Before Facebook…..

Yesterday, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I ran into a friend I have known since childhood.

Her husband and pooch had recently been injured in a car accident and I caught up on how their recovery was going.

We went about our way and then I ran into her again in the bakery.  I asked about a mutual friend who had been undergoing some life struggles and she let me know that our friend was doing well and moving forward.

I laughed as we were talking and asked “what did we do before Facebook?”  You see, Facebook is where I found out about both of these ongoing life events.

She responded back, “we talked on the party  line!”  We laughed and went on about our shopping.

As I wandered up and down the aisles of canned goods and, meats and dairy, I pondered, what DID we do before Facebook?

For the sake of conversation I use Facebook to encompass all social media.  The term could easily be, what did we do before Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or any of the other social media platforms that I am not cool enough to comprehend.

No matter the format, what did we do before Facebook?

  • We used our phones for talking.  We actually picked up the receiver, got a dial tone, punched in a number and talked to the person on the other end.
  • We actually looked at people when we walked down the street.  We sometimes even nodded or said hello!
  • When we went to the bathroom, we did our business and left.  With the inception of social media, my bathroom breaks have grown longer and longer.
  • We didn’t overshare.  I am COMPLETELY guilty of this, I get it, but we overshare now.  It seems as though we are more worried about what our next posts will be instead of living our lives.  When was the last time you went to a concert and just enjoyed the music?  Now, we try to make sure we can get the perfect shot or video.
  • Our computers and phones were used for computing and phoning.  In this social media world we now live in, my computer is open to Facebook from the time I get up until I go to bed.  When I am not with my laptop, I have my phone in my hand.
  • Our search for a fulfilled life now competes with other’s photos and posts.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  When I didn’t know that my friends were at the hottest club or movie premier, I could handle it, now I suffer from FOMO anxiety!
  • Emergency room visits for walking into walls and fountains were practically non-existent prior to social media overtaking our world.  Now when someone walks into a wall, you can be assured their faces were in their phones, finding out what excitement other people are experiencing in their world.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a critic of social media.  I love it and utilize it to the fullest.  I know what you had for dinner and you know the same about me.  I know who loves Trump and who hates him.  I know when you have a kidney stone and you know when I feel excited or frustrated, it is all a part of social media.

What I fear is that, like you, our lives are becoming more about our social media posts and less about life.

Social media is a wonderful part of our lives, when we use it as a supplement, not a forerunner.

While social media has its downfalls, the benefits of these photos, posts and videos far outweigh the negatives.

Through social media, I stay in touch with family and friends around the world.  I celebrate their joys and cry for them when they suffer.

Our world has been made smaller through social media.  Prayer circles for loved ones who are suffering or being witness to the first kiss of a new husband and wife allows us to narrow our circle and become one humanity.

I love seeing your children on their way to prom, or first steps, words and life milestones from your bundles of joy.  My heart grows stronger when I see complete strangers stop in their tracks to honor a fallen soldier as his body is received back on American soil.

Our world is a complex place, filled with a humanity that moves at the speed of light.  This world is brought together through social media, so if I don’t hear from you by phone or a knock on my door, I don’t take it personally, I know you are out living your life, like I am.

Keep sharing, I enjoy watching your adventures and hope you will forgive my overshares, it’s a big beautiful world out there, let’s experience it together!

Tuesday 10 – John Lineweaver

TuesdayI met this week’s Tuesday 10 respondent when we were both running for Town Commission.

We were in a three-way race against an incumbent who had been in office for three terms.

I was lucky to win the race.  I was luckier to become friends with my opponent, John Lineweaver,

Simply put, John Lineweaver is one of the good guys.  Someone who is a role model for his kids, the guy who coaches his children’s ball teams, mentors the children on his street and puts honor above all else.

I am glad I got to know John Lineweaver, I value his friendship and his example of the way a man should lead his life.

This week, the Tuesday 10 features my friend John Lineweaver:

1)    Excluding family members, who inspires you?  JB Hinsley my mentor and friend

2)    What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate, all forms, the darker the better

3)    If you were to write a book, who is one person you would want to list in the acknowledgements and what would you say? JB Hinsley – Life coach, mentor, friend

4)    What is your favorite sandwich? Prosciutto on a fresh French BaguetteJohn Lineweaver

5)    What is the best professional advice you ever received? Be the very best in what you do, never accept favors in business, always do the right thing.

6)    As a child, what was your favorite bedtime story? Le Petit Prince

7)    Who is the first Presidential candidate you ever voted for? Ronald Regan

8)    What is the one career achievement you are most proud of? Reaching the Executive committee at the Intercontinental Miami hotel.

9)    If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and why? Capitan America – I would torment those who abuse children and animals

 

10) What is the best meal you ever ate? The first Christmas dinner with my wife.  I spent with her aging family members and mother.  Most are gone now however I still remember them to this day as being loving and welcoming.

