Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ The Sun Will Be Out Tomorrow....

Kiddos practicing contortionist skills like Sophie from AGT
Facebook is many things.

It is something to scroll through to keep up on the doings and comings and goings of acquaintances, friends, family and wannabes in any of those categories.

Home of dog, cat and hedgehog ridiculousness. Oh, pigs, let's not forget the pigs!

Facebook is a tool for communicating an event or a bit of news in your life. As a new novelist it's invaluable for getting news out to my people regarding what's going on with my book and it gives them a chance to join in my celebration. Just like it gives me the opportunity to see the joys and accomplishments in others lives and a chance to celebrate them.

Not all my favorite people are there on Facebook. Some are. Many others are random and sporadic or not at all. But Facebook allows me to see a slice of life for loads of people I care about. 

It is a unique place though. I've noticed that I have relationships there that are kind of hovering on simmer when they would otherwise have faded off into the distance. I think of my friend Cory, a girl I grew up with. My cousin and cousin-in-law Julie (both of them, how convenient) who cross my path on Facebook far more than in person. But I can "like" things that are going on in their lives. Share a bit now and again and feel a connection with them.

Friends from different seasons are there, too. I don't see Bonni and Sandy, Peggy and Sue every day anymore like I did when we worked together. Friends whom I've laughed and cried with over the years like Jody and Erin, I rarely see them. But I can see what they've been up to with the click of a finger.

Leslie holds a piece of my heart, Tiffany and Sarah, too. Young moms in a whole different season, two in different states. It warms my heart to see pictures of them with their little kiddos and read comments about things going on in their lives.

Writing friends are busy friends and sometimes so much to do equals no connection at all. But if I'm wondering what's going on in Gina or Ane's world, I can scroll their Facebook.

New friends, too. My path just crossed with those of some great folks in Minnesota. Because of Facebook we can keep in touch and our paths will likely cross again sometime when I'm there.

I can laugh with people, pray for people, grieve with people in spirit on Facebook. I can even share heart felt thoughts and know that most of the people who read them are going to understand.

But there is a dark side to Facebook, too. The anonymity of it. The quickness of communication without the benefit of tone of voice or non-verbal language. Some choose to use Facebook as a bully pulpit. Or as a monologue. Some feel the need to correct or condemn others with posts or comments. Some choose to fight to be right rather than to bite the tongue out of love for the other person. Wise Thumper's mother said that if one can't say something nice, one should say nothing at all. My mom quoted that often. I'd like it to say kind. Kindness is better than nice. Nice can be faked. Nice can be drenched in passive aggressive sugar. Kindness comes from the heart. 

Friends, acquaintances, loved ones, ones I know hardly at all but like none-the-less, strangers who post hilarious pet videos that make my life so much more fun, please, please, please don't let something as huge as Tuesday's events destroy people's hearts, minds, peace. I scrolled through for twenty minutes  on Wednesday and my heart aches. 

This too shall pass. It does every four or eight years. Changes will happen. But one person cannot destroy the entire world. And they literally have no power to destroy your hope, your attitude or your peace. Unless you chose to give them the power to do so.

You voted out of your passion and convictions. So did I. I hope we all did. What's done is done. 

Carelessly, or angrily tossed words can't be taken back. If you need to heal, Facebook might be a place to avoid for awhile. I'm cautiously going to continue on in my use of Facebook as something that enhances my life. If grace is needed. I will give it. If something is yucky I am going to ignore it because I will assume the person spewing the ugly is processing and working out their struggles via social media. 

The headlines will be replaced with other issues and tragedies. But there will be more cute pet videos and sweet pictures of mamas and babies. Someone will win Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. Good will still be done. The sun will be out tomorrow, behind the clouds possibly, but there. 

Life will go on.

I love you, Friends. Warts and pimples and wrinkles and all, and I hope you can see past mine, too.