the final days of rest.

visit my other posts about this social media fast here and here.

and i’m back!

well, i’ve been here all along, but i’m back on social media after a month-long fast. it was a really amazing experience for me, and as i’ve told a lot of people, it could not have come at a better time for me. i really needed this time away from meaningless distraction to focus on some important real life stuff. and while i’m not this perfectly grounded mom, wife, and friend now, i feel like i have a roadmap to where i need to go to be closer to my goals of being a present mom, an attentive wife, and an involved friend.

i mentioned in my last post that i’d been struggling with the feeling of not being able to start any of my projects or practices because i want it to be just right the first time. that week our goals were to actually do some of the physical simplifying we had been reflecting on, and that has jump-started so much progress for me. i cleaned out my clothes (again) and was ruthless with my assessment of what i actually like and what i actually wear and feel good about. now, even though i have some wardrobe gaps to fill, i feel good about getting dressed everyday, and it’s weirdly easier for me to keep my clothes and bedroom tidy every day without it feeling like chore. Mister Man is very happy about this part! i also cleaned out and organized our bathroom, and that felt like a damn breath of fresh air. you don’t know how many old lotion bottles you’ve got until they’re gone (that’s how the song goes, right?). and when they’re gone, it is great! next up is the kids toys…pray for me.

the retreat schedule i followed from the homesong blog was really journaling and reflection heavy, which was nice, but it felt like A LOT of forced reflection that was maybe better suited to her own preferences and goals versus universally helpful. not bad, just not for me. subsequently, one of the things i realized through this was that i don’t like journaling. yea, i’m just not a journaler. i would rather talk out my feelings, or think through my feelings, but journaling just feels like a lot of work for some reason. as much as i like to talk, i’m not very verbose when i write. i write what is essential when i journal, which isn’t really the point, so i don’t get a lot out of it. is that weird coming from someone who blogs? probably. you guys know i’m a weirdo though, so it’s fine.

this social media fast made me feel like i had more space in my brain. i felt like i was spending my energy on me and my people and my things instead of everyone else’s. that was so freeing for me to know that the world will still turn even when i don’t know what every is doing right as they do it. even now, i haven’t put facebook or twitter back on my phone (and i probably won’t), and i will go all day without scrolling instagram (although i totally use the DMs like texting). i’ll talk more about the functional ways i’m planning on continuing what i’ve learned from this, like schedules and tools and all the ways i’m trying to get back to the basics next week, but for now, this is how the experience made me feel inside.

here is what i hoped to accomplish during the month, and how i did:

  • i want to build a new daily routine for myself, from the time i wake up to the time i go to bed. i want it to be thoughtful, realistic, and something that gives me purpose, because i’m learning that more structure might be good for me. i’ve come a long way with this in a month. i’ve been waking up every day at 6am, and even though that doesn’t give me tons of time before the youngest is ready to start his day, it’s good. i’ve been picking out my clothes the night before, even on days i’m home with the kids, and that has made a ton of difference in how our mornings go as well. when i’m dressed without being rushed, i just have more patience for getting everyone else dressed! the kids have been liking their routines, and have been good about listening when it’s time to do stuff for our day. the focus on being intentional at night has been really life-giving for me too. i focus first on the “need to be done” things like dishes, tidying the house, and making lunches/coffee, then i shift to the “good to do” like working out and tackling any to-dos i’ve planned for the night. i’ve been getting more done and getting to bed earlier when i focus on priorities and purpose of my evenings, and that has been the best!
  • i want to work on renewing relationships, both within my family and my friendships. i’ve not been as mindful of the people in my life as of late, and i want to change that. this includes my husband and friends far and near. i think that this has been slow but steady. with social media gone, Mister Man and i have had a lot more time to talk about how we want to be as husband and wife and as parents, and we are even going on a day date to a marriage brunch talk this weekend. our relationship feels more like it did when we were newlyweds than it ever has, which can be tough with young kids, but is so important for us to remember. i’m having some people over for the super bowl this weekend, a really random, lovely group of people, which i would normally not think to do, but i’ve tried to be more intentional about reaching out lately, and while it will take a while to make it a habit, it’s happening. a fun part for me with this has been reaching out to strengthen my blogging friendships as well. i don’t give them enough credit usually, but people i know through blogging are some of my best friends, even when i’ve never met them in person. so i’m working on emailing/texting/facetiming with them intentionally, and it’s been so wonderful.
  • i’m hoping to renew my passion for blogging with the new inspiration and space in my brain. i’ve missed it a lot, but even when i’ve had the time to do it, i’ve felt totally uninspired to do it. i’m hoping this rest from the norm will jumpstart my creativity in a positive way. i mean, i wrote five posts in january, whereas i only wrote 21 in all of 2017, so i think this one can definitely be counted a success. i’m much more inspired to write and share, and i’m opening myself up to write and share differently than i have in the past. the law of attraction says you get what you put out, and that seems to be true for this whole blogging thing, so we will see where i end up in 2018. i am definitely feeling good about this space for the first time in a long time. 
  • i want to come out of this feeling like a more engaged, energized mom. i have two amazing kids who are growing up faster and faster, and i want to take the time to watch it happen with minimal distractions. if only you could get feedback from toddlers on your improvement in mothering. if i could, i’m hoping they would say that i’m doing better after this month. i certainly feel like i am. i haven’t yelled or lost my patience nearly as often this past month, and i feel more involved and encouraging to both my kids these days. i’ve seen the difference in amelia; her attitude with me is so directly related to how i engage with her, and it’s been so much more fun and happy, especially the last few weeks.

thanks for being so encouraging and sticking around while i took this break. i know that some of you are contemplating your own social media fasts in one way or another. if you ever want inspiration or ideas for it, i am happy to share the more detailed pieces of my experience, the nitty-gritty if you will, just ask. let me know in the comments if you think you’d ever do this, or if you think i’m insane for needing to take it this far!

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