Follow John on Twitter at @johnlwpb

Do you enjoy the Tuesday 10?  Be part of the fun, copy and paste the questions above, fill in your responses and email them over to Notesfromasouthernkitchen@gmail.com

10 Tips for a Less Stress Life

In today’s world sometimes it is hard just making it through the day without my head popping off.

The constant distractions, continuous emails, phone calls, office drop-ins, it seems to never end.

As my days and career got busier, I started realizing I needed to find ways to center myself and keep me somewhat sane during the day without taking out all my frustrations on my assistant, friends and co-workers.

Over the years I have found several small triggers that work for me (most of the time.)  Without a prescription for Valium or Xanax, these little reminders have allowed me to make it to 5PM without assaulting anyone out of frustration.

(OK, I realize I have an awesome job, work with amazing people and get to do things I love, so I am being a bit tongue in cheek here, but you get my drift, we all need a little help now and then!)

Tip 1:  A sunrise is good for the soul.  I am fortunate that I live four blocks from the beach where a sunrise is like a Picasso every day, but a sunrise happens most everywhere on earth, try it once and you will be hooked.  Some days I share my sunrise with you here on the blog or on my Social Media outlets, other days I keep them to myself (selfish I know.) Make time for a sunrise, once you see that beauty you will be hooked and getting up at a ridiculously early hour quickly becomes worthwhile.

9.19 1

(Singer Island, FL 9.19.12)

Tip 2:  Ground Yourself.  As part of my morning ritual I do a 3 or 4 minute devotional, just to get perspective on what is important in life.  I have a daily devotional APP on my phone, I also have Podcast that download automatically.  What works for me may not work for you, but find something that will put your mind in the right place before you begin the day, it helps.

I use “The Upper Room” for my daily devotional, I have podcast downloads from “TED Radio Hour on NPR,” “Daily Hope with Rick Warren,” “Everyday Moments with Joyce Meyer,” and “Joel Osteen.”

There are countless podcasts that you can download and most of them are FREE, try one or try 10 until you find something you want to listen to and that fits your time constraints then go for it!

Tip 3:  Recap the Day, First Thing in the Morning.  My assistant and I meet every morning at 8:30.  The purpose of the meeting is for us to review what we have on deck for that day.  We discuss what we have to do, we review calendars and we take a minute to look at what is coming up.  When you take time to recap the day first thing, it helps set the pace for what is to come and the surprises that inevitably pop up can be dealt with more efficiently.

Tip 4:  Find inspiration through the day.  One of the aspects of my job is Social Media, yes, I get paid to be on Facebook and Twitter.   For me this makes the next tip I am going to give you easier, however I think it can be done by anyone…. FIND INSPIRATION every day.  Google “inspiration.”  YouTube “inspiration.”  Follow inspiring people’s Facebook or Twitter feeds and through the day take a minute to let something positive seep into your brain.  We are surrounded by an over abundance of negativity every day, I will never tell an employee they can’t take a couple of minutes through the day to watch an inspiring video or read a poem etc, as long as the work is getting done I think it helps.  (SHAMELESS PLUG:  If nothing else you can always get my “Words to Live By” post each day here on the blog! https://notesfromasouthernkitchen.com/2013/05/15/words-to-live-by-59/ )

Find an “inspiration buddy.”  For me, that comes in the form of my nephew Zack.  Most days he will send me at least one text showcasing an inspiring quote or comment, I never know when it will come, but make time for it when it does as I know it will help me through the day.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had an “inspiration buddy,” imagine people sharing something positive with others each and every day, that could really make the world a better place!

One of my best tricks is, God chimes in everyday with a message directly to my phone.

Years ago a friend told me he had God call alarm every day, when the alarm went off on the phone the word “GOD” popped up.  I implemented the program then and now every day at 11:15AM I get a message from the big man.

God

One of the neat things about our smarter than ever phones is, I can change the message periodically, yes, I know what it is going to say, but still….

Tip 5:  Mental health breaks.  At least once, everyday I get up from my desk and take a walk of 10 – 15 minutes.  I clear my head  and just step back from what is going on.  By giving myself a mental health break, I come back rejuvenated and ready to continue on with the day.

Tip 6:  Clean out the In-Box.  Before I leave work each day, I go through all my emails and dispense with them.  Many still sit in the file, but I go through open and review each one so I know that the major “stuff” is taken care of before I go home.

Tip 7:  Find my happy place.  I make sure I go to my happy place every day.  I have several different happy places I can visit and I make sure to go to at least one for a minimum of 30 minutes at the end of each day.  I may go to the beach, I may go to my writing-table, I may go to the backyard,  or I may go to my in-home sanctuary, but I go and when I am there I do nothing but nourish myself.

My nourishment may come from the sun or sound of the waves on the beach, or from writing an article for the blog or pre-posting items that will appear at my desk, or in my sanctuary I curl up on an antique sofa pull out a journal or book and reflect.  Whichever I choose I make sure that the time in uninterrupted and devoted to my brain cleanse.

