In the Quiet, In the Crowd

You might have noticed I took a unannounced break from my weekly blog posts. At least, I hope you noticed. There was not a planned reason for this, but I realized that I had added so much noise to my life recently that I needed to eliminate some.

Not physical noise, mental noise.

The kind of noise that is not specific to anything. The kind that is not discernible. It is just there. That low hum of a screaming crowd. The rushing of constant chatter that never stops.

Over the past few months, I started a new job which caused me to adjust my daily schedule. I have been helping my son transition through new stages as we gear up for his second birthday. Big boys do not suck their thumbs, after all. We pack our house and moved in with my husband’s parents. Two families in one house is enough to make anyone crazy. I started a new workout program centered around an online community. I also adjusted my diet and grocery shopping habits. We started going to church. All of this was added on top of the stuff already in my life including my blog, my Etsy store and my social media accounts.

None of these things seem like much to do on their own, and they are all positive changes! But compounded, it means there is always something I am doing. Something I am planning. A list I am making. An article I am formulating. A pep talk I am having. Mental noise.

I am very much a hobbiest and a busy body. No, not a busybody. A busy body. I like to be engaged in something. Sitting still is not relaxing for me. That is when the noise is the loudest. I always have multiple project in one stage or another. If I do not, I am searching for one.

As much as I love it, it is draining – emotionally, physically, and mentally. Something had to go. At least for a minute.

I felt like social media was the best place to start. I cleaned house on my Facebook. I left all my groups that I felt compelled to keep up with. Yes, even my beloved AppleCheeks cloth diaper group. I took a break from my carefully curated Instagram posts. I told myself it was ok to let the blog sit quietly for a few weeks. I just needed a rest.

When was the last time you took a rest? Have you ever taken a break from all the noise? I know, you can’t just NOT plan dinner, or stop looking after your littles, or call out of work for no apparent reason. But what about the things you can silence? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. As much as I love and use my social media, it is so incredibly loud.

I give you permission to make your social media what you need it to be. Unfollow the friends who makes you roll your eyes. Unfriend the person who constantly makes you angry. Block the family member who is always aggressive towards you. Remember, it is not them, it is you! You do not owe it to them to hear from them everyday. If they are not good for you, remove them.

I have a college acquaintance that I blocked because everything he posted was grotesque and I would see them through other friends’ pages. I have family members that I have blocked because our Facebook relationship was not uplifting to me. I once even unfollowed a friend who was doing incredible things with her life because looking at her just made me jealous and made me wish I had her life! That is so toxic! It was not anything against these people personally. It is not about them. It is about me and what I need. I needed to take a break from comparing my life to hers.

It is about YOU and what YOU need! You need to surround yourself with people who make you feel at peace. Who remind you that your life is beautiful. Who make you feel lifted up rather than torn down. Who encourage your quiet rather than add to your noise.

Last July I took a month long hiatus from all social media. I logged out of all my accounts, and deleted all apps from my phone. It was, perhaps, the best thing I could have done for myself. I still sent my family updates on my life. I still sent my parents pictures of C as he grew. It almost forced me to connect with my family on a more personal level. I had to intentionally reach out to each of them rather than blanket-posting on Facebook and waiting to see who saw it. It was what I needed. It gave me a little bit of quiet.

Until I can learn to block it out, I needed to eliminate the source of it.

Recently I have turn off data use for the aps on my phone so I am not as tempted to use them in the car, at the grocery store, or while waiting in line at the DMV. Instead, I take them time to quiet my mind and just do the one thing I am there to do, even if that one thing is just quietly waiting. Even playing candy-crush to pass the time creates unnecessary mental noise!

Just be still – body and mind.

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