Social Media Memories

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July 23rd.

2007


I set up my Facebook account.  Sitting in a bubble tea/Internet cafe in the small river town of Grafton, IL. before there were smart phones and selfies and unlimited data and so much more.  I sat there with some girls that would become my life long friends regardless of where life took us.   We laughed and took tons of photos.  We accepted each others Friend Requests and started something that would last for well… 10 years and counting.

I’ve kept that Facebook account active all these years to keep in touch with all of those people and the hundreds more I’ve met along the way.  We are spread out all over the country… all over the world… and thanks to Facebook (and Instagram and Twitter and the rest now) we are able to wish one another Happy Birthday, anniversary, graduation, move, baby, pet adoption, and job change.  We can celebrate, grieve, argue, and explore all through social media.  We have watched each other grow up thousands of miles away through a screen.


Social media can be pretty amazing.  Not only can we keep up with so many people and activities, but we can document moments and events, special occasions and meetings through photos and written accounts. Through our accounts we can save memories to look back at them later.

So often these memories are good.  Don’t most people only share the fun times and keep the painful ones private?  But no life is perfect.  Not all memories are good.  Some things are very hard to relive.  There are life events we barely got through in the first place.   Painful or upsetting times and people who are no longer in our lives. Then Facebook pops them up on our time lines reminding us of the good, bad and ugly.   You see yourself in different times and places with different people.

Memories.

Should we be able to relive these memories?  I have an account with 10 years worth of memories.  Celebrations.  Death.  Love.  Loss.  Performances.  Relationships.  Travel.  Parties.  This list could go on.  We can so easily go back and see our good times and bad times.  Looking through only profile pictures I see so many hair colors and pounds gained or lost, and other people who mattered enough to be there… then.

 

There have been SO many times I’ve thought about deactivated my account.

I can’t live with the memories.  The constant reminders of what I had that I lost.  The constant look back at my ridiculous state of mind as an angsty teen or the beautiful performances that are from a life I no longer live.  In another 10 years, what will I think of myself now?  Is that something I want to know?

Then I see the happy times.  Those events or people or celebrations that make it all worth it.  Having the beautiful (although occasionally painful) ability to see the relive these memories can remind us who we are.  Our brains can change these memories.  We pull what we want… from time to time we loose the details.


14889861_10155440850462468_4122340096916980480_oJuly 23rd.

2017


I mean, I still have Facebook.  I’m very active on Instagram.  Twitter is always in the back seat, but it’s there.

There are 10 years of life and memories accessible through my computer.  What will the next 10 years bring?  What advances in technology and life will there be?  Where will we all be in 10 years?  Or even 5 years?  Will we still have Facebook or Instagram?

One thing is for sure, we will continue to live life and make memories.  We will continue to find ways to document these memories.  It’s our nature… as people…. to save memories. And right now Social Media is the way we do it.


Store your memories through Social Media?  How do you feel about that?

Always,

C

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Race in Review:: Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon 2017

May races are my favorite!  I don’t know, something about the weather and the air and the light.  I almost always have amazing race experiences in May.  And this year was no different, as we crossed 5 state lines in 2 days to get up to Biddeford , Maine for the Maine Coast Half Marathon!  Another state down and another 13.1 in the books.  Here is a little recap and some great pictures from the race.


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Getting from New York City to southern Maine for a few hours of racing without taking much time off work, that is a feat in itself.  With bags packed and coffee in hand, Megan and I took off for a race weekend road trip.  First stop, Boston— thank goodness for family in the area.  We were able to drive about half way then have a night of being taken care of including an amazing hot meal and cozy beds (beats a hotel any day!)  Next morning… and I mean early morning we pilled back into the car with race gear and sweats for the second leg of the trip to Maine.

Arriving at the start “village” where we needed to go to park and pick up numbers was clearly marked and everything was smooth.  With numbers and pins in hand it was time to relax, stretch, and wait to coral up.  I’m a race snob… I know… and I expect a certain level or organization and treatment on are morning.  Surprisingly this was was pretty well set up!

Finally corralled and ready to go, each wave was sent off with the sounding of the conch shell instead of a buzzer.  This was super unique and really kept the unique feel of this race.

The weather was rather perfect.  Rain was on the way, but race morning was clear, sunny, breezy, and fresh.  A good chunk of the course was right along the ocean which was not only amazing to look at but helped to keep the air cool and mild.  Some of the course was very exposed, so I definitely got a few tan lines the 2+ hours I was out there, but luckily it was not full summer sun so we didn’t get baked.

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You know what else comes with a course that is right along the ocean?  A FLAT course!  Yes, that’s something I like from time to time.  Hills keep it exciting and challenging as all goodness, but a sometimes flat is nice.  Between manageable rolling hills and some turnarounds, this predominantly flat course showed off the beautiful beachfront neighborhoods as well as the coast.  The course was challenging enough that I’m glad (as always) training was involved, but not so hard that I was dying by the finish.

Throughout there were well stocked water stations with cheer squads.  The whole community really made an amazing turn out to support all of us runners.  Entertaining signs, bells, and whistles all along the course are so key to keeping this runner going.


While I was ticking off mile after mile on this half, my first major race sense the NYC Marathon, I happily fell into my run-a-mile/walk-a-mile routine.  Read all about that experience in my other post “How I Learned to Walk”.

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After that story, I sprinted to a fabulous finish and great post-race event.  There was plenty of water, snacks, and photo opts.

Then began the drive back.  Back to Boston for a shower and lunch (thank goodness there is family all over!) then back to New York.  We outran if for a while, but eventually the rain caught up with us.  But not before we discovered the tax free state liquor stores in New Hampshire…. let’s just say we have more gin in the apartment now then when we left.

