Monday, 11 April 2016

Five People You Meet On... Facebook

It's spring. Far from spring-like weather in Toronto but spring nonetheless. And what comes with spring aside from the bombardment of boot-camps, colonic cleanses and restrictive diets promising a beach-ready body in a jiffy? Spring cleaning!
Being the daughter of my particular mother (sorry mama!) growing up, I loathed spring cleaning, mainly because this energetic, capable and cheerful excellent lawyer parent was no joke when it came to anything. Especially cleaning. In a home where on any given day we would've been safe to eat off the floor, spring cleaning meant a bat-shit-crazy level of intensity. Mattresses were lifted, carpets rolled, curtain rods dismembered; cashmere sweaters washed by hand in a mild shampoo then dried flat and carefully folded so they could survive the summer and potential moth attacks high up in the lavender-infused closets. Every goddamn Murano glass figurine and delicate crystal piece was carefully removed from its place, washed, and the shelf dusted until it squeaked with surgical-grade cleanliness. Silverware, a special cloth and drops of some German-made liquid were sure to take hours of rubbing and shining of the cutlery we got to use only once a year. Unless I were to get married again. All to the never-ending droning of the eager vacuum-cleaner - an orange-coloured beast made in Slovenia with an always-empty dust bag - as per orders of my drill sergeant mom. Mama, sorry again, but I loathed spring cleaning!

These days I live like a princess. My only task this time of the year is to stuff the clothes I no longer want or fit into the bag and call the CDA Clothesline donation program. Hand down the books I won't re-read. Scoop all the cosmetic sample packs - Gift With Purchase junkie that I am - into a shoebox so I can drop it off in a women's shelter together with the 'babyish' toys my boys reluctantly decided to part ways with. And voilà! It's done!

Could this be it? Do I feel 'clean' and ready to spring forward into new adventures the way we did when my mom was in command? Umm, not quite...

I recently got reminded that there is more to de-cluttering than just the stuff that no longer serves my family. What about the energy that surrounds me? What about people who proved toxic or ill-meaning?

So I sat last night and sifted through my expansive Facebook friend list. Do I really know everybody? Between my early Belgrade years, the high school, the Jewish Choir and neighbours and university and then my early Canada days and brand-new friends and colleagues and my big kid's friends and their moms by now multiplied by another two kids's moms, plus fellow volunteers and travellers and coaches and writers... amazingly, there are very few people I actually haven't met in person! For the most part, the energy they emit is so pure and so good that I can bask in it for hours.

Here are the five people I stumbled upon last night while Facebook-cleansing (for anonymity reasons gender references might have been deliberately altered).

Cyber-Crush: There is this guy I've actually never met. But some time ago a friend of a friend must have shared some of his writing and I was hooked. Became a fan and a follower and a 'friend'. It's the kind of stuff I forgot could be put in words, especially in somewhat cumbersome Serbian. That Balkan men tend to be rough and jock-like has been my greatest misconception. This guy muses about the complicated in us women, adoring it for all the havoc we wreak upon his big sensitive heart. This guy understands the music and lyrics and the wicked way in which a song can make us weep or chill or rejoice and everything in between. This guy sees the political turmoil of my homeland of the crooked and corrupted while finding the threads of unspoiled and normal and optimistic. It is fair to say that he is a must-have in life even if only on the screen, removed by the ocean and a few vast corn-fields. The Verdict: label him with that 'favourite' star so I make sure I get my dose of awesome every time I check in.

Cluster-Fuck: Everything the Cyber-Crush is not. Stupid. Misogynist. Inappropriate. His signature dumb grin always next to a tall beer someone bought him, tongue sticking out in proof: "Booze = Fun". Sheepish bro-smile on sports event. Horrendously hollow. Universally unwise. Should not procreate. Don't ask how we ended up being Facebook friends. The Verdict: delete the bastard. Nothing good/smart or remarkable will ever come out of this. Block!

Fart-Mountain: This one came in a package with a whole bunch of great people and ended on my list by mere proximity. It didn't take long to distill the theme: with indignant irony he comments on a world that never does him right. Not enough money. Not enough attention. Not enough respect. Not enough opportunity. Food is too expensive. Selection not up to the expectation. And you are guessing right - not enough sex - so there is always this raunchy undertone that might come across as charming to the people just looking to speed up the mandatory minutes. Otherwise everyone just sees one giant wuss. The Verdict: Un-friend fart-mountain. There has never been a friend there anyway.

Anti-Aphrodite: This is a tricky one. Because of some vague biographical details you are led to believe you share a common spirit. You could be friends. You give. You open up. You trust. You wonder... why are the tiny eyes tirelessly darting left and right as if constantly scanning the terrain for terrorist traps? Why are the lips always tightly pursed and instead of an opinion you only get: “Mhmm"? Was that "Mhmm good" or "Mhmm bad"? You never find out. There are whispers in someone else's ears. Silent nods. Elbow pokes. And there's the rampant paranoia the gossip queen suffers from - is it true this person said/thinks/heard...? 
My forties brought with them an abundance of unbelievably-generous, wise, insightful, beautiful and resourceful women-friends. I have no need for a patsavoura in my life. But then I'm a Life Coach. And a feminist. The Verdict: I'll let her delete me. Or by cyber-osmosis she will learn a thing or two about grace. It's her choice. 

Everyone Else: As of this writing, yes, all 718 of you. Thank you for being in my life. The articles you share make me think. Your travel destinations make me plan. Your music choices make me way cooler than I am. The books you recommend make me spend. Your political views... with Donald still rambling around, let's for now leave the political views. Your baby's pictures make my ovaries tingle! Your recipes make me eager to strap on my apron. Your photography inspires me. Your choice of words make me envious. Your fitness levels make me push harder. Your funny pet videos make me melt. Your quotes make me reflect. Your milestones make me rejoice. 

Above all, seeing you often crowding together, right here on my computer screen - mere strangers from around the globe - makes me hopeful. Hopeful we are becoming an army of good. The crowd that understands there is nothing to compete for. Just to generously share everything there is that is good. And no matter what the haters tell you, it really can all start with a “Like”. 
I love you Facebook family!


  1. What a great article and oh so true ... Thank you for sharing !!!


  2. You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I'm a life coach blogger. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging endeavors. Please keep in touch with me in Twitter, @lifecoachbloger and Google+, +sridharchandrasekaran