Tag Archives: books

Nibblin’ on Sponge Cake…Watchin’ the Sun Bake


Okay, this is a test…what does FOMO mean?

Have you heard of this?

I read about it the other day.  It’s a new “problem” or “issue” people are dealing with.  It stands for “Fear of Missing Out”.

I’m not joking.

I blame Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and whatever other social media platforms are making us all think “everyone else is having the time of their life and I’m a loser at home alone”.

Here’s the truth…Everyone else is not having the time of their life.  If they were, they would not have time to post pictures about it or tweet about it.  If they were having the time of their life, their phone would be not with them.

The other day my daughter fell asleep face down spread out completely on the bed, sweaty, drooling, and exhausted.  Her whole body was limp except her right hand…her right hand was CLUTCHED to her phone, hanging on for dear life.  At first, I found this funny.  I wanted to take a picture and post it on Instagram (I recognize the irony in this) but then decided against it.  This isn’t funny, it’s sad.  WHAT IS GOING ON???

How will our kids ever find peace or stillness?

What if you left the house and you did not have your phone?  Would you panic?  Would you turn around and get it?  What if you left it for a day?  Would you be okay without it?

What if you don’t check Facebook, do you fear you are missing out?  Does Facebook ever depress you or make you angry or sad? Do you look at other people’s pictures and feel like you are not good enough, not happy enough, not having enough fun?

I saw this image the other day and I think it’s hilarious.  I don’t like the word, “hate” but it makes a point.  It made me laugh and think, “Hmmm…that’s kind of true”.

I love that commercial where the daughter is looking at Facebook and saying what “losers” her parents are because they only have 10 friends on Facebook and she has hundreds.  Then they show her parents and they are mountain climbing with friends – laughing and having fun.  The point is they are LIVING while their daughter is on the computer.   BTW, they are not posting pictures during their day either.

I tell my kids to remember everyone posts the happy, pretty pictures on Facebook.  It’s like a personal PR puff piece.  Of course, if you can choose, you would not post ugly pictures of yourself.  However, that is a snapshot that is often staged in anticipation of it going on Facebook.  That is not real life.  Everyone has happy moments and sad moments.  Sometimes we are with people and sometimes we are alone.  Smiles don’t always mean contentment.  Action does not always mean happiness.

I remember something my mom said about clothing.  She said you should never dress in too revealing clothes because you should always, “leave something for the imagination”.  (I think this was around the same time I learned about the cow and not giving away the milk for free.)I think this applies to what we are talking about here.  You shouldn’t post everything on the internet because then what mystery is there?  How can you have those moments of discovery and revelation with others if you’ve already “put it all out there” – bikini shots and all?

Remember the philosophical question about the tree falling; “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”   It makes me think of all the social media, if I didn’t post it, did it happen? If I didn’t take a picture and share it with the world, is it not real?

This summer, I’m going to walk the talk.  I am going to power down in order to live it up.  I’m going off the grid.  I will be off line for July.  I hope maybe you will be too.  Then when August comes, we will have a lot to talk about.

I’m not going to lie.  This will be difficult for me.  I love my computer and the internet and this blog.  I will miss “talking” to all of you.  This will be a challenge.  I will be so excited to start posting again in August.  I will be thinking of you all and wishing you infinite blessings.

My wish for you is the same wish I have for me.  I wish that you have a happy summer with real living and laughing and talking and loving.  I wish you long walks on the beach and that feeling you get when you’ve been in the sun all day.  I wish you morning coffee and afternoon Big Gulps of Diet Coke and happy hours with friends.  I wish for good books and lazy days with no clock and dinner at 8.  I hope you do art and yoga and play music.  I hope you enjoy rainy days filled with reading and playing games and napping and sharing dreams.  I hope you dance and braid your hair and don’t shower for days.  I hope you go on a boat maybe skiing or fishing or sailing.  I picture guitars and surfboards and bonfires on the beach.  Or maybe it’s a convertible and art fairs and flea markets and lemonade.  Maybe it’s the pool and friends and camps and books at the library.  I picture swinging on swings and jumping on the trampoline.  I picture a hammock in there somewhere too.   I just hope it’s all the things you love.

And since this a wish for authenticity, I wish you tears too and moments of doubt and pondering and quiet and wondering.  I hope in the stillness you can find peace and joy and truth so that when you come back to the noise and the texting and the constant influx of pictures and the updates on Facebook and Instagram, you will not experience FOMO.  You will be content.   You will have really experienced life and you will know this in your heart and soul which is where it really matters…Even if you didn’t post any pictures.

Happy Summer!

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Need a good book for summer?

