twelve months of bliss

Twelve Months of Bliss – April Recap

April 27, 2016

If February’s challenge was the hardest for me, April’s challenge was the second hardest. (Which surprised me quite a bit – I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it turned out to be.) The following are my thoughts from my personal experience with April’s challenge, Disconnecting (to Reconnect).

What if ‘to hustle’ meant to pause and smell the flowers?

 

I have shared my opinions regarding social media on EG a few times before, specifically in the post The Parts We Choose to Share. To summarize that post, I’ve always just felt like – do you. If you enjoy spending hours staging props for a photo and editing lighting and using filters, DO IT. If you feel lead to share a photo of the piles of laundry and mile long to-do list because that makes you feel “real,” DO IT. If you care to spend your evenings in various Twitter Chats, DO IT. I don’t think there’s one right way of “doing” social media – it does become personal and whether it’s to simply connect you to others and them to you, or if it serves as a place of inspiration and self-expression – one isn’t better than the other. You have the power to make social media what you want it to be for you.

But.

I think it’s also really important to remember that social media also has power on its own as well – one that can so easily gobble you up, twist your thoughts and perceptions of others and yourself, and then spit you out – leaving you feeling exhausted, defeated, and less-than. Oh yes, social media is certainly powerful. Isn’t it funny how deep down, we know that no one lives a perfect life, and yet after spending quite some time on Instagram, we can begin to feel like maybe we just aren’t doing enough in our own life? The comparison trap is a real thing and I imagine it feels pretty cozy living in the numbers of followers and in the shadows of photos.

I knew all of this to be true, but I think the one thing I didn’t realize was how automatic it was for me to grab my phone and click on a social media app when I got bored. There were times I didn’t even know I was bored but apparently I was because my phone was in my hand. Even when I took an hour away from writing to watch one of my favorite TV shows (which I will not disclose here because that’s another confession for another day), not even the commercials could entertain me – I was immediately on Instagram or Snapchat. (I won’t lie to you- I didn’t “get” Snapchat. Like, for years. But now I’m obsessed and think it’s hilarious.) Seriously though, when in the world did I condition my mind to be busy ALL THE TIME?? No wonder I’ve been feeling so exhausted!

Just as this month’s 12 Months of Bliss quote says, taking the time to connect with others is important. But so is taking the time to connect with yourself – and, for me, that doesn’t happen when I’m on social media.

But.

I also really love social media at times. I love that it’s so easy and quick to connect with people who I don’t normally see on a weekly basis. I love the freedom it gives to creatively express parts of my heart, where my mind is at in the moment, and to share with all of you some of my favorite moments of the things and people I love. I love that when I’m having a bad day, I know I can to go a few specific Snapchat or Instagram accounts and instantly laugh or smile. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of that. As with most things in life, I think it’s more so about balance than it might be about doing something or not doing it, or doing it a certain way. Different strokes for different folks, right?

While I didn’t quite clock in my full 192 hours of social media-free this month (I failed 2 days), this month’s challenge did teach me a few important lessons: 1. I have the power to adjust things in my life when they begin to feel off-balance, and 2. I don’t need permission to take a day (or two) (or five) off of social media. The world will not in fact end, my friends will still be there when I make my way back (or don’t).

Balance. Space. Going with the flow. And a nice break here and there. Ah, breathing easier now 🙂

EG signature

Psst! Notice anything different here? There is no linkup 🙁 Apparently while I was hiatusing, my Inlinkz account closed and I have decided to keep it closed for the time being. If you took part in this month’s Twelve Months of Bliss challenge and have a post to share, please include it in the comments below – I would LOVE to read it! Also, if you tweet your post this week, tag me and I will retweet & share it with my followers!

 

You Might Also Like

  • Yes, I completed it. Hard as it was to do…here is my post. http://grammietime2.blogspot.com/2016/04/twelve-months-of-bliss-disconnect-to.html

  • What a great reflection. And sadly somewhere along the line I quit doing the 12MOB check in when it got hard- maybe I ran out of “time” doing school and life so I better check to make sure my priorities are in order. Thank you for always coming up with these brilliant ideas and for hosting.

