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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Hello Again

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote in this space. I’ve wanted to write…and I’ve had ideas of what I want to say…but then any time I’ve tried to put my thoughts into words I seem to stall and give up. I think it has a lot to do with how much has happened in the last year, it’s hard to articulate and there’s no way I could catch you up in one post.

Last July I had my first baby. He’s healthy and happy and 8 months old now. He’s crawling and standing and talking and dancing. He is the greatest joy, and I’m so thankful for him every day. He makes me laugh a lot and brings a lot of happiness to our lives. But I’d be lying (or only telling part of the story) if I pretended that it has been easy. I think motherhood is one of those things you can’t understand until you have lived it…it’s just a whole new level of tired, worn out, depleted, full, joyful, overwhelmed, happy, tired..oh, I already mentioned tired. It’s the highest highs and the lowest lows within a single day. Or hour. It’s been a very interesting 8 months.

Another reason I haven’t been writing is obviously because I don’t have as much time as I used to. And the other half of that is being so. tired. Waking up a few times a night, and not sleeping for more than 4 hours at a time (if I’m lucky), really does a number on your brain. I mix up words. I repeat myself. I forget things. I just am not functioning on the same mental plane I used to…and that’s ok. Really. It’s part of this phase, this season.

I feel like it’s pretty easy to find moms who talk about how hard it is. What a challenge it is every day. The ins and outs of the frustrations and sacrifices. It’s easy to find because all those things are true and not hard to talk about. And I’m thankful that people talk about them, because it makes me feel less alone in my struggles. But I’ve also decided that I don’t really want to contribute to that narrative…at least not regularly. I’ll state the facts, and it’s good to see things with a little humor, but it’s also really good to focus on the positive and try to feel grateful for every moment with the new little human I grew. Because there really are so many beautiful, fun, and good things about having kids. Obviously, or people wouldn’t have more than one, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in to say hello and I’m alive. I’d like to post here more regularly…flex some mental muscles that I haven’t used in awhile. And share what’s on my mind during this time of my life. I’ve always used this space as a diary of sorts – and it’s fun to look back at old posts and see where I was, and how far I’ve come. I think doing that throughout this season of life will feel really special in 5 or 10 years.

So I hope this finds you all well. And I hope to be back sooner rather than later. Happy Sunday, friends.

Yours,

Marci

TGIF // 07

Heyyyy everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here, didn’t mean to disappear. I have to say….pregnancy fatigue is real. I’m only about a week away from entering my 3rd trimester so the aches and pains are starting to creep in. The next three months will be interesting, haha. I’m trying to cut myself some slack and be kind to myself as my body morphs into something I don’t recognize from the neck down, but being kind to myself is really hard to do. It’s hard to not feel down or bad when I’m not as productive as I once was…or when a hike tires me out so much I feel like crying by the end of it (or maybe, if you’re pregnant too, you do cry a little because you’re hormonal and exhausted and too hot? that definitely didn’t happen to me, just hypothetical…). I’m trying to stay positive and be excited and not overly terrified about the future, but sometimes that takes more mental energy than I’d like to admit.

Anyway, I’m very grateful for this whole experience. Really. Feeling the little kicks and jabs has been pretty magical and sweet. Despite the fear…I’m really excited about, and seriously attached to, this little human already. And I’m so grateful that so far everything has been “normal” and the baby is healthy…but it’d be a lie to say it’s been a picnic. Mentally and physically it’s been tough at times. I mean, how do you mentally prepare for bringing a new human into the world? If you know, let me in on your secrets plz and thx.


Free Pattern by the lovely Juliet Meeks

This week I’m trusting that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m trusting that all those emotions and thoughts I just expressed are completely normal (and I’m told they are). I’m trusting that I’ll figure things out as I go, just like everyone seems to. And I’m trusting that it’s going to be life changing and beautiful and difficult as most good things are.