It’s time for another official book review!  Check out the discussion on BlogHer at


The book in review is Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  When I signed up to review it, I did not know it was a sequel to a book called, If I Stay.  I was kind of bummed at first thinking I should have read the first book  but it really didn’t matter.   I could follow the story even without reading the first book.  However, I did end up buying the first book because I liked this one so much!  The first book is from the woman’s point of view and this book is from the man’s point of view which I think is brilliant!

Imagine my surprise when I received the If I Stay and it has a review on it from USA Today that says it “will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT”.  Whaddya know??

I have yet to meet a tween/teen book or movie that I don’t enjoy…especially a love story. This one hooked me from the first line.  “Every morning I wake up and tell myself this:  It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.” 

This book is written from the perspective of the man, Adam, and it is honest and gut wrenching at times.  We see his insecurities and his fears and feel his longing.  He had made a promise to his girlfriend after she was in an accident.  He told her that if she lived, he would do anything for her.  He begged her not to die.  She lived and then she left him.

This is the story of how Adam feels about all of it – the accident, the promise, the fact that she left him.  Forman does a great job of writing from his point of view.  I was swept up in his emotions and I really liked him even though (because?) he was flawed and not always so “nice”.

Adam and Mia were high school sweethearts and both musicians so music and lyrics play a big role in this book which I love! Since the accident, he has become a famous rock star which makes reading his thoughts very interesting.  It’s as if we are getting a glimpse into the interior life of a celebrity and realizing he is just like us…flawed, lonely, angry, needy.

Where She Went is romantic and suspenseful and hopeful.   Parts of the book are sad but to me, the book is filled with real emotions that ring true.  You feel like you know Adam and you root for him.  Honestly, I couldn’t put it down.  I read it in a day.  This would be a great  read for mom and for her teenage daughters!

Just in time for summer!

This is a paid book review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
image of book cover from bornbookish.blogspot.com
©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

If You Give a Mom a Minute

I’m sort of tired.

I’m a little confused.

I wish I could stop thinking.

I need to power down.

I move from one thing to another to another.

I’m like the pig…you know, the one they gave a pancake to.   Then he needed syrup. You know how the story goes.

For me, it’s like this. I wake up and check my email. Then I hear a text “ding” on my phone. I check it. When I’m checking it, my son wants cereal.

I put the phone down, go to get him cereal and then he needs milk. On the way to getting milk, I decide I’m sort of hungry. I start to get some fruit. Then I remember the text and start to answer it.

My son then reminds me about the milk, “Mom, you forgot my milk”. I put the phone down, get the milk. Remember I want some fruit, go to the refrigerator and realize I haven’t made lunches.

My daughter asks if her lunch is ready. I say, “I’m making it now” as I take out the turkey and mustard. I start to make the sandwich and the doorbell rings. As I go to get the doorbell, I see the wall looks really dirty. I answer the door and then proceed to get the magic eraser to clean the wall.

My daughter says, “Bye mom, we are leaving…where’s my lunch?” I look up from the scrubbing of the wall and remember the sandwich. I hurry to finish her lunch and push her out the door (I mean, I gently tell her to have a beautiful day!)

Then my son asks where his shoes are and they are in the car. (Why, I don’t know) We find them in the car but when I see the car is a mess, I start to clean it.

As I’m throwing away garbage, I find an old magazine. I start to leaf through it. I see a picture of a room I think is beautiful. I remember I want to paint the living room walls. I start to daydream. I go inside and start searching the internet for the Benjamin Moore color that is listed in the article. I sit down to daydream. I plan a new furniture arrangement. I actually start MOVING the furniture.

My son says, “Mom, I have to leave…where’s my lunch?” I head back to the kitchen, make his lunch and push him out the door. (Again, I mean I gently send him on his way with heartfelt wishes for a beautiful day.)

As I return to the kitchen, I see the milk is still out. I put it back and see the fruit I wanted for breakfast. My phone “dings” again. I check it. Then I sit down to check my email again.

Now, either you are laughing and relating to this wholeheartedly or you are ready to send me to the looney bin ( or as my daughter calls it, “The Wacky Shack”). Either way, it’s not good.

I met Laura Numeroff one day. She is the author of the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake and If You Give a Moose a Muffin and the entire series. They are great books for kids. She seemed really nice. We were both waiting outside the backstage door to meet the cast of “Wicked”. It was pretty random to meet her there but I was sufficiently star struck. I went on and on about how I love her books and how all my kids love her books. I dragged my daughter over to meet her. We even asked for her autograph. I don’t know many people who have their “Wicked” program signed by Laura Numeroff!

Maybe her books are really about how we are all distracted and easily derailed. Hmmm…social commentary? I don’t know but honestly, now I’m really in the mood for a pancake. And you know if I get a pancake, I’m going to need some syrup to go with it…

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved