The First Step: Facebook Break

I decided in early January that, for the sake of my soul, I needed to take a Facebook break. All those studies out there claiming that Facebook can breed feelings of inferiority in women? I was starting to believe that perhaps they were right on. Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends, and it makes me happy to see how happy they are. But as a single woman in her 30s (and dealing with a recent heartbreak), I knew that the only way I was going to stop thinking about why I didn’t have a fiancé/husband/baby/dream job/insert other “want but don’t have” here was to stop torturing myself by being exposed to it. Being the person I am (one who needs to feel included/loved … and likes all the “Happy Birthday” messages), I decided to wait until the day after the big 3-1.

The break started January 22. And it’s amazing not only how much longer my phone battery lasts, but how much easier it is to focus on being happy, instead of thinking about what I don’t have. Yes, my mother has an issue with it (she actually asked me how she is supposed to know I’m okay. My response: “Why would I not be okay?” And if I wasn’t, I’m pretty sure she’d hear about it somewhere other than Facebook. Although it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard big news – we’re talking engagements and clean bills of health – SERIOUSLY?!? – through the grapevine that is Facebook). But thus far I’ve been pretty happy with the decision.

Let’s be honest … I know I’m going to start feeling like I’m out of the loop before too long. But for now, it’s been really refreshing. I mean, let’s be real here – how many of our “friends” have we actually had a conversation with in the last decade? I’d bet it’s a small percentage.

(Note: that said … feel free to share the link to this blog on your Facebook. Just because I’m not scanning status updates every hour on the hour does not mean that I don’t want to share what I’m up to.)

Why I’m doing this …

I think sometimes we got so wrapped up in what we don’t have, that we forget to be grateful for the things we do. We become so focused on how perfect others’ lives seem, that we forget that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a timetable attached to it – and it may not be the same as the “life plan” we’ve set for ourselves. If it did, I’d be living a very, very different life right now.

I’ve recently embarked on year #31, and I’ve decided to try doing  something that I probably should have been doing all along – thinking less about when my life is going to figure itself out. It’s time (probably past time, honestly) that I start spending more time enjoying whatever life throws at me. Because at the end of the day, I may not have everything I want in my life – but what I do have is pretty great.

So there’s my goal for the next year – and hopefully beyond – to live my life, and not compare my haves and have nots to others’, and not to focus so much on what I’ve done so wrong to end up so “behind schedule.” Because I don’t think that it’s so much that I’ve done anything wrong. It may be that I spent so much time looking for what I don’t have that I stopped enjoying what I do have. Or that I spent so much time working that I forgot what it felt like to be living. Or that I’ve been so afraid of “screwing it up” that I’ve held myself back from things that may have left me exposed and vulnerable – but could have been wonderful.

I’ll admit that it scares me to death. I’m a planner. I’d love to know exactly what is going to happen every day for the rest of my life. But I know that’s impossible (How does that quote go? Something along the lines of “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?) So, yes, I’m scared. Terrified. But I also know that nothing scares me as much as the thought of doing what I’ve been doing, then finding myself looking back 20 years from now, wondering what my life could have been had I stopped worrying about when it was going to work itself out and started enjoying whatever it is that fate throws at me.