At the start of the year, I set out to have a different sort of year. This year I am seeking quiet focus. Quieting my thoughts, my ambitions, my actions, my emotions and focusing on the things that matter, and not just big things…maybe not the big things at all for the time being, but the very small things; what’s for lunch, history units, going for a walk, a small birthday party, and any other assortment of the million things that are so small, but make up so much of what is so important. I want to focus on those things.
In the last two months I have done that. I have quieted my heart and focused in on the daily important things I want to treasure up. To achieve this, I became very antisocial for a long while. I completely unplugged and forgot about the world in the stratosphere that is Instagram and blogs. Could I be so bold to say that everyone must do this at some point?? I’m not talking about a day or a week hiatus. That’s not enough. But a good long month or two or three. I really could have gone longer, but I was missing my friends and feeling my fingers start to itch.
I think blogs and Instagram are fun. They are great tools for inspiration and good vibes, but I think there needs to be a self-questioning that takes place as to what our motives are for being so engrossed in it. It’s very easy for anyone, if not in the right mindset, to feel put off by reading blogs, hurt, sidetracked, and insignificant. Not only that, but the continual messages and so called “inspiration” can take up so much of our precious time and steal what very little peace and quiet we have throughout our day. I found myself scrolling through photo after photo of regurgitated devotionals and selfies as I ignored my son’s story of the century about his amazing Lego movie he made.
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What is that about?
I found myself latching on to other people’s dreams instead of listening to my own heart about what I want to do with my creativity and ambitions.
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Why would I do that?
I found myself questioning my own beliefs after reading someone’s interpretation of who they thought God was and what real faith is.
Who puts themselves through that?
If there is a time of waiting for any amount of time, a red light, a dentist’s office, a pause in the conversation, it is pure habit for most of us to reach for the slide button and check anything that may have happened in the thirty seconds that passed since our last update. We carry our phones everywhere, its almost an extension of our body. It’s the first thing we pick up in the morning and the last thing we put down. It wakes us up by its alarm and Pinterest puts us to sleep.
In December, I knew without a doubt that some of the disquiet in my life was due to my stupid phone and I intended to change that. I dug out my old alarm clock from a box and forbade my phone a place beside my bed anymore. For the last two months I have woken to either a baby in the monitor singing morning songs or a couple of sweet old ladies discussing their health on AM radio. Believe me, its a peaceful way to wake up. For most of the morning, my phone is no where near me. We do school on the lower lever and my phone is far away in the kitchen. Several times lately I smiled to myself because I couldn’t find my phone…I had left it in the car. For the entire day. Call it a successful amputation.
One might wonder what someone like me might be doing all day without reading blogs, writing a blog, or posting their lunch to Instagram. Lots of things really.
I created photobooks
taught my kids all kinds of wonderful Ancient Greece things
enjoyed my mom for 2 weeks
learned to bake with coconut flour
made our own trail mix bars…every single week
organized closets, drawers, and school rooms
listened to old music, Beirut, I forgot how much I loved you
listened to new music, Lorde, Team really gets me goin’ and Pharrell, we are damn Happy
read lots of books, list to follow soon
read tons of books to my kids, list to follow soon for that too
made multiple trips to the Biltmore
started a gratitude journal
made memory boxes for my kids
watched the Olympics
lost a few pounds
entertained Flat Stanley
took my kids skating
planned ahead for holidays and birthdays
made peace with some things
saw things more clearly…
…lots of things.
I understand that this world of social media really does have so much to offer, but I never want it to surpass the things right in front of me. I love to blog and share my thoughts, its a form of creativity, but to prevent overriding my quiet focus, I’m only dipping my toe in for the time being, releasing, but not necessarily receiving.
There really was so much to take from a long break. But most of all, its good to know that the world does in fact keep spinning even if we’re not blogging about it.