Why I am Choosing to Leave Social Media. And Random Thoughts…

IMG_6127

 

I made a post on my facebook wall. I told all of my friends, old and new, all of my family, and Mitch’s family.

I’m deleting facebook, snapchat, instagram, and so on. I won’t delete this blog, though.

Here is why:

That Wednesday morning, of January 25th, after my mandatory meeting, at work, and before going to the elementary school to send home flyers inviting moms to come coach Girls On the Run with me, I sat at my desktop (really a tower hooked up to our big screen tv in the man-cave) with the mouse hovering over “delete account”.

I was in that state for a good 5-10 minutes.

During those 5-10 minutes, I thought of all the things I have said, or have discussed with people.

When I was small, like 8-9 years old, I told my dad, “computers are the devil, and are going to ruin families!” Out of the mouths of babes, am I right?

Mitch and I discussed our social media obsessions, and how we were addicts, through and through. I was worse than him, but we were both bad.  We used to get pissed at each-other because he would be trying to talk to me, but my phone was in my face, or I would say something to him, and he would “acknowledge” it, but not remember what I had said. Any time Meg wanted to show me something, I would be like “hold on I’m doing something!” Know what I was doing? Reading a meme, or someone’s post on Facebook, or something that was definitely less important than what my DAUGHTER was trying to show me. And, we wonder why the kids of that generation seem to seek attention, regardless of what kind of attention it is. So many think that the responses you get on social media is more important, because look at how most of us react when our kids talk to us. I see it happen every day. I even catch myself doing it. We act annoyed that our kids want to talk to us, or show us something, that they’ve shown us at least 450 times, already. We, as parents, should make it a point to make everything our kids show or tell us, seem important. It may be the 900th time they’ve shown you, but when they’re teenagers, and NEED to tell you something that IS important, they won’t, because they will believe they are a bother, and that’s the last thing you want to happen. So many reasons exist that you should WANT your kid to talk openly with you.

When it comes to being with your friends, in person, it’s annoying when social media interrupts.

When I am sitting in a living room, restaurant, or out with friends in general, and they all have their faces stuck in their phones, I feel like I am unimportant. I was SOOOOOO guilty of “hold on!” so I could finish a status update, or respond to a silly comment on my post.

I want to reconnect with PEOPLE. Real people. I don’t want to live my life watching photos of friends who live down the street. I want to make time, and visit, in real life, and hug them. Human interaction is healing, and my experience shows me that actual interaction, rather than virtual interaction can ward off depression. It is great for our souls, to surround ourselves with people who love us, and who we love, and enjoy being around.

I don’t want to post whatever I post, and feel expectant of discussion. I would rather call my best friend, and talk to her on the phone.

I really feel like social media has made people socially awkward. Really though.

I went on a date with a guy, last week. He was so worried about his “shitty” car, that he didn’t want me to meet him outside. I don’t care about your car. When we met, inside the restaurant, he couldn’t look me in the face. He dodged my eye contact, like it was flames. Once he started acting all weird like that, I started talking about how I’m not looking for a boyfriend, and how my expectations in a man are really high, because my husband was amazing, and it will be hard for a guy to meet those standards.

I mean, really? When I told my friends about how he wouldn’t look at me when we were talking, and how it made me feel odd. Really odd. I deleted the dating apps first.

Bye, Tinder!

Bye, Bumble!

There’s nothing like meeting someone, in a good, face to face manner. I always felt like those apps were weird. You swipe though still photos of people, and you’re supposed to determine if you like them or not, based on photos and a tiny bio? I tried it. I met some pretty rad people. Back in the beginning, I met a lawyer, so I can ask lawyer-type questions to, if I need to. I met the couple, who are awesome, and I still chat with, once in a while.

But, to determine dating qualities? Nah, not so much. There is a connection that can only happen, standing right in front of another human. There is a spark, or there isn’t a spark. I can stand in front of the sexiest guy I know, and I have no desire to mess with him. And yes, I am talking about a real person, and he is gorgeous, but he isn’t “my type”. Hell, when I really first met Mitch, he was not my “type” physically. When he opened his mouth and started talking to me, he quickly became my type. His smile. The way he spoke with confidence, without being cocky. The way he walked. And his sense of humor, that I missed a lot of jokes from, in the beginning. All of those played a huge role in my attraction to him. Y’all think I have a dirty mind? Guess who taught me? Yeah, you got that right. HA! And when I found out that Meg had stumbled upon it, naturally, dear goddess, help me! She is her father’s daughter.

