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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

You may be familiar with this term.  If not, you are most likely familiar with the process.  Productive avoidance is completing a pleasant task that you want to do, instead of a task that is far more urgent, but not enjoyable.   I had a coworker once who, when pricing a paint job, spent days playing with his computer paint program and printing out examples of what the church building would look like in different colors. This was back in the days when that was a real time-sink… not simple clicking, you had to manually draw each pixel.  Of course, for true productive avoidance,  it’s important that you make it absolutely clear to everyone around you that what you are working on is not only necessary, but absolutely critical.  

So, for example, this morning I was washing dishes.  My kitchen window overlooks my front porch, and there, like a vision in the morning light, he stood–the FedEx guy.  Under his arm were two tiny boxes.  All the way from China.  And as I looked at him standing there I thought about all the books that need to be packed, kids clothes that need to be sorted for fit, bathrooms that really need to be cleaned, and I knew that none of that would happen.  At least not today.  Today was iPad 2 day. 

I immediately called Flash at work (it’s his day off from being a SAHD on Wednesdays), to let him know of the arrival.  Entropy was as excited as I was, and we sat and took turns carefully opening the carton, removing the white Apple box, tearing the plastic wrap, and then slowly sliding it open.  Remember when Charlie is looking for the Golden Ticket?  It was like that, with significantly more squeals of joy.  I then got busy synching, downloading, and finding new apps.  Would the same things from my iPhone still be usable, or should I even bother with them?  In preparation for this moment, I had already jailbroken my iPhone, and it was set up to be its own wi-fi hotspot. So when we are out and about, I can still surf the web charge-free on my wi-fi only iPad. It’s so exciting! 

 And what about a cover?  I hadn’t ordered one, so as soon as Flash came home early from work we hit the Best Buy.  I ended up with a green smart cover, and a really cool clear cover for the back from Belkin.  It’s awesome, works together with the smart cover and solves the problem of the exposed metal on the back.   I can be hard on electronics (*cough* killed 4 Kindles *cough*), so I wanted something tough but that would leave the engraving on the back visible.

Geekery, check.  Technology, check.  But whence the moving?

Well, you might remember that the entire plan behind obtaining these iPads is to allow us to cut deep swathes through our library, cruelly casting many volumes into the rummage pile.   So setting up my iPad, accessing my Kindle books, and all the rest is truly a move oriented task.  It’s on the master to do list.   Thus, this was an absolutely important activity for me to complete, and the fact that no actual boxes were filled today is not a measure of my diligence.  Really.  It’s not just fun.  Seriously.  And I’m not just writing this quickly so that I can get back to computer nerd heaven.  What I am working on is not only necessary, but absolutely critical.

Ain’t it the truth?

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How open are you?    With your spouse or significant other?  With your kids?  Your boss?  Your parents?  On a blog?

It’s an interesting question.  How authentic, how personal do you get?  Obviously these questions arise particularly on journal type blogs like mine, which by their very nature are intimate, and yet distant.  Even though I’m trying to be anonymous-y to the search engines (at least you’d have to know me or look for me), I remain committed to the idea that true communication happens only when we are willing to be vulnerable.  I’ve been around long enough to know that there is truly no privacy in cyberspace, and precious little IRL.  It’s all out there, so you better be OK with who you are.  Or at least I used to think so.

Then I went to “group” for three months.  “Group” is the euphemism we used at the psychiatric hospital for the severe mood disorders program.  “I’m going to group,” I’d say and head out the door in the morning.  Sounded a lot better than “I’m going to brain treatment” or “Behavioral Health Care”.  Group was really very interesting.  There was a wide range of ages, races, men and women, from body-pierced punk 19 year olds to an elderly Indian gentleman doctor, with plenty of housewives, students, a barista or two, a sheriff, and me, the pastor.  We were black and white, hispanic and asian.  It wasn’t a group of people who would ever meet socially in real life, and yet there was a closeness there that is hard to describe.  We all had been through it.  Depression, or bi-polar, anxiety disorders, all severe enough that normal life had become untenable, at least for a while.

I learned a lot about behavioural-cognitive theory, and talked some, and listened more.  We talked about our need to find places to express how we were feeling, and I was surprised at the number of people who said that they didn’t even have one person they could honestly talk to.  Not a single person in their life that they trusted that completely.  We had a long discussion about setting boundaries of who was safe, and who was not, to tell our stories.  I just recently started seeing a new therapist, and she’s one of the good ones.   I just got that vibe… she’s real.  She get’s it.  But isn’t always easy to tell, and being let down happens.  How do you know when someone is safe to share with?  Can be trusted?  Will be loving even if they disagree or disapprove or are disappointed by you?

I’ve been so blessed in having Flash with me through this all.  It has meant a lot to have my best friend and husband willing to walk this precarious path with me.  And on days like today, when I’m struggling to cope with normal routines through waves of panic attacks, it means a lot to have him by my side. 

I’ve always been somewhat of an over-sharer.  If you’ve ever heard me preach, you know that applying the scripture to my everyday life is the lens through which I see God.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.    I let it all out and trust that others will be honest and upfront with me in return.  Now that I’m middle-aged, I no longer expect that everyone will respond.   Some people simply find it frightening, to hear truth spoken by anyone.  To put aside unnecessary pleasantries for depth.  But I can say that for the most part the people I truly care about are willing to try authenticity. 

But now, like never before, I’m wounded.  And so, carefully, carefully, I’m trusting.  I had a wonderful lunch this morning with a dear colleague and gave her the whole story of the past two years of stress that brought me to the brink, far more than I will post publically.  I really want to focus here on the future, how I’m changing, what I’m becoming.   I’m carefully selecting how I post links to my blog on Facebook (not everyone sees them) and who I go into more detail with.  If you are one of those who is safe, who gets it, please come back.  Listen.  Respond.  If you aren’t, then… hey, look, squirrel!  Over there!  Now delete that link…

The technology is enticing.  There is possibility here.  Be authentic.  Speak your truth, but never have to see the face look back in disappointment or anger.  I finally get the whole blog thing.  I need it.  On days like today.

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