Monday, March 19, 2018

I Cancelled My Cable

I cancelled my cable today. Well, last Thursday. You'll be reading this on Monday. I should feel liberated from the excessive cost and stale offerings but, honestly, I'm scared. Like, really scared. How sad is that?

I'm scared because I won't be able to turn on the TV and have at my fingertips a myriad of ridiculous channels with nothing on them to speak of. Good lord. Yet, they kept me company. The people on them....the voices I heard. It was like someone else was there. A blanket against the silence. I pushed the power button every time I got home like Pavlov's dog.

If I had nothing to do I would waste away time with some dumb movie on that I'd seen a hundred times while I watched Instagram stories ad nauseum. The same recipe would also work when procrastination was on the docket and/or occasionally when there was adulting to be done. Sometimes spacing out is good. Our brains and senses are so overloaded we need a break. A crutch on the other hand? Not so much.

Growing up we didn't have cable. My mom refused to get it. We didn't have video games either. Looking back I'm forever grateful but at the time I felt lame and envious of my friends. I still watched tv and movies all the time though. There were five local channels to be had which explains my extensive knowledge of shows like Mama's Family and In the Heat of the Night. When Star Trek Next Generation came on Fox it was like Christmas.

After college cable became the norm and I couldn't imagine life without it. Number three on the obvious list of things to do when I bought my house nine years ago was "call and get cable hooked up". It didn't even dawn on me not to do it. So much has changed since then. I know I'm way behind the times to still have it anyway. I don't know why but I tend to always take the long way around.

I first started thinking about cancelling it a couple years ago because frankly it was freakin expensive. But in conversations with people no one could figure out what other service would give me MSNBC and at the time not starting my day with Morning Joe seemed a fate worse than death. I think most of 2016-2017 I always had the news on in background. First for positive reasons, then to somehow make sense of it all, and finally to just be upset and commiserate.

One day this fall I realized that I'd been slightly depressed for the past year. It was because of a lot of things. Big life change. Injury. Confusion and powerlessness. Anxiety. I felt like my photographs and my words here, once a place of such personal fulfillment, had become a broken record devoid of any creativity. I mean how many times could I post that it had been a busy week of travelling see ya Monday?

Can I also talk about how sick I was of people reaching out asking if they could use my photos and or hire me for a job but then say they couldn't pay me but oh didn't I want the exposure? No, just pay me for my work! It just all became too much and I put my camera down.

And there it sat.

Cable news on in the background all the time didn't help during any of this and one Saturday morning a little voice said to turn on another channel. I didn't watch cable news all weekend and by Monday I felt so much better. I kept up to date on the news of course but I didn't feel nearly as stressed.

One of the good things about getting older is that you realize more often that you want to feel good you don't want to feel bad and that only you have the power to make that happen. The crappy part is it sometimes requires hard decisions.

Sans 24/7 news coverage I've noticed my anxiety reduce and other things settle inside me as well. I don't think it was some type of panacea, but rather I was ready not to be sad anymore and this was one of those little steps along the way to getting there.

A couple weeks ago I didn't turn on the tv all weekend. I did watch a movie on my ipad and of course I watched my Instgram stories. I said I was feeling better but I'm not ready to give up my stories, oh no!:)

Today, I called and talked to two people. They both tried to politely tell me about other packages available but I said no. It was honestly way easier than I  thought it would be and in less than five minutes I no longer had cable.

I'm scared. Writing this makes me feel better.

I realized very early on in my blogging career that even if no one read anything I wrote or looked at any of my pictures it made me happy to post them. It made me feel good to create something. It made me feel good to share how I was feeling. I hope it can again.

I still haven't figured out what to with this site. The name doesn't feel right anymore and there's more things I want to incorporate but I'm not sure how to yet. I'm reaching out to friends and trying to get a game plan going. Baby steps. When you haven't done something in so long,  even though a time ago it was as easy as breathing, starting again can seem insurmountable. But today. I picked up my camera (with the arm that isn't broken). Today, I wrote something. Today, I cancelled my cable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


The best friend of 20 years and I like to try and have a ladies weekend whenever we can. While not as often as we used, we make it count when we can. A few weeks ago we went to Asheville, NC for a long weekend and had a blast. I've always wanted to go there and had never been. We managed to squeeze in a very challenging hike to the summit of Mount Pisgah, lots of great meals, and a few (a lot) adult beverages. Did I mention I met this adorable goat at a creamery and we're now best friends? Yup, we had a good time. Hope you enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

When I was in elementary school we took a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I had two yellow disposable cameras with me. I'm sure the photos are somewhere,  but the ones that really stick out are all of my classmates taking turns in the stocks. I actually think I used a whole camera roll just on those pictures. I'm not sure why. Maybe that was one of the steps along the way to today. 

Fourth of July we took my niece and nephew there for a trip as well. 97 degree weather, crowds, and family dynamics. Not for the faint of heart my friends. As you can see we survived. Mostly because we went somewhere that served wine for lunch. Enjoy the pics and remember to stop by and buy a ticket now and then. Williamsburg needs our support so it can be here for many more generations to come. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

That's Folly

The whole trip could have gone very wrong if the first two hours were any indication. I was about an hour and a half from Richmond - Miss A in the co-pilot seat and the Sirius Yacht Rock station on heavy rotation- when I suddenly realized I'd forgotten to pack my swimsuits. F$%*! That's what I get for packing that morning. In my vacation euphoria I'd gone out the night before and was decidedly in no shape to pack till I hydrated and got some sleep. All I can say is thank god for Target.

Fast forward 5ish hours and Miss A and I pulled up to the cutest beach bungalow I've ever seen. If you'd like to check it out you can find more info here. Circumstances changed a bit this year and I seized the opportunity to lobby for a switch from our normal beach spot to one I'd been wanting to try for a long time. To say that I loved Folly Beach is an understatement.  It was just awesome sauce. It was crowded but not too crowded. Lively, yet with a small town feel. The main drag restaurants were great with live music and pet-friendly patios abound.  

As we traversed the island, we saw what came to be familiar signs and posters that said, "Slow down, it's Folly Beach", a nod to both the speed limit, 35, and the feeling that the locals want to communicate. They live here too -in hidden tree houses that happen to be on the ground- and they'd like for you to enjoy the same lifestyle they do. It's Folly, slow down. Did I mention at night you can actually see the stars?

Several nights we ventured into Charleston, which was a mere 20ish minute drive away. I could spend a bunch of time putting together a list of restaurants to hit, but a fellow blogger, Julia Engel, has already done a fabulous job. A recent Charleston transplant, we used her restaurant guide to point us in the right direction and they were all fabulous. My only addition is the Hominy Grill if you're looking for southern cuisine. My chicken livers - yes, I like chicken livers- were amazing as was the fried chicken, sides, and numerous pies we sampled. 

Finally, I think what I'll remember most about this trip was a small seed that was planted. I am very hopeful that it will grow. Till next year, Folly.