See what I did there?
I think way too much. I know it doesn't sound like a bad thing, but trust me, it is.
I also, occasionally, think too little. I am spontaneous and short tempered and passionate. Sometimes, I forget to think before I act. Sometimes this works out alright and sometimes, well, it doesn't. That's okay. Some of the greatest gifts in my life came out of acting as though rational thought was not even a consideration (my husband, a couple of my kids...ok, all of my kids, moving to California...). The list is practically endless.
Then, there are the things that I perseverate on:
The meaning of life
I drive myself kind of crazy.
This tendency was bad enough before the invention of the Internet, but now, it has gotten much, much worse.
Now, whatever scary thought I get in my head ( " I am having a heart attack " / "my kid has Leukemia" / "The World Trade Center Attack was an inside job"), I can find "proof" of it on the WWW. Usually, I can find six million reasons why I should panic in the matter of half a second.
And I do panic...at least a little.
And then, the tiny, rational part of my brain says: "Uh, hello? Crazy? Yeah, you need to take it down about seven thousand notches".
And that also works...until the next time.
I was thinking about all of this when I heard back from the hematologist concerning my middle son, Charles, who had recently had a potentially scary blood test result (see Leukemia, above).
After hearing that things were okay and hanging up, I had about two minutes of happy before I started to get sad for the kids who did not hear good news.
I started to think about a little boy in England with months to live, thanks to effing Leukemia. I thought about how, before the Internet, I probably wouldn't even know he existed, even though he is now pretty famous since he met the "Queen".
Before the days of Facebook at least, and for sure before the Internet and email, if and when I heard this story, it would be gone from my head soon after. Sweet and sad, yes; but I don't know them. I can't get wrapped up in every tragedy.
Today, however, I feel like I know little Ollie, the boy in the story. I am a fan of his page on Facebook.
I have read his mom's personal account of his daily journey. I have seen the many pictures of what going through chemo means. I have cried for him and his family. I am hoping for a miracle, as I know they are.
This is where it gets terrible and wonderful at the same time.
Facebook has made me hate some people that I thought I loved and love some people that I have never even met.
It has made me realize the kind of person that I want to hang out with, call my family or friend and what kind of person I should aspire to be.
On this wonderful/terrible web I have met Buddy,
who lives halfway around the world, but I think of him every day and I am doing my best to make a small difference in his life.
I have all this endless information in front of me. Can I use it to fill my days with conspiracy theories and nonsense? Sure.
Can I get angry at the injustice in the world? Yes, and I should.
Do I perseverate on it? Yes.
But, I think that as much as I get aggravated and sad and sometimes, completely heartbroken, it is worth it, if I can do some good with it.
Even if I just send some more love into the world, isn't that good? I won't stop there, though. I am doing...a little bit every day, but I am doing something.
I hope my ripples meet Buddy and Ollie and Ethan Saylor and all those that I think about and work to help everyday.
The same ripples have already washed over me and made me stronger and more determined to fight, to be heard, to stand up, to love, really love those that mean so much to me.
Facebook, with all it's flaws, has made the world closer. If we can weed out the negative and cultivate the good, what kind of wonderful place will we live in?
That, my friends, is something to think about.