Social Media Habits

botanical print

Lately I’ve been trying to focus on and create abundance in my life. You can read my recent post about it here. And even though I’ve been thinking about abundance, trying to practice gratitude, reminding myself of what’s important in life, and praying about it…I have still been struggling to really internalize and cultivate it in my life. My heart knows I should feel fulfilled and happy (really, I have SO much), and yet my head has been telling me otherwise. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, and have even started to judge anyone who has things that I would like to have…things I think I need. Insert eye roll.

I’ve been trying to examine this. What’s the root cause of this issue? I mean, yeah…it sucks to not have money to take vacations. It sucks to feel like we don’t have money in the budget to fix our broken sink. It sucks to feel like new clothes and a good haircut are luxuries I can’t afford. But…those are all kind of first world problems. Not kind of, they definitely are. We have running water, food on the table, and ENOUGH of everything we need…clothes, toys, electronics. So why have I been feeling like I’m entitled to more? And I think that’s where social media comes in.

Instagram is my drug of choice. Some prefer Facebook or Snapchat…but they’re all the same. So many of us spend a lot of our free time scrolling and consuming the content of other people’s lives, and I think it has consequences far beyond what most of us realize. I’m trying to be really honest here – so let me confess that even though I’m writing this and having these realizations it’s all still a work in progress for me. I unfollowed something like 100 people today, but just before I hopped on to write this I was scrolling the contents of the remaining 70 something people I follow. I’m not perfect. And I’m not advocating for a total ban either. But there are a few things I think we should all consider…

  1. Who do you follow?

I’ve come to realize that I should not be following ANYONE who makes me feel envious or insecure. I mean, duh…but these feelings can creep in slowly and unexpectedly.

The more obvious culprits are accounts/people like celebrities who are living a lifestyle that most of us can not live up to. Or maybe it’s the friend who seems to be perpetually on vacation. Or the people who only post the most flattering pictures of themselves in the most hipster clothes. Or the people who are always out at a restaurant or show, having drinks, and appear to have no responsibility at all. I know for sure these people don’t have young kids, but DO THEY EVEN HAVE JOBS?!

So yeah, it’s not surprising that these things make me feel a little bad…a little lonely…a little sorry for myself…as I’m sitting in the same clothes from yesterday, unshowered, cleaning up the 789th mess that my 1 year old has made that day.

The sneakier accounts are probably more specific to you and your personal struggles. I encourage you to go through the list of people you’re following and really think about how you feel after consuming their content. For example…I’ve always enjoyed interior design. It’s something I’ve loved to read about and follow along with for years. But I’ve recently realized that I need to cut that out for now. It’s not that I don’t still enjoy it, I do…but at this stage in my life (having a small child and living in a one-income household) watching someone do a $50,000 bathroom renovation on Instagram stories day after day is probably not a great idea.

It’s important to note that I don’t think these people are intentionally trying to make me feel bad. They are just living their lives and doing their thing. But if what they’re posting is causing issues for me then it’s pretty simple: unfollow.

2. Why are you posting?

This is the flip side to the first point. Maybe it’s your account that’s making people feel bad, and maybe you secretly (or not so secretly) KNOW that. I suspect many of us are not doing this intentionally but when we really start to think about why we’re posting something…it’s usually related to pride. Here’s an excerpt from the book Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller. She’s talking about physical appearance, but I think it relates to this issue so well:

“Likewise, the way to love women (people) in a culture of impossible standards is to reject those impossible standards by humbling ourselves. We have to choose compassion over comparison, and compassion over competition. Does that mean we should auction off our wardrobes and wear burlap sacks? Definitely not….but it does mean our goal is not to be the cutest girl in the room. It means the purpose of our appearance is not to hide our imperfections. It means being honest about our vanity so that we can scale it back a step or two. It means that when we go to a social event or coffee or dinner (or post online), the last thing our friends need is for us to be competing with them or raising the bar for them to jump even higher.” (words in parenthesis are mine).

I think it’s important to consider this. We can all still enjoy and savor and remember the good moments from our lives without sharing it with everyone who wasn’t there. Some good things are meant to be shared…but maybe some aren’t.

