Trailer Park 2.0

Drinking whiskey and diet ginger ale in a sippy cup, while taking a shower on a Sunday night*, i felt something i haven’t felt in almost a year. The urge to write. Not because something was bothering me, gnawing at my innerds, driving me to hoark it up, sort it out, and blast it into the ether. Not because i felt a sense of obligation either. Just because i missed doing it.

So. Here we are.

Due to the confluence of my engagement with social media, the death of my mother, and a reduced number of active blogmates, i just sort of wandered off. i missed it (mostly the social connections), but i no longer needed it. i also didn’t have much time – still working 40 hours a week, plus travel, i didn’t have much downtime.

The more i’m learning about social media, however, the less i’ve been playing in that space. There is no doubt that we are all being exploited – driven to outrage – as a means to divide us further. Clicks are dollars, and outraged people click the shit out of clickbait articles.

Who is doing this? Does it matter? It’s happening. i want nothing to do with it.

My facebook, and instagram use is mostly for sharing travel pictures, event/charity planning and promotion, farting around, and staying in touch with those i genuinely enjoy. i love seeing my friends living their lives – my favorite days on social media are ‘back to school’ and halloween, because of the amazing pictures people share!

i’ve curated my feed to drastically reduce “outrage” posters – right, left, libertarian, or just the generally outraged. Many in my networks have culled their networks to a like-minded choir. Yes, there is comfort in knowing you’re not alone in your outrage, but it really doesn’t change anything.

The challenges i face these days are no longer complex family dynamics, raising strong-willed and/or self-destructive offspring, balancing end-of-career issues while figuring out how to retire.

What i wrangle with these days are issues of extreme privilege. “When should we plan our trip to Machu Picchu?” “Can we go to the regional burn and still be back in town for the festival we’re working?” “When will i have time to remodel my bathroom with all of the travel?”  Yeah. It’s pretty obnoxious.

Underlying this is something a bit deeper, though – planning the final season of my life. Making myself harder to kill while simultaneously preparing to die. Not a topic that lends itself to social media – unless you are able to guide your life by an endless series of clever memes and clickbait listicles.

For tonight? i’m gonna pack up my suitcase. Joining the holiday air travel scrum in the morning as we head west to visit The Boy and his family**. My grandson has already told me what kind of cupcakes he wants us to bake, and we’re going to bake those cupcakes. There is no reason you can’t have vampire cupcakes at Thanksgiving.

Max makes a cupcake

*i am, in fact, a grown ass woman. i do not judge others for wine in a bubble bath, beer on a patio. don’t judge me for my means of self care…

**A sentence that was inconceivable just five years ago.

20 thoughts on “Trailer Park 2.0

  1. After my husband died last year, I realized I needed to get my act together and designate new powers of attorney (both medical and financial) and have a will drawn up, which I did even though going to a lawyer wasn’t high up there on my “fun to do” list. I also made a master list of where to find all the important papers and made sure my daughter and son-in-law knew where everything was located. The Mother of All Lists has user names and passwords for banking, credit card, and investment accounts. Also the phone number of Social Security to notify them that I’ve croaked so they will stop my SS payments. Also for my secondary Medicare insurance so they will stop automatic withdrawals. I’ve tried to think of everything I could to make it a little easier for everybody. Like you, I’m trying to make myself harder to kill while simultaneously preparing to die.

    • I’m so sorry to learn of the loss of your husband. One of the worst bits of aging is the loss of those we love the most.

      Like you, I’ve poked away at planning – but much is already out dated. Original will has both of my children as co-executors – after being executor of my mother’s estate, I realize what a terrible idea this is, especially with one child living abroad. Goal for the coming year is to fix all that, and update my “doomsday file”, to include passwords… (a good idea)

      • I made my daughter (who lives close by) the executor of my will, with her husband as an alternate, and my son who lives in California another alternate just in case someone is unwilling or unable to act in that capacity. Same thing with my medical and financial powers of attorney.

        And I had the lawyer put that if either kid should die before me (God forbid) that their share will go to their spouse. (I’d already bequeathed amounts to the grandkids.) Both of my kids have been married for over 20 years to really great people whom I love and trust. I did this because my husband and I had been married for almost 42 years and he died two days before his mother last year. She was a couple months shy of her 100th birthday. According to her trust, if a child didn’t survive her then his share would be divided between the remaining two brothers. My husband’s youngest (79) brother was the executor and he tried to change that after the fact, but couldn’t. So out of the goodness of their hearts he and his older brother sent me checks for the amount my husband would have received. They didn’t have to do that. I sat in the parking lot of the post office and cried after I got their letters.

