I’ve always been the nine-to-fiver when it has come to social media. My presence, my voice, would drop off of the face of the earth, so to speak, the moment I walked out of work, and not be seen or heard again, until I walked back in the following day.
It was never purposely planned out that way, it’s just how it has been. When I’m not at work, I’m not typically in front of my computer. My phone gets forgotten here or there throughout the house, and I end up becoming so involved in what it is I’m doing after work, I just never bother grabbing it.
In the summertime, I tend to disappear even more. Shuffling as quickly as possible, while still maintaining my superb self-expectation bar with the work I put out, through my work day so I can skip out onto the water for a paddle. Sneak home for a long run. Hit the beach with a book. The non-technology world always wins when I’m given the option between the two.
Which means: I miss a lot. But guess what? I don’t really care. And that’s not a secret. Friends will ask if I saw this person’s post on Facebook. If I heard about this or that, etc… My best friend, who lives almost two hours away, is more tuned into what is happening up here in our hometown, than I am.
But I don’t care.
I’m just over here, in my little slice of the world, doing my thing. I don’t kid when I say “You do you, I’ll do me.”
When the baby came, I found myself becoming more aware of the time I did spend on social media. It was still pretty sparse at that point. I may have posted a little more in the evenings just before he came, but that was where my work hours had shifted to. Because near that last stretch, the evening and night hours were where I functioned best.
I didn’t really need to make a mental note of when to be on and when to be off, after almost a decade, I was pretty well “trained” from my life in general. However, I was home all day for almost fourteen weeks. I knew it could be easy to slip into the “round the clock” mode. I told myself: When he’s awake, the computer is off, the phone is down. He will have my undivided attention.
And that’s how my maternity leave went. When he napped, I blogged. I hit Instagram. Checked Facebook. Browsed around on Twitter. Pinned, pinned, pinned. Until he woke up. A few times, while he was just chilling on the couch, I caught up on deleting spam mail in my work account. I blogged once.
I still had a full handle on my social media social life.
The shift came when I started work. In my effort to keep my daily hours far less than they were before the baby came, I started unplugging from the world wide web, more and more. When I would come home, I would check everything. For two weeks, I let the connection win.
Then I slammed on the brakes and came to a screeching halt. That wasn’t me. And I had always put forth the effort (unconsciously) to keep my “screen time” to a minimum. Here I was, blowing it all to hell. It wasn’t okay.
So I changed it. I changed it even more than what it was before. I’ve started calling it “Being with social media, but not on it”. I’ll look at my different social media accounts here and there throughout my work day, but I’m not scroll, scroll, scrolling to my last login point anymore. I might hit two or three hours back. Ten minutes. Maybe three times a day during the work day. Ten minutes in the evening after baby goes down for his early evening nap.
It’s been fantastic. I have gotten my balance back. Not just with time, but with life. I’ve gotten back to balancing work and my social life (you know, the REAL kind of social, where you go and meet, in-person, with friends?) alongside my fit life and family life with my husband and the baby. I’m getting better at self-care, which is the biggest kicker to this.
I’m back to pulling up my chair outside and reading. I’ve rediscovered my passion for cooking, coming up with a few new recipes over the two weeks so far the being with social media has been in place.
We are still doing yoga, still working on those poses for challenges. Some are getting videoed, yes. But fewer and fewer are, and less are getting posted for challenges. It’s summer. Here it is fleeting and treasured. My baby is growing, and I don’t want to be that parent I was starting to become the first two weeks of returning to work. I want to be that parent I have been the most recent two weeks. Present. 100%.
It took me those full two weeks to get this blog post typed up. Doing it here and there during naps, between book pages, around workouts and yoga. My levelness has returned. I’m back to “missing” things that have happened on Facebook, groups, or wherever. And it’s okay. Because that’s just not who I am.