I’m a firm believer in spirit-people. There are people who are meant to be in your life. I’ve said it a million times. When you meet them, you just know. They could be meant to be a friend, significant other, or a shoulder. they could simply be there, just to help you through a short phase of your life.

I also believe, with all of my heart, and deep, deep into my soul, that everything happens for a reason. Everything.

Mitch dying so young, from something that would be considered an old person’s death, made a bunch of people go to the doctor, and many found out they had issues that they were unaware of. It even, possibly, saved a few lives.

Mitch passing, oddly enough, has shown me how independent I really am. I used to always say, “Mitch, you can’t leave me! I wouldn’t know what to do, without someone making sure our bills are paid, regularly!” Mitch also cooked, and did most of the laundry. When I tell people he was perfect, I do not exaggerate.

EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

My mind is swirling with thoughts right now. I am having memories flash to the front of my mind, like when Mitch was laying in bed with me, and Meg was only 2-3 months old, and she woke up, hungry. He gently shook my shoulders, and asked if he could do anything to help me. He was upset that he couldn’t be of more help, since I was breast feeing, and not pumping or using bottles.

Little things like that bombard my brain every once in a while.

We were talking about how I planned to rid myself of social medias, and a coworker said “I could never do that! The things my kids said, when they were little, I posted about, and it pops up in my memories.”

That’s why I wanted to hang onto social medias. I was terrified of losing Mitch. But, the reality is this. I will never LOSE the memories of Mitch. I will forever have those, stowed in my mind, and deep in my heart. There are memories from everyone else, that can be talked about. I have lost Mitch’s physical form, but his ideas, and his love, and everything he ever was, will, forever, be with me, and with everyone else, who was truly a part of his life.

I actually tried to delete facebook, and it kept giving me an error code. So, instead, I have logged off, and removed the apps from my phone. I haven’t been on Since 6 o’clock, yesterday, and don’t plan on using the account, until I need to create an event, to send invites through. (I wish there was a separate type of event app, like how messenger is a separate entity.) Basically, I feel trapped in facebook. It’ll be okay. If I can quit smoking, and quit drinking soda, I can quit social media, too. (except this blog!)

Oh! I touched briefly on why I think social media has made people socially awkward, in real life, but I really think its made conversations strange, too. I think the “listening to respond” is so much worse than it has ever been before. I can say something, and no one actually hears it. Back to that ridiculous date I had, I said “Oh yeah! I am racing this weekend.” When he asked, for the 4th time, what my plans were, coming up. We had discussed my obsession for OCR, and I had mentioned the 3-Race weekend, and most importantly, how I never do Spartan or Tough Mudder.

He asked, “So, any big plans coming up?” And I responded “Yeah. Next weekend is a 3-Race weekend!”

And he asks, “Oh. What is it? A Tough Mudder?” Did he listen? His body was there, but his brain was elsewhere. I felt like I did a lot of repeating myself, and if you know me, you know I can’t stand that. I can’t stand it so much, that if I don’t hear you the first 2 times you say something, I say “never mind” and leave it at that. If it was important, you’ll ask me why I didn’t listen, and I will tell you how I am going deaf.

 

Thanksgiving Is Near

I am sure there are many people who question, “What do you have to be thankful for?” Because my husband passed away. I am definitely not thankful for that. That’s for certain!

But, I am thankful for quite a lot, actually.

I am thankful for my current health.

I am thankful for my family and friends. (to be clear, alllllllll of Mitchell’s family, is now MINE! I kept them all.)

I am thankful to have the daughter that I was so lucky to have. I could have ended up with a complete A-hole, but, she’s pretty cool.

I am thankful for my employment. I have a work family that has also been by my side, through this journey.

I am thankful that I fell into OCR, prior to Mitch passing, and really found out how AMAZING the OCR community is. Every one of them stood by my side, ready to be there when I was ready to get back into high gear.

Good gracious, I am so thankful for everything else in my life. If Mitch passing has taught me anything at all, it is to be MORE thankful, and appreciate it all.

