Monday, October 12, 2015


…I hit the wall last week on social media thanks to a wonderful family gathering with the in-laws.

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I'm filled with warm, childhood memories of simpler times and Thanksgivings gone by at Mom and Dad's. Mom was not one known for her culinary skills. Her remark, "I'd rather we could take a pill," pretty much summed up her love affair with cooking. But she always rose to the occasion when it came to family celebrations, especially Thanksgiving, after all we had much to be thankful for.

Mom was always the last to come to the table, taking off her apron along the way. Despite her pleadings for us to start without her, we'd wait for her arrival with our plates piled high.

My Dad would ask the obligatory, "Does anyone want to say grace?"…

Giggles. "Grace" said the more irreverent family members.

Without missing a beat he would continue on, "For this, our daily bread, may we truly be thankful."

We'd linger at the table over our dessert of pumpkin pie and whipped cream not wanting to break the spell of calm, contented, satiation and Dad, the old "philosopher" would share what he was thankful for. "We have our health," he would say this even when his own health was failing, "and we have each other. No matter where you are, or what life presents you with, I hope you will always remember these times and be grateful."

I do and I am.

Thank you turkey; thank you "Dad's" dressing
So what does this have to do with my social media "fast"?

During my visit I observed how we, I include myself here, have become obsessed with our devices. In the last post, I wrote that they help me connect with family members and friends who are geographically far away. There is no doubt that, used within reason, they provide the desired link. But, they also take me out of the present moment and away from my own creative devices.

Anxiety ridden, dissatisfaction-fuelled, advertising worms its way insidiously into my life filling me with impossible desires. Petitions, all for very good causes, leave me feeling powerless despite the actions I take in real life to defend the ocean and its inhabitants. Requests for donations at every turn arouse a sense of hopelessness for the earth. If only money talks and has power then we truly are doomed.

Where does the time go while I'm swiping through FB, answering e-mails, texting while "taking time out" to chill and "watch" a program on TV? Spreading myself so thin divides me up into little pieces. I'm scattered, ramped up; wanting.…What?…Anything but what I already have, it seems.

Add that to the chaos that accompanies every family gathering: the unspoken expectations, good intentions, subconscious agendas, spontaneous change-ups, miscommunication, emotional triggers; a cold in incubation, and you get someone "undone" by life. Time to unplug.

A week later, more grounded, calm and creative I ask myself, "Do I want to jump back into the throng?"

May this time with your family find you unplugged, feeling grateful, and filled with memories to warm your heart.


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