It has been a week since I took myself off social media, well except for Facebook, let’s be honest, I’m not that strong. I have to admit it was easier than I expected it to be. Whenever I felt the need to pick up my phone and open an App, I found myself instead picking up a magazine at the office or reviewing an interesting medical topic on UpToDate.
The one thing I do miss about not being on Instagram is posting photos of my progress on my cross-stitching projects. It was nice to see that other cross-stitchers enjoyed my work and “liked” my photos. I was also apparently missed by a few followers and received messages from them asking why I left.
I left for a number of reasons, many of which I won’t discuss here but suffice it to say it served mainly to rid myself of a desire to watch others at a distance. It was unhealthy and really served no other purpose than to torture me. I created my own prison and couldn’t find a way out, or rather, knew exactly how to get out but didn’t have the courage to do so until last week. The year is coming to an end and a new one is just around the corner. It’s time to move on.
I have decided that I want 2016 to be a year of less Internet voyeurism and instead more real-life interaction. I want to read more books and enjoy life for myself. I want to stop using my phone to take a photo and immediately think, “Oh, that would make a great Instagram post.” I want to live in the present through my own eyes rather than a camera lens. I don’t need anyone to approve my life or “like” what I’m doing, least of all strangers. I also don’t need to provide an open window for my past to watch me through.
Which leads to me this blog. It is the one thing left (other than Facebook but thanks to good privacy controls, I may still keep my accoount) that I still allow my past to witness. I could make this blog private and I might still do so in the new year, I haven’t decided yet. I know there are those who visit my blog whom I no longer see in real life. It used to really bother me that they were visiting my blog and it caused me a lot of frustration and stress. It became an obsession to check the tracking log every day to see if they were back. I am happy to report that that obsession is now over. The website tracking is gone and I kicked another addiction.
I’m writing this as I sit in a taxi on my way to a conference. My driver is a woman. This is a first for me! I can honestly say I have never had a female cab driver before. My initial instinct after telling her my destination is to take out my phone and snap a photo of her. Why? To post on Instagram of course.
I stopped myself.
“You aren’t on Instagram anymore.”
“Who are you posting that for?”
“Why does anyone care!?”
I admit I got caught up in the desire to photograph my life for others to see, that is, to photograph those things that I wanted people to see. Again I have to ask myself why? What does it prove? Why does anyone care that I’m awake this early on a Saturday attending a conference about the Eye? The better question is why I feel the need to tell people about it?
It’s been two whole days since I took myself off a couple social media sites and I am doing surprisingly well. It certainly doesn’t hurt that work has been insanely busy and there have been lots of letters to write and forms to fill out for patients.
I also volunteered earlier in the fall to be a file reviewer for a medical school admissions program and had forgotten all about it until an email arrived this week advising me that the files will be sent to me in the next few days. I am very excited to have been given this privilege of helping review files of prospective medical school candidates. It really does put a lot of things in perspective for me.
I am also attending an all day course this weekend, so will be busy learning all the things I need to be taught again. This break from social media is good for me and so far hasn’t been nearly as hard as I expected it to be.
Perhaps the withdrawal hasn’t quite kicked in yet.
Well, here it is. The last day of November and the last day of daily posting for a little while.
My heart and mind are heavy. It’s been a busy weekend and an emotionally exhausting one as well. I’m finding it really hard to focus and am constantly thinking about my parents. I know that my worry will not go away and that I have to find a way to manage it. The doctor in me tells me to research and learn all I can but the daughter in me can’t bear to carry that knowledge. Now there’s a double-edged sword if I ever saw one.
I miss my laptop. 😔 How utterly ridiculous is that?
After I finished the cleanup yesterday following the birthday party, I went to bed. It was 9:30pm and I’m fairly certain I was asleep before 10pm. Baby woke up at 4am for a drink and then slept again until 7am. Overall I feel like I got a pretty decent nights sleep but who wants to go to bed at 9:30pm every night? I’d never watch another movie or get to cross stitch again!
I clearly needed the rest. I woke up feeling pretty good and decided it was time for a long run. I haven run more than 5-6km in over a month.
Since the half-marathon I’ve really slowed down. I suppose that is to be expected after putting ones body through that kind of stress. I also stopped doing weights and other core work at home and it has all taken its toll. Now with the holidays approaching and the gingerbread lattes and candy cane hot chocolates and the gingerbread decorating parties, I am going to have to compensate for the debauchery with running and getting back on track with my own weight training.
I hope today is the start.
I have switched up my run/walk intervals and have been trying 10/1s with some success. My pace has slowed but that’s probably more due to the increase in time running than anything else. I hope I can work on that over the winter.
Overall it was a decent run. I kept to the 10/1 intervals for the first 5 km then afterwards I needed more frequent walk breaks. I finished strong though, so that shows u had some gas in the tank left.
I almost forgot to write today. After the very long and emotionally draining day that was yesterday, I woke up today with a heavy heart. But life continues and I had to get the house ready for my daughter’s birthday party.
As I was having my morning coffee, I decided for some odd reason to upgrade the operating system on my laptop. It didn’t go well. Something went wrong and the worst thing that could happen actually happened. Blah blah blah operating system could not load … Failure.
I took my laptop to the local Mac store and it’s in their hands now. I don’t want to think about all the documents and photos that are on that computer. They may not be recoverable.
I was up at the crack of dawn this morning (what else is new?) but this time to take my dad to a specialist appointment. We are the first ones here, even before the receptionist!
Since I have taken over this role of being present at most of my parents’ various specialist appointments, I have come to enjoy watching another physician do a physical examination. It’s a great refresher for me, especially the neurological exam. This was my nemesis in medical school. It is probably the most complex sequence of tests and observations I have ever had to learn and I still feel like I never mastered it.
Today I witnessed a skilled clinical fellow perform a thorough neurological examination on my dad.
I knew everything she was doing and why. There were tests I had forgotten about, ones that are very specific and others more general. At the end of the 3 hour appointment, we had some answers and now a few hours later, I have nothing but questions.
I need time to process. I know the road ahead of us. I’ve seen patients and their families go through it. It’s not what I wanted for my parents, least of all my father.
But this is life. It is hard. It is ugly. It is rewarding. It is love.