Social Media Strikes Again

pheonix.jpg

I bet you saw this title and thought to yourself… again? I’m sorry to be repetitive, but social media is a big part of our lives. I am not joking when I say I spend hours on it almost every day. Maybe not a full hour consistently, but adding up every 5-10 minutes I open up Instagram and just scroll and decide to stalk a celebrity that randomly popped into my head and search thru their entire page till I’m back to 2013 and they weren’t even famous. I can be honest, every time I do this and get mindlessly lost in the app I finally close it and feel guilty. Guilt rushes over me because I think about the time I just wasted when I could have been working, cleaning the house, spending time with my daughter who is currently pulling all of the tissues out of the box because I wasn’t paying attention… shake my head.

Why do we do this?

We follow pages of beautiful women, who in turn, their page will inspire us to go on a diet or work out more than once a month. I know how much we all love paying Planet Fitness their $10 a month, but never actually go there or if we do we spend 10 minutes on the treadmill and go tan. Guilty, again.

Or how about those “Travel accounts” that encourage us to leave all your responsibilities behind and seek adventure and new places. Because it’s super realistic for us to not work and travel the world right?

We get skewed messages from these “insta models” trust me, behind the scenes they have their unpleasant moments, their bank accounts have seen better days. I’m sure they’ve had a zit here and there, or stretch marks that they won’t show us. But again, I am guilty as well, I’m not going to post an ugly picture of myself, or a picture that clearly shows my belly hanging over my jeans, because guess what!? I already know I could do a few more sit-ups now and then… but I don’t need YOU to know that too!

Now what if we were all honest about our lives though? You know how good it feels to talk to a friend who I thought had to all together judging off their social media post. But then talking to them in person, they share the struggles they are going through, like they hate their job, their boyfriend just dumped them, etc. It sounds absolutely horrible, but here I was going into a dinner date with them envious of how great I thought their life was, only to find out they’re struggling just like me or even more! I hate to even “praise” or “get excited” over their issues, but it makes ME feel better. I’m not the only one who doesn’t have it all together.

I hate that. If we didn’t skew our social media pages to only show our best pictures or coolest vacations, maybe we wouldn’t all secretly envy each other. Maybe, we wouldn’t feel so bad about ourselves if we knew the insta model we follow is busting her butt working three jobs just to maintain this “fun” lifestyle she shows us! Or maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here right now scarfing a grapefruit down because I so badly want to look like Blake Lively or my thin neighbor who posts her daily workouts and eat a breakfast that I actually enjoy!

God designed each and every one of us to be special in our own ways. We each have our own talents and set of skills that set us apart. We each are passionate about different things. Social media isn’t going anywhere and although I’d love to say I’ll start posting ugly pictures of myself just to prove a point, I probably won’t. But maybe what we can start doing for ourselves is letting go of the jealousy we feel. Maybe we can start being happy for those who share the good news on social media and recognize the greatness of our own and stop comparing. Maybe we can try letting go of the power social media has over us and learn to accept our bodies, our strengths, and skills and find praise in that alone! I’m not saying to stop following the pages that inspire and motivate you or get rid of all social media. What I’m saying is don’t let social media bring you negativity. Know that we are all going through something whether we post about it or not, no one has a perfect life. Life is what you make it, and staying positive will have a huge effect on yourself! Easier said than done, but we can all give it our best try!

Episode 10: Mother’s Day with My Amazing Mom

mom

I’m posting a day earlier than usual, but it’s just too fitting to miss out. I know you are all busy with your own Mother’s Day plans, but when you have a chance I promise you this episode is worth the listen! My mom shares her incredible story of how she entered her twenties. I already knew my mom was the strongest women I know, but after learning even more about her struggle I am more captivated and astonished. She had to escape a cult and run away to a new town with nothing but the clothes on her back. She begged for a job and a place to sleep, which gives me anxiety just thinking about. But SHE DID IT! She started a new life for herself with her faith in God that directed her paths and kept her safe when all the odds were against her. It amazes me all that she has gone through and raised us 6 kids with my dad in a loving and supportive home that I will cherish forever. I can only hope and pray I set that same example for my daughter and provide all the love and support I have had my entire life for her. Happy Mother’s Day, mom, you are truly an amazing and wonderful Mom, Mimi, and friend to us all. We love you!

The Endless Sleep Cycle

leigh

Let’s talk about our sleep patterns and how they change over the course of our life. We start out as babies and our parents do everything in their power to get us to sleep; they rock us, walk with us, put us in the car and drive around, or last resort set us in a basket on top of the dryer to get us to calm down. Then as we enter the stage of going to bed without a problem, but getting up at 6am seems a reasonable time to get up with energy levels through the roof. Finally, we enter middle school/high school and getting up is a drag, literally, our parents, at least mine, had to drag me out of bed at times. I would set several alarms, but the fact was I knew my mom would come upstairs to my room and make sure I was up, so I took full advantage of my walking/live alarm and stayed in bed till the last possible second.

