A Year Offline

So. Hi there! I’m still alive.

You: What the heck?! Where have you been?

Well. At first I was just overwhelmed by the newborn stage after Tommy was born last September (yes, that’s over a year ago!). And then I started feeling guilty for not blogging and decided to ignore the problem instead of fixing it (#winning). And THEN I was overwhelmed trying to figure out how to be a stay-at-home mom with a newborn and a toddler hanging on me all the time, what eating and cleaning and my husband starting grad school and also us trying to get our very old, very-high-maintenance house on the market. (Excuses, excuses.)

And then I stopped reading most blogs because I couldn’t keep up, and gave up reading the news because politics got soooooo awful and depressing and gross. Then for Lent I gave up social media, and we don’t have cable… so I’ve basically been living under a rock, doing a weird secret version of a silent personal retreat while being surrounded by the chaos of little kids and mundane chores.

After Lent ended I got back on Instagram, but that’s about it.

And you know what? My secret personal retreat was really, really great.

I learned that Facebook was eating up a ton of my time without me really noticing, and also giving me a stressful to-do list of “important” articles to read that actually were… not important.

Once I kicked the habit of checking Facebook on my phone every time I had a free fifteen seconds–which was surprisingly difficult–I found myself better able to play with my boys and be productive around the house. Alex and Tommy are happy. So am I.

I also made a New Year’s resolution to read 50 books this year, which was really ambitious given my reading habits in recent years. But you know what? It’s only October, and I’ve already finished 55.

Getting offline has let me pick up lots of little hobbies that I’d enjoyed as a kid but have never devoted time to as an adult–painting (just for fun), singing (for church–I’ve been cantoring and I just got asked to do my first wedding!!! cha-CHING!), knitting… and of course, all that reading. Growing up, I was the kid who eschewed sports and shopping and whatever else normal people did, and just wanted to sit in a comfortable chair and read all day long. It was my THING. And that hasn’t been true since I graduated from college. It is SO NICE to be back to reading–I feel so much more myself.

(Man, I love reading. A local church just did a Book and Bake Sale where you could buy a whole bag full of books for five bucks. Our house and reading lists are now overflowing.)

And taking a break from social media also revealed to me how much I’d been relying on it to meet all of my needs for human connection. Feeling lonely? Post something funny on FB so people will like it and comment! Go see what everyone is up to, from the solitary comfort of an empty room! I’m rather a homebody, so social media was a little tooooo easy of a way to fake going out and making real connections and deeper friendships.

But I gave it up. And felt the emptiness that had been there all along.

So now I’m focusing a lot more on finding like-minded women near me, and getting involved in our parish and other activities. I’m volunteering more, taking the boys to more (free, informal) playgroups, and trying to save space in my life for my hobbies.

It feels AWESOME.

And now it’s time to start re-introducing some of the other things I used to do, like blogging and even occaisionally going on Facebook, just with a little more intentionality and moderation. So here I am! Writing.

It’s good to be back.

I promise you’ll see me again soon.

Thanks for waiting for me, friends.

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One thought on “A Year Offline

  1. Isn’t it soo nice to pick up a book again? I just started reading again during my maternity leave and it’s been great – I think it’s been since college for me too (aka before I had babies to juggle and so needed time to figure out how to balance a book and a baby at the same time ;). Now I need to figure out how to be able to blog again with a newborn…

    Like

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