My Love/Hate Relationship with Instagram

I’m not sure if this is a personality defect or just a trait, but when I do something I’m usually “all in.”

On the plus side, this means I can stay focused and am a hard worker but sometimes this translates into that gray area known as obsessive compulsive behavior.  When I play tennis, I’m super competitive.  When I organize, I want it to look Pinterest perfect. When I interact with people, I want them to think I’m charming and amusing, and… well, you get the point.

The latest thing I’ve “discovered” (as in, like, how Al Gore discovered the internet) is Instagram.  Sure, I knew about it and my kids were on it, but I never understood the fuss.  Now, after 36 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes, I’m eating, sleeping and thinking Instagram 24/7.

I find myself on the phone in the middle of the night checking to see if I have any new followers.  If I realize that somebody dared to “unfollow” me, I get on that phone and “unfollow” them back as quickly as humanly possible.  I keep lists of who I started following first to see if they follow me back.  I was giddy when I got to 200 followers two days ago.  Seriously…it’s a sickness.

I will say, because I have a touch of OCD, I’m good at it.  I don’t just slap up a picture of our pet (maybe because we don’t have one) or what we had for dinner (because I’m usually eating it before I remember what a great shot it would make), I give these posts serious thought. They are an interesting combination of funny sayings, helpful tips for organizing, and family shots so people know I’m a real person.

Another great example of a picture I posted on Instagram. Who doesn’t need a “to do” list like this?

But I can’t leave it alone.  I’m embarrassed to admit, I have lists of things that would make good posts.  Even more embarrassing, I go trolling through free photo sites, looking for even better pictures for better posts.  (Usually these are the funny sayings because they are hard to think up on the spur of the moment.)

I mean, really, what is the end game here?  Last night I even looked up one of my kids, the one who I thought would have the most followers and sure enough, (dang it!), he’s has 702 followers and has 711 people following him.  Even worse, his dog has an account that he started Feb. 12 OF THIS YEAR and Freya has 112 followers already.  I did tell Jon if Freya ever gets more followers than me there will be blood.  (Of course, Freya is a German Shepherd puppy who weighs in at 80 pounds, so maybe I should go light on the threats!)

Stupid, stupid, dog!

Anyway, today I finally decided enough is enough.  I need to wean myself away from Instagram.  Not entirely, because as I continue with my organizing business for campers, I’m going to want those contacts.  But I need to stop spending so much time and energy on it.

I’ve decided it’s kind of like having the Jeep Wrangler.  When you have a Jeep, you are supposed to wave to other people in Jeeps and it’s such a little dumb thing but it’s always fun to feel like a part of a community and Instagram does that for me.  I write cute little comments to people and they write back and it’s just a moment of connection that feels good.  And…in my defense, tonight we are meeting an Instagram family who is at the same RV park in southern CA where we are.

Meet Riley. We got her last year and she’s a sweetie!

I honestly think, as my followers grow, that it might provide some real connections and that’s exciting.  But then I get way ahead of myself and think if I can’t keep up with 200 followers, what will happen if I ever get to 1,000?  Do you see how tangled this web can become?

Everything in moderation.  Heavy sigh.  Well, I will try anyway.

 

Wanted: Change of Perspective

It has been a hard week for us.  We had two very long travel days in a row to get to Mesa, AZ from Texas.  We stopped for a few days in a “55-years and over” RV park, which is basically all they have here in the Phoenix area!  They let us in even though, technically, we are under age.  Brent joked that you know things are bad when you need a fake ID saying you are older than you really are! 😊

I’m back to struggling with what I want to be when I grow up.  Time is short and I want to make the most of it, but am still not sure what that looks like or what God’s plan is for us.

We got some bad news today that a friend’s child, who is only three and has struggled with bladder cancer for over a year, now has it in his stomach.  This little guy has been through so much and although I don’t know this family well, they have become close to my heart in a way that I can’t explain.  So there have been lots of tears and questions tonight and I finally gave up on sleep and am writing this at 3:45 a.m.

I know that questioning the “why” isn’t going to get me anywhere but I can’t help it.  It seems so unfair. And then I start thinking about my parents, whom I miss so much, and my thoughts just take an ugly downhill turn.

I know I need to get back to the truth about God and His character. When I was texting with my daughter, Kaitlyn, tonight (who is very close to this family) she said, “I think the longer I live the more I realize how my perspective needs to change.  That this world is sick and dying.  That any safety, happiness, or peace we feel is an undeserved grace of God each day.  That heaven is real and soon coming and that He must withhold more evil than we can ever fathom.”

Took this picture on one of my frequent walks on the river green way in Nashville. It reminds me that I’m never alone.

How did I get to the place in life where I’m learning from my own kids?  I don’t think I had that kind of wisdom or perspective at age 28.  So, in a strange way, that comforts me. God has blessed me with amazing kids!

