An Actual Gift For Six Years | Happy Anniversary Mike!

Let me start by saying, this is not at all how I would expect to gift my husband for our six year anniversary. Gosh, I mean I just can’t think of any point in my life where I thought something like this would be the way to gift someone at all, and I feel really exposed and embarrassed to admit it on the blog today but openness and sharing is what makes us all connected right? Some of you will say, wow, she’s got a real issue! And some of you…undoubtedly you exist and are reading this right now, you’ll say me too. You’ll feel an ache when it hits you…what you already know but maybe haven’t come to terms with yet. You are totally and utterly consumed by the thing that sits by your side and stays in your hand most of your days. No matter how much convenience is provided, how much of a life tool or business tool is serves as…it’s just becoming such a problem. Your phone.

You’re not even looking up anymore. You watch a movie and miss half of it. You start reading a book, or at least get through two pages and you’re back on your phone for SOME reason.

Here’s the worst of all….

If you don’t have your phone, your daughter brings it to you because she thinks you need to keep it with you always.

Holy crap that hurts me. I’m not trying to be dramatic but I truly am ashamed of that. I have horrible tightness in my chest knowing this blog has to go live tomorrow and you’ll read it, but it’s just important to get out and be honest.

I started reading Loving My Actual Life recently… and thank you firstly Alexandra for writing that in a fashion where busy moms can pick it right back up if they have to put it down abruptly like we often do. Secondly, it’s a life changer. This incredible mama of four girls runs a self-made nine month experiment where she will learn to focus on one topic each month from meals to passions to home organization and I just have to say, she nailed it. This woman is not super human, she’s just a regular human being who “can only do what she can do” as she mentions and she has the biggest most beautiful heart. In reading this book, and ENJOYING sooo much reading a book instead of my phone, I knew I needed to change my life with the phone consumption taking over my minutes, hours and days.

The topics are simple and generally universal. I realized I wanted to spend more time on a couple of these topics specifically, like meals (I hardly cook and I’m terrible at it, but tonight I made an AMAZING dinner and enjoyed knowing what we were having, making it, sitting down together and eating it and having leftovers!) and creativity. I can’t make more time in my own life for who and what matters if I’m a self-imposed slave to my phone.

I made this dinner!! WAHOOO!! 🙂 The mashed potatoes are homemade – literally not lying. Please believe me hahaha!

I can’t blame anyone but myself. I make the choice to pick up the phone and look at it. I make myself TOO available (something I’m just now realizing this past couple of months when our correspondence has generally tripled from this time last year) and I am a little too open/accessible sometimes to the wrong people and situations out of the fear of not being liked or being judged for not giving some people (even complete strangers) my time and attention. There is something very eye opening recently to me about the fact that people can tell me they want or need something, write a big reason or plea, I tell them I’m not available or can’t work that out for them and then I get a a couple of words, maybe two sentences back, but no thank you in any form at all. I took time from my family and other business priorities to give an answer because I feel like I have to but I have to be honest, part of me understands why some people don’t take time to answer every single email now if it doesn’t pertain to their current clients or isn’t a solid inquiry. Sometimes, I am not kidding, I get a message from someone that they have messaged me and not a day has gone by. It’s not urgent, it’s not even from a close friend or family member, sometimes I get messages about messages. I feel SO pressured and rushed to answer things to please people but the fact of the matter is I don’t have to feel that way. I’m actually in charge of when I respond, how, how often I check the inbox, etc…and with the intense amount we’ve gotten this year (WHAT A BLESSING!! Not complaining, so don’t get us wrong! And email us if you want to, you know you’re gonna get lots of happy faces and exclamation points back!!:)) we know that we have to answer by priority and at a healthy pace. We don’t want you rushing emails back to us, so we give grace and understand that your life, well being and careers come first, too!

What’s the gift to Mike?!?! I’m not going to be on social media for our ENTIRE anniversary weekend….isn’t it crazy that two days would seem like so much to me? If you’re like me…you get it. You understand that it’s actually going to be very, very difficult. I’ll itch for it, I’ll feel like I’m missing out. I’ll feel like come Monday I need to scroll for 20 minutes backwards on Instagram to “catch up” but you guys I am soooo going to live through this! We’re already going through a plan to figure out how to strategically plan more social media posts (the way we do with blogging and pre-blogging!) and have more intentional ones that we feel like we just NEED to share with the world, the ones that just make us too happy to hold in. But, the days of sitting, scrolling and making it a habit to fill in the very short and frequent pauses in the day, the way I use it as an avoidance before starting the dishes or laundry need to change. Why not take that moment, even if it’s 3 minutes and just sit? Just read a couple pages from my book? Just listen to the cicadas chirping out of our door, one of my favorite noises. To go and hug one of the girls whether she likes it or not and not let go of her until I’ve kissed her 25 times.

What else could you be doing instead of scrolling?

Do you see how this may be negativity impacting your life?

Could you benefit from a little weekend breather/challenge too?

So, the biggest issue isn’t what I post or how often, it’s mostly the excessive correspondence via social media and also the fact that I’m “filling in” holes in the day with just automatically picking up and scrolling just to “do something”.  I’m definitely going to document the ways and strategy that work best to start using social media again in a more healthy and structured way mostly for business and for keeping up with people I care about and their stories! I am determined to beat the way I’ve become so consumed and instead create a little more intentionality and scheduling when it comes to social media. I’ll put the fun back into it by limiting when I’m on and making the most of the limited time I spend on it!

I’m not making an empty promise that I’m going to become the queen of social media and life balance. I’m just going to do what I do with every aspect of my business and life when it goes haywire…I’m going to make a plan, schedule, list and Trello the hell out of that bad boy. Yep! I’ll have to come up with a structured way to discipline myself to not spend too much time on the interwebs. And when I come up with it, you bet your biscuits I’ll share it with you and hope to help you, too 🙂

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MIKE, you get my full attention and you get me social-media-less and you love me enough to have that be a pretty big deal 🙂 Oh and this is not me being cheap and not wanting to buy him a gift…we really are only going out to eat because we have a big NYC trip planned for our birthdays!!

**Pictures on the phone will continue to always be taken though…you know I can’t let that one slide, ever 😉

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    Love this! I’ve started checking social media only during business hours, once on Saturday, and then never on Sundays (unless it’s a quick wedding post). It has made the world of difference in my heart and my marriage! I know you’ll find your rhythm, too 🙂

    1. I like that!! Mike and I were working on coming up with something similar to how you’re doing it too! Certain hours or times we could and couldn’t be on there, thank you for sharing that– that helps big time!!! 🙂

  2. Amanda,

    I loved the realness of this post! I can relate SO much to that feeling! It’s hard not to want to send a response right then and there and when you try to grow your business you just want to catch every inquiry before you lose them. BUT! The feeling of getting time to yourself and relaxation from the world and what it wants from you is such a refreshing feeling! You go girl! I’m sure you rocked it and I hope y’all enjoyed your anniversary :)!!!

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