Now, sleeping in our twenties… we start this journey where we have full freedom over our schedules. We are fully responsible adults to make our own decisions and our parents aren’t waking us up or helping us get to work or our college classes on time. For some, your living on your own in your early twenties and your parents can’t even keep tabs on you to know if you made it to class or work on time. You are solely on your own and it’s your choice how you want to handle your sleep schedule and your priorities. That freedom is something we sought after for years while in high school and under our parents’ roof with their rules. Entering college, where there were no “tardies” or detention slips given was amazing. If I didn’t feel like going to class that day, that was exactly what I did, I stayed in bed till I felt like getting up. Sure, there were times it hurt me and other times I was able to recap with a classmate what I missed and got everything I needed, which made choosing sleep over making it class all the more worth it. Then there was the fact that I had control over my college classes and I made sure to never schedule a class earlier than 9am. I know I am not a morning person, so I wasn’t about to force myself to get up early and have to think if I didn’t absolutely have to.

Then there were weekends, gosh, those weekends filled with friends, late night hangouts, meet-ups with that boy, or going to the bars and staying out till the last call. During this time in our lives, we may not have the energy to get up for class or sit through even a three hour night class, but when it came to fun, I could run a full night of fun till 3-4am on a two hour night of sleep if I wanted too, because it was always worth the memories made.

8-9 o’clock in the evening was usually an average time to begin making plans for the night. I would finally start getting ready and make my way to a friend’s house or first stop for the night to begin the pre-gaming around 10pm. We’d make our way downtown with friends to begin the night of fun, no one would hit the dance floor till after 11pm. The night was still so young! Finally, well past midnight, the last call would be made and we’d be at the third or fourth stop for the night and make our way out of the bar, laughing hysterically and downing our worries in vodka and lack of sleep. Before making it home, there was often the side call from some boy that would cause my drive home to be pushed in a different direction, generally a random park. Seems so dangerous to think about now, but when you are in the moment and that guy you can’t stop thinking about wants to meet up, you take it, no questions asked. Well, now I think I would have asked questions.

Staying up with the guy of your dreams, talking and maybe even making out and the naughty things your mom always told you was never wise to do after midnight. Not till hours pass do you realize it is time to get home and you are now sneaking in at 4-5 am with a full day planned tomorrow, but you don’t even mind, because the night was well worth it? You go to bed dreaming of the guy you can’t wait to see again and reliving every moment with him, his hands, his eyes, and those sweet words you shared with each other. At the moment you were high on not just the cranberry vodka, but the memories made with friends and the boy. Sigh…. Sweet dreams, twentyish.

It’s amazing how we could function the next day at a reasonable hour say 8am at work after being up till 5 because again you are still soaking in those sweet, sweet memories made from the night/early morning before. Not to say I didn’t drag at work once noon hit, but I kept my mind in the right place repeating how worth it was to stay up with “him” and not go to bed for an additional 4 hours of sleep that would most definitely come in need at about 2pm.

Not to mention, in my early twenties you could afford the nights to stay up as late as you wanted knowing you didn’t have any kids to wake you up in the middle of the night, a house to clean, or chores to do, because work was really the only other responsibility and when it was a day off we used that time to sleep. And I don’t mean like till 9 or 10, I mean we slept like we were in comas till about 1 in the afternoon! Imagine all the things I could have crossed off my to-do list by that time if I had just gotten up even two hours earlier. But no, half the time I’d sleep in and then lay in bed for about an hour after being up to just recall the night, my life and where it stood, and critique everything about it, was I happy? Did I like where it was heading? Should I be doing more? All the while still waking up and dosing in and out of sleep.

Let’s fast forward now, I just turned 28. I have a daughter who one and sleeps good some nights and others I am up at 1am, 5am, and then fully up and out of bed by 8am on a Saturday. My sleep is dictated by not only my work schedule but by this little bundle of joy that ‘stands’ 2 feet tall. Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings that she gets up at 5-6am and I’ll get up to get her bottle and as she starts to fall back into a deep sleep instead of putting her in o her crib, I sneak her into bed with me between my husband and I. I just can’t help to soak in those extra cuddles while I can, because I know soon enough she won’t want mammas arms suffocating her. If I can stay in bed till 9 on a Saturday it truly is a miracle, but I don’t think twice about getting up anymore. I look back on those days of sleeping in till whatever time I wanted and do I miss them? You bet, there are days I definitely miss them and there are days I look back and wished I used my single life sleeping patterns in different ways because of all that free time I had that I don’t have now, but God has blessed me with more now than my heart could ever imagine. You couldn’t take from me what I have now back for the world. I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s just what life does to us, we start out young and I wouldn’t say immature or irresponsible. Some things maybe I would categorize it as, but it’s the growth we have in ourselves it’s the circumstances and moments we go through to get us to where we are now.

So if you are 20-21, girl sleep, you’ll need it, your life is changing and you are growing yourself and making some sweet sweet late night memories. And as for the girl who is a first-time momma or momma to multiple kiddos, then Girl you sleep too when you can! It doesn’t matter what stage we are in, the truth is, we women are amazing and we can run on a lack of sleep whether it’s a boy were crushing on that kept us up, a friend who encourages us to stay out and enjoy the moment, or a sweet baby whose cries are still precious, it’s all apart of our life and in the moments. All I can say is our sleep patterns will change as our life does too… catch the z’s while we can. Sweet dreams, twentyish…