Some interesting things did happen this week.  There’s another lady who isn’t an organizer, per se, but who has made a living writing books about organization and who has lived full-time in an RV for the past eight years.  Long story short, I emailed her about something, not knowing that she and her husband were in Mesa for the winter.  So last night (well, technically two nights ago) they invited us over for dinner.  It was fun to hear stories from another couple our age who have decided to live this way.

Then today, the people who live on our street had an annual pot luck and we were invited. We joked that our social calendar has never been fuller!  But being here for four days has made us realize that we aren’t quite ready for this life…meaning six months somewhere warm and six months somewhere else, although when you get to be a certain age, I certainly see the appeal.

Later this morning we head to Desert Hot Springs where we plan on spending a month.  We are both excited to be in that part of the country and hope to do some day trips to Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego and other fun spots.  I also hope to catch some tennis at Indian Wells in March.

Guess I will try to get back to sleep.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Nite!

Where’s Your Focus?

I’ve just completed my second day on a Habitat for Humanity build here in Louisiana.  Usually the builds are two weeks long but this one was just a week because of Mardi Gras next Tuesday.  Can I be honest?  I’m glad we chose the shorter one!

Part of this is my fault.  I had visions of an old-fashioned barn raising where we would be in on the beginning of the build, the sun would be shining, someone with a guitar would be singing country songs and beer and chips would be plentiful.  (Are you thinking I might watch too much football?)  Instead, we were more at the tail end of the build in torrential rainstorms and I’ve spent two days painting.

I know I shouldn’t whine about this. After all, I volunteered, which, I think, means I’m supposed to be good with whatever they want me to do.  The thing is… I’m not a good painter and I really, really don’t like it.

Do you think I’m being a wee bit dramatic?  Well, today the Habitat crew leader (who hadn’t said a word to me until this point) came up and criticized my painting.  I wanted to say, “Well there’s no electricity so it’s hard to see and because it has rained for two days straight I’m walking through knee deep red mud to get to my car and I’m peeing in a port-a-potty, so, of course, my painting isn’t great.”

Instead I asked him how I could do it better.  (Ten points for me!)

Bless her heart, one of the other volunteers spent the next half hour trying to talk me off the ledge by saying that it really was dark in that back bedroom and that at least I excelled at window caulking.  (Which was true.  Maybe I will just go around the country caulking windows!) 😊

Anyway, I bring this up because I keep up with another RV couple  and earlier this week they shared that they tried to launch something (not a rocket!) and the system got overloaded and crashed and their point was that you need to share your failures as well as your successes.  I was touched by their honesty and  applaud them for that.  As cool as life on the road can be, it doesn’t always meet our expectations and things like the flu or vertigo or people who make fun of your painting skills can still ruin your day if you let it.

Deep down, I know we are helping people and that comforts me.  In fact, we met the homeowner today and she was as sweet as could be and very appreciative of what we were doing. So if I focus on anything right now, I’m choosing to focus on that!

This is our team in front of one of two homes that we worked on this week.

 

New Orleans during Mardi Gras week

Well there has never been a dull moment in the Eimer family and I don’t know why that would stop now.  So far, this week two of our kids have gotten pets and one moved.  Brent bought a ticket to Florida to see the Falcon Heavy launch and we made it to New Orleans to help with a Habitat for Humanity build.

We met the coolest family from Quebec who are traveling the country in a converted school bus.  We boondocked for a second time with our favorite host, Jason, (and it doesn’t hurt that we stay in the parking lot of his amazing restaurant so days in Fairhope are no cooking days for me!)

I feel like I’m getting some traction in several areas of life. I started an Instagram account @organizedkamper. Starting to connect through Instagram with people who could be friends and it’s just encouraging to see pics from dozens of other people who are also full-time RVing.  I just got in touch with another family who is in New Orleans right now so maybe we will be able to meet.

I like it that different parts of the country have different specialties when it comes to food.  We did go a little crazy and bought crab legs four times while in Destin, but I may have met my match here with the King Cake.

I had never heard of them but apparently, it’s an Epiphany and/or Mardi Gras thing.  The definition I found online describes it as a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry.  It’s decorated in royal colors of purple which signifies justice, green for faith and gold for power.  We bought one, but I couldn’t get past the sprinkles!

This is as far as we could get with the King Cake!

Here’s an interesting part of it though.  A plastic baby Jesus  gets baked into the cake and then the person who gets that piece is supposed to buy the next King Cake.  I feel like there’s a mixed metaphor in there somewhere but I’m trying not to overthink it!

Hoping to get to a parade while we are here.  Who doesn’t want Moon Pies thrown at them at least once in their life? 😊  I joke, but I think it’s cool that every place we have been has events that are special for them and that they are proud of.  Having spent the last eight years in Music City, I understand taking pride in where you live.

That’s it for now.  Have a great Sunday everyone!!