Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Face(book)ing My Past

It's been almost three months since I finally joined Facebook.  Yeah, go ahead and label me a Laggard.  So what if it took me until 2010 to get a cell phone?  And I was perfectly happy waiting two more years for a smartphone.  (I knew once I got one, I wouldn't be able to live without it, and I was right.)

Once I gave in to carrying a tiny computer with me all day, I figured why resist Facebook?  Admittedly, I was a little hesitant to join the social networking site.  Years ago, my Early Adopter friend, Charlotte, told me Facebook opened the door to hundreds of friend invitations from people from her high school years that she didn't have energy for anymore.  That sounded like something I didn't need in my own life.

Maybe I was wrong.

I started in August by sending friend requests to neighbors and current friends and acquaintances.  After a few days, I included extended family members that popped up as recommendations.  Here and there I added friends from early in my married years and even a couple from college.

Monday night at dinner I was telling my kids that most families didn't have home computers when I was their age.  (I sound so old to myself!)  Kent refuted that idea, and I had to confess that one of my third-grade friends had a Commodore 64, and we all thought that was really cool.

(FYI, the Commodore 64 is now memorialized in a Smithsonian Museum exhibit that opened this year.  Now I know that I'm old!)
That computer got me thinking about my childhood friends.  What are they up to now?  Did we follow similar paths in adulthood?  Some of the friends I've connected with on Facebook have chosen to leave the Church or pursue vastly different paths from where we both were during our in-person friendship.  Would friends of my childhood with similar upbringing have done the same?  The scientist in me was curious.

Today, I finally took the plunge and reached out to my Commodore 64 friend of the past whom I haven't seen in 20 years when I moved from Ogden.  As I scrolled through her Facebook friends, I saw many names and even some faces that I recognize from childhood.  If she accepts my friend request, will other friends from my past reach out to me?  I hope so.

I know I can't maintain more than a few deep relationships in my life, but what I'm learning to love about Facebook is that no one expects that level of friendship in the virtual world.  So is it even worth reconnecting with people that I probably still won't keep up with?  Yes.

It was perhaps more than coincidence that I found my friend's page today.  I've spent the last two days thinking and praying about my role for my family.  I've been a full-time mom for 14 years, but this summer as my youngest prepared for first grade, I decided to take on an extra job or two (okay, three).  Then, when #1 received her patriarchal blessing on Sunday, I had an impression that I needed to focus on being involved in my children's lives as they enter the teenage years, and I had to take a hard look at my decision to be a second bread winner.  I felt that I needed to trust our household income to God, and put myself back in place as protector of the hearth.  These past few months while I've been working, my house has suffered, my children have been on their own for schoolwork, my callings seem too stressful, and I've felt on the edge of panic attacks more than once.  I told Kent last night that even though I feel competent to bring in some income, I don't think it's right for me to be adding his role to my own.  So I am letting go of much of the work I've been doing to focus again on being a mom and a homemaker.  I'll still do a bit of work with the foundation, and be a source for Solavei phone service, but I'm not going to actively make those things a job anymore.  My kids are my job.

Just look at these crazy people.  They need all the help I can give!
I've still felt a little unsettled about this decision, mostly because it requires me to stop worrying about income  and put my trust in God to help Kent provide for the family.  It is not my burden, though, and I need to stop trying to claim it.  My role is to run the household on whatever income God sees fit to bless us with.

When I looked up my long-lost friend on Facebook today, I found many posts about the important role of mothers.  Her posts were a reassurance to me that this is the right decision.  Kent feels good about it, and I'm looking forward to the possibility of catching up my blog, redecorating my house like crazy (just wait 'til you see what's now only in my head!), practicing the piano again, and maybe even writing a novel.  There is so much good work to do besides the work for money.  I kind of feel bad for Kent not getting to be the stay-at-home parent.

Thank you Facebook, and prayer, for reconnecting me to what matters: family and relationships.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I think you bring up a great point... I have always planned on going back to work when kiddos are all in school, but work takes so much out of you - even part time. I know that Satan is working harder and harder on our young ones. I'm really glad you posted this. I think I need to reconsider my goals.