Quality Time

Good ol' "quality time." You know, those times when you are unplugged and present, soaking up whichever moment you find yourself in. Sometimes I feel like I've totally lost hold of that concept, and other times I ask myself, why don't I do this more often?

It really struck a chord with me awhile ago when we were on vacation in San Diego. I had every intention to head to the pool and listen to some music while sipping my margarita. Tyson told me to go enjoy two hours solo while he napped with Parker back at the room, so I did just that. Two whole hours at the pool by myself seemed like a vacation all in itself! So, I got my towel, a front row chair by the water, and had my headphones and book by my side, ready to go. I ordered my drink, sat back, watched the beautiful setting and thought, heck, I need a picture of this. So, I strategically placed my beverage in my hand and positioned my legs perfectly for the picture. I took about... 20? Then, I sorted through those and realized my foot looked strange in each image, so of course, I took some more.

I'm sure many of you know exactly what I'm talking about right now.

I ended up taking a ton of pictures and then rolled over onto my stomach to "quickly edit them." I opened my VSCO app, started filtering the image and then I posted it. After I posted it, I found myself caught up in scrolling through Instagram mindlessly for about 30 minutes.

There I was, an hour into my "me time." Worrying about capturing an image and then falling right into the Instagram rabbit hole. Getting sucked into what others were doing, when right in front of me was the best moment of all.

Another time, I remember we were up in Seattle and I wanted a picture of Parker with the water and boats behind him. We had perfect weather, the perfect lighting, and his outfit was extra cute that day. He was a little sleepy and hungry, as we were on our way to dinner. I had to get the picture though... I didn't want to pass it up. I had Parker stand there to take some pictures and the kiddo was not having it. But this momma wasn't giving up. I literally bribed him with dessert, which I felt was a bit of a low point for me. Tyson (who is not into social media or excessive photo taking anyway), looked at me and was like... "Babe, please can we just enjoy this right now without having to take a picture? Parker clearly doesn't want to do this."

And that brings me to the dilemma. The choice between documenting the moment vs. the mental memory and just enjoying it. 

So here is my rant: Those two moments really impacted me. Specifically with the use of time. Not just on social media, but the time I put into taking pictures and documenting everything in general. As a very visual person, pictures mean the world to me. I love taking them, I love editing (the before and after) and I love reminiscing. But the real question is, can we just dial it back a bit?

I am the first person to be guilty of all of this. But can I challenge you? The next time you have really awesome plans or an event, try to NOT document any of it. In fact, try unplugging from social media and the news for a whole weekend and see how you feel. Anytime I have done this, I feel more content and present than ever.

I just got done unplugging for 3 days from emails and social media and I honestly haven't felt that content with life in a long time. I was present with my family; we decorated the house for Christmas without having to document it to the world; I felt like I had more time in general; I made more time for things I don't have time to do as much like taking a walk with the family, cooking, and crafts; AND, I felt less anxious, I slept great, and I didn't complain once about what I want or don't have.

I think this is the most troubling part about social media. We are being bombarded with all of the coolest things people are doing and subliminally we are saying, "I want to go there," "I want a house like that," "Gosh she has the perfect body," "That family does so many cool things together, we need to do more of that" etc. etc. etc.

This can't be good for us.

So (end rant), here is the point: Social media definitely has it's perks. The connection, the inspiration, the creativity. Heck, I run two businesses based off of social media and I truly do love sharing images that I take and like with so many people. The point is to give yourself a break. Focus in on that quality time. You, your family, your friends, your life... they all want it. They all need it. And they all deserve it.

I strongly encourage you to try unplugging for a few days. Not just one day, try and at least go two. And pay close attention to how you feel. I'm telling you, it's one of the healthiest things we can do and you just need to experience it for yourself.


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