The streets are relatively empty here in my neighborhood. Snowbirds have gone north and many of our permanent residents are traveling during the SoFi summer months to escape the heat. In all the years that I’ve been coming to South Beach this is the first summer I have ever spent here and I’ve discovered how it’s interesting that life changes with lightly traveled sidewalks that are usually filled with foot traffic and intercontinental languages filling the space around me. The once crowed outside café tables are vacant. Hungry souls are still here, but they are dining inside enjoying a temporary respite from the heat.
Sofi and I take our walks a little earlier in the morning and on the way home sometimes stop at our favorite little café for a croissant and cappuccino. I usually fill my time waiting for my morning coffee scanning Facebook on my iPhone.
All of this reminded me this morning about an article I recently read about the psychological effect Facebook has on people. Looking at my Facebook’s posts by friends one would think that everyone has a perfectly happy life, busy doing things, enjoying experiences we wish we could have, and leading a la la life.
The idea that everyone else is living a utopian life but not us, well, it’s kind of depressing, isn’t it? Thinking about this I clicked on my home page and reread some of my posts, and it’s really true. I am so guilty! It sounds as though I’m living a la la life. The image I’m projecting is that everything’s is la la every day. That is so not true, my friends.
As we all know, real life is not la la all the time. The reality is that my life is just like yours – full of ups and downs. Arthur and I are getting older and we have lost most of our dear friends. It seems that we are always getting calls with news about the people who have been important strings to our past have gone. A piece of our souls are slowly being eaten away by time as months and years roll by.
Last year the one pill I take. Only one pill. It was changed by my new doctor and the new beta blocker put me into the hospital with AF (atrial fibrillation) for 56 hours and I had to be converted. Certainly not a Facebook event.
Then my oldest very active, young and healthy daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, my middle child who devotes her life to helping humans and animals by no fault of her own, due to torrential rains and delayed contractors cutting her crop, lost an entire field of hay planted to feed the rescue horses that she has taken in and kept from certain death. Money out of her pocket down the drain and no way to replace it.
All of these are just small hick ups in our family in the scheme of things, but this is real life. No one ever, ever has a Facebook life, believe me. Ever.
Even if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence believe me it’s not. There are weeds in there just because this is the way the real universe works.
The challenge is to look for the small beautiful moments every day and focus on each sunrise and sunset as being a special gift. Don’t pass a small flowering tree without taking in its beauty. Don’t pass any stranger without a smile and nod. It just may be the emotional medicine they need at that moment.
Never ever under estimate the value of positive thinking and how it radiates beyond us to others. And for heaven’s sake don’t believe everything you read on Facebook. As my son wrote twenty years ago, life is a Lemon Parade. La La is only a reality in music.
Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. All Rights Reserved