        • That is so incredibly beautiful. Clearly their mother was quite a woman to have raised such good people. A little teary-eyed here. ❤

  2. Making myself harder to kill while simultaneously preparing to die makes a heap of sense to me.
    And never mind the ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’ adage. Footprints are a heavier impression that I want/expect to leave. Memories will do just fine.
    The blogosphere is the extent of my social media exposure and sometimes that is disheatening enough.
    Enjoy your time with the family – as I know you will. You are without doubt a rockin’ grandma.

    • Good to see you! Yes, as Studley and i continue to pare down our belongings, realizing that none of our adult children want or need any of it, we are continuing to work toward “less stuff, more memories”…

  3. I surely do love seeing you ENJOY your life and embrace the beauty of just being!
    I too miss my writing, blogging and my blogmates … a lot!
    I would never judge a sippy cup in the shower … I routinely enjoy a six pack and a bubble bath.
    Have an amazing trip and enjoy your vampire cupcakes … they sound spectacular!

    • Facebook is ok, but it’s not the same! I enjoy seeing your pics, and tracking what you’re up to, but I miss the stories about your boys, and the workings of your brain! No judgment on that 6 pack – I have a favorite shower beer (Wells Banana Bread)!

    • Have you heard of “Burning Man”? Every September, 70,000 people gather in the Nevada desert and create a tempory city… The,principles include radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, decommodification and “leave no trace”. Massive art installations are created just for the week. The week culminates in a huge bonfire – where the effigy is burned. Regional events – on a much smaller scale – happen across the country. We enjoy getting in touch with,our inner hippies…. So yes, it is large-scale arson.

  4. The ability to ‘just write’ is a privilege. As is the ability to just fart around. My grandies have decided they want to play competitive cricket with their grandfather. So I have been working away trying to find all those old muscle memories of two decades ago. 🙂 At the same time I keep on scribbling to little effect. And I miss all the blogging friends we had way back then 🙂

    • There was some magic in our old blog network! To think that I went on a few global holidays with “strangers” I only knew from the internet! I am trying to catch up in my reading file – I believe there can still be magic there, although it will likely come in different form.

      Speaking of magic, having your grandkids so close is a blessing. Much of my travel planning revolves around seeing our kids (4 between Studley and me) and the grandkids…

  5. I read that Instagram started out as an aggregate for photographers and their wares. That’s a long way from home. I miss blogging too but now I wonder how I ever found the time to do it. I still read a couple. You. Looby. Ross in Canada. But it ran away from me and hasn’t returned in a real way.

    • As long as we are engaging our social media in a manner that ‘sparks joy’ and isn’t burdensome, or toxic, or a complete monkey spank keeping us from doing things we’d be better off doing? i don’t think it matters. i find myself endlessly scrolling when i’m bored – have now trained myself to go off and take a Turkish lesson on my phone instead. Learning a new language vs mindlessly going over the same posts i looked at 3 hours ago? Far better use of my time.

      And yes i found your comments (and Elephant’s Child) in the spam folder! Maybe wordpress knows you’ve gone over to the darkside now, and is automatically trashing comments here? I’ll keep a look out for you… i promise not to post more than weekly (weakly?).

  6. “There is no doubt that we are all being exploited – driven to outrage – as a means to divide us further. Clicks are dollars, and outraged people click the shit out of clickbait articles.”
    That in itself really needs to be made into a social media meme 🙂

  7. I want you to give that boy a hug and say, “i’m glad you made it out of the wilderness.” You can say it’s partly from a kindred spirit. I believe vampire cupcakes are acceptable any time of year, in fact cupcakes are a staple of life in my book. And as i’m prone to say, just cuz ya grow up doesn’t mean you have to get old. Keep up the good work Lady.

    • I shall do so in the morning. Tonight? We took the two sprockets with us to a hotel for pool time, room service pizza and farting around. Mom and Dad are finishing up end of semester homework and enjoying a night off. The cupcakes were a hit. My lost boy has become an amazing father. The good was always there – he just needed to get past the rage…

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