It all started with me complaining to my dear Hubby about the lack of time I had to do things that I wanted to do and that were fulfilling. Such as, sewing, crafting, decorating, baking, blogging, etc... Hubby challenged me to give up my "time wasters." He speculated that I was spending way more time than I realized gathering inspiration on Pinterest or catching up *cough*stalking*cough* with friends on Facebook.
I put off the challenge for a while (like months). I really didn't want to give up my addictions. I love looking at all the decorating, food and crafts people make and post on Pinterest. I also like feeling included and in the loop which I get from Facebook.
Truthfully I was doing a lot of "I'm feeling unfulfilled" complaining to my loving Hubs and he kept telling me that I needed to stop complaining and be proactive. I think I had gotten into a rut and was treading water right next to the dock, hoping someone would come along to rescue me when all along all I had to do was reach out to the ladder and pull myself out.
The hubby was pretty insistent that I should take a serious look at my time. He had read about a study on how social media can make people feel left out or like everyone is living awesome and fulfilling lives while we are living in our day to day boring existence. We see everyone's glamorous and fabulous lives and we forget that what we are seeing and reading is edited and Photoshopped. Not to say that our friends are lying to us over Facebook, but who is going to post something that makes them look boring and conventional.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Turns out the Hubs was right. Like really right. Like really REALLY right. Ugh! Hate it when that happens.
I was spending so much time "being inspired" by things that other people were doing that I didn't have time to create anything of my own. My time was literately being sucked away from me without me even noticing.
One of the stipulations I put in place for myself during this 30 days was that I would be very intentional with my time. I have a limited amount of focused time. That is, time that I am able to actually be working on something without being pulled on, cried at, or just generally distracted. Nap time is pretty much my only time without distractions. That's when I'm not focusing on my kids and can focus on myself for a short hour or two.
I knew that I wanted to used the time, that I was used to wasting, to do the things that I was feeling jipped of. So I made it a goal to be intentional with that nap time. Sometimes that was intentionally taking a nap myself, and sometimes that was blogging or working on a project. It truly is amazing how much better I felt about my life. Whatever it was that I chose to do with that hour or two was fine as long as it was what I was choosing to do. It was my time and I was going to choose to do with it what I wanted. Making a choice was very important because it made me the owner of my time. I wasn't a slave to it, it was mine to do with as I chose.
I very quickly started getting more done. I get some sewing in. I got art up on the walls. I played with my kids more. My house was cleaner. I was inspired by everything around me. My kids watched less TV. I went to the gym more often. I did more thrifting. I finished a book. I wrote snail mail letters to friends. I was blogging more often. I even did some serious dreaming and soul searching. In essence I found my creativity and soul again. I can't even tell you how liberating this month was for me. I felt so alive! It was an incredible experience.
There have been so many times that I want to scream: "I WAS CREATIVE BEFORE PINTEREST!" and this fast helped me prove to myself the truth of that statement. I am a creative person. I have been given gifts of creativity and I don't want to waist them. I also don't want to compare my creativity or my life to other peoples', I am who I am and I am living the life I chose. I will be free and fulfilled in that life.
I would like to challenge anyone who is feeling like their creativity has been stripped, or is stuck in the mindset that everyone is living a cooler life that you, take some time off. Its just 30 days and you will be so invigorated and feel so alive!
If you take this fast on, I would love to hear about hoe it goes for you. I know it has made a huge difference in my life and I know it could do the same for you.
If you need more inspiration:
The Innovation of Loneliness (a video)
Melissa Joy - Stop Comparing Your Behind the Scenes with Everyone Else's Highlight Reel (a great blog post)
The New Rules of Resolutions Part 4 (a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick)