Monday, March 17, 2014

Locked Out

Focus on the things that matter in life.
The title of this post seems to be the hashtag that is constantly trending in my chaotic life. #lockedout

I know what you're thinking... what did she get locked out of this time? A car? A house?

No and no, thankfully.

It was something that made me feel left out of the mix and completely aloof.

No, I wasn't permanently banned from a group of pals or a party.

It was something that left me with no communication with some friends and even family. Nope, not my phone either... buuuut, you're getting warmer.

It was made clear I waste too much time with this "thing" only after two days of being #lockedout.

OK... I think you have it now. BINGO! I was locked out of Facebook.

My world was over as I knew it.

I didn't even do anything wrong... OK, I must have done something wrong if I got locked out. But I locked myself out... SHOCKER!

So, here's what happened...

I changed my password a while back for no reason... and I remember thinking "you're not going remember this [the new pw] in a few days," but I did it anyway. And since I never needed to login to FB because I was automatically logged in on my phone and computers, I never had to use it. Then Thursday night, I got on Facebook on my phone and it wanted me to login. Go figure.

I tried to guess my password a few times, then said to myself "screw it" and requested a code to be sent to my phone.

After receiving a code and trying it, it didn't work. I couldn't pass LEVEL 1 of what would turn into a Facebook Password Challenge. I was the new pawn in this game. W-T-F.

The screen kept pointing out that a link didn't work correctly. I kept requesting to receive a new code, and trying again and again on my phone only to receive the same reply. I even tried on my computer a few times. ACCESS DENIED.

"You've tried too many codes, please try again later," it repeatedly told me. How long is later!? 

After receiving the same codes again and again, and none of them awarding me to LEVEL 2 of what seemed like an impossible Facebook feat, I decided I'd give it another go in the morning.

The next morning I got on the computer refreshed and crossing my fingers for a new outcome. I was frustrated when I received the same message from Facebook. FYI--YOU SUCK, Facebook. Perhaps it was pissed that I had been enjoying Instagram more...

I decided to poke around their website to figure out how long this crap would keep me locked out from my "social world." It told me, if I tried too many codes, I needed to try back in "a couple of days." OMG! How long is that? How long would I be forced to not know what's going on with the 1000 friends I'm "friends" with? What the EFF was I going to do?

I'm a loser, I know.

I was seriously going APE-SHIT, which is ridiculous. It was more frustrating to me because that's how I communicate with my blog readers--you guys--and now you wouldn't know what I posted or when I posted it--unless you check it daily or follow my blog via email. Hence my absence this weekend...

And, I wouldn't see all the latest posts from people I care to keep up with... And let's be honest, a lot of times, that's where I find out things about those I care about. They share with the world sometimes, rather than shooting you a quick text. You kill more birds that way, but now I was out of the loop. FML.

Needless to say with my newly established ban from Facebook, I was going to be forced to focus more on what was happening right in front of me instead of in the palm of my hands.

Friday and Saturday sucked, ya'll. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Like mega sucked. Klay would talk about something on Facebook... "Did you see so and so? Did you see this? Oh no, I didn't know this happened, did you?"

"Um, no I didn't. Locked out remember?" I'd respond back with a tinge of hostility in my voice and he'd laugh. Glad my mental incapability to remember anything anymore amuses you, hubs. I'm here for your amusement... ARG!!!

But by Sunday, I realized things had turned.

I didn't care to have my phone anymore or even want it really. I wasn't worried about what was going on with everyone else, but focused on enjoying the actual people I interacted with that were in front of my face. I played more with Brody, talked more with Klay, got more stuff done around the house, and even felt more free. I didn't soak up my free time with wasteful scrolling on FB.

I came to a harsh realization--I don't put the phone away like I should; I should leave the online social world behind more. I realized how much it really does interfere with my daily interactions.

And because I wasn't on my phone, Klay was on his less too. And I hardly checked Instagram, which is where I've been spending a lot of time on lately. But without Facebook, I just became disinterested in all of social media. I wanted to enjoy face to face interaction and life beyond a screen.

Then I thought, how could this be affecting my kid!?

