Well, actually because there is a lot of wonderful stuff there on Facebook, since I have subscribed to so many art/textile related posts (plus fish, history, a smattering of political, HONY) that I am either starting very few new projects, being paralyzed by the excess of other peoples' brilliant ideas, or I am constantly logging in to see who has commented on what I have put up, as if one does things for comments more than the sake of doing something.
Well and also because I made the mistake of relieving the boredom of a relatively happy life by going onto a dating site.....women in their 60s who are relatively happy and fulfilled in other ways should never go on dating websites. The men who look interesting never write back, or become extremely perfunctory after a short while, once they have detected something in your photos or personality that indicates you just won't do. Plus they are in contact with 3 other women and have short attention spans. And where lonely men who live many miles away write trite compliments. I imagine them with a shot of bourbon, cigarette in hand, shirt sleeves rolled up or in "wife beater" undershirts, leaning out their windowsills in seedy neighborhoods to catch that last breath of fresh air, then returning to their computers in their dark and squalid flats to look at photos of the "ladies" in California. "Hi, there, beautiful, whatcha doin'?" Or the sleezeball swingers who are interested in anyone remotely sentient for their games. Or the con artists, or the married guys, or the actual dangerous psychopath who may be out there. Or the occasional guy who is more socially awkward than you and has very high expectations from your conversation that make you the one who becomes perfunctory. This is not a natural way to meet people and it does nothing to increase trust between strangers. This hypothetical man has my sympathy, as my contacts who sidle away may indeed feel for me, but New York -- SF Bay Area, Coos Bay -- SF Bay Area, Some Other Country -- SF Bay Area.....it's not happening, my virtual friend. Go to the gym, find a community garden, talk to that lonely and available woman, who may indeed look her age, who lives in your apartment, who is right now tentatively putting her photo and self-description up on that dating site so she can be turned down or ignored by those who are socially better placed than her, because that's how life works.
All this leads to nothing but causes me to ask what it is I want to be doing with my life. No social life equals more time to compensate for a lack of social life by doing more art. Is this bad? Well, yes, I need to get out more on a regular basis. And travel more, by myself or with family or others. And live less in the virtual world, which, like the men in shirtsleeves, produces a momentary flash of hope and a vision of a life not led, then increases the disappointment and isolation afterwards.
So, just don't do it, OK, spare yourself, hypothetically single 60 year old woman. The time of your life for forming new, exciting personal relationships may be over, but there is plenty more life to be led through your imagination and your skills. Work on what is workable and leave the rest for now. Well, that's just me, I think other people are doing better than me in this quest, but that is the effect of Facebook and other social media, to make you thing everyone is doing better than you. All this drops away when I am productively absorbed in something (even blogging, although it is also online). So, time to be productively absorbed so I can leave a legacy for the next generation....
We shall return to our regularly scheduled photo series on Mexico and a description of my project started there, which I have just finished. And I am starting back up on my next embroidery sampler, only I am also working in a bunch of stitches that I had diagrammed almost 20 years ago and thought I had lost because the place where I posted them went away. Now I get to try them out! And make slight variations when my original diagram turns out to not be as effective as I had hoped. And I must, MUST start working on curtains again. And I'm getting ready to travel back east and work with my grown up daughter on setting up a table loom. And tours of the Mall museums and one last chance at running into our President and telling him he did a tolerably good to excellent job and asking him what's going wrong with our country. And take lots and lots of photos. And I want to update my Pinterest page organization and crafts dictionary links while the computer with the good code writing software is still working. And keep working on Spanish in some form or other.
So, on with life. Hey, it's been a long time since I posted such an angsty, self-centered offering, eh? One thing I have learned from social media is to control the expression of unhappiness.....it just causes some people to hasten in with sympathy and others to quietly back away, but it doesn't solve anything. And people truly back away from unhappiness, partly because it's out of their control and partly, perhaps, because they are afraid it will rub off a bit. Far better to privately acknowledge a bit of bad feelings and then do something concrete to counteract them, because that is something a person can control, is their reaction. But what's a blog without a bit of angst, eh? And if feelings get included somehow in the art you produce at the time, then my stuff has the range of joy and interest to nostalgia and loneliness, and that's how life goes. And that's why I will get more embroidery done, clean a couple of fish tanks and start on the curtains today, really I will....
I will end with a useful quote from the FB study (which actually says we are happy if we are actively posting and interacting, unhappy if we just passively read):
This aligns with research conducted earlier this year by John Eastwood and his colleagues at York University in a meta-analysis of boredom. What causes us to feel bored and, as a result, unhappy? Attention. When our attention is actively engaged, we aren’t bored; when we fail to engage, boredom sets in. As Eastwood’s work, along with recent research on media multitasking, have illustrated, the greater the number of things we have pulling at our attention, the less we are able to meaningfully engage, and the more discontented we become.