All of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am at a point in my journey as a widow, where I have been told many people will have already tapered away. This is not how it’s working for me. I am happy that everyone has stuck by me.

I had a very bad day at work, the day after I put up the Christmas tree. I cried through about 10 minutes of a total knee surgery, and the surgeon was great to me. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t ask what was wrong. He just offered me a little break, by allowing me to get it out.

Everything was silent around me (as they kept working, I fell away), all I could do was think of Mitch. I thought about how he always begged to put the tree up early. He would sneak a Christmas decoration in, and see if I would notice. It was more of a game with us. I would get sick of looking at the Christmas decor, where he loved it. If it went up Thanksgiving night, It came down New Years day. If it went up early, it came down December 26th. It was just our way. It’s how we rolled.

I was able to pull myself together and rejoin the surgical team, in what seemed like a very long time. Come to find out, it was really only about 10 minutes.

Oh! One of the many things I am so very thankful for is the videos Mitch left on the computer. I feel like everyone needs to hear his voice.

This was last year, our Ugly Sweater party. Caution: Foul Language was used in the making of this video… For those of you who know his voice, his laugh, this is for you. He isn’t shown very much, but you sure can hear him, and it’s beautiful.

 

Here is a family game night. ❤

 

Be Thankful for the laughter.

Always remember that beautiful sound.

 

 

A Widow and Her Word Vomit

I will apologize in advance, for this post. I have so much to say, and haven’t really thought it through, yet.

I have found myself in tears, a lot the last couple of days. I think my strength is dwindling, with the migraine I’ve had. I found myself on Mitch’s facebook page, looking through old videos and photos. Man, I miss him so much! His goofy smile, his “everything will be fine” mentality, his warm hug, that made everything really feel like it was going to be fine.

As I scrolled through the pictures on his facebook, laughing at the memes he made or shared, the pictures of him and Megan, and the ones of us, I realized, I can tell you things that happened the days that most of those pics were taken. I can tell you that in this picture, we had argued, right before getting out of the car, at his Aunt Cindy’s house. I don’t remember what we argued about, but I remember we were having a tiff. All ended up fine, as it always did with us. I mean, who can stay mad at those dimples?

11885191_10153506373986251_2896367968055404339_n

 

I have been thinking a lot. My brain has been in overdrive, and I just lay here, and think, “This is really happening? This is really my life? Why? What the hell did I do? Why does whoever is in charge think this was necessary? This sucks! I am strong, but damnit, I don’t want to be!”

Things like this are a regular cycle through my head, recently.

A small part of me is still hoping this is a joke. Or maybe Mitch witnessed something, and is actually in the witness protection program. But, my realistic mind overrules those thoughts. I know what’s real. No matter how much I wish it wasn’t, this is fact. Mitch has passed on, and is without pain or worries. He is free. He is with his mom, grandmother, and many of the greats.

I am here. Meg is here. We are making the best of this situation. We are not just surviving, we are THRIVING. We are being the best that WE can be. We are working to better ourselves each day, with every step and every human encounter we make.

As I lay here, and mourn the loss of such an inspiration to my life, I know it is just my selfish nature, wanting to keep him just for us. He was MINE, and I only shared with Megan. When she was born, he became OURS.

I read, quite a bit, like I’ve said in previous blogs. I actually read a new one, within the last couple of days about “Widows should only date widowers.” My initial thought was “WHAT? WHY??” Then, “NO THANK YOU!” As I read along, and it makes quite a few points about why it should be that way, I still disagree. I think that the right person for any widow or widower, will be the person who is the strongest, and the one with the most understanding. It’ll be the person who doesn’t get jealous over a deceased spouse. It’ll be the one who says “Let’s go to *insert place here* and take some ash!”

It doesn’t have to be a widower. It doesn’t have to be someone who “understands”. It just needs to be someone STRONG. Someone who is willing to understand YOU as a person grieving, and know that there can be a bond, but a different kind of bond that you shared with your deceased love.

11053547_10153208958011251_7679161717225503670_o

I am going to talk about Mitch, probably until the day I die, because he was hilarious, and such a HUGE part of my life, not to mention, he fathered my amazing daughter. So, STRONG and secure in oneself, are a must, when it comes to that point in my life. And, honestly, who knows when I will ever be to the “dating” point? It could be months, it could be years, it could be never, or tomorrow?

