I have mentioned my age quite a bit over the years. I’m forty six at the time of this post. I mention my age for several reasons:
Social media can be such a distraction to productive behavior. Not to mention there is often so much noise floating through these social channels that it can mess with your peace of mind. There is much more to life than status updates, likes, page counts and followers.
Here are a few alternatives to social media for those of us who feel the constant need to be plugged in to what's going on online:
1. Read a book- Pick up a New York Times bestseller and lose yourself in a great adventure. Or pick a topic that you've wanted to learn like Spanish or crocheting and learn something new. Or if you're an entrepreneur get a business book like Rework to help you find new and inventive ways to grow your business.
2. Listen to music- Put on some relaxing music and meditate or play your favorite upbeat tunes and dance around the house. Music and exercise is an instant mood lifter!
3. Go for a walk- Speaking of exercise, turn off the phone and computer and go for a walk. Getting exercise every day does wonders for your physical and mental health.
4. Write- Even if you aren't a writer, take out a sheet of paper and write down your goals or a to-do list or grocery list. To paraphrase Erykah Badu, "When you write stuff down with a real pen on real paper, it gets real." In a nutshell it helps you feel more connected to your goals.
5. Meet or call a friend for a face to face meeting- Go old school and pick up the telephone and CALL your friends/family or better yet make plans to meet face to face for an actual conversation.
I thought about the best advice I’d ever received and I always come back to the same words:
“Just because you’re having a bad day doesn’t give you the right to take it out on everyone else. It’s not their fault.”
These words were handed to me from the branch manager at the bank where I was a teller. At the time, I was very young and had a chip on my shoulder and the words went in one ear and out the other. But over the years I recalled those words whenever I dealt with people. I never wanted to be known as the “girl with the attitude”, so I regardless to what was going on in my life I always made a conscious effort to temper my responses, remarks and attitude when dealing with other people. Even now, I try to focus on being positive, helpful and friendly. I think maintaining this type of outlook has helped me immensely throughout my life. I think we’re all on a very unique journey and we make it difficult for our fellow travelers when we project our issues on to them. Lest we forget, the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
We often spend way more time than we should in relationships that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Relationships that are actually doing more harm to our spirit than good. We offer up excuses as to why we're hanging on but the bottom line is we need to know when to let go of toxic relationships and understand that it's okay to cut those ties.
Toxic relationships can be romantic relationships, friendships or even family relationships. It's true you can't stop being someone's blood relative but you do have complete control over how much interaction you have with that person especially if they are doing you more harm than good.
How do you know if you're in a toxic relationship? Here are three tell tale signs:
1. Negativity- What type of things do you and the people you're in a relationship talk about? Do you spend your time talking negatively about other people? Does every topic end up bashing something or someone without ever anything positive to discuss? That type of vibe gets under your skin and infects your mind and spirit.
2. Competition- Do you feel you're in competition? You get a new car, they go get a new car or try to tell you why your car isn't as great as the one they bought? Do they brag on their kids and you feel compelled to do the same and one up them with the most mundane of details so that you "win". One word for your both: PETTY.
3. Lack of support- Whenever you mention wanting to do something does your spouse, friend or cousin try and tell you 5,000 reasons why it won't work but they never have any solutions to HELP you make it happen? Or if you have an event or sell a product- do they attend or purchase? If the answer is no, one reason might be jealousy.
If you are the receiver or the receivee (I think I made that word up) of any of this behavior you are in a toxic relationship and you need to either cut the other person loose or work on turning the relationship around. Otherwise you will find yourself stuck in a rut and miserable for as long as you entertain such foolishness.
I used to be a "mommy blogger". My blog name was Phenomenal Mama. I blogged about my experiences as a mom and posted cute photo's of my kids and the places we traveled. Then one day my kids asked me to stop posting pictures of them.
It made me pause and think about what I was doing. I believe I fell into mommy blogging because well, I'm a mom and I had struggles with working outside the home and then challenges when I became a SAHM, so I felt I had stuff to share and needed an outlet. But soon it all started to feel a bit staged and contrived. Every time we did something or went somewhere I tried to see how I could turn it into a blog post. It was exhausting and started to infringe upon our quality time as a family.
Also, a scary thing happens when you share so much of your life: people become really invested and they think they know you- which is fine- but they also think they know your kids, most of it is totally harmless but given the world we live in, it can still be scary.
And I totally understand that if you plan on blogging and want to build a community, you risk losing that anonymity because people want transparency. But there is soooo much more to me than being a mom. I LOVE being a mom and it brings me joy but I'm also a writer, designer, reader, etc. I just felt I wanted to explore my creative side more, so I granted my children's wishes and stopped posting about them. I rarely even post about them on social media. I figure if they are so inclined, one day they can get their own blog and share their own stories.
I have to admit I really miss the community of mom bloggers- the support I received from those ladies was amazing! But life is all about new experiences and I'm enjoying my new journey!
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”