Things I've savored without the presence of social media

Yesterday was the last day of my month-long social media fast. I downloaded the apps again on my phone and spent some time looking through the list of notifications. Honestly, it made me feel like I was having the beginning of an anxiety attack. I got sweaty, my breath shortened, and I felt a sense of panic. Facebook now notifies me when a "close friend" posts something?!? WTF is that?! I mean, I like to know what my friends are up to, but I want to do that on my own terms and in my own time. I don't need a little notification nagging at me to do it. I spent sometime updating my notification settings and removing myself from groups in hopes that I could limit the anxiety I feel at social media. If I didn't have to rely on it so much as a freelancer, I'd totally ditch it. The month away was, for the most part, refreshing. I wasn't as productive in my writing as I thought I would be, but I had more time to read and think and to just notice things like:

  • The tips of my trees painted gold by an early morning sunrise
  • A pair of bald eagles resting idly on a Platte River sandbar
  • My kids' raucous laughter spinning through the house while my husband chases them
  • Patches of sunflowers growing tall and wild among cornfields in south-central Nebraska
  • How peaceful it is to watch a velvet blanket of fog slowly lift as I drink my morning coffee
  • How many smart and kind people I know
  • The companionship provided by a good book
  • How much my daughter has improved in reading. I don't like to cook with my kids because I'm a control freak who hates mess. K always wants to help or be in the kitchen while I cook, so to compromise, I started having her sit on the counter and read to me while I cook. It's a great time for her to practice reading and for me to be invested in what she's reading. The other day she read from a Junie B. Jones chapter book, and I don't mean to brag, but her inflections were on point. This wouldn't mean a whole lot to most, except that when she moved in three months into her Kindergarten year, she could not read and had zero phonemic awareness. Her growth is amazing.
  • Time to catch a peek at my son sitting in our bay window engrossed in a book.
    I had to sneak a picture--I mean, it's beautiful, right? If you've spent any time reading some of my posts, you probably have a sense that we've had our fair share of parenting struggles. Our kids brought years of trauma and loss with them. For three years, J has continued to mystify us. Just when we think we have him figured out, he does something that contradicts everything we thought we knew. However, the one thing that is consistent with him is that he thrives when he has quiet time to himself; he's an introvert like his mama. This fact continued to be clear to me during my social media fast as I was simply more attuned to how tightly wound he becomes without this time to himself.
I'm giving myself permission this week to slowly work my way back into the world of social media and am hoping I can maintain a sense of presence in the real world while still interacting with the virtual world. 

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