The Nature of a Facebook Fast

Nine days.

I have been off Facebook for nine days.

My roommate Lizzie has control over my account… she changed my password for me last Monday (February 20). Let me tell you what THAT has been like so far…

Lizzie was the one who started this all…. actually, wait.

First let me show you how stylish and dazzling we are:

I feel like that photo basically explains itself. That was a few weeks ago…. when we were trying to start a “let’s-only-wear-yoga-pants-and-slippers” revolution. As you may have guessed, that didn’t work. But we still look(ed) great.

She might punch me for putting that up.

Also, notice my hand on my hip? I feel like I was channeling Cam from Modern Family.

Anyway.

We realized how much time we were wasting on Facebook… SO MUCH TIME. So much time wasted I don’t even KNOW how much time, it would take too long to calculate it. (Is that irony?) So Lizzie changed my password and I never looked back… sorta.

I got on Facebook today to tell you I posted this… and that I will still be posting on this blog… and then I logged out. It felt a little like cheating, but I wanted you to know.

All week, especially Sunday, I have felt like I was missing out on something. Like something fun and exciting and wonderful was happening that I was missing out on in the Facebook News Feed.

It is so embarrassing to write that! Why should I even care? It is so embarrassing to be one of “those people” who gets addicted to Facebook! I know so many people who use their Facebook occasionally to keep in touch with old friends… but I use it to see what other exciting things people are doing, or what they’re saying about what they’re doing, and make myself feel bad because I’m not doing the same things they are. Or I use it to avoid my homework. Or I use it for A MILLION OTHER STUPID REASONS that I can’t even write because they’re too embarrassing.

And all week, I’ve been trying to figure out how and why Facebook went from a sweet and simple way to keep in touch with friends and share my experiences with them, to THIS:

I have already been learning so many things about how I was simultaneously misusing and abusing myself, my soul, and Facebook. As these things develop, I will share them with you… but let me tell you about one right now.

I’ve been worrying all week that people will forget about me. That no one will care that I’m not posting new statuses on the News Feed… that my friends at home will forget that I exist… that they will be glad they don’t have to see my posts that they never cared about in the first place…

SO MANY LIES HAVE BEEN ENCIRCLING ME ALL WEEK. So many things have been urging me to compare myself to others even more than I am naturally inclined to. And I’ve caved quite a few times.

But then I realized with great embarrassment-yet-relief…

You shouldn’t care. I shouldn’t care. It’s great to stay updated with friends and family, to see what they’re doing, what funny things their kids are saying, the kinds of experiences they’re having. But when Facebook becomes a tool for the destruction of our souls and our joy and our self confidence… things should change! I’ve been happy to read books and have good, real, face-to-face conversations with people and on the phone to those far away from me. To spend time taking care of myself. Nurturing my soul. Writing in my journal and on my blog. Praying. Thinking. Being. I feel like I’ve been seeing, REALLY SEEING my life for the first time in a while… and it feels good. All because I haven’t checked my Facebook in nine days.

I am loving my break from Facebook.

I’ll share more about my Facebook fast as it unfolds. In the meantime, hope you will join me in letting go of feeling trapped, or damaged, or comparing yourself to others. Because you deserve better than that.

love always,
Jeri Lynn

P.S. — Listen to this song. It’s just so good. It reminds me of my darling Brave Girls I miss so much….

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The Way You Wear Your Hat, The Way You Sip Your Tea

Today is Valentine’s Day.

Yikes.

I feel like this is one holiday that people either really love or really hate: you are either beyond excited it’s Valentine’s Day, or you loathe its very arrival. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. But you know what I mean.

There are people who say they don’t care… but I have a feeling that in the deep recesses of their mind… even they care just a little bit.

Today, I think I want to talk to those people who HATE Valentine’s Day. I think. I’m not sure where this post is going to end up, but I know it will be worth reading.

Probably. :)

I used to identify with those Valentine’s Day haters… I felt like it was fake and commercialized and an excuse for those in love to rub that love in the face of those without love (what?).

But now… I have come to appreciate Valentine’s Day. Even love it. I love love, and Valentine’s Day, and all the mushy goodness that comes with it.

And let me clarify: I am most certainly single. I am not in love. I will not get flowers today, or chocolates, or go on a romantic candlelit dinner with my honey. No one is in love with me. And unless I am much mistaken, no one will profess their undying love to me with a courage that only comes with realizing today, this day made for love, may be the only day to do something so daring.

