So I realize that Lent has already started and that I am much closer to Atheism than Catholicism, but I have finally figured out what I’m giving up for Lent. Even if I don’t believe in religion, I think Lent is a great time to really clean out our priorities and do some spring cleaning of our lives. This year, I’m cleaning out the negativity from my life.
That sounds pretty broad, but I’ll explain. Lately, I have been perusing Facebook a lot more than is necessary (really, is any of it necessary?!) and I have started noticing some things. There are always going to be those people that annoy you just by breathing. Honestly, to a lot of people, that person is probably me. I’m loud, I’m opinionated, and I have trouble keeping my thoughts to myself. Even when I mean well, my thoughts usually come out wrong and end up offending somebody. I’m just not good at being that person everybody likes. Case in point: I wrote a post the other day about how I’ve noticed a lot of sloppy seat belt use by parents on Facebook. Multiple parents. No one in particular, but probably 10-15 people. I’ll be honest. When Thatch was first born, I thought I had his harness done up right, and at a work function, somebody pointed out that his chest piece was not high enough. My first instinct was to tell this person, I’ll call her “Mary” just to give her a name, to stick her opinions where the sun doesn’t shine. But I readjusted it anyway. I went home, did a little research, and realized that Mary was right. So, yeah, I was mad at Mary for a split second, but then I realized she had Thatcher’s best interest in mind and was looking out for me and my family. Who could argue with that?
So anyway, since then, I have done a lot of reading on car seat safety, especially when I was shopping around for Thatcher’s next carseat (he outgrows his in about three pounds already! Eek!). I have seen countless photos of kids in carseats on Facebook lately, and I made some posts to this effect. A lot of people took it really personally, which is, I guess, to be expected. What I was really going for, though, is awareness. So if people are mad, if they spend even one extra second making sure that their kids’ seat is secure, then I’ve reached them the way that I wanted to. It just sucks that unfortunately I may have lost some friends along the way. I know for sure that Mary, who had tips for me about Thatcher’s car seat, was posting about me on Facebook with another coworker basically making fun of me and saying what a bitch I am. And, yeah, that sucks. It gets me down, really. It makes me sad that, unfortunately, I’m not great at communicating things in a “helpful” way, they always come across wrong and insulting. It’s something I need to work on.
However, this whole incident made me realize something else that I need to work on. Focusing on the positive. All this debate and arguing about car seats is really silly. I mean honestly, I’m just concerned about kids’ safety. But it turns into this huge debate. And I buy right into it. Somebody posts something because they are offended, and I argue my point right back. And it leads to this huge ordeal. And why? What is accomplished by this? The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing. Now that person probably hates me, and is never going to read any of the articles I chose especially for their information and spent Thatcher’s nap times picking out. They don’t want to hear a word I say. And now I have a new enemy. And for what?
So, here’s my Lenten vow. To end the negativity. For me, that means not following people on Facebook who get me riled up. What’s the point? If everything they do frustrates me, how about I just STOP following them? What a concept. If they want to post arguments, IGNORE them. Again, a simple concept, but something that I’ve never done.
The other thing is, I am WAY too attached to my technology. Like seriously. And I keep reading all these things about not using technology before age two, and I’m 100% invested in that… Articles like this one and this video make amazing points and have convinced me that I want Thatcher nowhere near my phone or a tablet… We already ensure that TV is never on in the same room as him.. But I am constantly on my phone, and I’m noticing that Thatcher is grabbing for it constantly. I know that there are educational apps and whatnot that plenty of people use, but for me, it’s just not an option. I am completely committed to no technology for him.. But what kind of example am I making by being on my phone 24/7?
So with these things in mind, I have deleted my Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. Yes, I will still use my tracking apps and my music, etc. But I want to be 100% committed to spending quality time with Thatch, and for me, that doesn’t include technology. I will keep Facebooking and blogging when he is napping or at nighttime when he is in bed, but even then I really want to cut down. All that social media has brought me lately is negativity. If I want to talk to people, I’d rather throw them a text while Thatch is napping and get real, personalized responses rather than a generic status that is meant for everyone on their list.
What drove this change? Funny enough, part of it is the whole car seat debacle, but part of it is something I follow online. Obviously I have mentioned Happy Soul Project before, and how we got to meet Tara, Pip and Noal last week for a segment on Global News (which is airing as we speak, but Dev and Thatch are at RSV clinic so I have to wait to watch it! Eek!). Her philosophy is basically to have a “happy soul,” hence the name… to be loving and accepting to everyone, to look for the opportunities life gives us… And in meeting her, I realized that I have become exactly NOT that kind of person. I complain about a lot of things, I spend a lot of my time miserable… and I don’t need to. That’s not who I want to be at all. When I look back at my life, I want to see all the things I did, not the things I didn’t do. I want to have so many good times I can’t even keep track of them all… and having a negative attitude will never get me there. So I want to say yes all the time. Like that stupid Jim Carrey movie but without the insanity. Obviously time with Thatcher will always come first, and his appointments will always take priority.. but for example today a friend and I took an hour out of our day and took a 5k walk in the park with our kidlets… we are doing again tomorrow. It would be easy to think of an excuse by then, but instead I am saying YES! Yes to activity, yes to friends, yes to life. Obviously we are not well off, so I can’t do a lot of costly things… but they say the best things in life are free so let’s find out! I’m thinking of it as spring cleaning for the mind, body, and soul.
So friends, I hope to be seeing less of you online, and more of you in person. I hope to be getting out of the house and living a little… or a lot! I hope to be sticking to my weight watchers plans and becoming a better, healthier person by trying new recipes, getting out and walking, and spending more time moving and less time sitting. I hope to spend so much time snuggling my little bird, instead of looking at my phone. See you on the outside ❤️