The Other Part of Me

It’s been 2.5 years since we had our first child. It’s been 1 month since we had our second. We have started doing the normal, everyday domestic things like managing our own house, cooking, and cleaning. We have to have a regular schedule throughout the week now since our first child does go to school and classes on a weekly basis. Even when I have a break, I just want to sit and binge watch some laid-back Netflix show. The only other things I think about doing during a break is catching up on sleep.

Let’s put it this way: it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about me. And I don’t mean in the way that I want to do something and haven’t had a chance. I mean in the way where I think about where I am in life.

Suddenly, my days were just about getting things done and taking care of my family. Everything started to become a routine. I was just trying to get somewhere on time, cook dinner, get laundry done, and get the kids to sleep so I could spend some time with my husband (that is, if one of us hadn’t already passed out from pure exhaustion). My entire goal for the day is to just get through it.

What about me though? I danced, I read, I wrote, I analyzed my life and tried to be grateful for everything that I’ve been fortunate to have. I stopped doing all of that. When I had a spare moment, I went on Facebook and just read the articles that popped up there. I occasionally danced for a friend’s wedding. I completely stopped writing. And I haven’t even thought about keeping a positive mindset or about what I am grateful for.

With all of the things going on in this world, I decided I needed to take a break and read something else rather than the articles on Facebook. I picked up the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive from my bookshelf and am currently trying to read a couple of stories of it when I have a few spare moments.

It has made me realize that I haven’t thought about myself. My passions have taken a backseat currently. It’s not that I’m not enjoying the things I am doing now. It’s just that there is so much more to me than just being a mom and wife. There are things that make me feel alive in a different kind of way. I don’t want to resent not nurturing my passions. I want to feel more. I want to be aware of more.

Writing this post is a promise that I am making to myself to bring this part of me back to life.

Why It’s Time To Take A Facebook Break

Yesterday, I wrote a post where I was wondering who I am.

Today, I realized the best course of action would be to take a break from Facebook.

I love Facebook for so many reasons, the main one being that I can keep in touch with my friends and family from all over the world. It allows me to be a part of everyone’s lives even when I’m not able to see or talk to those people regularly. I also get to be a part of so many different groups and have been able to make friends via social media throughout the world.

But, on the flip side, it’s not real. We only see what people want us to see. It’s not a bad thing to be able to celebrate the good times and experiences that others have until things aren’t always where you want them to be in your life. Then, you end up focusing on what you imagine to be their perfect lives to be like and how imperfect your own life is.

You forget to see the good happening in your own life. You forget that the lives of others aren’t perfect either. And when social media becomes a negative instead of a positive aspect of your life, it might be time to step away from it. It might be time to put Facebook, Instagram, Twitter in the corner while you figure out what is important to you and your life.

This is where I’m at right now. I want to be able to focus on me again. I want to focus on my family. I don’t want to sit and obsess about the lives of other people and how it seems so much more exciting than mine.

This isn’t the first Facebook break I’ve taken. I had to do this in 2012 when I felt like a part of my life was just not moving in the direction I wanted it to go. It helped me tremendously. It felt great to refocus my energy off of social media and back onto myself and the people I love. I was able to shift my mind towards the things I wanted to accomplish instead of just feeling bad when others accomplished something. I was able to be happy for my friends when good things happened to them instead of just jealous that they weren’t happening to me.

So, in my efforts to shift my energy in a direction that I can be proud of, I have decided to take a break from Facebook.

 

A New Mom Reclaiming Her Life

We all talk about how you shouldn’t lose yourself when you get into a new relationship. We work so hard to maintain our individuality while merging into a relationship so that we still feel independent but can enjoy the aspects of spending time with a partner as well.

Well, what happens when you have a baby? As a new mom, I found myself really losing who I was.

Even before I had the baby, I didn’t recognize myself. I define my self worth by what I do (and if I really do it well). I had been working for the last 8-9 years and I had been dancing for a really long time and finding peace and happiness in that. But, as soon as I was a few weeks pregnant, I left my job due to the distances I was driving and I wasn’t allowed to do any other physical activity other than walk due to doctor’s orders. It was really hard for me. I still did see my friends but a lot of the activities I used to do were limited.

After I had the baby, there was obviously the time I needed to heal and get used to having a baby around. So that’s all I was doing for the first few months. But it was hard. You give yourself so entirely to this little human being. All of a sudden, the only label you have is mom. All of the other things you were disappear. At least, that is how I felt.

I’ve never been able to function in a one dimensional sense. Even though I worked in one profession, I was involved in so many other activities that really helped my life be well-rounded. So this was really a difficult way for me to live. There are women who fit so easily into the mother role and make themselves so well-rounded within that role. I’ve seen moms who plan activity after activity for them and their babies and it sounds amazing. I wish I could do that. But, after a recent breakdown, I realize that it’s not me. I need certain things in my life for me to feel like myself. And feeling like myself is the best thing I could do for my child.

