Day 2–Positivity Challenge

Day 2 of my 5-day Positivity Challenge! Doing my bit to radiate positive energy in these Trump Days. I’m listing three things about my life that are positive (or for which I’m grateful), which I will then post on Facebook and tag three FB friends. They’ll do the same. If you find it hard to participate in the daily task, that’s okay. Just keep trying. Forget about coming up with anything profound, just focus on finding one thing, no matter how small. DO NOT have to blog, just post on Facebook. 

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Here goes:

  1. Steve Martin. Last night, I saw his new “adult” comedy, “Meteor Showers” at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Way too “clever” to be cohesive. The acting was superb though, and the venue delightfully intimate. A magical evening.
  2. Yet another dragonfly visit. Big and brown, the creature showed up in my writing studio, yesterday. The last dragonfly who paid me a visit was a wild and fiery red, perched on a bullrush reed in my pond. According to animal totemism dragonflies are connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life to remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Yes indeed!
  3. Laguna Beach. I may complain about the traffic and this and that, but I am so ever fortunate and grateful to be living in an art town.


L A Times writer Meghan Daum is one of my favourite columnists and I usually agree with most of what she writes, but I found today’s piece about Facebook–“I ‘like’ me, I really ‘like’ me”–to be off the mark. Frankly, it made me wonder if I’m just living in a different Facebook world, or maybe I’m just naive.

She contends our relationship to Facebook has changed, that it used to make us feel connected to the world, but now it makes us feel bad about ourselves; it has become an advertisement for our insecurity. We’ve become a culture of curators and show-offs, hand-selecting our most triumphant and photogenic moments and presenting them as everyday occurrences, an unmitigated, unapologetic opportunity for public relations. “It’s a forum not for sharing but for bragging.”

She goes on to list the ways in which we do this. There’s the “humblebrag,” boasts that are loosely disguised as self-deprecation–“Spilled coffee inside my Maserati. What a dope!” The chest-thumping-masquerading-as-self-esteem she calls the “empowerboast. “Feeling so good about myself today. Realizing that I am beautiful and wise and deserve to be loved.” The mom brag, the posting-of-hot-photos-of-yourself brag. “Always, and often inexplicably, these posts will be showered with ‘likes’ and approving comments that also manage to be competitively boastful–‘When I was in Moscow I couldn’t tear myself away from Winzavod. Very cool.'”

She asks the question: “Is bragging about yourself actually a form of appreciating–or even respecting–yourself?” but then concludes that as a culture we can’t distinguish positive thinking from hubris. “We tell ourselves we’re not bragging, just putting out good vibes. We’re not putting the spotlight on ourselves, but rather spreading the light around so that others, too, will flourish in the glow.” That’s crap, she says, “These aren’t good vibes. They are advertisements for our insecurity. Posting a brag, humble or otherwise, and then waiting for people to respond is the equivalent of having a conversation in which all you do is wait for your turn to speak. That is to say, there’s nothing to learn from it, but we all do it occasionally.” She ends by resolving to stop posting on Facebook.

Her assessment makes me wonder who her “friends” are, or did one of them just piss her off? If it weren’t for FB, I wouldn’t have re-connected with my school friends in Zambia 11,000 miles across the ocean, I wouldn’t have connected with a group of women writers who now feel like family after we all met in IRL (in real life) in Santa Barbara in August. Here’s my blog about the meeting. I wouldn’t have a forum where, loner me, can put myself “out there.” With all its faults, Facebook has helped make the world a smaller more connected place.

What does Facebook mean to you?


Twenty-three hours after I left home and wearing my trench coat and thermal leggings, I stumbled bleary-eyed from customs to baggage claim then down the corridor out into Manchester Airport waiting area. My visit to Joan was killing me. I’d decided that Donna would’ve checked my flight and seen that it had been delayed. She’d be waiting for me. She had to be.

She wasn’t. It seemed the only people waiting for my flight were men clad in black holding up signs with names printed on them in large letters. There were no women. I stood there. Don’t panic. I could do this. Feeling light-headed I started to read the signs. You just never knew. One man lifted his placard in my direction as if to tempt me: MR. PETERS, it said. Giving him a nervous grin, I started toward the doors leading out into Manchester when, to my relief, I saw a sign down the way that said “Meeting Area.” Phew. That’s where she would be, tired of standing by the gate.

It wasn’t to be. Just two men, sitting on a bank of seats. Okay. I was officially screwed. No phone numbers, no way to contact either Joan or Donna. No actual physical address. What an idiot I was. I sank into one of the seats, lack of sleep making me feel as if someone had smeared Vaseline over my mind. Think. Okay, I would take a train up to Morland and ask around the village if someone knew where Joan lived. It was a small enough village, right?

I sighed. I couldn’t do this right now. I was just too tired. So first thing, I’d spend the night in Manchester, get some sleep then head out in the morning. But meanwhile, I’d post a message on Facebook for both Joan and Donna. One of them was bound to see it. Maybe by the morning . . . I opened my computer. No juice. No adapter. Luckily, I found one in the concession shop, and posted, in small letters, no punctuation, too tired: “joan and donna I’m here in manchester airport, where are you help.” Later, I would read an answering post from my son who lives in South Africa that said, “Is Mummy lost in England. Shall I send out a search team?” I got a kick out of that one. But meanwhile, I had to convert my American dollars into English pounds and head into the wild blue yonder.