Tip 8:  Gratitude Jar  Remember the gratitude jar……

Gratitude Jar 4.30

I promise it works!

Tip 9:  Laugh.  Seriously, every day you must find something to laugh about.  Surround yourself with people who can make you laugh, or watch a tv show, or listen to a podcast or just fake it and make yourself laugh…. but laugh!

Tip 10:  The weekly Oasis.  Every Sunday afternoon I have a standing date with myself.  I spend time reflecting on the week that was and the week coming up.  I have books that I read that help me in my own personal growth.  I usually only read one chapter per week, this way I am able to commit to the book and really concentrate on what I am reading.

Right now I am in the middle of a series of  John C. Maxwell books, because I enjoy his message and his style of writing, but find someone who inspires YOU and read, it relaxes, inspires and helps you grow!

JCM 1  JCM 2  JCM 3  JCM 4

We all have crap in our lives that get us in a lather.  Some of it can’t be avoided, others can.

A couple of years ago I made a decision to eliminate the things in my life that I didn’t enjoy.  Now obviously some things you can’t eliminate, but some you can and should.  Life is tough enough without us allowing bad stuff to occupy any space in our hearts.

No day is ever perfect and no day is completely void of stress, but the tips I have outlined above will help eliminate some of the muck in our lives, we’re only here for a short time in the overall scheme of things, I am doing my best to enjoy my time as much as I can!

Have other tips?  Email me at notesfromasouthernkitchen@gmail.com and I may post them here.

Tuesday 10 ~ Mollie Reynolds

TuesdayMollie Reynolds IS social media in the South Florida news market.  As social media correspondent for WPTV-TV 5 in West Palm Beach, Mollie brings a unique slant to the many stories she covers.

When Mollie arrived on the south Florida media scene, she brought with her a youth and excitement that fit perfectly in the new social media culture.  Her dedication to getting her facts straight, her timely take on “what’s happening” and her genuine excitement for the news is infectious.

Not only is Mollie the consummate news professional, but also a community partner who can always be counted on for support.  I have had the opportunity to work with Mollie on a variety of events and fund-raising programs and she is a joy to work with.  Always on time, always with a smile, always dialed in on what the mission is for the day…. that’s Mollie!

South Florida is fortunate to have a caring, knowledgeable, professional helping give us the news each day.  I am fortunate to call Mollie a friend and thank her for taking part in the Tuesday 10!

You can learn more about Mollie at her Facebook page….  facebook.com/mollie.reynolds

Mollie Reynolds – Tuesday 10

1)Excluding family members, who inspires you?

This is a tough question because no one really comes to mind. I am inspired by anyone who works really hard at what they do on a daily basis. Or anytime I meet someone or hear about someone on the news who had to overcome some sort of physical or emotional challenge yet still live their life to the fullest each day…those are the people who really inspire me.  If I meet someone like this I always think.. there is no reason to complain about anything.  

2)What is your guilty pleasure?

Cheesy Chick Flicks (I often go to the movies alone to see these because I know my friends will make fun) , jamming out the NSYNC or Backstreet Boys when I’m alone in my car and I love “Good & Plenty” candies, which many think are disgusting.

3)If you were to write a book, who is one person you would want to list in the acknowledgements and what would you say?

I would like to thank my sister, Abby Reynolds, for giving the gift of life to our dad.

(She donated him one of her kidneys. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and he ended up having to have another transplant. But all is good now and everyone is happy and healthy)

4)What is your favorite sandwich?mollie

Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Yum!

5)What is the best professional advice you ever received?

“Never get comfortable. Everyone is replaceable.” It’s a little harsh, but it’s true. And you have to remember the business I’m in. Television is extremely cut throat.

6)As a child, what was your favorite bedtime story?

Had to ask my parents about this one. My mom said I didn’t have a favorite bedtime story, but loved when my dad would rock me and sing, “The Wheels on the Bus”! I also loved “Prudence and her Potty”. Haha.  My mom said she used to rock me and tell me stories about what I’d be like as a big girl!

7)Who is the first Presidential candidate you ever voted for?

Nice try. No comment. =)

8)What is the one career achievement you are most proud of?

Creating my own position as the first Social Media Reporter in my company.  I was turned down many times and people did not take me seriously when I said I would eventually create my own position. It took a few years to sell this to my bosses and now I feel as though we need an entire social media department! Luckily, I found my niche when social media was just getting hot.

9)If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?

Willie Wonka! I am such a chocoholic it is not even funny. Just ask any of my former roommates and friends.

10)What is the best meal you ever ate?

I guess the best meal would be more about the people I was with at the time & not really the food. So I’m going to say any Thanksgiving. My parents always have the entire family at their house for Thanksgiving. Lots of memories. The food is always amazing, too!

Want to be part of the Tuesday 10?  Copy the questions above and send in your answers to notesfromasouthernkitchen@gmail.com