Thursday, December 29, 2016

I've got friends at fast paces.

God, I love a cocktail.

Gin martini.

Or wine.

Occasionally a beer.

I was recently engaged on a Facebook post where someone jokingly said I should skip a workout and buy a round of drinks, whereby my coach chimed in and said, "My athletes don't drink."

Ton of bricks. Whack.

I'm not a good person to preach about abstinence (oh trust me), but it has recently become crystal clear how much of my life was spent sitting on a barstool. The reason this comment hit me so hard is because I used to be that person who would skip that workout for a drink, or two, or three. Or would put a few back the night before, and suffer through the next day. It's extremely difficult to get out of bed early in the morning after punishing your internal organs with cocktails the night before. Although, (sorry coach) I DO still enjoy a couple of beverages during the weekend, my life no longer revolves around the time of the next happy hour. It revolves around the time of my next long run.

The other reason I don't drink as much as I used to is completely vain. I want to look good. Think about it . . . 20-year-olds who hang out at bars can manage to stay pretty attractive. But, 40 year olds at the bar every weekend? Not so hot. 50 year olds? Yikes.

It used to be fun to get caught up in drama, but my tolerance for it is very low now. The drama I used to encounter stemmed from my social activities, which were mostly drinking-related. So many ailments (sadness, weight gain, bad relationships) are formed at the pub. It's still a complete mystery to some people that when you spend so much time using drinking as a way to socialize, your entire life suffers. Weight, for example. How many times have you seen someone complain about their weight, but have a million pictures with a drink in hand? It's science folks, not too difficult. Pretty basic actually. There is NO health benefit to drinking that can't be obtained in another way. Drinking makes you fat, and lazy. Have a nice day.

There becomes a certain point in the life of an aging body where you can't handle putting crap into it anymore. Unfortunately this rule also applies to other delicious things, like pizza.

People who used to know me as a "fun" person are always confused to why I don't have time or make a lot of time to meet for drinks. They make me feel like I'm really missing out. Most of the time, I'm not missing out at all. By EOD Saturday I've seen a few friends, had a good conversation or two, laughed, got my sweat on, seen a pretty landscape, and eaten 2,000 calories. I've likely already had plenty of "fun" that day, and now I'm ready to sit around the house in my soft pants and watch House of Cards. (Soft pants is the indicator that I am no longer leaving the house.)

I am still so ridiculously fun. Just in a different way.

As many contemplate their next trip to the bar, I think about the next time I chase people up Old La Honda Road. While many are looking at sad people - I am with happy people. And the view from behind isn't bad either, if you like spandex and nice calves.

Instead of having friends in "low places" I now I have friends at fast paces.

The TEN worst Facebook posts of 2016

Disclaimer: I have to put this disclaimer at the beginning because most will not read to the end. In the process of writing, I have not only written an article that attempts to shame most Facebook users, but I have named “shaming” as the worst posts on Facebook in 2017. Isn’t that ironic?

The TEN worst Facebook posts of 2016

# 10. Yelling about sports
“GOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL SHAARARRRRRRKKKSSSS! Those who care about these games are probably watching the game. No need to post every detail. If they missed an awesome play, there will surely be a playback. Even the ability to rewind exists!

# 9. Beautification filters
“Just me in natural light…” yeah right. We all know you don’t look like a porcelain doll in person. And don’t say it’s “good lighting,” when you know it’s a filter. You can turn that filter off, and you should! Be proud of the face you actually have, and smile please! No more duck face!

# 8. Challenges for awareness
I’m all about physical challenges to raise awareness for worthy organizations, but these organizations actually need your money, not your muscles. As much as the ice bucket challenge is funny the first five million times you see it, you should be using your Internet fame to benefit the organization by raising money, or volunteering. Also, if you want to do your body a favor, you should do 5-10 push ups with good form instead of doing all 22 and straining a back muscle. Ouch.

# 7. Showing off your possessions
The economy has been really good for some, and really terrible for others. It is my opinion that showing your most prized possessions publicly on social media is SUPER tacky. I try to keep my stuff off of the Internet for two reasons, 1.) I don’t want to get robbed. 2.) Some people have nothing. Nothing. Think about that for a minute. . .