It’s funny, when I think about dating. I had seriously sworn off all men, the night before Mitch came into McDonald’s and invited me to his 18th bday party. Sworn. Off. All. Men! I was done! I had it and didn’t even care to talk to them.

Then, in walked Mitch with his dazzling (ornery) smile, with those dimples to die for.

It was over. I was finished. We were going to get married. Plain and simple. I knew it, and I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But, I sure had plans to put my lips on him. And I did. In front of ALL of his friends. I don’t think one person, at his birthday party,  missed our first kiss.

And then came our very brief “dating”. We took Michael and Katy to their skate parties, because going with a super awesome big brother and his girlfriend is WAYYYYY cooler than going with the dreaded parents.

Our first movie date is questionable. We can’t remember if it was Coyote Ugly at the Drive in, or Bring It On at the theater. Neither of us could remember. We didn’t actually care.

I remember walking in front of some strip mall somewhere, and we used to write things on the palm of each other’s hands, with our fingertips, and try to guess what we were spelling.

That was how he told me he loved me, for the first time.

10405561_10152432183811251_2224845754374181075_n

I remember our first apartment, together. We were insane! We picked one of the most expensive complexes with one of the most expensive layouts we could find, and only lasted about 3 months there. We were 18, and had our 17 and 16-year-old friends move in with us. We all lost or quit our jobs. How does one pay rent and bills without a job? hmmmm….

We moved out.

After that, for Mitch and I, it was a downward spiral with bills and bill collectors, and we were sued once for a car accident, in which  our car insurance company dropped us instead of paying for the other car to be repaired! We were so broke that we nearly lost our shit when we were sued for $1,000. Really? We couldn’t manage that? I worked at mcd’s, he worked at Two Men and a Truck. I think collectively, we made about 36,000 a year. Then, I was put on bedrest, about 2 months before Megan was due. Pregnancy and I didn’t get along. Reason number 1 that we didn’t have more children.

Luckily, the older we got, the better we became with taking care of our bills in a reasonable manner. But, enough about that. Bills and money are boring, when it’s not about winning millions, or earning millions.

Many of you read this each time I post a new blog, some may not, and that’s okay. If this is your fist time reading, It is important to know that my husband was 34 when he died from heart failure. His heart just stopped ticking. Now, you’ll understand the next part of this story.

I have been very busy. I have been to Georgia, near St. Louis, and in Fort Worth and Dallas, TX. That’s just in the last month. I have taken a vow to better health. I have hired a trainer (JRenFitness) and have been trying my damnedest to keep up with the regime. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, because of my job, but I try. I think I may have overdone it recently, so I am happy to be taking a mini-break. I am planning 3 or 4 more travel weekends soon, for racing. But first, I go to Florida with my family. I am excited to do workouts at the butt-crack of dawn on the beach. It will be our first family vacation, ever.  It’ll be my first time seeing the ocean. It’ll be my first time in Florida. There will be a lot of firsts that Meg and I will do together.

12190071_10153585574281251_958103704329241702_n

One thing we will not shy away from? Talking about her dad. I am sure there will be very emotional times, while we are there. I am sure we will laugh. I am sure we will cry. I am sure we will have an amazing time.

We. Are. Still. Alive.

12316528_10153651424876251_7598121666630416577_n

 

When I was in the ER for this terrible migraine, they came in to ask me all the questions for billing, and they asked “Is your emergency contact still Mitch Wood at…” and I started crying, and said no. Of course the next question was “marital status, still married?” I said “no, widowed” and kept crying. I didn’t think that qeustion would effect me as it did, but it did. And I was alone in the room with the poor girl taking all of my information.

534832_10150781902436251_2035008746_n

Now, it’s weird for me to think of myself as “single” because that word is so much less than what I am. I am not with anyone, anymore, but I am a complicated mess of human emotion. I will never be “normal” again. And that’s okay. Who wants “normal” anyway? “Normal” is overrated.

 

1909673_150691866250_4013155_n
Our Football Rivalry! Mitch would be proud to know, Megan prefers the Seahawks.