Personal

Social Media Reality Check & Going For It.

I think you should just go for itImage source

We’re light on the ranchy stuff this week, since we have been mostly inside with sick babes! But, you know, in addition to being ranchy, I’m also a mama and a person and all those things, and so I don’t think every post on here is going to be related directly to ranching, since that’s not my entire life.

Does everyone have a “Social Media Reality Check” awakening? I think it’s not just me, but I’m unsure whether or not it’s a widespread phenomenon or is limited to those of us who are slow on the uptake. I mean, we all  see the “Don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel,” “comparison is the thief of joy,” “you are fearfully and wonderfully made so be yourself”-type things, and the exposés about how much effort the big Instagrammers use to get those oh-so-candid shots, and the ridiculous lengths people go to in order to look good and “on” all the time.

But darn if it hasn’t just started to sink in for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve given up Facebook for Lent (maybe forever? Except the groups? How does one do that?), or the fact that it finally rained here last week and it woke up something in my soul because man that dust and wind will get you down, or a Bible verse or a new book or what, but I think I’m finally starting to understand.

Granted, it’s been a rough…half a year? Whole year? I don’t know. I’ve had a hard time with this move, as I’ve mentioned before, and finding my worth and getting into the swing of things (something that is a big part of my mental state) has felt so hard in this new place that I don’t love yet. Making new friends (friend dating gives me fits, btw. Why am I so awkward? Why can’t we just look at a gal and say “Hey, I’m hip to your jive, let’s be friends?” Or can I do that?), learning where things are, trying to feel sort of at home…it’s worn me out.

But you know, it’s okay that I don’t love it. I don’t have to love it. I don’t have to want to live here my entire life and sing with gusto about it from the rooftops (barntops?). Just because I don’t love it doesn’t mean I can’t like it, and grow here, nor does it lessen the love that others have for it. I do, however, have to appreciate and be thankful for what I can about it (the sunsets! No nosy neighbors! Wonderful people! Lower car insurance rates! Being able to be outside playing in the winter without being freezing!), and use my time here to help my future self, which for me means setting up or getting involved in some sort of business that I can take with us, since losing my job in the move was a big contributor to my feelings of inadequacy. I like to have a purpose outside of our family, and for me, raising children and being a wife is my best job, but it can’t be my only job.

Social media, though, has also contributed to those feelings, and I’m ashamed it’s gotten so far. I realized, with the help of the app I talked about a few weeks past on IG, how much time I have really been spending on social media and y’all, it’s not pretty. And I realized how damaging that’s been in this season.

So, in addition to adios-ing Facebook, lately I’ve spent time unfollowing. That feels strange, considering I want to grow my own following on IG, and it feels sort of like a breakup because there are accounts that I’ve followed on IG or on their blog for years. I feel like I  know them, which is the magic of social media, but they no longer make me feel good, and sometimes they make me feel, well, bad, and it’s obvious that I’m not really part of the community they’ve built. Which is not on them, of course. Just because it works for someone else (hi, BBG and “clean eating” and those weird studded Valentino pointy shoes and overalls and overly opulent lifestyles and weird 90s bucket hats and cleanses) doesn’t mean it works for me, and that’s okay. Maybe in the future we can meet again but not right now. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow.

Instead, I’m focusing on accounts that lift me up, or make me laugh, or make me think, or have great Bible verses, or feel aspirational in a way that’s inspirational instead of disheartening or completely unreasonable.

I’ve already felt a change, though. I’ve noticed it in how I’ve reacted to the boys being sick (I’m not stressed, I’m oddly zen about it), and how my mindset has changed about my side hustle (“I’m worth it, I’m qualified, it’s a good idea, it has a place, and it will take time to get off the ground but it’s worth it and I can do a really, really good job and make some money”). I think it’s also helped me react better to a situation in which someone was being little silly and unkind, and where I would have been angry or offended before, I chose not to take it personally, because the way someone reacts to a situation is a reflection of them, not me.