But we made it back.  another medal around my neck, miles on my shoes, and memories of another great half marathon!


Have fun spring race stories?  Share them here!

Always,

C

Conversation Chess

Before we even begin this little intellectual adventure, be warned that I’m writing pre coffee and contacts.  Yes, you all ready that right and I’m relying on my oh so smart MacBook Air  maybe more then I should to catch the errors I can’t see (literally).   So here we go, a little morning brain dump/rant/concept exploration that kept me up half the night.

Now I don’t mean that in a negative way- kept me up half the night- it’s ok, it’s good, it’s important.  When you have brilliant friends, as I do, you are often challenged to see and think a little differently about your words, thoughts, and actions.  You are challenged and engaged to see past the end of your noise and maybe just maybe trust yourself enough to go out on a limb for something you want, even if it’s totally new and scary for you… cause you know what, you may like the outcome.  Of course it may turn out it’s not what you want, but then you know.  You know not because you assumed but because you did.

I know what you all may be thinking– HOW is this anything about conversation or chess or anything?  It’s Monday morning and you were really hoping for a white piece about a race or a cat…. well, exactly… that’s what you would expect (and there will be plenty of those in the future) but today let’s make the move you didn’t see coming.


Conversation as Chess.

I had a long conversation last night about conversations.  Analyzing conversations and looking for a potential desired outcome.  The importance of paying close attention to the small details and acting no them.  Answering a question not with a straight flat answer, but with another question or a gripping answer- which in turn causes your opponent (let’s keep with the chess theme) to respond- to engage you in a conversation to the death (preferably of their king of course, but you never know).

The artist in me had so many visualizations of this concept.  One that I almost used was a play off the ConEd ad “Smell Gas, Act Fast.  Don’t thinking someone else will make the call”.  But this ended up lacking  the complexity of a conversation analysis as I wanted for this post… so chess can to mind.   Even though I know very little about the actual playing of the game, I have a pretty solid idea… I lost many a game to my brother back in the day.

Let’s say the piece are different words and topics you could use to start or continue an engaging interesting conversation.

The moves and strategy involved in each play is the same as the thought and strategy (new favorite word here) you involve in a conversation to draw out and reveal the interesting angles of your partner.

And that partner, that opponent who’s king you are trying to capture, is the person across the table or sitting next to you, with whom you really want to engage.


From time to time, a Pawn must be sacrificed.  You test the waters of conversation with them to see what sticks… and what gets shot down quick.   But they can also clear the way and begin to open up windows of opportunity for you to get something deeper  from your opponent.  The pawns can draw out the more interesting characters, the more complex topics, that can surprise you.   Don’t always talk about the expected- the race, the cat, the job, the travel destination… but find the nugget of common interest in each one… the photo, the whisky, the charred interest.  That’s where things go from flat to rolling hills (runner moment there).

These surprises are what can build exciting conversations, if you know how to use them correctly.  Don’t attack in a straight line- here don’t give a flat one dimensional answer to a question that could be a jumping off point for something more intriguing.  Instead, attack from the side or jump over someone to get at something more important that was just left lying around- find the sparks in the conversation, reply to something not asked but mentioned in passing and keep your partner watching your plays.  Keep them on their toes so they want to know what you have in store.

These plays can go on for days or maybe they are short lived (as my games were when I was 14).  Either way, each play needs to be worth the move, worth the piece, worth your time.  If it’s not, both players spent time on something that fizzled out and ended up being nothing.   Maybe it takes a game or two or even three to get you bearings and get some nerve to be yourself on the chess board.  To make the unexpected moves and take your opponent off guard.  Then maybe, just maybe that bold move, that humorous unexpected answer, will leave them wanting just a little more and a little more.  You start a volley.  A deeper back and forth conversation that is now more then rolling hills, but some steep inclines that force you to go to a much deeper level before you can enjoy the downhill (oops, ok again more of a running image there… but I’m better at that then chess, geeze!).

Perhaps you eventually get to the cat and mouse game with the king and queen dancing around the board, a few meager pieces attempting to stop her wrath and guard their king.  A battle to the death or a draw.  Where does it go from here?

Two players shake it off and walk away.  The moment was fun but now the moment has passed.  On to find a more suitable opponent.   OR.  Or these two set that board up again and play another round.  Another change to engage one another in something deeper and intriguing that keeps both coming back to the chess board over and over.  Even if the same one of the pair looses each time, the game-the complexity and deep interest of the conversation- that’s what matters most.

But remember… it may take a round or two to get there.


And there you have it.  This may be the most intellectual I will ever be without coffee.  But as I don’t see and red dotted lines running rampant through this post, I must have done something right.

I hope you enjoy. I hope you can see (at least a little) what the underlying message here.  It applies to everything, to just about every conversation- every relationship.

 

Thoughts?  Please share!

Always,

C

Can’t be MIA anymore!

Beautiful amazing readers and followers!

I know, I’ve been MIA for… well, longer then I should have been.  BUT there is a lot of amazing stuff coming your way.

Just to peak your interest (and hold myself accountable) let’s take a look at what I have in store and draft for y’all!

  • Tattoo Tales– I have 5 now, why not tell the stories behind them.  There can be so much taboo about tattoos and I want to break that down.
  • Race Reviews– I’m taking a break from running right now but I have some great stories to tell from the last 3 big races I did in the spring.
  • Bali Files– The stories continue!  I still have some fun times to share with you all.

… and more!


Anything you all want to hear about?  Topics you want me to write about or questions you have about anything I write?

Let me know!

Always,

C