Growing up, this was (one of many of) my mom's wise mantras. Life is beautiful, full of wonderful riches to explore, people to know, experiences to have. This must have sunk in with me, because I have far more interests and goals and hopes and dreams for life than I will ever hope to accomplish before I am called to my eternal home (I hope!).
As I sit to read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and a snack with my son, or as I dream of gardens and skills I'd love to acquire, as I spend leisurely afternoons visiting with friends or evenings sipping wine and cooking with my husband, I realize that I have been wasting time.
Long ago, as a brand new wife and mother, I needed community. I didn't find much of the "in real life" sort, but I did find great supports in other catholic wives and moms online who probably have no idea that they taught me how to love my husband so much better, how to balance baby and housekeeping, and how to further my own faith life in the midst of this beautiful vocation. I am grateful for this, especially because for a long time that quiet life was otherwise lonely, but necessary. The time I used to cultivate these skills by "watching" more experienced moms was well spent.
But now, I do not need to feed my own curiosity on Facebook. I've become increasingly uncomfortable with it for many reasons, and today I was confirmed by a particular incident that I need to take a break from social media. I like Facebook! I think it is valuable in many ways. I really enjoy Instagram a lot, there is so much beauty to behold there. Twitter....well, unless there is some big news event going on, I really dislike it. Mostly, I am disenchanted with what I see on Twitter.
At this point in life, my dearest friends are not active on social media. It does not hold it's value as a way to keep in the loop with them, or far-away family, because most family is no longer far away! While there is beauty to behold on Instagram, there is so much more to behold in my own home. Am I missing a breathtaking sunrise out of my very own window while I appreciate the scenery of someone else's local flora? Am I impressed by a friend's beautiful meal while I procrastinate on feeding my own family?
These issues are my own. I would like time to reflect on them and to truly pray about the use of social media in my life, and I project none of this on anyone else. Because of that, I am going to disconnect my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for the next nine months, a novena of months, if you will, while I pray and think and observe, and refocus my time on what is going on in my true sphere of influence. I may come back and love them for all new reasons (like when I took a smartphone break)! Or maybe, I'll appreciate the reprieve from "mental clutter" as my dear friend calls it, with greater focus on family, friends, and serving others. I don't know the answer, I just know that I need a good, long break to make sure that I don't make an emotional decision since I do enjoy social media!
I maintain that my day is not ruled by social media, as it may have once been, but it still occupies more of my time, efforts, emotions, and so forth than I would like to lay down right now. There are too many things I'd rather do, and not enough hours for all of it.
I'm not leaving the internet! I'll stick with Pinterest, because I use it a lot! I'm still going to blog (and read blogs - I got to catch up today, yay!), and I'm hoping that stepping away from Facebook in particular will help me to focus my writing. I go back and forth so often on why I write this blog. So often, I want to walk away, and then someone contacts me with comments or questions and I see the value once again. The blog stays for now, because the blogging community is one that brings me life, even though it's not like it once was (which is too bad, in my opinion).
So please, friends, stay in touch! Especially if you came over from Facebook to read this. Shoot me an email or a text every once in a while. I'd love to hear from you!
|"the business being done in the home is nothing less than the shaping of the bodies and souls of humanity" - chesterton // i had better keep my eyes on my own work for a while|
PS - If you usually come to the blog from Facebook, you can add it to an RSS reader such as Bloglovin or Feedly. Alternately, you can have it emailed to you whenever I post! Right under my bio to the right, there are subscription options, as well as "follow by email!"