Paying Attention

Paying Attention

Goodbye Instagram.

Yep, it happened. At least for the foreseeable future.

I deleted Facebook off my phone about a year ago and Instagram was a lot harder. I would delete it and then a few days later I couldn’t stand it. I was back on and scrolling not only through my feed but searching for other people to “follow”. It all ended up in the same place - me scrolling through other people’s lives and not being present in my own. I finally told myself that I would limit the amount of people I followed and I cut the number significantly. But that doesn’t keep my finger from hitting the search button that leads me down the rabbit hole of distraction. And the worst part? The internal dialogue. It would go something like this:

Oh look! So and so had a baby. What a cute baby. I’m not even close to being ready for all of that but ugh - she is going to have more time with her children than I will because she has already started. I’m behind. All of the people I follow are super busy. I’m not super busy. How do they find time for a nap? I love naps. They probably don’t nap. So and so is on some kind of diet and they aren’t eating sugar. Should I hate sugar too? I don’t want to hate sugar. Look at that new house renovation. What a beautiful new pair of shoes she just bought. Look at all of the organizations, people and animals that need help. Where do we start? How do I help them all? And look at that decadent cake so and so just made. But wait, am I not eating sugar?

Torture. After hours of this, wouldn’t you feel like dog poo too? I certainly did. So I stopped. I stopped the madness. I figured it would be easier to control my access to Instagram instead of changing my internal dialogue to fit social media. The dialogue certainly needs to change but that isn’t an overnight fix - it’s a constant work in progress.

So this is what I’ve learned. Shockingly, I have more time. I thought I was on my phone for a few minutes but it must have been much longer than that because now, when we aren’t exploring the new area we’re in, I’m filling my time with other things. I read, I cook, I organize and I keep up on our laundry (which I actually enjoy!).

Put that phone down.

When we were in Poulsbo we took a gorgeous walk along a pier parallel to the shore. We walked past approximately twelve people. And out of those twelve, eleven were on their PHONES! Head down, eyes on their phone. No, they were not looking at the beautiful water or the stunning boats or my cute dang dog. They were looking at their screens. As a “young” person I should get it, right?

Life shoots by way too quickly and I don’t want to miss it. It seems like life is on our phones but it’s not. It is a great resource and provides spurts of entertainment but it is mostly (in my opinion) a comparison trap.

I’m going to go read a book, take a nap (if I darn well please), bake some brownies (because chocolate is life) and pay attention to my surroundings. And I’m not perfect. I still wonder what so and so is doing and if her kid looks any different after a month but my tolerance for information overload is limited now.

Life is limited too. So I’m going to try to pay attention to something else besides my phone (at least for as long as I can stand it).

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Meet Me in St. Louis!

Meet Me in St. Louis!

Eataly Heaven

Eataly Heaven