Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The importance of finishing a thought

Dear OfSunshine Blog,

How are you? I've been thinking about you lately. I'm wondering--do you go to support meetings with all the other blogs so lovingly created in the first waves of social media, then abandoned when when only .01% of the creators actually parlayed their blog into a career, leaving everyone else wandering off disillusioned by the growing popularity of 15 word memes? 

I imagine you now, in the basement of some church website where they serve bagel "bytes" with bad coffee after the meetings. Do you and the other modest personal blogs point and whisper when one of you arrives unexpectedly? You know, the one you were all *sure* was bound for bigger and better things--now skulking in with baggy clothes and big sunglasses? What do we do with all these blogs that now sit neglected after they were sought out and created in the corners of the Internet universe for anyone and everyone to spill their ideas and feelings into? 

Oh, blog! Why are you crying? Don't be sad! I never loved you for your ad space! I'm sorry I was dazzled by the lights (read: "likes") of Facebook, but it was always you and me, kid. Wipe your eyes, blow your nose. We have work to do.

Item Number One

This article: 
(You can read it, I will wait...and by read I mean skim the first of it and devour the last part)

Here is what strikes me most about that article: the contrast between the life choices of the first woman (who remembers nothing) and the second (who remembers everything). Now, I don't wish to be either of these women for various and obvious reasons, but the second woman BECAUSE she remembers so much is OBSESSED with remembering and recording everything to the point of not being a functioning person. 

Then the author of the article says "My iPhone now holds 1,217 photos and 159 videos just from the past eight months. By focusing on clicking picture after picture, I may actually be blurring away my memories of these experiences through something researchers call “the photo-taking impairment effect.” And by automatically storing all those photos in the cloud—which relieves my mind of the burden of cataloging a bunch of memories—I may be short-circuiting some part of my own process of episodic memory formation."

There is something about those pieces of information that is incredibly important to me at this juncture of my life. I'm making choices now that will decide a lot about the next half of my life. How much of it do I want to be virtual reality and photo memories, and how much should I let go of the cataloging and just DRINK IN my life experiences, fill out the contours of my SOUL instead of an online photo album? I want to refocus on photographs for the ART of something. I think I used to be kind of good at that and it makes life interesting trying to find the beautiful or honest angle of something. 

Anyway, after I read that I had a lot to marinate on and I stepped away from the Internet for a while. I uninstalled my apps for Facebook and messenger so I had to manually go to a browser to check them and I began reading a PAPER novel. Yeah, on paper. Like the kind you get from trees! Weird. 

I won't get into all of the things I worked out right now, but I did figure out one thing which I will set here as

Item Number Two 

Blogging is important to me, but like many things I would give lip service to for being "important to me" I wasn't acting like it, and I was feeling conflicted and guilty about ways the speed of technology had begun filling me with convenient empty calories. Just like needing to go on a real diet, I'd been struggling with awareness but a stubborn unwillingness to really take the uncomfortable steps to change anything. 

This is not a judgment of how other people use the Internet! I believe in social media as a new modern "community" where people know each others business and get relief and support in a society that no longer meets at a common watering hole in the center of the village. I will also continue to utilize the tools of our modern age! But... 

I need to come home. To my sarcastically named but earnestly wielded Sunshine Blog. I have ADHD, writing a thought from start to finish or working something out through my fingertips and reading it back with my eyes feeds information from one side of my brain to the other the way no medication or self help tool can. Blogging serves this better then a journal simply because most people don't comb over a journal entry for editing mistakes or concept clarity the way we would if someone else might read it.

I used to feel like I couldn't come back here without creating some kind of a back log to experiences that were only catalogued to Facebook, like this place wouldn't be a complete picture of what I had set out to create when I began to blog--but that article gave me such a gift because it told me without a doubt that obsessive compiling doesn't serve me in any way. 

I miss writing. I miss this being an up to date resource for the parents I work with on the ADHD family journey. I have missed you, blog face! Yup. I missed your blogging face! 

Next up? Tomorrow I have major surgery to wade through the recovery of, but I think a blog make over is in order. You've earned it OfSunshine.com. Stay tuned :)

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