Despite the fact I do not follow a Catholic faith, I decided to partake in Lent this year. I was raised Catholic, but I have moved towards more of a relaxed Christian faith that I am happy with. Still, I have participated in Lenten fasts in the past, but this year was different. This year I genuinely wanted to give up something to challenge myself on more of a mental and spiritual level, rather than a physical one.
This year, I have given up social media.
My blog has never been a space where I can escape from reality, so my presence here is “allowed” and encouraged. Instead I have given up Instagram and Facebook, one of which I can easily get lost on for hours looking at photos from strangers I will never meet. Initially I thought this would be difficult. I thought my addiction to the mindless escape of scrolling on Instagram would be a painful missing piece of my mental distraction repitour, but what I have found has been the complete opposite.
Rather than curling up in a corner scratching at my face for the next fix, I am more present on here. I am more present with myself, I am writing more, and I feel calmer. My eating habits have been more balanced, my mood has been stable, and my sleep has been better. I’ve spent more time reflecting on deep thoughts as well as superficial “fun” thoughts.
Thoughts that have inspired this post. Thoughts of random things I am enjoying lately. Let’s dive in, shall we?
- I am enjoying wearing a Garmin watch without the obsession.
I will forever have a soul tie to my OG Garmin Forerunner 110, but he is no longer with us. I bought that watch in 2011, and we made it through many, many runs together. What I loved most about the 110 was the fact that it didn’t have any bells and whistles. No calorie counts, no step counts, no heart rate counts, it was just a watch that turned into a GPS when you asked it to.
I have avoided a new Garmin because of the bells and whistles. As someone who struggled with an exercise addiction and disordered eating it can be hard to separate from that extra data. If the day of movement wasn’t perfect it was bad news. So I stopped wearing anything, I stopped tracking movement, and I did the unthinkable – I intentionally gained weight and spent many days inactive. I truly believe this temporary hiatus helped me to have a more balanced approach to exercise.
I now use a Forerunner 45, one of the more basic watches with just the right amount of bells and whistles. RIP to Gary my Forerunner 110 shown below.
- I am enjoying new work skillz.
I finally know how to change my own bike tire/tube. I’ll never forget the time I got a flat tire years ago. It was my rear tire aka the “entering Mordor tire” with regard to taking it on and off. I was successful in getting the tire off, took it into REI to fix, and everything was going great. Until I couldn’t get the tire back on.
I accepted my failures and asked one of my neighbors for his help, a neighbor I had never spoken to in my life. I knew he rode bikes so I figured it was worth it to ask. He was most helpful, and as a thank you I baked him (and his family) cookies and gave them a pound of coffee (back when free coffee was up to my neck.) I left it on their porch and never heard anything.
I hope his wife didn’t think I was hitting on him. Awkward.
- I am enjoying spending money.
Hear me out on this one…I am one of the most frugal people you will ever virtually meet. I hoard my money like I am preparing for some kind of apocalypse, and it’s honestly a bit ridiculous at times. I rarely if ever buy myself something, and it takes me a long time to justify a purchase unless I “need” it. Although “need” is such a relative term.
I refuse to fall prey to consumerism, but I have been spending more money on myself lately. Buying nicer hiking gear, buying an extra pair of shoes, the aforementioned Garmin, etc.
I will never forget something a small southern man I used to work with in Germany told me. We were talking about my frugality one day, and I was telling him about all the ways I tried to cut costs while traveling (like using a hostel pillowcase for a towel, perks of short hair), and he looked at me and said: “you cannot take your money to the grave.”
Ever since then I’ve been more mindful about letting myself live a little. I can’t take it to the grave.
- I am enjoying my obsession with “Happy Healthy Hippie – Go With The Flow Hormone Balance.“
If you have been around these parts for a while, you will know I have a bit of a “crunchy granola” approach to most things in my life. I avoid pharmaceuticals, I rarely wash my hair, I spent an entire summer without wearing deodorant, I try to eat mostly whole foods, and shaving my legs is an afterthought to…everything.
When my menstrual cycle returned after being gone for five years, I knew something was still off. My hormones were ALL OVER the place. Being the professional obsessor that I am, I spent far too much time on the Google trying to find out what was going on, until one day I decided I had to do something because my PMS symptoms were taking over my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but I am completely serious.
No this post is not sponsored, however it SHOULD be. This blend is literally just a mix of herbs so I knew I had nothing to loose. And let me tell you…I have lost nothing and GAINED some of my sanity back.
- I am enjoying winter hiking.
I never imagined I would be someone who enjoyed hiking in the winter months. As someone who struggles with Raynaud’s I tend to avoid being outside in cold temps for long periods of time. Not only have I enjoyed winter hiking, my extremities have not fallen off like I anticipated they would.
My hiking pals and I took a trip to the Hoh Rainforest last week, a place I hadn’t visited since I was 17. The last time I took a trip to the Hoh was for a team building weekend with my dad and a group of others who were all planning a trip to Mexico for a mission trip. All I remember from 17 year old Brittany’s experience was hating the five mile hike to our camp site, hundreds of thousands of black slugs, and being stuck with people I didn’t mesh with.
Ultimately the mission trip was amazing, and it was all worth while.
Now that I am an adult, and I enjoy hiking, five miles in (and five miles out) is no big thing. We hiked (or rather walked, this area is very flat) to “Five Mile Island” where we enjoyed some snacks and views before heading back. Lush green trees, mossy rocks, waterfalls, ferns large enough to engulf an elk, and rivers rushing loud enough to lull any white noise lover to sleep.
Worth the three hour drive, five hour walk, and three hour drive back.
Life without social media feels good. I am reading more, I am listening to amazing music, I am daydreaming about people and places and adventures to come. When Lent comes to an end I plan to be more intentional with my time spent online. Life feels good right now, and I am enjoying this whole “one day at a time thing.”
After all, today is all we have.
Q: Have you ever taken a significant break from social media?