I love to socialize. My kindergarten report card read, “has trouble staying quiet during rest time.” People, I was chatting up the other kid on the carpet square beside me. Never mind that I was 6 years old for most of kindergarten and therefore too old to be napping. Subsequent evidence in my life has suggested that I have trouble stopping when it comes to socializing. I pretty much did not get into trouble in school. But my trigonometry teacher did make me sit by myself away from other students for awhile. And it wasn’t that I didn’t like math. I was actually very good at it. My guess is that I was sitting next to a friend or two and perhaps a really cute boy. So sorry to have disturbed the learning environment, Mr. Wickstrom.

When I was a researcher, I often worked with my door closed so that I would be less likely to start a conversation with someone who walked by my door. If I could orient my desk with my back to the door, that worked even better. I also used email communication when I could so that a simple question and answer would not turn into an extended conversation. I managed to be a productive worker who also had friends at the office. I worked out a balance.

I left research in 2007 and since that time I have been working full-time in private practice. There are two other psychologists that work out of the office. Sometimes our hours overlap and sometimes they do not. And even when they overlap, we are with patients with our doors closed. There is little time for socializing. I can go an entire day without even saying “hi” to one of my office mates because there is no chance to do so. We just don’t have breaks at the same time. I just hear them in the next room for the whole day and vice versa. Now when we need to consult with one another, we can set that up. It’s not like I work somewhere without professional support but consultations typically need to be scheduled.

I have used the Internet for many years now for professional, entertainment, and social purposes. What a medium. I have to say that in seven surgeries, it was a lifesaver during recuperation. And I’ve made so many wonderful friends through this blog, other blogs, and via Facebook. However, my laptop is rarely put away any more. When I am home, it hangs out on my coffee table. I used to keep it in my home office. And if my computer is somehow out of reach, my smartphone can be at my side.

And wow, Facebook allows for real time conversation sometimes with multiple people at once! How exciting is that? On top of that, now that my life is less ridiculous, my blog posts are no longer as humorous as they once were. But Facebook is a different medium and I usually have several humorous thoughts that pop into my head throughout the day that are just right for a little FB post. And over time, there are a number of people who comment on them and tell me that they enjoy my FB humor. I get a lot of attention and guess what, I kind of like it.

Meanwhile, my workplace had no fast Internet connection for the nine years I have worked here. We are old school, that is, until July when a new psychologist came to share space with us. She was the head of a couple of centers at the University of Washington and was used to living in the current decade. So Julie found a sweet deal on high speed Internet and now I am plugged in at all times. This makes many aspects of my job easier, for example, being able to submit and look up insurance claims online whether it’s a clinic day for me or not. (In the past, I saved these tasks for when I was at home.) But just like in kindergarten, I have also found myself talking too much to the kid on the carpet square next to me. And I don’t have to worry about the teacher yelling at me because I am self-employed. At home, I can even have my smartphone on the side of my bed so I don’t miss anything.

As I’ve written in the past, I am frequently reassessing and recalibrating my life according to what my responsibilities are and what I am capable of doing. I don’t regret the fun I’ve had on Facebook. And I will continue to have fun on Facebook as well as continue to write this blog. My life feels more interrupted than I would like. I typically don’t multi-task well. This was one of the bigger hurdles (another being social isolation) for me in adjusting to private practice. I see a lot of kids a year. I have no administrative support, no housekeeping staff, etc. But I had worked out a balance. I am a pretty organized person and a good planner. I can do the mundane as well as the exciting.

Last week I de-installed Facebook from my smartphone. I know better than to be on the Internet and playing with my phone when I’m in bed. I am a psychologist, for goodness sakes. Our treatments for sleep disorders have the best research support of any and that includes Ambien, people! (And if you are happy with your sleep improving strategies, I am not suggesting you change them. I am happy for you.) I know that using electronics in bed is a MAJOR NO-NO. And I have been having trouble sleeping due to stupid menopause and stress.

I miss my frequent Facebook instant gratification but guess what? I have started sleeping well again.