Tuesdays with Morrie

As I said, this summer I will be spending my time reading. I have now read almost all of Mitch Albom’s books. I wanted kinda of review or say a little something about each one. I do not think it will be so much as a review but as the feelings each book gave me. When you lose a child and then read books that speak of death, afterlife and such, it makes you think beyond the story. Remember this is the view point of a housewife/babysitter that mainly gets to read when in the bath, on the toilet or nap time. If I am lucky during a movie or at bedtime.

So I started with Tuesdays with Morrie. I have heard it referenced in many TV shows and when I found it in goodwill, I picked it up to see what all the fuss was about. I started with reading the inside cover and found that this was a “true story”. It is about his college professor Morrie Schwartz and his battle with ALS. He visits him every Tuesday for weeks until Morrie’s last day. Morrie shares with him the wisdom he has gathered throughout his full life.

The book is filed with pearls of wisdom. On how to deal with living, loving and dying. How to be a decent human being. How to relate to others on an emotional level. I could fill this blog with my favorite quotes from the book but I absolutely recommend that you read it yourself. You will get much more out of the book by reading it than looking at a few lines from it.

This book made me think long after putting it down. What if we knew we were going to die? What would you do? What wisdom would I have to pass on to my loved ones? Have the things I have done in my life mattered enough that someone would want to visit me every Tuesday until I died? It really makes you of the meaning of your life and how you have impacted others thus far. I have sat and thought of the things that I could say to others. I could give advice on parenting in divorce. How not to totally crumble in the death of a child.How to overcome having a loveless Father. How to make the absolute best strawberry cake you will ever eat. But is that enough? Is that what people will want to hear from me? And who would visit me? Will it be a family member childhood friend or someone I met along the way? Have I been the best me I can be to where I would have droves of people wanting to see me one last time?

This book is more than sharing the life lessons from a truly remarkable man. One that I feel like I have missed out on. It is a book that make you think about your life. How you have impacted others. And the biggest of all, have you learned anything of value to pass on to others.

I give this book more than two thumbs up or five stars. I think every school should make the senior class read it and study it. I think every parent should read it and learn from it. I just want everyone to read this book.



Unplugging Update

It has now been almost two weeks since I have started “unplugging” my life. How is it going? Well, to be honest, I am loving it! I haven’t got to do everything I wanted to do because we have been so busy with graduations and other things. But I have really enjoyed not having what I now refer to as a “bright screen” headache. I haven’t gotten nearly as many of the headaches I used to and I am thinking it had something to do with looking at lit up screens all day. Phone, Tablet, computer, TV. So that is a major plus.

I have also realized that I really do not miss FaceBook all that much. My sisters or Jeff will ask me if I had seen such and such on FB and I can gladly say, “No I haven’t!” The ones that are a part of my everyday life text or call me when something is going on so I have not missed the important stuff. Now I do still get on there here and there. But I have been very good at limiting myself. What was no more than 10 minutes a day has now became maybe 10 minutes every 3 days. Now don’t be mistaken, I still love the Instagram!

I haven’t got to read as many books as I have set my goal too. Nor have I written as much. I have written more letters than I normally get to and that is the best bonus so far! I have converted one of the extra bedrooms as a little getaway reading room/guest room. I have the bookshelf filled with books that I want to get read. My comfy rocker that I have had since Richie and Luke were little. There is a bed in there for when I want to curl up and read until I fall asleep. Yes, I could do this in my room but there is nothing but a tiny TV and DVD player in this room so no electronic distractions. And with it not being a regularly used room in the house, no one goes in there much. My bedroom is like the gathering place for everyone lately. (Which I do not mind)

I have noticed that while unplugging, I am more attentive to my children and husband. It makes me sad to realize how much time I took away from them. They deserved more of me than I was giving them. The down-side of this realization is that I have noticed how plugged in the are and how little time I get in return with them now. Catch 22. I am trying to get them to unplug more without them realizing it.  Another down-side is I am finding that I becoming a little OCD again about things around the house. What took years to tame is now coming back. But I have seen that I was slacking on the housework.

I have also noticed that electronics were part of my insomnia. Before I was lucky to get a good 2 hours of sleep. That was without sleeping medication. With meds, I would get maybe 4. Now, I can fall asleep just sitting still. I am thinking that all the lack of sleep is being caught up on. I went to bed last night and was asleep on my own by 10pm! Can you believe it???? I am sleeping again!

So now school is out. Graduations are about over. Only one more weekend is booked on the calendar until July. I will now get into a routine with the little kids that will be here for the summer. I will read, write and just be peacefully unplugged. Try it, You will feel better!

Unplugging For The Summer

I am going to do it! I am going to unplug from all unnecessary electronics, TV and other digital devices for the summer! I have a plan and I am sticking to it.

This includes, limiting myself to 10 minutes of Facebook a day. If it doesn’t show up in my feed in that amount of time, then I didn’t need to see it. It is a good way to keep in touch but I need human contact. I will use the time I would have spent on the site to call my friends, write letters and visit for a glass of sweet tea.

I am going to limit myself to 2 scrolls a day through Instagram. I love Instagram more than Facebook so this one will be extremely hard. I love seeing all the pictures from my nieces and Godchildren. Pictures of high school friends children. Oh how I love the pictures without the Facebook drama!

TV will be put on the back burner. This one may be a little hard since I have a “Real Housewives” obsession. How will I live without my Lifetime TV? Thank goodness that Grey’s Anatomy will be on summer break! Yes, this one is going to be tough!

There are other little things I will unplug from but those are the ones that I find are taking up the most of my time. This is going to be like weaning a baby off of a pacifier. I can do this!

What I will “Plug” into are the things that we used to do before the electronic age. I will spend more time with the family and friends around me. How unique will it be for my table to be the only table in a restaurant that is not looking down at a phone? I will stay away from the ones that can’t unplug for quality time. Phones, TV and computers are the biggest problem in my family and marriage. We will see if this family can survive each other or not.

I will read more! I have a whole list of summer books just waiting to be opened. I cannot wait to read the rest of the Mitch Albom books left on my list! I have a ton of Max Lucado and Beth Moore books to read. Not to mention, Fannie Flagg, Paulo Coelho, Beverly Lewis, Michael Phillips and my secret obsession, V.C. Andrews! When I run out of books from my stash, I will go sit for hours in an old musty used book store and bask in hours of endless words and adventures!

I am going to write more! Blogs, journals, letters, cards , even e-mails! I am happiest when I am writing things and getting them out of this hyper-active mind of mine. I am also going to read more of my fellow bloggers writings. I have not been the best blogging friend I can be. Some days, I just post mine and go back to the world. The things I want to write about. I may even decide to write a little story that has been popping up in my quiet time. Letter writing will become a daily ritual. I will send letters to friends, family and maybe even get a penpal. One of the greatest forms of therapy I have had since D-Day is the penpal friendships I have developed with other Moms like me. I will reach out to more and help them as others have helped me.

I will use the extra time to work on a flower garden, remodel the house, and all the chores that are never done. I will cut down trees and make a memorial garden for my son. I will have a small vegetable garden and harvest like my grandparents did. I will take walks in the evening. I will sit on the deck soaking up the sun during the day with one of the books I want to read.

I will visit my mother more on her days off. I have been lacking in that area due to work and car issues, but I will make it a point this summer. I just need to be around my mother.

But mostly, I want to read my bible more and just listen to what I need to hear. I want to connect to God more. I want to build my faith and work hard at being closer to him.

So I am unplugging, starting today. Thank goodness my blog automatically posts to Facebook. Today I will start living for me and what is best for me. Who knows, I may never plug in again.