Instagram Killed the Blogging Star*

*do you get my reference? I’ll explain…

I did something really self-indulgent this week. I deleted social media off my phone.

It was TERRIFYING.

And that’s not good.

I have this love/hate relationship with Instagram and Twitter. The Facebook ship sailed years ago (way too much info overload for me). I absolutely love and enjoy my time on Insta and Twitter, until I don’t. I will be coasting along having an absolute blast, feeling super connected and in the loop and enjoying it all. And then, I just won’t. It’s weird. And probably common.

Lately, it was just draining the life out of me.

It’s not any one thing. That would be mean to point to one person and say, “YOU, you are the root cause of my suffering.” That’s crazy. Obviously I am the cause, but it’s putting all the moving parts of it together that gets overwhelming. Maybe it’s nature’s way of telling me that I need to take a break. It’s not like I’m walking away forever, but when you know you need a break, you just know.

I’ve done some soul-searching this last week, reflecting on the feelings I feel (my FAVE!) and why I feel them. And I’ve come to some personal conclusions which I’ll spare you. I’m just learning that my reaction is very real, a real reaction to a very not-real problem.

The break, all five days of it so far, has been awesome. It’s allowed my brain to focus on things more important to me than scrolling. And I was scrolling a lot, mostly because with everyone home there are not long periods of quiet. I’m basically always waiting for the next thing — the next interaction, chore, conversation, thing to do. All good things, a constant motion of activity and life. So instead of being able to settle into something mentally, I am inclined to pick up the phone and do something for one to two minutes.

That lended itself to lots of social media. Which starts to get depleting. It got in my head, y’all. In a very intense way.

So I deleted it and here I am. Blogging! Remember that song “Video Killed the Radio Star”? Well, I think instagram did that to my blog. Not that I was a star. But I did love to blog.

Are blogs still a thing? Can we bring them back? Send me a list in the comments (if you’re out there!) of who still blogs and who we should read! Popularity is not the point — just good insight, and FUN. That’s always a winning combination.

For now I will leave you with this picture, Henry and Isabel enjoying some bliss at the lake last week. We found a spot that was open, and we found a spot where no one else was. It was a few hours of pure exhale rejuvenation. Ahhhh. Kinda like writing all this. Just a bit.

 

Book Talk!

As you may know, my latest book came out a few weeks ago! You can find it here on Amazon, and also over at Word Among Us Press.

Last week I spoke with WOW MOM podcast and it was really fun! You can listen here and hear me talk about feeling a little crazy, and also (even better!) find out a little bit more about the book.

New Blog Post!

Oh my gosh you guys I’ve never been so happy to blog!! I’ve been locked out of this dang thing and thanks to the help of one awesome person who understands technology, here I am!

I don’t even know if people read blogs anymore and I’m kinda okay with that. It feels like a nice airy plain that I can hop on my horse and ride freeeee!

That’s a weird analogy because I don’t even ride horses. But something about having the freedom to share what I want and need to share without feeling like it’s in a weird social media bubble, well it’s very helpful.

So here’s the first thing I want to share now that I’m back! A little something I just wrote that covers my feelings in this moment about this weird time. Thanks for reading, dear kind soul. I LOVE YOU. And if we were neighbors I would wave WILDLY from a social responsible distance and see how you are doing!

QUARANTINE MOMENTS

It wasn’t my finest moment, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. I was leaving my house a few days ago, in a hurry because I needed to help my dad take care of my mom. She was struggling with her breathing, and as I was leaving the house quickly, I made a terse remark to my neighbor.

My neighbor was gathered with a few friends who were all spread at an appropriate distance to have some morning fellowship. I won’t bore you with the details of my comments, but they were snippy. I said something as I hurried to my car and while I was indeed worried about my mom, my tone was uncalled for.

A few hours later I texted my neighbor to apologize. She was so generous in her reply, saying she understood I was a busy mama who was also a worried daughter. It was a stressful few minutes for me.

I was able to explain to my neighbor that the homeschooling of my children is going really well, and I’m managing my three college guys being at home all the time pretty great. I’m also teaching five college classes from home, but I’m able to make that work for me in a way that jives with all the other stuff I have going on.

The issue, I explained, is that if any other tiny detail gets thrown into my scenario, it just about pushes me over the edge. So that morning, as I worked to get schooling done for the day, a few other (uncontrollable) variables were difficult. It’s not great to live at that level, but we all know life is just crazy right now.

I discovered the next day that Friday morning ended up just being bad. I could blame it on a whole bunch of things, but there were about five really, really bad hours for me. I tried praying and crying and sobbing, I called my husband to get talked down from my crazy and I also texted a few friends asking for prayer.

Eventually, things turned around. I think I did all the “right” things — I tried not to wallow, I asked Jesus to be with me, I had people speak truth to me — and ultimately I kinda of had to wait it out. Things got better by lunchtime, and the next day I woke up with that feeling of “what in the world was that all about?”

I’m hoping that was my “Quarantine Meltdown,” perhaps the one and only meltdown I have? I don’t know. What I do know is that in generall there is a lot of grace and joy, somehow, in this time, but also moments of real stress and sadness.

The highs are high and the lows are low.

Here’s what I’m learning: it’s okay. There’s no right way to quarantine.

Well, maybe the right was is the age old approach we generally try to take as lovers of Jesus: Jesus, we trust in you.

It was so timely that the very Sunday after my Quarantine Meltdown, we celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus, I trust in YOU. It was an important reminder to me that even when things don’t feel easy and fun, Jesus is still with me. And he wants me to have joy, and he wants me to have peace. So when I don’t have those graces working, it’s time to reset my focus.

I’m not going to pretend that everything has been perfect in this time. It’s been a good reminder to put my trust in Jesus. I’ve enjoyed the beautiful moments, but there have been difficult moments, too.

Both extremes warrant a trust in the Lord. When we are happy and at peace we thank the Lord for his goodness. When we are in times of trial, we ask God to shelter us and guide us back to the way of peace.

From St. Faustina’s Diary of Divine Mercy, passage 317: “Oh my God, my only hope, I have placed all my trust in you, and I know I shall not be disappointed.”

Talking About Life with Boys