I felt guilty wanting to be back in the workforce or wanting time to myself. I still haven’t gotten up the courage to have a girls night out without my baby. I want her to be with me at all times. But I have taken steps to reclaim who I was. I joined a gym and get an hour workout in a day which has done wonders to my self-esteem. I am looking to find other moms to hang out with. I have a found a new dance class that I’m really excited about. I also have taken steps to see if I can find a job that fits a schedule that would allow me to be home for my child whenever I want.

As much as I really wish I could do the stay at home mom thing with great joy, I know it’s not me. I need to find the things that help me feel like me so that I can really show my baby my best self, the person that I’m proud of, the person I want her to be proud of.

Technology vs. People

My cousin posted the below article a few days ago.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673020/in-20-years-we-re-all-going-to-realize-this-apple-ad-is-nuts

It did get me thinking about our use of technology today. How many of us have to be so entertained at all times that we are always playing games or scrolling through Facebook on our phones? I found myself doing it this past weekend while away with my husband. And hated myself for doing it.

We made a decision yesterday to actively not engage with our technology while in the presence of others. We could only look up things on the internet if it was to research something we were already discussing but only to look up that point. It forced us to really talk to each other or sit with each other in silence. We want to learn how to not depend on technology as an alternate form of friendship.

A lot of us do this. We put so much of our lives out on social media that we forget that these used to be pieces of information shared with people through interaction. We don’t actually have to talk to anyone anymore and we still feel like we have friends and can still know what’s going on in the world at any given time. We use technology to distract ourselves instead of putting ourselves out there. I know I would rather sit on my phone than have to take the risk to talk to a new person. I’m not comfortable just making small talk. It’s definitely easier to ignore someone. And my phone helps me do that. I really need to learn how to talk to someone new again.

I’m not saying that technology is all bad. How can I when I use it to put my own blog out there? What I am saying is that stepping away and taking breaks from it may not be a totally bad thing. Learning how to sit with ourselves or even others in silence might help us to really be at peace with ourselves. The art of conversation will once again be something that we know how to create.

How Do You Break Out of That Funk?

Yesterday, I had a friend text me. She was going through something I have way too much experience with. There is a point where you feel like you’re alone and nothing is going right and you have no idea how to get out of it. It’s a hard feeling to break out of and it definitely takes a lot strength to do it. 

When it feels like you aren’t headed anywhere and that no one understands you, it’s important to try to remember that this is how you feel in the moment. It will pass. As someone once told me “it will get better”. Then, it’s good to distract yourself with something that will at least temporarily alleviate that feeling. A few things that work for me are reading through inspirational stories on a few websites (makesmethink.com, The Secret website), communicating with people, and some sort of exercise. Trying to picture my future,writing, and making gratitude lists also help a lot. 

Emotions often cloud our common sense. And while it’s definitely a good thing to be in touch with what you are feeling (it’s what makes us human), it does help to put things into perspective where you know that this is something temporary. I really respect those that are eternally optimistic. It must be amazing to always have hope and feel that way. I also know that I am not that person. I have the days where I can’t imagine that anything is going to get better. It’s hard because my logical brain tells me things have already gotten better for me. I just need to recognize and appreciate them. 

Yesterday, I made a wish. I wished that I could appreciate all the positive things in my life. And that’s my goal. There are things that could improve but there are so many things that are already the best they could be. I have to trust that the things that need improvement will get better because I want them to, because I work hard at appreciating everything else. 

Getting out of that funk isn’t going to happen because the world owes you something. Getting out of it is going to happen because you owe it to yourself. Enjoying life is something we should do seeing as we only have one (unless you’re Hindu and reincarnate). So try to enjoy the little things today. Try to see the good in the madness of this world. And share it with the person next to you. Sometimes, all it takes to change gears, is someone acknowledging that you’re there. 

My Perfect Facebook Life

How many of you go onto Facebook day after day and see everyone’s perfect life on there? Everyone is always happy and smiling and traveling and graduating and getting married and having kids. Can I just say that this drives me absolutely insane?

It doesn’t bother me that everyone is happy. It bothers me that it might not be completely the truth.  It’s some sort of weird vicious cycle. Why would people put their misery on a public forum? At the same time, come on, people’s lives aren’t that perfect. We all go through crap. If you look at my Facebook page, would you have ever imagined that I’ve probably been through some sort of hell over the last month? Maybe a little bit since I occasionally do throw out less than ideal posts. But not often.

Has anyone else had to take Facebook breaks? Am I the only person who works a regular 8 hours job with a crappy commute? I couldn’t stand seeing that no one else worked and just traveled to all of these exotic places all the time. Those people who do work had the best jobs that sent them on the most interesting travels as well. Yeah, you can say I get tired of it every so often. Maybe some of it is jealousy that my life doesn’t seem to look like that. I look at profiles and then I look at my profile and I try to figure out if my life looks as great as theirs.

So how do we reconcile this? I wouldn’t mind seeing some honesty. If something is wrong in this world, shout it. If you feel that something needs to change, voice that. I understand that we can’t say everything, that there needs to be some privacy, especially since a lot of us do use Facebook as a marketing tool and don’t want to announce everything to the outside world. At the same time, if we can share our personal wedding and baby pictures, why can’t we share a few honest thoughts every so often? I really would like to see a person, not an image.