    • It’s a lot, especially when life gets busy. I understand, Brittany! I hope you’ll join me in the final challenge next month! 🙂

    • PS- Brittany, can you shoot me an email? I can’t seem to find your email address. Thanks!

  • I had every intention of doing this challenge this month but I simply didn’t. I know it’s because I didn’t set down and schedule the days. Like you, I know that I do it when I’m bored – which drives me crazy. However, I also know there are many positives in social media. It is all about perspective. I plan on writing a post and will let you know when it’s up.

    • The scheduling is honestly how I made it even half the way – had I not scheduled, I don’t think I would have done it either! Can’t wait to read your post 🙂

  • I tested it out for a weekend and honestly – I loved it! Needless to say, it has been repeated multiple times.

  • I didn’t do well with this challenge. I actually altered it a little bit and tried to keep myself off social media while lying in bed at night. (I failed that most nights, but succeed, too, sometimes.. haha!) I love Snap Chat! I always giggle or “aww” over your snap stories!

    • Oh wow- that’s totally my social media time, in bed at night! So hard! Oh girl- your snaps are my FAVE.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with social media and that’s why I loved this challenge. I thought that maybe this challenge would get me off of social media for good with some grand revelation. But I realized that social media has its place, and that it’s also a lot of fun, too! So I think it’s all about how you use it, and most importantly, what you feel like you’re getting out of it.

    Here’s my post! http://findingithaka.com/disconnecting-to-reconnect/

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks so much for joining me – heading over to read your recap! 🙂

  • I’ve been taking some social media free weekends and it’s amazing. I’m thinking it’s the Lords way of nudging me to do it more during the actual week. this was such a great post, and I couldn’t agree more!

    • The weekends are my favorite time to take a break too – it just seems to give me more time to be out and doing things vs. on my phone. Thanks for stopping by, Megan!

  • I love this month’s challenge and have learned a lot from it. I agree with you. Much like some things in life: everything is good in moderation. So long as we don’t think the “real” stuff for granted for the virtual things, social media has a lot of advantages. Like you said: it’s the most convenient way to connect. I’m a work-at-home mom, so it gets a bit lonely with just me and my 2 year old. Having that outlet to communicate with other writers and moms is a great way to combat that loneliness, at times.

    Thanks for this challenge, Emily. It’s been a favorite of mine so far. Truly eye-opening. Here’s my link for this month http://collectingmnts.blogspot.com/2016/04/3-fascinating-lessons-i-learned-after.html

    Have a good one 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed this one, Maria! 🙂 Heading over to read your post!

  • Hubs and I regularly have a few hours each day (most days) where we put the devices down and have some time just us. It was hard at first, especially for me being a blogger, but after a few weeks it became habit.

    P.S. I know that this post wasn’t really inspired by mine last week, but I’m just gonna pretend that it is 🙂

  • I found it soooo hard. Totally with you on grabbing my phone when I’m bored or just need a distraction – that’s why I deleted FB from it ages ago, which I never ended up putting back on. I did succeed in having 3 fully social media free days but I was shocked at how challenging it truly was! And that was before I downloaded Snapchat ha. (Which I still don’t get! I got a chat from Amy on it and I think I replied properly but who knows ha…and I never see anything on there that you’ve posted, or half of the people I thought I ‘followed’? ‘Friended’? Not even sure of the terminology lol – so I *know* I must be doing it wrong! LOL)
    But those few days where I didn’t go on any social media at all – at the end of them, I realized just how much MORE I did in those days that was “real” and even, dare I say it, a bit more fulfilling? If not for me then certainly for the girls, which is 100% worth it. I’m aiming to try for a SMF day every once in a while and see if I can continue it for a long stretch!

    • oh I don’t know how to reply on Snapchat, no worries at all! ha! Amy will have to teach us her ways! But yes, I totally agree with you- my free days felt more full and… present/connected. I will definitely be taking some free days here and there! Thanks for joining me in this girl!