Lately, I’ve been feeling grateful for daily walks, rest, and prayer. These things have kept me sane. It’s amazing what a quick walk does to clear my mind of negativity and reorient my focus on the goodness in front of me. It’s also amazing what a quick nap does for my mood (does 2 hours count as quick? no?). And of course prayer…I don’t know how people center themselves without it. I’ve found a lot of peace and comfort in saying prayers all throughout the day, and I like to try to remember to say thanks as often as I ask for help. Gratitude is so so important to how my day goes….which ties into a new art project I’m starting soon, but more on that later.

This week I’m finding a ton of interior/home design inspiration online. I hadn’t really thought about how into design/decorating I’ve gotten over the last few years – but most of my favorite blogs and TV shows are design related.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the week:
This room refresh. Love how light and airy it feels, and that she kept all her current furniture – and stayed on a budget.
This Shibori tutorial. I love the colors she mixed, I’m really wanting to give this a try.
This simple candle DIY. I used to make candles all the time in high school with my sisters. It was so fun to experiment with. Seeing these pretty jars, and being reminded of how easy it is, makes me want to pick up the hobby again. Not to mention all the pretty/quality candles these days are like $20 each. No thanks.

And last but not least, my faith update. My faith and my relationship with God are things I’m always working on. My spirituality is a constant learning and growing process – I guess like any good relationship usually is and should be. It shouldn’t be stagnant, and you never really reach a point where you have it all figured out…it’s often 2 steps forward, 1 step back…or 5 steps back. And that’s ok. I’d like to devote more time to prayer, reflection, and being quiet/still. Some days I feel disconnected and wonder why, but then I realize I haven’t even given 5 minutes thought to my spiritual life…and yet I’ve spent countless hours online or looking at my phone or complaining to Brent about something or worrying about something I can’t control, etc. etc. So anyway – those are just some rambly thoughts about my faith this week. I’m so thankful to have a spiritual life again, and I can’t believe I neglected it for so long. I’m enjoying and looking forward to the continued journey – and getting closer to God through each step. (Insert footprints poem, lolz).

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. Thanks for being here. Xo.

-Marci

TGIF // 06

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Illustration by Austin Kleon

Happy Friday!! Isn’t that little illustration good? So simple and so true. I hope you’ve all had a good week, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Brent and I are going to do some work on the nursery, which is currently serving as the music room. We’re going to have to find space for all of our instruments…and possibly purge a lot of junk in the process. Getting rid of stuff is one of our favorite things to do though so it’s all good, haha.

This week I’m trusting that there are really good people in the world who are showing love to the people around them. Like this teacher who greets each one of his 5th graders with a unique handshake. I mean…maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but I def teared up a little.

Lately, I’m grateful for Austin winters. Growing up in Wisconsin makes you appreciate living in a place that never really drops below 20 degrees and has, on average, 300 days of sunshine a year. The mornings have been chilly here (like 30s to 40s) but by the afternoon we’re in the 70s and it’s sunny and wonderful. Sorry to rub it in if you’re in a tundra, just know I’m not taking it for granted!

This week I’ve been having fun finding decor inspiration for the nursery. I’ve been pinning ideas, and even though we’re keeping it simple it’s fun to look and be excited about the little stuff. There are so many scary things I could focus on so looking at cute baby stuff helps. I’m planning on painting an accent wall this weekend – thinking something like this:

Close up, front view of small black triangle vinyl wall decals on white wall behind baby playing in white painted crib.

Also planning on doing a mini version of this book shelf idea, because MY CHILD WILL LOVE BOOKS:

Book Display:

And lastly, faith. I’ve been reading a lot about contemplative prayer – it’s pretty interesting and I’d like to start incorporating it into my day. After doing some basic research on it I see that it’s a pretty hot topic in the “Christian community” (whatever that really is). It’s funny that some people are scared of it and call it un-biblical or un-scriptural. Do some Google searches and see for yourself. It sounds refreshing to me!

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m planning to start my digital detox on Monday – let me know if you plan on doing one, I’d love to hear how it goes.

-Marci

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