# 6. Videos of really disgusting recipes
“Yum, I think I’ll make this for my kids tonight!” There is a reason why Americans are the most constipated nation in the world, and the reason is cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese too, but too often there is a recipe called, “Vegetable bake” that starts out pretty good: some broccoli, some carrots maybe, then literally COVERED in orange cheese.  So, not only have you ruined the vegetables by baking them into oblivion, but your body is confused by the vegetable to cheese ratio.

# 5. Gory pictures of injuries
There is nothing like scrolling past a photo of a yummy casserole followed by a glimpse of a bloody open wound, some stitches, or your kid's broken arm. Also, asking your friends, “Do you think this is broken?” is a terrible idea. Go to the emergency room. Seriously.

# 4. Blaming 2016 for celebrity death
People die all the time, guys. First of all, because of MTV and various new genres of movies and TV that came out in the 1980’s, we who lived through that generation remember A LOT of famous people. Second, there were A LOT of baby boomers, and many people who passed this year were getting older. Third, often because of their fame, many lived super stressful lives and suffered from mental health disorders Lastly, drugs. Lots of drugs.

# 3. Not checking your sources
You had the time to read the article, so now take the additional step to think critically and assess whether or not it comes from a credible, or biased source. Adults should be able to read well enough to determine the tone of an article, find the source, and the author. Our reading skills are so poor that now Facebook has to label articles for us – and people are going to trust Facebook? Sounds like a terrible idea.

# 2. Turning things political for no reason
You’ve been seeing it all year.

Suzanne asks: “I’d like to better understand the electoral college. . . .”

Smart person: “This is a great website that explains it in easy to understand terms.”

Suzanne says: “Gee, thanks, smart person. It is really confusing.”

Argument person says: “Well Donald Trump didn’t win the popular vote, and we should get rid of the electoral college because he is a big dumb, orange idiot.”

Rebuttal argument person says: “Oh yeah, well the electoral college is awesome because Hilary is a big fat liar, so someone had to stick up for the people….”

Again, reading comprehension is important, people. Also, maybe take a debate class or read a book or two. Any debate that results in an insult is null and void. 

# 1. Online shaming
The most annoying trend of 2016 is online shaming. We shame people constantly on Facebook because we are too much of a coward to shame people to their face. We shame people by saying things like, “I’m going to delete anyone who doesn’t tell me why they are my friend,” or “If you don’t repost this, then you don’t care about people with cancer.” Do we really think we are better than everyone else? It’s time to stop the shame.

Shaming yourself.
We all have bad days, and Facebook can be a good source for sharing personal stories and getting positive feedback or reinforcement. But too often, your friends are off put when you constantly shame yourself online. At that point, there is nothing they can do or say to help you. If you are shaming yourself vaguely for attention, just stop. Call a good friend. Facebook isn't going to make you feel better. There are studies that suggest Facebook makes you feel worse about your life.

Shaming your ex.
Putting your former relationship on Facebook is one of the WORST ideas. First of all, going after advice or condolences from your friends on Facebook is a terrible idea. You probably need to talk to a therapist. Also, retaliation is real. If you put out your disgust on a public forum, your ex CAN retaliate if it hurts their reputation, especially if you have kids. So just fucking stop it. Keep your dating/marital/friendship problems off of the book of faces.

Shaming your children.
There is a certain age when taking pictures of your children doing embarrassing stuff is completely out of line. Weren’t your preteen years difficult enough without your parents divulging your every move to an open forum of people? Seriously, no wonder so many kids are in therapy.

Shaming strangers.
Instead of taking a video or photo of someone acting like a royal a-hole, why don’t you take the opportunity to call them out on it in person? The fact is, I doubt most of us have the chutzpah to call them out in person, and would rather quietly stand by, take a video, and post it later. It would be much more effective if you did something immediately, no?  By taking the video, you are not solving the problem. In fact, you are just ENRAGING your peers who feel the same way you do. Take it directly to the source and call that person out on it in public.

2017 Facebook creed: Post positive actions into the universe. Act on Facebook how I would act in person. Do not use Facebook as a vehicle to shame other people, or myself.