This morning while Henry napped, I got ready as usual and then tried to decide what one or two things to tackle before I expected him to wake up a short time later. I sorted and started a load of laundry, made the bed, wrote a commercial for work, sent a few emails, then checked to see if H was still breathing or lying awake in his crib in complete quiet. Nope, just sleeping. So I pondered squeezing in the dishes, making a phone call, sending a birthday text and folding some laundry…but not before a moment of clarity and the freeing decision to rid my life of Facebook for the week.
Here’s the thing of it: Facebook is an escape mechanism for me in far too many moments of the day. By nature of its convenient access on my phone, the habit of “just checking” sneaks in between activities with HD, while I’m nursing, before I fall asleep at night and generally whenever I have more than a minute (but less than 10) of downtime. I think I do this because I like to feel connected to the outside world while I’m at home with a very small person who does not yet make conversation. Facebook provides some sort of constant news reel into the daily lives of the people around me, and while I’m not often looking for the details of what’s happening across town or in someone else’s backyard, I am interested in the things that interest others–great links to intriguing websites, photos from the last historic wedding or vacation, queries about baby things and the delight of being new parents (as so many of our friends have become in recent weeks and months). Facebook creates the opportunity to share and interact without the necessity of scheduling twelve hundred coffee dates or lunches–it connects friends who would otherwise be at a distance and bridges the communication gap in all of our busy lives. And while I’m all for coffee dates galore and lunches penciled into plenty of squares on the calendar, let’s be honest. It would be impossible to connect with all of the same people we do on Facebook in actual, face-to-face conversation…or at least it would be impossible to do so nearly as often. So, yes. I like it. Admittedly, I’ve grown perhaps a little too attached to it in the quiet that has evolved around life as a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom. I used to interact with people in person all day long. And I miss it.
But truthfully, I’ve started to feel a bit strange about the way that I’m drawn to FB on the screen as soon as I open my computer. I’d rather check my news feed than my email, would rather catch up on photos of other people’s adorable children in photo albums than scrapbook all of the pictures piling up of our own. I think maybe I’ve lost a little bit of myself in the world of social networking, and I don’t even know when it happened.
This was a sobering realization this morning as I took a little time in the quiet just to think. I occurred to me that I’m always wishing for more time to handle the million things I either want or need to accomplish. Like blogging. Reading. Journaling. Sleeping. Working. Praying. (And not in that order.) There’s just so much I need–and I do mean need, to be about right now. And Facebook isn’t one of them. Yes, I absolutely want to connect with friends. Yes, I absolutely am interested in their lives, families, worries, excitements, and status updates. But my status as a spiritually and emotionally whole person is changing because I’m constantly discouraged about all I’ve needed to fit into one day and didn’t. And yes, I totally recognize this isn’t just about Facebook.
So today has been a lot about priorities, and about ways I can begin to curb my feelings of inadequacy on various levels in my daily life. When I made the decision to shut the Facebook window this morning and to sign off intentionally for at least a week, I immediately felt my spirit lift a little bit. It was freeing. One less thing that I have to keep up on throughout the day. I allowed myself to get into a habit that wasn’t necessarily harmful, but it wasn’t productive either. And now I’m going to break it.
As I went about the next 30 or so minutes of my morning before Hank woke up (Marathon nap today, little buddy. THANK YOU!), I felt like my mind was more clear and as though God was absolutely guiding me through my time. I’ve noticed quite regularly since H was born that if I desperately need to do or finish something before he wakes up, I have just exactly the perfect amount of time to complete the task. Then Henry, as if on cue, wakes up and lets me know I’m needed–not a moment too late nor a moment too soon. I’ve believed this is God’s way of blessing me with time on each occasion. And I believe without a doubt that it happened again today. I wanted to get a certain number of things done. I said a prayer. I had my little Facebook revelation, and I got to work. Darn if Henry didn’t sleep right up until I was finished with what I needed to do. God covered me and my time this morning, and I think it’s because I let Him drive. I’m certain I didn’t arrive at the conclusion to ditch Facebook all on my own–I like it too much. Instead, I just asked God to help me find time, and He did, right in front of me. Right where I needed it. As silly as it may seem, it’s a big deal to me. Life is a whole lot smoother a ride when I don’t always insist on driving.
handing over the keys this week, and hopefully the next…and the next…