It's one thing to need my phone at my fingertips to capture those moments I catch Brody doing the cutest or most frustrating things so I can watch it later... but the issue, for me though, was using it as a time-filler at probably every opportunity available. If I'm waiting at the doctor's office, what do I do? I don't read a magazine anymore, I check Facebook or Instagram. If Brody takes a bath, and he's playing with his toys by himself, I'll sit next to the tub and get on my phone; not all the time, but sometimes. If I had a spare moment, even for a second, I'd be on my phone submersed in a world elsewhere--a world that really doesn't matter. It's almost as if I'm living not in the present... not with those you care about like I wanted to escape reality.

But I don't want to escape my reality; OK sometimes I do. I love being Brody's mommy and Klay's wifey, but I'll be honest I'm tired of staying at home. I'm surrounded by a house full of stuff--junk--that keeps piling up and I don't have motivation to do anything about it. Maybe my use of Facebook and Instagram keeps me busy and distracted from the reality that is this house.

No, I'm not a hoarder; OK, maybe a little. I keep things for sentimental value. I'm just sick of crap being all over the place--toys, paper, mail, cups, cleaning supplies, you name it--nothing has a place.

This whole house needs to be reorganized and when I focus on cleaning one area, it just reminds me I need to clean another closet or organize another room, so I can get things out of that particular space and into a space it should be. It never-ending.

It was never this hard without a kid. I could manage it. My house in Alaska stayed really clean, and everything had its place. I was O-C-D.

Excuse time--I know I'm a mom of a two-year-old, so toys and random items get pulled from one room and into another, where they shouldn't be. I know I should deal with it and don't worry about having a messy house. Just focus on having a happy child, I say to myself. BUT IT'S HARD!

I'm a very organized person, so clutter literally drives me nuts. If you live in an unclean messy environment, I believe your life becomes its environment--crazy and chaotic. And I actually enjoy organizing things, but I feel like I need a professional organizer to come in and do it for me.

So where am I going with all of this? Well without my phone distraction, I got into work mode and talked Klay in going to IKEA in search of a desk for our office (which is by far the worst space in the house). The office was like a hoarders dream come true. It was full of junk, plastic sacks left over from Christmas (where I stored all the Christmas gifts until they were wrapped), and it became the place to put things I didn't know what to do with. We needed an office strategy to get our shit together--literally. Before and after office makeover post to come soon!

OK, SO... this post went somewhere I expected it not to, so let me take it back to the phone sitch...

I hate when people share those things about parents missing out on their kids lives (and it accompanies a photo of a mom who is pushing her daughter on a swing but staring at her phone). I understand the message, but my reaction was, I'm a stay-at-home mom and I'm with my child 24 hours a day. I don't like this stigma of not being able to have some time to do something other than play with my child all day.

I don't like when people assume you're not spending quality time with your child because you're preoccupied with technology. But I know in my case, they are partially right. It's just since I'm with my son all day, I'm due for some interaction beyond my two-year-old companion, even if it's just online. I talk to him and play with him daily for hours, and let's face it, those 24 hours aren't always amazing mommy-son moments; some involve discipline and arguing with a kid who is too smart for his own good. Some days are better than others and some are challenging. So those people don't know what all I do for my child or how much we laugh or play.

But I do think about how my parents didn't have that sort of technology at their fingertips to distract them from us. How many times have I been talking to someone in person and they are texting someone, playing a game, or checking Facebook that they miss out on half of the convo. I've been guilty of it and I don't want to be that person. Have you been one of those people?

So! I'm going to make it more of a point to use technology, mostly when I'm alone... or at least I'm going to try. I will say I haven't checked Facebook much today or Instagram. Pat on the back!

Although I was pissed that I was locked out initially, I'm sort of grateful. I'll remember to focus on the things that truly matter, not the things that fill my time.

Now, lets hope I don't forget my password again... Next to do--brain games! I need to exercise this machine of mine or I'm gonna lose it!

PS. This reminds me--follow me via email, in case this happens again! If you're looking at this from a phone, chances are you're seeing a mobile version (not my whole blogging website). So get on a computer or use Safari or Chrome (some sort of internet browser) to view the entire webpage).