I had a profound moment a few days ago.
A friend of mine posted an interesting Facebook status update, which I immediately "liked" at first - because I thought it was clever. But then, it nestled in the back of my mind, like a seed taking root, where it slowly grew until I realized its true meaning. It went something like:
"The more fully I live my life, the less you see of it on Facebook."
This simple, yet powerful phrase has popped in and out of my mind over the weekend and most of this morning. It's caused me to pause, take moments to check in with myself, and evaluate my life as it is currently.
Since starting The Mulberry Patch, so many wonderful things have happened. I've connected with people who are passionate about simple living and gardening + I've gotten some great practice improving my writing and photography skills. It's also been an amazing creative outlet while I navigate this thing called "motherhood" and all that staying home to raise my son entails.
But is it balanced?
I have to be honest, before I started blogging I rarely used social media. I'd occasionally update Facebook with pictures of my life and I had an Instagram account I'd started and forgotten about back in 2012. I would occasionally binge out on Pinterest if I were planning a party or trying to find a food recipe or maybe planning my wardrobe. Twitter wasn't even on my radar.
Now, I check ALL of these outlets daily, sometimes morning, noon, and night.
My friend's status left me feeling a mixture of awe and envy. How amazing it is that my friend is experiencing her life. Why am I not doing the same?
Here I am writing a blog about slowing down, living an intentional life, and trying to minimize distractions from pursing passions... and yet I am spending more time checking social media and analytics than I am practicing what I preach.
Instead of spending time playing with my son outside, I take pictures to share on social media... so people can see how healthy and happy we are.
Instead of enjoying cooking with my husband, I mercilessly take pictures in order to get the perfect picture... so people can see how well we eat.
Instead of being fully present to my husband, I spend my son's naptimes and bedtimes checking analytics and social media comments... to see if people care about what I'm saying/doing.
I talked to my husband David about it these... feelings... each time one popped into my mind. While he was quick to praise my creative blogging efforts, he was also honest about the distraction it's starting to place within our home and marriage.
You see, every result from my actions has been to seek approval from others. It's not healthy and I want to make some changes to bring back balance.
So I'm going to slow down.
I'LL POST, BUT NOT AS OFTEN. I've been trying to crank out at least two posts a week... Now I'm going to focus less on "posting for the sake of posting" and only share when I feel like there is truly something worthwhile to say. I hope this is OK.
LESS SOCIAL MEDIA, MORE LIVING. I'm still going to share what's going on in our life, but instead of two or three posts a day, it'll be more like "here's a post because I happen to have the picture and the time to share it." If I don't respond quickly to comments, or like your pictures back very often, it's not because I don't love you anymore. I do. I just need to be more present to my family and self.
NO MORE ANALYTICS. I'll probably check the site's analytics every few months, just to see how everything is running, but for the most part I really shouldn't care about this. My blog isn't monetized and it never has been a focus of mine to turn this project into a business.
So with that said, I'm going to fix myself a cup of tea (and not take a picture of it) and curl up with my husband on the couch for the last few minutes of my son's nap.