Two weeks ago today, after a very-early-morning toilet moment and subsequent epiphany, I uninstalled the Facebook application from my phone and tablet after turning off all notifications. And today, I can tell you that I haven’t logged back in, not even once, and I genuinely feel like my life is better off for it. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you from what this last couple of weeks have held for me.
The usual disclaimer: I’m not judging you. Plenty of you are able to consume/use social media without negative effects/addictive behaviors. Also, I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll stay off Facebook forever, either. I’m still on Instagram (for now), and I’m still allowing my Insta photos and blog posts to share over to FB, so please know that I’m not against social media entirely.
But, I am against something that’s supposed to bring joy and entertainment becoming a huge time suck and causing stress and dissatisfaction with life. And, with as short as our time here on this earth is, I’m not a fan of something I can shut off and stuff in a pocket dictating my happiness and how I spend my free time. I’m rapidly approaching middle-age, and I don’t want to look back and see that a huge portion of my life was spent staring at a screen (of my own choice).
So here we go: the good, the bad, and the ugly (which is really just the bad, right?)
- I’m less irritable in general! Since leaving the melee of Facebook, I haven’t seen a single political or theological rant, and no one has tried to sell me something, and it’s glorious.
- I don’t feel as bad about my life. It’s still a little shabby, a little overweight, and a lot infertile, but now that I’m no longer barraged with others’ carefully-curated social-media lives, I can maintain a proper perspective about my own little corner of the world.
- I’m reading REAL books. I bought a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite for this purpose, so I’ll be able to have several books at-hand but not feel like I’m staring at a blue screen, and I’m currently plowing my way through Walden. I also went to the local library this past Saturday and got a new library card so we can make use of our tax dollars. I haven’t read much since my Master’s program (I had some SERIOUS burnout after two or three novels a week for almost 3 years), and I forgot how much a book feels like an old friend.
- I’m staring at screens less in general. The good thing for me about Instagram is that there’s simply not as much to see. I follow a few friends, some celebrities, and some watercolor art and adorable animal accounts, but that’s pretty much it. Once you’ve scrolled for a few minutes, you’ve seen it all. Without Facebook to flip over to, I’ve just got to put the phone down and find something else to do.
The Bad (and Ugly):
- I never realized how much I shared random thoughts with everyone. Sometimes I miss it, because there are things that crack me up that I want others to find funny. But then I’m also faced with my own narcissism; do I really think I’m hilarious enough that other people need to see it constantly?
- FOMO is real, ya’ll. I’m missing scrolling through my comedy pages and seeing what some of my more distant friends are doing.
- People tend to talk to you like you should automatically know what’s going on via Facebook. And when you don’t, they assume you’re being sanctimonious.
But even the bad things aren’t that bad, really. I haven’t felt an urge to go back yet, and as a result, I’ve managed to pare down one more thing that’s causing life stress. It’s much easier to cope with stress when you simply have less stress to cope with.
More to come on this de-stressing, simplifying journey!
This week has been pretty stressful; with my manager on temporary assignment at our sister company, I’ve been finding myself in more meetings and conference calls than I’m used to. School started this week, which left me really overwhelmed at the beginning of the week, until I got a grasp of the expectations. A week like this is a perfect example of why, sometimes, we need to take some time to do absolutely NOTHING.
This morning, I woke up at 7:30. I watched tv and journaled some, and then Joey made coffee and I made breafkast:
The ingredients of this omelet are:
- 1 egg + 2 whites and a splash of soymilk
- 1/2 cup peppers (green, red, yellow)
- 1/2 cup onions
- 2 tbsp cheddar cheese
- hot sauce
- 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
My morning is being spent enjoying coffee, surfing the interwebs, and watching Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures and MST3K. And playing with the Kins. We hadn’t done Sock of Death in a while, so we played that this morning and my scab-free days are over.
Sometimes, we just need to take some time to rest our bodies and our minds, to let go of the stress for a while and let ourselves enjoy the peace:).
Today’s schedule includes relaxing through lunch, hitting the Wally World, the gym, and then relaxing this evening and making Sweet Potato Gnocchi!
I’d been dreading the past two weeks for most of the latter part of the year because of how much I would have to do…last week, it was the five final assignments for the semester plus ITC09. This week, it was the myriad of holiday events that I had scheduled. On my calendar, I had: Tuesday night: Work ornament exchange party, Wednesday night: ITC09 wrap party, Thursday: Office gift exchange, Friday night: Office Christmas party. Two of these things were going to require that I buy something and one would require me to cook something. Here’s what I did to pare down:
- I bowed out of the Ornament Exchange Tuesday night; that made THREE work events that week, and while I love my coworkers, I don’t really relish spending two nights out with the same people with whom I spend the bulk of my waking life. Bowing out of that cut out both one event and one gift to buy!
- Rather than making a homemade dish for Thursday, I bought a tub of hummus and some fancy chips on sale at the Teeter. Time spent slaving in the kitchen cut from the calendar.
- I got a gift on clearance for the exchange Thursday while we were killing time before the wrap party on Wednesday night….getting something done during dead time, another calendar clearer!
So, just a few small moves reduced my schedule to something more bearable and helped a ton with my stress level. Finding yourself stressed to the max this holiday season? Take a hard look at your calendar. Write down your commitments and also write down the “costs” of those commitments (cooking something, buying something, driving two hours to get there, etc). After that, first look for events that you may be able to cut out entirely. Three work events in one week? A little excessive. Bow out of one. Then, look for ways that you can streamline the events that you choose to keep. Let the desire to make things from scratch go a little this year. You’ll be thankful and much less frazzled.
Thursday was our Office gift Exchange; check out the spread!
It was great food and a great time; our gift exchange even went smoothly without anyone getting violent;).
Last night was our nice Christmas party…our boss had it at his house and it was catered in. I wish I could have taken pictures because everything was so beautiful. After a great dinner and a few rounds of Rock Band, we were all thoroughly worn out and left around 10:15.
This morning, we met Mom and Dad for breakfast before the dress rehearsal for their musical. Joey is sick, so he’s piled up in the recliner under a blanket:
The strange tumor on his torso is Shelli.