3. Everyone struggles

The most important thing to remember (and we’ve all heard it a million times) is that everyone struggles. Social media is just the highlights. We all know this, but do we REALLY know it? If I’m not consciously thinking about this it becomes very easy to forget. We’re all just humans doing our best, feeling a lot of painful things, and trying to enjoy the time we have. If stepping back and scrolling or interacting online less helps you to remember that..then don’t ignore that. It’s something I’m realizing and actively working on. It does feel like an addiction that needs to be broken (and of course there is a ton of research on social media as addiction). When you know better, do better. So let’s do better.

daisy

Whew. Ok. This was long but I wanted to organize these thoughts and get them out there. I thought maybe other people could benefit, or could use the reminder…so thanks for sticking with me!

Happy to hear your thoughts in the comments, and would love to know if there are other areas in life where you struggle when trying to practice gratitude or lead an abundant life.

-Marci

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Things I’m Liking Lately


Image by WoodLucker

Hey guys. How are you? I’m doing well…always tired but really glad that Wednesday is almost over…it is Wednesday right? ANYWAY. I thought I’d put together another little random post of things I’m liking lately.

S-Town. Have y’all heard about this podcast? I started it last Friday and by Tuesday had finished all 7 episodes. I was listening in the car, on my walks, and while working – I couldn’t stop. It starts with an unsolved mystery in a small town, but the series takes a turn and ends up being about something else entirely. It was just a really interesting exploration of a complicated life, and despite all the vulgarities I thought it was good. It’s refreshing and eye opening to get a glimpse of another person’s existence that is so different from your own.

This article. It came to me at a really good time. I would say being pregnant means I have more uncertainties in my life than maybe ever before, and it also requires a lot of letting go of an old way of being and an old life. Not that life stops or anything, but it changes entirely for sure…so the tips in the article were helpful reminders for me.

Currently reading this, this, this, this, and this. It’s no secret that I’m a nerd about self help books…and non-fiction. I’ve read a few works of fiction this year but nothing that really stands out, sadly. Anyway, I don’t know when I became the person who reads 5 books at once – that would have made me crazy 10 years ago – but I enjoy jumping around now.

Enjoying this artist’s feed. And also enjoying following along with this artist’s “plants on fabric” 100 day project.

Alright, that’s it! As always, feel free to leave suggestions of things YOU have been liking lately.

Things I’m Liking Lately


If the title of the post didn’t give it away, here are some things I’m liking lately.

My sister’s new blog, The Rootchord. My sister has always loved music (like more than the average person) and now she’s sharing her old favorites and new finds in one spot. It’s been fun to follow along, and I feel like I’ve been looking for this kind of blog for awhile. New music suggestions without the pretentious writing.

Revisiting some favorite albums…such as this, this, and this. I can’t believe some of these came out 7 years ago already!

Currently reading this and this – really enjoying both so far. I’m hoping to keep track of monthly reads again like I did in 2015 (you can see everything I read in 2015 here).

Feeling inspired by all kinds of artists. Like this one, and this one, and this one too (love this designer’s unique jewelry).

So there it is. Some things I’ve been liking lately…I’m also liking that it’s almost Friday. I’ll have a new TGIF post up for y’all tomorrow. Do you have any fun plans this weekend? I’ll be praying tomorrow…inauguration day. Eek. I wont lie, this post brought a little tear to my eye.

Yours,
-Marci

P.S. If you have any music/art/book suggestions feel free to send them my way!

rambles, rambles and rambles

i just watched a webinar put on by gabrielle bernstein (she’s a teacher, life coach, writer, speaker…all that hippie stuff) and i loved it. the webinar was focused on how to do what you love doing and finally take action. one of the things she suggested doing in order to get started was to share your story.

i’ve never really thought much about this…or i should say, i’ve never really thought that i have much of a story to tell. so i’m going to figure this out as i go, because everyone has a story right? they just have to figure out how to tell it.

