Breakup a la Facebook

Some of you must be aware that I recently changed my status on Facebook from “In a Relationship” to “Single”.  It may be a trite way to inform my friends of the change, but it beats the alternatives.  It’s hard enough to go through a breakup without having to tell every single person who know you as a ‘good couple’ just why this happened and how.  Especially when you are the breakee rather than the breaker, It’s hard enough to accept the loss of your relationship, even without friends you trust discussing and questioning the decision that wasn’t even your decision.  And who wants to stand around lamenting the past?

Of course, some people would take the usefulness of this feature to the extreme.  Just like middle school, it eliminates the need to directly tell someone else your intentions.  In middle school, you could always have a friend do the actual ‘breaking’ for you.  Or, my personal favorite, there’s the phone breakup in which you curse the breakee for being a ‘dog’ and other various things just to show how serious you are about breaking all ties.  Some people might even use Facebook to avoid those delicate conversations about moving from casual dating to a full-fledged relationship.  Someday, somewhere, people might actually be proposing marriage on Facebook.  Creepy.

Still, it was pretty surprising to see the results.  People I hadn’t spoken to in months called or messaged to offer support and condolences.  Three of Mike’s friends he hadn’t told about the breakup yet only found out about it through my status change (his profile still was listed as ‘in a relationship’ at that point cause he’s a bum who doesn’t update his status).  And it was an easy way to shout out to my friends, “I need immediate and serious distraction from my own thoughts,” without having to say much of anything.  But the best part of it all is that I can still laugh at the gossipy quality to this useful little tool.  It’s still a little prideful to proclaim my new single status so quickly, and a little cheesy to feel sad about the poor broken heart pieces I showed to the world through online emoticons.  But if I can still laugh, I must be doing pretty good.

A Work-Life Balance or, Falling Off Your Chair.

Few of us can say we have ever actually fallen off of our chairs, despite the common use of the phrase as an indication of our intense laughter.  I have.  In a public place.  On purpose.  I sat on the edge on command and proceeded to slip off the edge and down to teh floor on my tush pillows, exploding the chair from beneath me.  Though our waitress thought I had, in fact, broken the chair and not just fallen off it,  I am not a fat person.  But that’s neither here not there.

The point is, I am one of the few that has some real-life experience with the falling-off-the-chair bit.  And really, the whole idea is a lot like the idea of a work-life balance, the idea that your kids, or your spouse, or your activities, or whatever it is that’s important can somehow be balanced out with your career responsibilities.

As  Leslie Morgan Steiner writes in her blog on this topic, it’s not possible.  Not only is that kind of balance impossible to maintain, it’s also very hard to reach for a few brief moments of your life.  Either your life or your job or both are going to edge in demand more than their share of attention.  Usually both.

So what do you do?  Leslie calls it ‘hugging the gorilla’.  I prefer something a little closer to home – I try to remember to be unafraid to fall off my chair.  If I can’t maintain the perfect balance, who cares?  No one can maintain yogic position, perfectly chair-balanced forever.  And the floor isn’t really so bad.  If you’re a little prepared to fall, it doesn’t even hurt coming down.  So I just try to be ready, on the edge of my chair.  Maybe when I fall the next time I’ll even get a laugh from the waitress.