It has been two months since I last wrote, not because I haven’t wanted to, but because I needed the mental break. I wanted to spend the end of summer enjoying our little family to the fullest, not agonize over posts and editing. I also took a purposeful step away from the pressure of “delivering content” to reaffirm within myself what it is that I want to write about. This blog was started with the vision of authenticity, not posting to keep up a following or attain sponsorships.
Lately, I have been taking very similar steps back in multiple areas of my life. I am uncertain what brought this bought of introspection on; possibly a mix of having a baby and turning 30.
This is such a cliche, but time really does speed by once you exit your twenties and have kids.
Zoya recently turned ten months and is actually fun to hang around with so my days no longer drag endlessly. In fact, Vlad and I both agreed the other night as we were performing our nightly ritual of cleaning the kitchen, time is now running at the clip of an Olympic track star.
Given the speed of its passing, these past two months I have been contemplating a lot about how I want to use my time. I want my days to amount to more meaning and purpose than simply getting by. Taking a blogging break was one way to pare down for a moment. It has become apparent to me that there are certain unhealthy habits I need to let go of and certain life-giving ones that I must prioritize much more.
What better way to keep oneself accountable than by sharing on how I plan to use my time with more wisdom and intention in my thirties?
First, for the habits I want to ditch:
Let me just say that there is nothing wrong with social media in its purest form. I think its an amazing way to keep up with friends and an avenue for creativity. But guys, we all can acknowledge that it can be such a time suck. Not to mention all of the insecurities that arise from the unrealistic standards social media purports, and the superficial sense of being connected. Some are better at controlling their usage than others. Admittedly, I am not one of those “better” people. Vlad has called me out countless times and I am finally at the point where I am done making excuses. In fact, I cringingly admit that I am a somewhat irresponsible user who habitually and mindlessly scrolls through social at any point when there is a perceived lag in the time. I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve wasted looking at other people’s lives instead of living my own. Having said that, I am going on a one week total social media fast (gasp!) in order to detox. Once the week is over, I will resume usage in a (hopefully) more curtailed fashion.
Again, nothing wrong with it on its own. Vlad and I love to watch psychological thriller or crime shows together after Zoya goes to sleep. It’s a fun way to indulge together…but I also tend to mindlessly watch shows in my free time during the day. I typically find myself flipping on the TV during Zoya’s naps in order to fill in the void of silence and end up half-watching a few episodes while simultaneously scrolling through Instagram, of course (face palm!). Before I know it, an hour has passed by. It’s neither productive nor is it truly restful. Therefore, along with my social media fast, I am also doing a one week personal streaming services fast. Here goes nothing!
OK, so this is a big one for me. Going into stores to browse as a recreational activity is one that I have really started to question lately. It wastes my time. It wastes my money. It feeds into the consumer driven cultural lie that buying something or treating myself will lead to a deep, satisfying and lasting joy. Reality is, all it leads to is piles of stuff that was a great bargain or I thought would be needed one day cluttering up my closets and basement.
I was recently reading on blogger Meg Hall’s pledge to No Shop ‘19, a year in which she doesn’t shop for any new clothes whatsoever and only buys new toiletries when current items run out. You can read more about her decision here. It’s really inspired me to re-think my buying habits. I don’t know if totally not shopping is a feasible feat for me, but being more intentional with my purchases is possible. This resolution will hopefully not only free up our funds for other types of spending (or saving, cause that’s cool too) but challenge me to stop seeking contentment in a shallow place.
And now the habits I want to cultivate:
I made a whole post about the importance of a regular quiet time, yet I am still on the struggle bus! The reason being not lack of desire, but lack of hours in the day. I am excited to see how cutting out Netflix and social media will impact my ability to really dig into the Word and having quality prayer on a daily basis…and how that will, in turn, affect my spiritual growth and walk on a practical level.
I used to be one of those kids who came out of the library with a giant stack of books every week. Reading helped me learn English as a second language, opened up my worldview and given me a passion for writing. There is so much research available on how sitting down with a good book is so, so good for you. Since getting married, having Zoya and going to grad school, which sucks all the fun out of books, making time to read for fun has been increasingly difficult. I’m not counting non-fiction books I have read on theology for small group and personal growth. The most time I have spent reading for pure fun has been on beach vacations, which we don’t take all that often. That’s just sad. It’s time for a change, so I have been taking time in the evenings after Zoya’s bedtime to just sit and devour a good book. My most recent one has been We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter; it made me laugh and cry and feel all the feels. Hopefully my next one will be just as juicy.
I already work out on a regular basis but not having shopping or social media to serve as distractions will free me up to be a more focused and committed gym member. Crossing my fingers for this one, guys.
I am planning to keep you all posted of my progress and inevitable mishaps via this blog. Once my week-long social media and Netflix fast is complete, I will be putting up a dear diary style post of how the detox went and all the things I accomplished with my free time. I am also gearing up to do a major closet and storage clean-out in order to pare down to a more capsule-style wardrobe and will be documenting that adventure as well.
It’s going to be radical.
Until next time!