being more present | on social media balance | olive june

being more present | on social media balance

{'vintage' nelle- she was happy, had a wild imagination, and loved her momma }

lately, i see our world changing more than i ever thought it would. we are pondering and questioning and ridiculing one another more and more all the time. so much. and it really saddens me. i feel like i have started to re-evaluate my life and lifestyle so much more after becoming a new mom in january. things are not the same as when i was brought into the world and i want to try and make the best out of the current circumstances for my son. so here i am with my feet in a big ole' puddle, able to see the ripples stream towards the edge. here i am, wading and wondering and letting life wash over me like the sweet balm it is, while i write this letter to you and to myself. 

because we can't guarantee tomorrow, i am striving to make my legacy as a mom the very best that i can- every day. there are so many things and times that i will mess up, but above anything else, i want to try to be present; to listen to my children. i never want to intentionally fail them. over the course of the last few years, i feel like my outer world has taken over my inner world. through the lens of social media, i feel like i have been able to read and see so much more of the world; however, another part of me sees it pushing me into a corner; a corner where i do not want to be- while taking me down a path in life that i do not want to go. we sadly live in a world where everyone around us is looking down and not at one another-- phones are out at dinner, at special events like weddings, and people expect an immediate text/email response. honestly, i do not want my kids to remember me as someone who was always on her phone, but i also really want to stay connected. it's a lot of pressure for a young mom who wants to soak in the baby days. you don't get these days back and i love, love these baby days. therefore, i yearn for a healthy balance. 

look back at your childhood? what comes to mind? for me, it was chores and constant adventures- bike rides and sour patch kids and swimming and boat rides and playing with the neighbor kids - forts and circuses by day and lighting bugs and 'ghost in the graveyard' by nightfall. we made messes... puffy paint and milkshakes and growing tomatoes with mom. i feel like i am slowly detaching from the family lifestyle that i adored so much as a little girl ... and parks is only four months old. i don't know about you, but i am beyond thankful that there were no cell phones. no one can ever question how much fun we had; constantly putting tattoos on that town. i realize technology {and i do love it} has taken over and it's now the 21st century {times are a changin'}, but i desperately want to live in the moment more; i want to be present. instead of scrolling and clicking keys all day long {balance is key, of course!} i want to live in the quiet moments with my son and take in the milestones; the smells, the giggles, the small touches. {i refuse to be on my phone when i feed him- that time is too precious... but when i pump- bring on the iphone! *i consider it my special treat for that task!}

sometimes this time on social media is inspiring and influential and sometimes it leaves me feeling disoriented; left in a muck. and sometimes i wonder about all of the things that people are missing out on while they are engrossed on social media/cell phones. when i go back to where i was raised; a midwestern landscape of barns and pick-up trucks and people who like to have a good ole' simple time- cell phones are usually tucked away a little more than here. {one of the many things i always notice right away when i visit} there are rows upon rows of grains and corn and soybeans and smiles + 'hello' waves for days. both of my parents were also raised there- both on farms. although my grandparents lives were nothing but easy {i remember watching them get up before the sun to milk the cows and work so incredibly hard on their farm- with an extraordinary work ethic} i do envy the way they could take in silence or turn on the record player and play a card game... or just talk among one another {or dance!}. when i visit my grandmother, my last living grandparent, i try to soak in the moments with her and i try to picture her life and her beautiful legacy. i love our memories together; there are so many. nostalgia has a way with me. my dear grandma has aged gracefully and has taught me so much about being a kind soul; she brings out the simple joys in life so casually {yet so powerfully}. 

this past april, my baby boy got to meet my eighty-six year old maternal grandmother {one of the best people in my life} and i remember leaving her and feeling like i wanted to change some of the things that control my life. i did not feel like i wanted to run off and delete all of my social media accounts {i have so many cherished friendships online} but i just wanted to live my life more in the presence of my loved ones. i let my mind travel down uncomfortable paths where i often use technology to cure boredom and i knew i wanted to make a change. i knew that it wasn't too late to change my ways. i want to take measures to preserve what i do with my time; i yearn for simplicity and i yearn for living life as authentically as possible. what do you yearn for most? 

