I am what I like to call an extroverted introvert, and hopefully this is going to make a little sense to you. Basically, I am fairly “social” when I’m out, but I prefer to be in and at home. I love getting wind down time and chilling out after being out of the house at a social event, a conference, work obligation, etc…but sometimes I almost retreat back into a little shell, as if it was all too overwhelming for me. I wasn’t always like this, though! I used to have an easier time coming home and not feeling really wound up from “too much interaction” for lack of a better term…but nowadays I find myself with a little anxiety from being so physically vocal (versus typing) and I kind of blame all of this on TWO things:
Social Media, obviously..and being a mom. Now, I don’t mean BLAME negatively! I’m not knocking social media or motherhood. Both of those things are great and one is an amazing business and communication tool while motherhood is the absolute greatest gift in the entire world. But, constantly using social media as my primary source of communication with most of my friends and colleagues starts to disconnect me from human interaction and I literally become TIRED from it. That’s a crazy phenomenon, right? But I have no problem admitting it because I know I’m not alone, I hear moms talking about this all the time…they’re home with their babies so often that they forget how to converse with adults or how to be in adult company, this is a real thing, people!
So obviously social media is a gift in many ways and a wonderful tool I wouldn’t be willing to scale back on too much…I love using it for my business as a marketing tool, and for keeping up with my friends evolving lives including graduations, new homes, big moves, new pets and babies. But…I can’t let that be everything. I can’t be satisfied with my adult interaction experience ending via Facebook and Instagram, even ending at texts and emails! There needs to be more. I want to see my friends faces! And the funny this is, at this conference I’m at right now..I keep mentioning “it’s so good to see you” when I hug my friends and what I mean by that is…really, it’s good to SEE YOU. In person. And talk to you, in person! And give you a real hug versus a virtual one. So what can I do about this?
I don’t want to come home exhausted from being social. I don’t want to keep watching time go by over and over without seeing you, my friend, in person.
Ironically I’m texting my friend Misty as we speak and we’re trying to figure out a date to get together. The problem is, our calendars are SWAMPED. We live almost 2 hours away from each other and we have five kids between the both of us. So what did I recommend? What do I ALWAYS do as a business owning mama balancing life and photography? PLAN IT. Way in advance. And we’re accepting that may just need to be a “thing” for us. Scheduling a date like booking a session or wedding, because it just so happens that it may be the only hope we have in seeing each other to get together for a fun family day of watching our girls laugh and grow together. Does it feel like a transaction or business relationship doing this? No! And it’s because Misty gets it…she suffers from the same “when the heck can I fit this in” as I do. And although we text all the time and “talk” all the time, there is nothing like in person hugs, interaction and company. Our kids can’t play together via social media. I need to be her in company, so we’re going to make this happen!
If you feel like you sink a little into a friend and social interaction rut sometimes, you aren’t alone. I love my children (it’s kind of obvious, right?!:)) but I also crave community and conversation on an adult level and need that in order to continue growing as a person, a mother, a friend, a contributor to my industry. Even if you have to text your friend at 6am to schedule something a month or two away from now, just do it! It’s better to have known you’ve tried than to keep letting time continue to get away from you and missing out on the priceless experience of being in someone’s company.