i’m 27 years old. i’ve been married for 3.5 years to a really sweet man. all of my immediate family lives half way across the country, which is hard. i love to paint and draw. i’m obsessed with reading. i have a small little rescue dog named elsi…she’s a chiweenie (yes it’s a real thing). and i struggle with a lot of anxiety. ok. now you say, “hi marci” like we’re in a twelve step meeting, because that’s what it just sounded like in my head. haha.

ok so this isn’t really my story, i guess. but in the loosely interpreted words of robert plant, i’m just going to ramble on here.

the thing on my mind the most lately is anxiety, because i’ve been having a lot of it. sometimes the anxiety isn’t so bad and i almost forget all about it – this can happen for months at a time. but sometimes, it’s completely crippling. the most frustrating part about this is that i dont really know what’s causing it. it seems like there are times when i handle normal stress, or even extreme stress, really well. and then there are times when it seems like nothing major is going on and i completely break down. it’s frustrating to say the least, and embarrassing.

i think some of the anxiety stems from not feeling like i’m living up to my potential. i’ve been stuck at a really boring office job for the last 5 years, which isn’t exactly the dream. and it’s really hard to have a good attitude when you’re surrounded by fluorescent lighting, stale air, and corporate policies. but it seems like a lot of people can relate to this…a lot of people feel trapped in their 9-5..i mean, dolly wrote an entire song about it.

Dolly Parton

so, i’m trying to figure out where this leaves me. how can i move forward, away from my office job, and serve other people who are on a similar path? i want to give inspiration to people who may feel the same way that i have for so long. i want to make people’s days a little brighter. either with my words, or my art, or both. i want to stop focusing on the negatives of my current situation, i want to stop saying “i’ll be happy when”, i want to stop dreading my day as soon as i wake up.

i want to focus on the positives. i want to be a light to people around me, including the people at my boring office. i want to stop waiting for the future for things to be perfect, and realize that i can be happy now and simultaneously work towards my dreams. and mostly, i want to really believe that i’m capable of these things. that i’m capable of succeeding. capable of changing my life, and capable of reaching people with my art or my words.

one thing i really loved about the webinar i mentioned at the beginning of this post was that she kept mentioning…who are you serving? how can you serve others? what are you doing to be a light to other people? and up until this moment it’s not something i’ve really seriously considered, especially in regards to starting a business. but it makes so much sense. 
so, i think i want to reach people who are like me. people who’ve grown up to realize that adulthood is a lot different, and sometimes less exciting, than we might have thought it was going to be. we don’t all grow up to be oprah or beyonce, but that’s ok. more than ok, right. we can have happy, joyful, fulfilling lives by pursuing the things we love and being a light to the people around us.

i’m going to continue to meditate and pray about who i should be serving, and how best to do that. and i’m going to try to make that more of a driving force in all of my business day dreams. and maybe it will look a lot different than what i’m expecting, it probably will actually. and maybe i won’t be super successful, or reach a lot of people, but i believe that i can. and i think going into something with the mindset of serving…means it doesn’t really matter if you’re successful or not, you’re on the right track regardless.

so y’all…if you read this entire post…thanks. i’m impressed. i’m really just trying to figure things out, and for some reason i’m doing it in a public way. seems like a greeaaat ideaaaaa. but it feels good to write it down, get it out, and let it go. and hey, at least you got a dolly picture out of it.

yours,

marci

 

 

 

h is for hawk


we are very bad at scale. the things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. we are bad at time too. we cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. we live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. we take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.

helen macdonald

spaces between


many people nowadays live in a series of interiors — home, car, gym, office, shops — disconnected from each other. on foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. one lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.

-rebecca solnit

gilead

sky2

i have wandered to the limits of my understanding any number of times, out into that desolation, that horeb, that kansas, and i’ve scared myself, too, a good many times, leaving all landmarks behind me, or so it seemed. and it has been among the true pleasures of my life. night and light, silence and difficulty, it seemed to me always rigorous and good…

though i must say all this has given me a new glimpse of the ongoingness of the world. we fly forgotten as a dream, certainly, leaving the forgetful world behind us to trample and mar and misplace everything we have ever cared for. that is just the way of it, and it is remarkable.

gilead | pg. 191
by marilynne robinson