Friday, May 27, 2016

What I learned from 5 days away from Social Media

In an attempt to focus on other things like my health, fitness, and writing, this week I banned myself from checking into my social media feeds.  This meant no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter, and even no Pinterest.  In the process, I learned a few things about me.

1 - I didn't magically have more "free time".  For some reason I thought if I stopped wasting time on Social Media that I would have all this extra time to do stuff like go for a walk, enjoy a book, get some writing in, have a game night with the family.  But the truth is, just because I gave up one thing, it doesn't mean I had extra time.

The truth is .....

2 - There will always be something to take your attention - Even without hours of mindless scrolling and liking and commenting, there were still things that took my attention.  I seemed to pay more attention to the television.  And though I did laugh more genuinely at the shows, it wasn't as if I was trading social media for something, oh I don't know - more productive, maybe.  I filled my time with mindless entertainment and didn't get any further to my goals this week any more than I would with all the social media stuff.

3 - I like knowing what is going on in the lives of people I like, love, admire.  After taking most of the week away, I realized this morning with my first scroll through that I actually do like knowing how my friends are doing, I like being able to post embarrassing photos of my family or harass my son where all his friends can see, I like knowing what things are inspiring others. I realize that social media is the modern day letters from home. It's how we connect with our loved ones in other towns, states, countries, it makes them feel not so far away.

4 - It all comes down to time management. This is it. Today, this moment, this is all we get.  How we spend our time now determines how we spend our life in a month, a year, a decade.... I don't want to waste any more of my time on mindless things.  I want to interact and engage myself with the people that matter to me, I want to motivate and inspire, I want to live the life I dream about.  And none of  that will happen any faster unless I get serious about how I allot my time.  There is a time and place for everything (even guilty pleasure television), but it comes down to putting it in it's correct place.

So, after all this time away, here is what I have decided.

  •  Next week I'm saying goodbye to the television and even Netflix while I am at work or at home.  Especially at home, those hours at night could be used for other things (like the flowerbeds that are strangling and screaming through the weeds to give them air).
  • Social Media is fine - in moderation.  Checking in every hour or every 10 minutes doesn't use my time wisely.  Setting aside an hour a night to browse through can get me just as caught up.
  • I can't bitch and complain about not getting my books out there if I'm not really doing my part to get them out there.  I have to put in the time!
  • Same goes with my health.  I can't despise the scale at weigh-in if I've not done any exercises or made better food choices.  I have to put in the work - I have to put one foot in front of the other and walk, run, jog, bike my way to my goals.
  • Just because I am not doing the same thing as my family, doesn't mean I am being anti-social.  It just means I have a different focus than they do.  My guy loves his television at night, and though I complain, it's okay if that's his thing.  I can sit right beside him with a book or a notepad or my laptop, put my earbuds in to drown out the noise, and do my own thing, even while in the same room.
  • It's okay to not be a slave to the cell phone....put it on vibrate.  Hell, turn it off sometimes and get out and enjoy the damn day!  This time of year I love it because we camp on the weekends and I don't get service at our camper so I can leave my phone and enjoy my family, or a book, or a nap!
If you have felt like there isn't enough time in the day, I advise you to look and see what you are giving your time to.  Is it pursuing those dreams and goals you have for yourself? Is it surrounding yourself with people you love, people that lift you up and motivate you? Or are you allowing your time and energy to be sucked out of you by negative people, bad habits, unhealthy choices, or energy wasting tasks.

Like I said earlier.  THIS. IS. IT.  I am not where  I want to be, but I know I am so much better than where I was a few years ago - mentally, physically, and any other -ally thing you can think of.  IT all comes down to what we give our attention to.

This morning, I woke up with a saying from Rumi going through my mind. Every day I try to be better than yesterday. Every day I try to get closer to the Amy I envision myself to be.  Every day I rise with a hopeful heart, believing good things are coming.

How will you rise today?

P.S.  I'm sorry to have disappeared the first part of this year, my focus has been on being healthier, but I promise I will be making this blog a bigger part of my journey...stay tuned as this place gets remodeled!

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