One More Thing

Wow! Great issue of UMR – July 24, 2009.

Who followed me? How did you know?  Because that was obviously me you wrote about in “When Busyness Sabotages Ministry, Q&A Interview” with Mary Jacobs.

“Overdosing on overcommitment?” Yes. I call it being oversubscribed.

My mother jokes I have “One More Thing” syndrome. She coined the phrase when I’d taken her and my three kids to the Bronx Zoo one summer afternoon.

As we were leaving – hot, humid, tired, crabby – I spotted the gorilla house. “One more thing, everyone, let’s stop and see the gorillas.”

One More Thing may be amusing when you are at the zoo, but at work it’s another thing. When you have to finish glancing through your high school boyfriend’s vacation pictures before you get to the article that was due yesterday, you’re in trouble.

Facebook is perfect for one more thing.

My friend and the kid’s babysitter Dierdre and I promised each other we wouldn’t go on Facebook or on our cell phones for 24 hours which is the only reason I’m getting this letter to the editor done.

I think many Facebook users have acquired this unique form of One More Thing, or ADD.

I was having tea with a good friend I hadn’t seen in months. She was up at our country house and we were sitting at the kitchen table. I kept wanting to check Facebook. I was feeling restless, just talking. And we were talking about good, deep, juicy stufff  – our boys’ puberty, a dear friend’s death, family finances.

I had to literally tell myself, “Mary Beth, sit still. This is what life is about, sitting at the kitchen table, talking to a dear friend.  Not swapping witticisms with an internet friend.”

Because the internet friend is like a photo in your wallet. You can take it out and show it off, glance at it. You can even delete their remarks (not that I would ever do that!)

But the real friend at the kitchen table? Well, she might go off on a tangent. I can’t click her off. Any way, I should – I want to – hear what she has to say. “X (a 6th grade boy) introduced Y (another 6th grader) to internet porn.”

Oh no. I really do NOT want to hear this. But I should pay attention. Even if I would rather read about my cousin’s baby’s first trip to the pediatrician or my former student’s flight to Uganda. Yes, they are interesting.

I would like to write about this topic more. But the right here and right now beckon. I have to make breakfast. Then, if I am lucky, I may spend some time just sitting at the kitchen table, catching up.

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