Social Disorder Afoot

I have been encouraging my med school husband and his med school cronies to talk about doing research on disorders caused by too much social media.

At work I have been inundated with the stuff. My job as a communications specialists requires me to get my organization’s image out into the public. Social media is the way to do it. That’s where the audience is—especially when you don’t have the budget to buy an ad on Super Bowl Sunday (by the way, Go Chargers!).

So, I have a TweetDeck account, which pulsates on my desktop every minute with updates and alerts. I have a Facebook page to maintain, a YouTube account to manage and an organizational staff to motivate to get on board with the new media and new outreach tools.

The downside of this is my self-diagnosed ADHD brought on by too much input—SMADAH (Social Media Attention Deficit Hyperactivit Disorder). I don’t think my symptoms are rare to social media junkies, either. There are some jitters. And some obsessive compulsive tendencies. There’s the urge to constantly multi-task. And when someone makes a funny comment or tells a strange story, there’s a strong impulse to post it on Facebook.

I feel scatterbrained and on edge. I can’t think coherently. I  need to pull myself away. I need an intervention. I need….to go send out a tweet about that!


I Figure It’s About Time

A month or so hiatus can be restful. Or so they say.

I say, blogging is restful. A chance to clear the cobwebs and the air, and whatever flurry of ideas are running rampant in my brain. But, I have to admit, that since I started working full time, I have been cleared out of ideas. Not so much ideas, actually, but drive.

So this is something I don’t understand about writers. Real writers. Writers who are disciplined and published and continue cranking things out prolifically. How do they keep motivated. I seem to be motivated by guilt. And a sense of a ticking clock.

Last week the Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander gave a talk at my workplace. One of the audience members asked her about her process, meaning how does she produce her work. What happens when she sits down to write?

Swander, being a witty off-the-cuff speaker, said she doesn’t have any obsessive compulsive traits or routines she does before she begins writing, like sharpening her pencil on a manual sharpener 18 times. She just squeezes it in.

I often imagine myself locked away in some remote cabin for a month or two to crank out an idea I have for a story or novel or essay or something. Just to get it out. Isolation. But I’m sure I’d get distracted and find some way to procrastinate and not get it done. Does this make me not a serious writer. I’d say so. But who knows?

If someone were to take a poll of writers to talk about what motivates them to sit down and write, I wonder what would be the consensus?

I have a pile of ideas I’d like to churn out. But who, really, has the time? Might as well let them fester.

Working Mom

Going back to work, in theory, was supposed to renew my sense of purpose—or, at least, give me a little more autonomy and independence away from being a stay-at-home mom. It’s been four full weeks now of employment, and I have to say, I’m ready to retire.WorkingMom

But it is nice to have a paycheck, rather than rely on student loan income. It is a difficult balance, I must say. I don’t know how people do it. Work all day, come home to a messy house, hungry children and a husband. So far, I have not figured out the recipe. Whenever I get some down time I just want to relax. That is usually spent playing Scrabble on Facebook, or just before I turn off the light in bed I indulge in some New Yorker reading (the same article paragraph by paragraph I have been reading for more than a month).

How do people do this? I can see why it is called the grind. I feel like I’m grinding my teeth out of their sockets. I suppose it gets easier, but it is difficult to think of what to cook for dinner at 5 p.m. when there is no food in the house because no one has been able to get to the grocery store in two weeks. OK, I am exaggerating a little bit. But not by much.

For now, I am trying to hold it together. Thinking up a menu for the week. Trying to get the major chores done on Saturday and Sunday. And try to spend some good energy with the kids for the three hours I see them a day. I know that husbands are supposed to be picking up the slack, but mine hasn’t quite been trained to do that yet. So things just don’t get done.

I’ve had advice from other working parents that I can’t do it all, but I am so used to doing it all. Now there’s just more to do.

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