This has been a really good weekend. And after recent events in my life, I think I DESERVE a good weekend, don't you?
On Saturday Ellie and I went to Pump It Up, a local bounce-house sort of establishment, for a birthday party for Amy in Ohio's little love nugget, P. Ellie had a ball trying out all the bouncy equipment and playing with new friends, and Mama had a chance to play with . . . er, I mean . . . get to know some of her new friends better, too. I got to chat with Shannan from Mommy Bits, Andrea from Mommy Snacks, Tela from Working Moms Against Guilt, and of course both of my Mommin' It Up! girls, Emily and Jenny. I also got to compare rug burn with some of these ladies, as we all scraped our elbows up while accompanying our little sweet potatoes down the bouncy slide. (Sadly, I signed a waiver before getting my bounce on, which means I cannot expect Amy in Ohio's insurance company to reimburse me for pain, emotional stress, and loss of use of my arm.)
On Sunday I hosted a little get-together at my house for some folks I haven't seen since college. There were ten of us who were sorority sisters, as well as four male groupies (one of whom brought me flowers -- can I just tell you how long it's been since a man brought me flowers?) and various and sundry kids. I don't think I ever did figure out which ones belonged to which mom. We had a blast catching up, eating and taking pictures, and one of my friends even brought me a bottle of wine that says "Menage a Trois" on the label! It had been so long since I'd seen most of these folks, and with a couple of exceptions, I'd never met their families. I can't tell you how great it was to see them all and know that they're doing well.
So after everyone left this evening, and I was sitting on the couch eating the leftover cupcakes that Mark so foolishly left behind, I started thinking about how these two little events this weekend had come about. And I realized that both are the result of technology. Facebook led me to get together with old friends, and blogging, which is still a fairly new activity for me, led to the opportunity to get to know some new friends. How cool is that?
I hear a lot about how Facebook and Twitter are responsible for the demise of the normal social life -- apparently we're all sitting around staring at our computer screens instead of getting out of the house and meeting actual people. For me, the opposite has been true. I joined Facebook in November, a bit against my will. Within weeks, I had gotten together with high school friends I hadn't seen in years, and had reacquainted myself with college friends I thought were lost to me forever. Several times in the last six months, I've had the chance to see people in the flesh whom I probably never would have seen again, had it not been for Facebook. In some cases, these little reunions have been with folks I wasn't particularly close to (or didn't know at all) in high school or college, and I've had the pleasure of getting to know them all over again in a completely new context. None of us wants to be judged on who we were at 16 or 21,and it's been great to find out who these people turned out to be as adults. I never would have known if I hadn't been introduced to Facebook.
At the other end of the spectrum are the new friends I've met through the blogosphere. Emily at Mommin' It Up! encouraged me to start blogging, and has been so gracious about introducing me to her network of blogging friends, both online and in person. I've already met some people who seem to be kindred spirits, and I've been having a ball getting to know them via Twitter (I also get to interact with Emily and Jenny more through Twitter and through blogging -- another plus). Everyone has been wonderfully supportive of my new blogging addiction -- I can't wait to see what happens as we get to know each other better, both through our blog posts and in "real life."
As someone who's gone through some major life changes in the past five years, not to mention a pretty huge one just a few short days ago, I can't describe to you how great it is to feel like my life is taking off in new directions. It would have been so easy to break up with my longtime boyfriend (have I mentioned how dumb I feel talking about my "boyfriend" at the age of 39?) and curl up in my living room, never to leave the house again -- to sit here feeling sorry for myself and refusing to ever get out and socialize again. Instead I find myself with a full calendar and even a potential date (more on that later), all thanks to the wonders of the internet.
Sure, there are creepy types out there, and I know I've opened myself up to them by making my blog public. Yes, technology creates the possibility for sitting around in your PJs staring open-mouthed at a computer screen rather than having a real life. And certainly I've left myself open to the people from my previous life who feel the need to connect with me when I just want to pretend they don't exist (I've had to make use of the "ignore" button on Facebook more than once). But all of those things are manageable risks -- things I'm willing to deal with in exchange for a fuller life. That's what technology has brought me, and I'm grateful for all of it.
And besides, Stella McCartney is now following me on Twitter, which I find hilarious and very cool. I wonder if she can fix me up with her dad?