i still want to take lots of photos {my dad was like this, too- i truly think it makes me appreciate the moments more... and oh how i cherish every single photo my parents have tucked away, in falling apart leather photo albums~ the only things in life that i wish were in a fire protected safe somewhere} and i still want to blog and connect. these connections are so special to me. i just want to moderate and focus on my loved ones over a screen. instead of scrolling and liking, i want to hug and chat and pray- and laugh. lots! 

by doing these things, i hope to amplify the connections in my life for the ones i love most... those people who love me for everything that i am; these are the individuals that i want to invest in. 

on monday, during our picnic, i chose to snap a few photos and then i decided to lie in the grass and enjoy time with my husband and son. i looked around and thanked God for everything he has given me. all of the little joys that were around me- trees swaying, my health, my body, a quiet moment, and a pretty calm life {well, from time to time!}. i love that about kids though- i love the chaos. childhood is messy and magical and the loudness means something is being done correctly, right? {anyone else have a baby that sounds like a mini dinosaur when he/she is excited?!} 

i feel like in order for the most authentic principles to enter our lives, we need to step back and craft a rhythm that works for us. this looks different for each one of us. for me, i want to continue to value the supportive world of social media- i love when people post! i mean, that is the purpose. {while trying to erase the attacking and judging i see often} and i want to cut back. sometimes i leave my phone upstairs for hours at a time, allow myself only a few minutes/then a break, and i regularly leave my phone in my purse throughout a dinner with others. i try to put it away before entering the peaceful serenity of my bed and besides some {ok, a lot sometimes.} of photo taking, i try to place it out of sight when i am taking care of parks. 

soon, i plan to take a few small breaks {maybe days/weeks} away. i hope to designate enough time to fuel my creative spirit, while not depleting my time and energy with my family and friends. i know that i am lucky that i usually don't self compare or doubt my life through social media... but have seen this often and try to refrain; it seems so toxic? so i try to make this a point. i have discovered that my close friends are the same way {which is probably why we are friends}. i encourage you to be inspired and to not hate on others. your heart will thank you. 

my plan: i hope to continue to share my interests, to learn and to lean onto things that inspire me; things i find beautiful. i want to encourage you and i want to create a haven for my soul's desire that gives me more space. i want to share all of the lessons i have yet to learn... i know so little right now about motherhood- and how wonderful is that?  there's something special to me about learning something new every day. this journey has been my very favorite one so far... not even a {teeny-tiny} piece of me would go back to my old life. this is my new purpose and it's the most important one so far. 

i want to continue sharing this online journal with you and hope to share kindness and grace with you along the way... like so many of you have always done for me. 

thank you. xo
i don't mind folding baby clothes... it's the sweetest laundry in the house. 
coffee + planning this morning
on another note, what's your favorite planner? 
moms- how do you balance technology and time with family? 
these are the moments
great gram + parks 
speaking of legacy- i hope he forgives me for all the baby bonnets. 
have you ever taken a social media break?
what did you learn most?
...again, any advice for balance...
ps: i wrote this post to conway twitty's pandora station
{again, for the 100th time- nostalgia. but i have no shame- i love it!}
"maybe it's time we got back to the basics of love' 
- waylon jennings
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  1. As bloggers, it is hard to stay away from social media...but I've been contemplating my own time balance in this stage of life too. No way I could ever have done this while raising children. Just not enough time. Wonderful post and gives one much to think about.

  2. This is such a great post - I often think back on my childhood and wish that our future children could experience it the same way, technology free!! My first interactions with technology involved a dial up computer and AOL instant messenger --- in middle school!! I think it's great to be aware of how often we're looking to our phones instead of the world around us. I feel convicted about that often!

  3. ghost in the graveyard! One of my favorite post thus far. You have a way with words, cousin. Love you!