

The end of the tunnel

Well, I did it. Delete. 

Although, recovering a deleted FaceBook account is as easy as signing on once again. I am not too worried about a relapse, though. Just half a day into it and I already feel like a weight has been lifted. 

(Don't you secretly wish you could 'like' that?)

I woke up this morning, made my cup of coffee, signed on for the last time and read a few comments and messages from friends about my last post. I did decide to create a page for this blog so that those people who really are near and dear to me, but whom with it might be difficult to call or email, could still have a way to catch up and connect. 

I deleted. And then I laced up my shoes, put the kids in the running stroller, and headed out for a run. 

I have started running in the mornings with a lovely gal and her sweet boys. She is encouraging, supportive and authentic. We chat about all sorts of things when we run/walk, and I was looking forward to telling her about my decision to disconnect (she is on FaceBook, but not very active). I ended up getting our meeting time wrong so I was on my own for 3 miles.

It was one of those runs (don't let me fool you, I move at a snails pace, at best, and I walk a majority of the way) where the kids were well behaved in their seats, chatting to one another and randomly calling out things that they saw. I was able to really focus on my breathing and find a rhythm that works for me (2 breaths in, 2 out on hills. 3 in and 3 out on flat land). 

I was focusing on my breathing, trying to clear my mind, but I kept thinking about all the people I would likely never hear from again since I was off of FaceBook. And I suddenly felt very lonely. Isolated and, well, sad. It didn't help that I had messed up my meeting time with my running buddy. Or that Jeff has been gone for a month and I talk more to toddlers and preschoolers than I do actual adults. And I began to panic. 

I DON'T have any real friends! The only thing resembling 'friendship' or 'appreciation' in my life are the people who I USED to be friends with on FaceBook! At least I could pretend that the people who liked my post about a funny Noah poop story really KNOW and LIKE ME!!

I stopped running, my breathing chaotic and heart racing. I bent at the waist, still holding the handle of the stroller, to stretch my back and open my lungs. When I stood I saw the tunnel.


It's funny how those negative thoughts can come racing into your consciousness. Uninvited and toxic, this type of thinking can lead anyone to make a bad decision; self doubt, loathing and negativity. We run through this tunnel every morning, and often comment on how pretty it is. All the different shades of green, the cool air coming from the woods, the sounds of tree frogs and birds. 

I kept running. Three breaths in, three out. And I changed my thinking. 

'At the end of this tunnel, I am going to let go. Let go of the negative thinking that's telling me that I don't have friends. Telling me that I am only as good as the number of 'likes' I get on a status update. I am better than that, and this is a good decision. The people who matter will find a way to keep in touch. The rest don't matter.'

I finished my run. And when I returned home I had two new emails from dear friends to respond to; emails that shared more and meant more than I would have ever gleaned had I only 'caught up' with these women on FaceBook. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Off the book and unplugged

I made a decision today. Honestly, it hit me like a ton of bricks, suddenly, after my morning run with a dear friend. 

I am deleting my FaceBook account. (Gasp! Shock! The horror!)

For the most part it is a harmless form of entertainment. And there have been several times, like the loss of a loved one, that FaceBook has reconnected me with other loved ones to share in the grieving and remembering and joy and sorrow. 

But for some time now I have been thinking about 'meaningful connections' with the people who are in my life. And what true friendship looks like. And I feel like, to a certain extent, being friends with someone on FaceBook lessens the actual friendship you have. 

I want to be intentional. I want the connections I form with people in my life to be mutually appreciated and reciprocated; not because someone 'likes' a silly status update I post about something off the wall my kids do or say. 

Genuine friendship is hard to find, I realize that. And I am lucky to know some wonderful people and even luckier to call them friends. I am going to concentrate on those connections. I realize it won't be easy; calling or emailing to check in one-on-one is not something I am remotely used to since the dawn of my FaceBook account. But I want the people who call themselves my friends to feel special; to know that they are thought of more than when their name pops up on my news feed. That they are in my heart. 

So, dear friends, let's keep in touch! I plan on writing a whole lot more; half of the things I post of FaceBook are watered down blog posts anyway! So this blog should be a good way to 'check in' and see how we Rodenhizers are doing. I also plan on keeping my instagram account because, well, I have some precious to me pictures on there. 

And I would love to start emailing with anyone who wants to connect in a more personal way. My email address is bryna.richter@gmail.com. We also have a skype number that can be called from any phone line, free of charge (depending on your cell plan, of course). Email me if you want the number! Also, if you have an iPhone, we can FaceTime or iMessage till our hearts are content... email me for my cell number if you'd like. 

Part of finding contentment and joy in my own life involves focusing on the people who are in it; weather their presence builds me up, knocks me down, or is of no significance. I feel like this is the first step in surrounding myself with people who really want to be there.