I decided this year during the run-up to Christmas I was going to take a hiatus from Social media. Every year social media platforms are jam-packed full of personal festive posts. There is so much love and happiness documented, it is such a joyous time that I genuinely look forward to it without fail every year. I love to see people happy and I love to share my own stories, I am definitely one of the first to start sharing the yuletide excitement for all to see. However, this year being a new Mum it has really given me a lot of food for thought on how I want to shape certain events for my family. For me, it was really important for this year to be a very intimate occasion, I wanted to close the metaphoric curtains just for a few days and experience what Christmas would be like without inviting the rest of the world into it. Not having to worry about capturing a great story post or the perfect picture to share. Obviously, my husband was the cameraman for those days as we definitely wanted to capture memories and send these out later, but my point being was I just didn’t want to take time away in writing and posting pics that could be done after. I wanted to cherish every second of those few days and devote all of my time to it. So I messaged my nearest and dearests and put a sign up saying shop shut until the 27th!
Phone off, now what? To me, it was a really strange feeling for the first 6 hours not having that little friendly light-up screen on hand. I don’t sit on my phone all day, every day as I have a lot going on but I use my phone for practically everything. Banking, shopping, Google, Social Media and even writing my blog posts. It has become in its own right a lifeline. Using devices such as mobiles and tablets has become so second nature that when they are no longer an option or near, you feel slightly lost and out of synch. It has become life, even my 86 year old Nana is on Facebook (which I am still impressed with). My Son will never experience a world without screens or the internet so he may never be able to relate to this but you slip into a different frame of mind. Suddenly you have time and what feels a lot more of it. Normally if I have a spare second I’m looking something up on the internet that I needed to figure out 3 weeks ago. Or I am checking in with friends and family, so there is always something to be doing on that little handheld helper. But I can’t recommend doing a digital detox enough, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t an “enlightening experience where I found myself”. But what I did gain was being able to be very present with my family over that time. To be fully 100% engaged in what was happening and not missing out on the little things. Watching every expression and emotion that my Son was going through was pure joy, watching my husband enjoy his time with him it was preciouses. Having conversations that I probably wouldn’t have had if I had been sat checking out everyone else’s profiles whilst there were 5 minutes of downtime. It was really fun, I have some wonderful memories of this Christmas and probably a few more than I bargained for from taking that time out.
What also came with that time out for me was reflection. Which is one of my all-time faveourite things to do, sit and reflect on the past and how that has shaped the present and what can one take into the future from that knowledge. I thought about 2017 and what an interesting journey it has been. Being pregnant, giving birth, watching my Son and our family grow so well together. I have been extremely fortunate and lucky to have met some of the most incredible people, old friendships and family relationships have blossomed to higher new levels. Even not commuting has been up there in the top 10, but there have also been regrets or as I like to call them life lessons. I have not been kind enough to myself, I have tried to keep up with life and with a newborn, it’s just not possible (for me anyway). I’ve berated myself for not eating well, not being able to leave the house some days. Having zero energy constantly! Your time is no longer your own and any snippet that you can get for yourself is so precious that it needs to be used wisely for you. But being so tired it takes a lot of energy to even think about what you can do for you. Fellow Parents, we need to give ourselves a break and be much kinder not only to ourselves but to each other. It is so tough and I take my hat off to anyone with kids, you’re all super heroes in my eyes. It was one of my realisations earlier in the year that made me want to start this blog because we do need to try and find a way of being kind in this community and also as individuals, putting ourselves first. We can’t help those who need us if we are constantly running on empty. I burn out so quickly because I haven’t mastered the art of saying no, although I am quite close to it! I’m always sick or feeling so low on energy that I just can’t do it anymore. It’s time to take accountability and start really putting myself first, even if it’s the smallest thing I can think of. A cup of tea, a piece of fruit over that thins biscuit, listening to my fave song. Doing something that doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time but the sole purpose of that action is for me and me only. In fact, I am so passionate about this idea that I am dedicating the next year to doing this. For those that know me, know I love a challenge. So I am going to up the ante and get serious, 365 days of doing something that is solely dedicated to the purpose of me, to make me feel good as an individual and to make sure I am being looked after before looking after everyone else. It’s not about finding something whacky or creative each day to post, it really is about doing something that is going to make me feel like I haven’t come last again in the order of the day. It’s about making better choices for me, physically and mentally and for some parts perhaps spiritually as well. But if I can get myself feeling good and regenerated again then that can only mean better things are going to happen, and for 2018 really that’s all I want.
On that note, I would love to take this opportunity to wish you the very best for 2018. May the next year ahead be filled with joy, happiness, safety and much love. If anyone wishes to take inspiration from this whether it’s an odd day here and there or a full 30 days etc, you can join me on Instagram #365memyselfandi. I’m slightly anxious and excited- bring it on!