I won’t be getting any Valentine’s like this today:

I could be wallowing in self-pity over being single. I could be sad and think about all the things I could have today but won’t get because I am single. All of us single people could do that. So let’s have a wallowing party and be miserable and cry and throw chocolates at romance movies! That sounds like the best way to make ourselves unhappy I can think of!

Wait. No. Let’s NOT do that.

I think there are too many people who choose to make Valentine’s Day WAY more miserable than it needs to be. In fact, I think there are about a million reasons we should all LOVE Valentine’s Day. Allow me to share three of those with you now!

1. Memories

I have memories of people who have loved me. People who have bought me flowers, and taken care of me, and shared with me, and with whom I have had hours of fun and laughter. Boyfriends, guy friends, weird flirtatious acquaintances. And yes, I could be sad that at this very moment, right now, today… I probably won’t have a Valentine who does those things with me. BUT INSTEAD, I am cherishing those memories and realizing that someday I will make more memories like that.

2. Gratitude

Gratitude is good in all circumstances, and it definitely applies to Valentine’s Day. We should be grateful to be alive. Grateful we live in a country where we get to choose who to love (or who not to love). Grateful we have air in our lungs and a few blank sheets of paper… wait… I’ll get to Leo in a minute.

We should be grateful we know others who have love so we know it’s possible. We can be grateful we’ve experienced love and know what to look for again (or what not to look for). We can be grateful for the experiences we’ve had that teach us true love really is possible. Again… I’ll get to that in a second.

Gratitude, friends, is key to loving/enjoying/surviving (if you feel it’s that drastic) Valentine’s Day.

2. Hope

Hope is the most significant reason I love Valentine’s Day. And I think it’s the most important reason.

Sometimes, you see people who are so in love that it makes your heart hurt just looking at them. It makes you yearn for that kind of love and wonder if it’s possible. It makes you realize that you want to strive every single day to find, work your hardest for, and maintain the kind of love they have.

A few movie examples? Okay!

The Princess Bride. Good ol’ Wesley. How darling of him to come back from being pretend-dead, brave the Fire Swamp, and come back from being mostly-dead to be with Buttercup. Tender!

Titanic. You know me. I’m a sucker for this movie. I think I might watch it while I do my homework tonight… in any case, I chose THIS picture because they’re dancing (which is the way to my heart) and they are just so in LOVE in this movie. See this post for how much I love Titanic.

 The Notebook. More dancing. Love. ‘Nuff said I think.

I could think of about a million more movies that show how in love people can really be….. but I know what you’re thinking! These are all fake. Phony, contrived stories of things that can never exist. I have something for that, too! Let me share with you the people who make me believe whole-heartedly in Valentine’s Day. In its importance, in its possibility, in 100% real, honest-to-goodness-crazy-about-each-other love.

If you’ve ever been around these two, you know without a doubt in your heart that true love exists. That love is worth working towards, fighting for, protecting fiercely, and enjoying with all of you heart and soul. This is the kind of love that we all dream about.

They serve one another. They dream and consult and hope and dream some more with each other. They ask each other out on dates. They protect their family and their love from harmful forces that wish to destroy it. They take care of each other. They never call each other mean or hurtful names. They have been married for more than 20 years… and they are giddy in love with one another. Melody is crazy about Mr. Ross, and Mr. Ross is head over heels for Melody. Seriously guys…. it doesn’t get much better than this.

MY POINT:

Not all of us have a Mr. Ross. Not all of us have a Melody. Not yet, anyway. But I really hope you love YOURSELF enough to not wallow in today if you are single. I hope you love YOURSELF enough to know that you are worth loving, that you are never alone, and that you can choose to make today great if you want. I hope you love YOURSELF enough to believe in the kind and encouraging words others say to you… and if people don’t say them, believe the ones I am saying now.

YOU ARE LOVED SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW.

Or that Christopher Robinn said:

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

I love you. I really, really do. And you deserve to have a very, very happy Valentine’s Day.

 

[And yes, I changed the name of the blog post. “Cupid’s Chokehold” was too negative! Ha ha…]

That Fleeting Moment

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” -Georgia O’Keeffe

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” –e. e. cummings

“I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

“The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.”

“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” – D&C 64:33

Just a little collection of my favorite quotes & a scripture, too.

What are some of your favorite quotes? <3

Also… my favorite song, covered by Nataly Dawn. So perfect.