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why you MUST take a week off social media and what to do about all those photos you never printed

February 14, 2020

You have to do it.  A week.  Or you can start with ONE WHOLE DAY.  Starts somewhere.  But give social media a rest.  


Start today. 


Let me tell you why.  Because it is one of those things that there is never a good time to do.  It's always a holiday or birthday or dance, or prom season, wedding season...something.  There is always something that we feel a deep urge to see!  Guess what, it'll still be there when you come back.  


Guess what else?  You are going to miss things.  Maybe important things. Maybe someone who you adore's birthday. (That happened to me!) Maybe it's pictures that you know your preschool or elementary school is going to share. Grandkids.  You're going to miss some things, and that is a -okay.  


It's going to be worth it.  


You're going to sleep better.  

Your brain is going to get all kinds of good new ideas.  

You're going to pick up the phone and call people that you NEED to call.  

Your brain is going to be able to problem-solve problems that need to be solved.  

You're probably going to be more focused on what's important...the people in your presence. 

You're going to be more focused on what's important...the people in your presence.  (I said that TWICE for a reason!)

You're going to train your brain to reach for something other than your phone.  A good book perhaps! 

All those things that you see that annoy the tar out of you....POOF....GONE!!!  Out of your sight, out of your mind.

 Give your brain a BREAK!!!


I did it.  NINE DAYS!!!  No FACEBOOK. Or instagram. I know Lilly was keeping up with her people on my instagram account, but I was off, miraculously!   


It wasn't easy.  I was honestly concerned about what I was missing. (Should I admit that???  Well, we all know if nothing else, I am honest here.)  I had to sit my phone down, leave it in another room, delete my facebook and messenger apps.  Those tiny red notifications drive me WILD!!!  


The top 3 things that happened to me where....

1. I taught myself that I can survive without social media AND social media can survive without me! HA! 

2.  Carly and I read Brown Girl Dreaming together, which we loved and I read Where the Crawdad Sings, which I mostly loved, too.  I forgot how much I enjoy reading! I also know that time spent reading with them is more valuable than anything.  Maybe your kiddo likes building Legos together, do that! Rediscover things that you love and help your kiddos do or discover things that they will love! 

3.  The best part happened a few mornings in.  I have been stressing about unprinted photos for years.  Like every single day, I think, I need to get my bajillion photos in books.  It's one thing that I lose sleep over and stress most about.  It's the one thing that feels completely overwhelming and too far gone for me to even begin.  It would be like someone saying, we're sending you and only you to clean up after Hurricane Katrina. It a GIGANTIC task.   We have 4 kids, ages 13, 9, 7, and 5. That's almost 35 years worth of photos if I think about printing photos for each kid for each year.  And if you KNOW me, you KNOW I have more pictures of my kids than probably anyone on the planet.  They are on my phone, on computers, laptops, facebook, instagram.  A very rare few were printed.  Almost none are dated.  Where in the world do I even begin????????


In my media fast it all came together crystal clear in my mind.  For once, I had a plan. I finally bought supplies.  Each kid would get a book of "highlights."  No way would I ever be able to see everything, nor would they want that.   Think First Day of School, Holidays, Vacations, Camps, Sports, Dances, Birthdays, etc.  (EVEN THAT IS A LOT!!!!)


I went around my house and gathered up all the loose printed photos, school photos, professional photos etc.  It turns out that almost all of our photos are saved on, so I was able to go there to help myself date my photos and find the ones that I wanted to print.  You can search things like "February 2016" and that helps you figure out when your photos were taken.  


Then I sorted all the pictures that we have into 4 piles.  One for each kid.  Of course, lots of photos include multiple kids, so I just divided them up.  I added in all the pictures that we have, including school photos, class photos, everyday photos, etc.  It took a good amount of time and I wasn't focused on my family, but they were all so excited about what I was creating for them, they didn't complain too much about frozen pizza, and carry out pizza too much!


Then I decided that I would tackle all of the photos one month at a time. So, in February, I searched google photos for February photos.  I was focusing on Valentines Day, Father/Daughter Dances, and the 100th day of school.  I printed all of those pictures for all of the years.  I will work on getting them in the albums a little bit at a time until they are all in the binders.  


In March, I'll look for Easter and St. Patrick's Day photos, etc. etc.  


It may take me 2 years, but I have so much peace about having a PLAN!!!!  Doing the project over the course of a year or two will help me budget both time and money.  Buying them all at once or printing them all at once would just be too much! My dining room table is covered in photos and binders and supplies, but I am willing to give it up for a year to get this monkey off my back!   I think it is going to be fun to do each month with the season that we are in.  Kinda like a facebook memory, but one that we can actually hold in our hands.  


The monkey on your back is probably not photos!  Maybe you don't care that your pictures aren't printed.  If not, don't let me add this burden to your already full plate! I am sure that you have SOMETHING that every day you wish you had time to do but feel like it's too overwhelming to start.  Maybe your house needs a good deep cleaning or something needs to be organized.  Maybe it's overgrown landscaping or learning to cook. I'm sure you have a thing or two that you need to tackle, and taking a break from social media will give your brain a chance to come up with a plan, and teach you to use your time wisely to work toward your plan. 


 For me, getting started was the HARDEST part.  Now that I have a plan, the real job of taping photos into a book is easy peasy! (Just time consuming!)  


Now that I have trained my brain to turn to other things for a "break" than my phone, I can get stuff done! You can get stuff done!  Instead of having your brain be a consumer of info, you can create and produce beautiful things in your life! For yourself and your family.


You will Definitely Certainly Positively have more Joy in the Chaos! I promise!  


And for a spiritual connection, think about Jesus.  Didn't he have to retreat?  Going away from the crowds to pray and get recharged.  If Jesus needs a break from social interactions, WE definitely need a break! 


Here's your opportunity!  Take it! 


One more things....You have to tell someone that you are going to do it.  An accountability partner.  Maybe a spouse, a friend, a sibling.  If you don't tell someone, you WON'T stick to it!  You will cave.  I will cave in!!!  Find someone that you love and do this together!!!  







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