A couple of weeks ago, something unexpected happened. Our computer crashed because the hard drive stopped working. It was in the shop for about a week, which was inconvenient at best. I do also own a laptop, so we were not without a computer, but I really do not like to use it because it is so S-L-O-W.
Consequently, instead of spending hours in front of a screen each day working on the blog and wasting time on social media, I only pulled out the computer when I absolutely needed it. I also recently removed all social media apps except Instagram from my phone. With little motivation to get on the computer and no access to social media on my phone, I only logged on to Facebook and Instagram a couple of times a day instead of waiting anxiously for notifications to arrive. (I’m still trying to figure out Twitter…)
Something rather amazing happened as a result. I was more productive than I had been in weeks. I spent an entire week working with my kids to clean out and declutter their rooms, without carrying my phone to constantly check social media. We rearranged furniture to make their rooms more open and inviting. We got rid of more garbage than I would like to admit. We took a van stuffed full of donations to the Goodwill.
I soon discovered that I didn’t even really care enough to check on what everybody else was doing because I was busy being productive myself. It was like a breath of fresh air, reminding me of how much time I waste on social media, and how I need to unplug more often so that I can be less distracted and more present.
Another idea followed that realization -one that had been swirling around in my head for a while before finally making its way to the “Pay Attention and Act” portion of my brain. My thought process sounded something like this:
“It is summer. Your kids are home with you for the next two and a half months. Some of them only have a couple more summers left before they leave to make their own way in the wide world. You need to be present for them. You need to let go of social media in all varieties for a little while and give your family your attention. They need you to play with them, teach them, and have your eyes looking at them instead of a computer screen. They need to see that they are more important to you than your blog or your Facebook page.
Not only that, but you really need a break. You have been spending a huge amount on time on this blog for the past 15 months with no real break and zero pay. You need to recharge along with your kids after the hectic school year. You need a few weeks to focus on things other than what you are going to write about or post next. You need to catch up on some aspects of your life that have been pushed to the back burner for too long. There are more important things than your blog right now.”
With that in mind, I have decided to take the next four to six weeks off from all forms of social media. I will not log onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram at all until at least July 6…maybe longer depending on how I am feeling and how the summer is going. I will also not be posting anything new on the blog during that time period. I need to focus on the things that matter most right now, which boils down to my family and my own personal growth. Not only that, but I believe that a break will breathe some new life into my creativity, which is never a bad thing in the realm of writing. I hope you all understand.
So, as I read several times in my kids’ yearbooks: H.A.G.S. (Have a great summer, in case you were wondering.) I hope your next few weeks are filled with family, friends, vacations, good memories, and productivity that is often born out of summer boredom.
I look forward to catching up with you in a few weeks.