I never have smoked anything in my life. Although, I have had students ask me, “What have you been smoking?” after I assigned them work and actually expected them to complete it. I rarely drink, other than a Ruby Relaxer once in a while and the rum and Cokes my husband whips up for me every now and again and one chocolate martini in the world’s sweetest place that sent my head spinning. I don’t like to take medication; I left the hospital with narcotics after a C-section knowing full well that I didn’t plan on taking them unless the pain was so unbearable I wanted to screech as loudly as the new little person living with us. Needless to say, I’ve never tried an illegal substance or recreational drug of any kind. I don’t have closets full of shoes or clothes. I only have a few really good pieces of jewelry. I have a few pieces of sports memorabilia that are near and dear to my heart. So, I’ve never really considered myself to be an addict, yet I have several “addictions,” and I’ve detailed them here, in no particular order.
Thank goodness I’ve finally found a job that requires spending more time on social media. I don’t necessarily creep on people, although there are times that I just have to be nosey, and I definitely am not an internet troll, but I love looking at friends’ pictures, seeing what they’re up to and trying to figure out if I’ve been to the places they visit, and commenting on their latest updates and tweets. I just recently got strong-armed into joining Pinterest, and I think I’ve been missing out on Pinning with friends for far too long, too. I don’t have much of a social life due to our rugrats, and social media at least lets me communicate and share with people, even if I can’t go to the movies or hang out with them. This may be the one addiction that has the most benefits.
I’m not completely to blame for this one. I had friends in junior high and high school with older brothers and sisters, so we always knew everything that was happening in music. And, I’m fortunate enough to have seen the world through its 80s music, grunge, and alternative stages; unfortunately, it seems as though we are edging ever closer to a pop scene that I just cannot handle. Overall, though, I love music. There is such a variety in my iTunes that people who have seen the playlists ask if I accidentally downloaded someone else’s collection with mine. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we took our CDs to the DJ and told him our whole soundtrack; he actually asked us if he could borrow some of our stuff. The problem with all of this, though, is the way in which I get addicted to individual songs. I’ve been known to play a song on repeat for the better part of a day. My boys refer to some songs as “car songs” because I have a car ride playlist that contains only three songs. I’m driving my husband crazy, but I need to hear those songs and dance to them with our little guys before they realize we all may just look very foolish to passersby. I dread the day when they become too cool for their mom.
Yes, I am aware of the fact that I mentioned that I have only a few pieces of really good jewelry. And, that is true. I sold almost all of my yellow gold jewelry last year when our older son had to have extensive dental work, and I only kept a few sterling silver and white gold pieces that have more sentimental value than anything. But, those few really good pieces are starting to be overshadowed by my ever-increasingly expensive Pandora obsession. It’s all sterling silver with a bit of 14K gold and diamond accents thrown in here and there, but because I keep collecting, it’s starting to break the bank. In a previous post, I described my first bracelet and explained why it’s become an addiction: I get to combine symbolism and storytelling when I design my bracelets. But, that was only true for the first two: the first one tells the story of my little family of four, and the second one tells the story just of our boys. The third one, which I had been designing for months, doesn’t tell a story at all. It’s just purple and silver and sparkly because those are my favorite things. And, I thought I needed a bracelet to celebrate my new writing adventure. And, I got an amazing deal for 12 months same as cash. And, I can explain why I needed it in a million different ways, all of which make my husband moan and groan and roll his eyes. I can’t help it. And, now that I have my third bracelet on my wrist, I am planning my fourth one with all of my favorite sports teams. I told you… I’m addicted.
I haven’t made my weight a secret on this blog, and I readily admit that it’s because I love to eat and don’t make time for exercising, other than trying to keep up with our two boys. I don’t hide food under the bed or carry snacks with me everywhere I go; although, I do know some skinny gals who do that and I envy their metabolisms. But, I love to eat. I grew up in a family that celebrates everything with food and finds any and every reason to get together and have a picnic or a party or a feast. And, going for lunch with friends is one of my favorite social outings. Everybody knew I could make reservations and place orders like a pro during in-service days at school. It’s funny, with all of my passion for eating, that I haven’t learned to cook particularly well. I don’t have the time or the patience, and there are those kitchen disasters that make me afraid to get adventurous in the kitchen. But, I love to bake, and some of my family members are secretly admitting they like my cookies more than my Mom’s. *Gasp!* And, I love to eat what I bake. And, I also love to eat pizza, French fries, chocolate, bread, pasta, salads, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers, hoagies, cake, cookies…
Parents complain about the amount of time their kids spend watching Disney movies, and I’ve been known to complain when the boys want to watch the same one 2,373 times in a row. But, I love Disney movies. I used to need to be the first one in line when they opened, and that only stopped when our first kiddo was born. I wait for them to be released on Blu-ray, and I get a little thrill when the boys ask to watch the trailers online for the upcoming flicks. I also may be guilty of letting the boys stay up a little later just so we all can finish watching the movie. Other people can quote lines from cool, popular movies; however, I can tell you everything Boo and Mary Poppins and Mr. Incredible say. The only drawback is having those songs in my head for weeks at a time. That’s one addiction side effect I can handle.
I remember a time when I couldn’t get far enough away from my family. I applied to colleges and universities halfway across the world because I thought I needed to get away from everyone. I closed the door to my bedroom and put on my headphones and wrote volumes about how much I couldn’t stand to be with these people who share so much of my DNA. As more life happened, I realized that the people who matter most are those same people I wanted to steer clear of for at least four years of my young adult life. And, when my own family started to grow, I knew that there was nothing more important or special or meaningful (there are no words to completely capture the feeling) than our children. Too much Hallmark here? Sorry. So, now I’m the one calling everybody and trying to schedule days at camp or the pool or family dinners. I text my parents and talk to them multiple times a day. I bug my brother about not seeing him often enough. And then there’s my little family. I cannot get enough of the boys’ little feet and hands. Those soft curls at the base of the little guy’s neck faded away with his first haircut and I thought I was going to die. The time spent rolling around on the floor and fighting with pillows and making trains and trucks go and running through the grass and pushing little bodies on swings are the moments when life is the fullest. I’d take five minutes with my husband and boys over five hours with friends any day; so, I do. This explains that addiction to social media.
Writing (and Editing and Revising)
No surprise here! While I wish I could figure out a way to write 24 hours a day, I am never far from a tablet or my laptop. And, by tablet, I mean a bound stack of papers that you record your thoughts on with a pen or pencil or other writing device. Yes, handwriting is still an art I practice. I have been relying more and more on Siri and reminders for when I can’t physically write what I want to say or what I’m thinking. The funny thing is, I see these power bloggers who are posting dozens of times a day, but I don’t aspire to be like them. I don’t have that much content or time on my hands. I do have lists of ideas and pieces from forever ago and tons of book ideas. I just love to write. I tried to explain why, but I’m not really sure that I can properly convey it to anyone else. So, I just write and rewrite and rework my ideas until I think they’re ready to be shared. Editing and revising are tasks that I can spend hours doing, and there is such a sense of accomplishment when I get just the right word or phrase after trying a million different ways. Then, I share what I have written with other people and hope that they can gain an understanding of my passion for writing. And, I hope that I have inspired some other people to sit down and write, too; I guess you can’t completely take the teacher out of the classroom. So, I guess I was wrong. This is my most beneficial addiction.
I certainly don’t mean to make light of addiction in any way, because I have seen my fair share of true addiction in friends and loved ones and know there is nothing funny about it. But, these are my addictions. They make up my life story just as much as my genes and education and family and careers.