Monthly Archives: January 2017

no internet for you

It seems like half of my friends have put themselves in a social media timeout lately.  Everyday I log on to Facebook, I see another “fyi, I’m taking a much needed break from social media.”

My first reaction when I see this is “ugh, I run my business online! Now how will they see my amazingness?” 😉

My second reaction, though, is “why do they need a break from social media so much? What about Facebook or Twitter or Instagram is causing so much stress in their lives that they need to shut it down? What am I missing?”

Sometimes I see comments along the lines of “there’s too much drama” or “I’m not spending enough time in the real world.” Which I guess are valid reasons, but there are solutions that don’t involve deleting an entire portion of your life. At least, in my mind.

So for whatever it’s worth, here are my thoughts on the matter.

  1. If I ever post that I am taking a break from social media, or I am deleting my profiles . . . send help. I’ve clearly been kidnapped and am trying to send a message. LOL Seriously, though. The internet can be an introvert’s best friend. I love that I’ve met some of my closest friends online. And yes, that is possible. It is entirely possible to love someone you’ve never met in person. To create an honest, authentic relationship to someone you’ve only spoken to online or on the phone. In fact, I think that some of my online friends know me better than my IRL friends. Truly.
  2. Just like drama in real life, you can walk away from the drama online. There’s a joke comment that you’ll see floating around the internet pretty regularly. “Don’t feed the trolls.” And it’s 100% true in real life and online. Negative people feed on negativity. And, for good or bad, online people often feel that they have the right to say whatever they’re thinking. Whether or not they would say it to someone’s face is irrelevant. But it’s handled the same way online as it is IRL. Walk away. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Walk away. Or scroll away, as the case may be. Just like IRL you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to, the same goes for the internet. Just because someone posts something you don’t like, or you’re offended by, or makes you mad, you don’t have to respond. The recent elections are a perfect example. I have a number of friends whose political beliefs are in direct contrast to mine. That’s okay. We all have the right to our beliefs. Rather than take personal offense every time someone I know said something I disagreed with, I simply walked away. I kept scrolling. In some instances, I stopped following the person so that their posts would temporarily stop showing up in my newsfeed. Because, just like in real life, someone disagreeing with me is not worth cutting them out of my life altogether. And once things finally die down (hopefully in the next couple of weeks), I’ll start following some of them again.
  3. Don’t start drama and you won’t have drama. Period. That’s pretty self-explanatory, I think. Personally, I avoid the same topics online that I would avoid in person. Politics and religious beliefs. Everyone knows that I follow Christ and believe in Him fully. If you’d like to know how I personally do that, check out my blog. I sometimes talk about it here. Or you can ask. I’m not going to post things like “the only way to really worship is to ….” Likewise, I’m not going to talk politics.
  4. It is possible to be active on social media and still be active in the lives of the people around you. At least, I think. Let me private message my kids and ask what they think. Ha! Just kidding. This one is pretty easy, in my opinion. Just like everything else in life, moderation and focus is the key. Give yourself limits. Since my business is mostly online, I’m online a lot. I always have my phone and am pretty accessible. Except when I’m working with my kids, or on a date with my husband, or having coffee with a friend, or playing with my family. Then, my phone goes down. Well, except to take occasional pictures because I’m a stalker paparazzi. According to my 10 year old, anyway. I hope that my family doesn’t feel like I ignore them in favor of the internet. And they all know that they have every right to call me on it if I’m not giving them the attention they deserve or need. Said 10 year old is really good at that.

I’m sure there are other valid reasons to take a social media break. Sometimes, if I’m honest, I wonder if the person who posts “I’m taking a break from Facebook” is really just looking for attention. That’s my cynical nature, I’m sure. But there’s really no judgment, I promise. You do you. But don’t judge me for loving my online life. Deal?

get in focus

I am the queen of failed New Year’s resolutions. Seriously. I’m pretty sure that I’m the inspiration behind the joke that my resolution for the new year is to make no resolutions. 😉  Every year I would make the same resolutions. And every year they would be out the window within a week. It’s not that I don’t have drive or dedication. The problem is that I’m a perfectionist. So the second that I bobbled on perfection of completing my resolution, I was done. Forget it. No need to continue. I was a failure, yet again.

So then I started making “goals”. You know. I will read more and I will study more and I will exercise more. That didn’t work either. Nothing like being totally vague to get the motivation going. Said no one ever.

Finally, a couple of years ago, I came across the idea of a “word for the year.” I honestly have no idea where I heard it or saw it. It turns out that there’s a book and a movement… who knew!? For me, it’s perfect.

One word. Just one word.

The first time or two, I’m sure I was still pretty generic. I must have chosen words like “joy” or “faith”. I surely don’t remember what I chose. But last year, I really prayed about it and focused. I came up with the word “trust”. Trust. Trust God. Trust the process. Trust myself. Trust the people that care about me. Little did I know how many opportunities I would have to practice trusting! Especially when I suddenly found myself immobile for almost 4 months!

So this year, I’ve chosen the word “focus“. get-in-focus

According to dictionary.com, focus means:

1. a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity:
2. Physics. a point at which rays of light, heat, or other radiation meet after being refracted or reflected.
3.  Optics – the clear and sharply defined condition of an image.

So, what does that look like in a person’s life? Truthfully, I tend to be a little ADD. It’s easy for me to have 3 or 4 different things going on at one time. And then I rarely finish any of them, unless someone else is holding me accountable. So this year, for me, my goal is to be focused on whatever the “task” is in front of me.

I want to focus clearly on Jesus. On what He is showing me, and where He is leading me. I want to focus on our homeschool. Determine what we are doing well, and where we need to grow, and then focus on getting it done. I want to focus on my business. Spend dedicated time strictly to growing and developing my business, my team and myself. And finally, focus on my family. Be present when I am with them. Pay attention to the little things. Listen. Really listen when my kids are talking to me. Not allowing myself to get distracted by my phone, or my book, or my thoughts. (when I can help it.)

And the beauty of having one word, is that it’s vague enough for my perfectionism to not panic, but specific enough that I have something I can really hold on to.

So, I ask you. What’s your “one word”? The one thing that you really feel God calling you to hone in on this year? If you don’t know yet, there’s no deadline. Think about it. Pray about it. The Bible app has a couple of good, short studies designed to help you get your focus (see what I did there!?). And then share with me what your one word it. I’d love to celebrate with you. Maybe we can keep each other accountable? Deal?

Until next time!

T