I’m not sure why I wrote this other than this is the sort of thing that speaks to me when I see it. Like yeah, I’m a ranch wife and a mama and a (budding) business owner, and I spend so much time raising my boys and trying to be the best wife I can and cooking and sweeping and cleaning and sweeping and also sweeping. But I’m also a person, an autonomous unit unto myself with interests and worries and hopes and dreams. And juggling all of those roles in this uber-connected world we live in can be so hard, especially when you see the gals who seem like everything is perfect. Or the ones that show a “real life” shot every now and then that feels so token it’s not even funny. Really, totally, unfunny.

Also, Brene Brown (and Jen Hatmaker and Tsh Oxenreider and Jamie Ivey and all those other amazing women I look up to) tells me I need to be more vulnerable, which is a word that actually gives me the shivers (like “moist” does for a lot of people), but when I hear her talk about it, she’s got a point. I mean, heck, even IG and Facebook have changed their algorithms to foster “community” and the only community I want to be part of is a real one, and I believe that can exist online if we let it.

And can we please let it? Because my closest friend live like a power of ten miles away.

Happy Thursday! Both of my children are napping, the sun is shining, and I’m spending some time on work and the Word before the chaos of dinner ensues, while also praying that we don’t have to go back to the doctor tomorrow.

Family · Fun · Personal

Christmas and 2016

best-nine

Hey y’all, I’m baaack! I know you probably weren’t really waiting on tenterhooks or anything but if you were…here I am. Kidding.

Anyways. We’ve had a really great two weeks. Between Bert being able to take it slow at work and spend a lot more time at home before he gets really busy, and Christmas, of course, we are set up pretty contented and well-rested for the New Year. Thanks to my amazing mom, we even got to go out to a movie–our first in years! We saw Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and it was SO GOOD, and so worth it to see it in theaters. We even got popcorn and drinks and oh man was it great. Also, please can I have all the clothes from that movie? Tailored coat game was *thumbs up emoji*

(Sidenote: going to the movies is expensive.) 

 

Christmas this year was pretty low-key, which was perfect because both Wacey and I were feeling the excess of excitement (yes, I am a child) and the lack of sleep pretty hard. I managed to surprise Bert which is always a major win, and we got to see both of our families. We were all thoroughly spoiled with both the food we had (beef tenderloin Christmas Eve, Prime Rib Christmas Day because Beef It’s What’s For Dinner) and with the gifts we received.

I also have a confession: I’ve already put away all of our Christmas decor. I know. It’s not even New Year’s! But who am I, at almost 30 weeks pregnant, to say no to an urge to clean and organize?? Also, for me the weeks leading up to Christmas are the best part, and seeing all the decorations up after it’s over can get depressing. I did leave up the outside lights so Wace wouldn’t have to go through total “la-la” withdrawal.

So. 2016. Everyone says it was the Worst Year Ever, but I think that’s ridiculous because there are a whole lotta years in not-so-distant history that were a lot worse. Lots of big, important, sometimes not-so-great things happened in the world, but that’s how every year is! There’s good things, there’s bad things, and in the end,

Our year was actually pretty amazing! We got to watch Wacey grow from a baby into the best, most wonderful, hilarious tiny human on the planet.Being his mama makes me an infinitely better person. We found out that he’s going to be a big brother and that’s a big, happy deal. We spent tons of time together as a family, and while we didn’t take a family vacation this year, we went to some bull sales, and a lot of fun rodeos to watch Bert and the guys kick butt. Wacey and I also got to go to Indiana for a wedding and to see my extended family, and that was so, so great.  I wish we all lived closer! I went to three beef industry conferences–a symposium about beef and sustainability at Colorado State University, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and the MBA Top of the Class training at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Denver–and learned so much. I also got the courage to finally start this blog, and I’ve already requested Girl Boss at the library so I can Girl Boss the heck outta 2017.

Yes, in 2017 I will continue to put things on hold at the library.

I also feel like I grew a lot personally. I still have a long way to go, but I’ll keep on keepin’ on, and that’s the best any of us can do, right?

I’ll write a post about my 2017 goals, but today I’m squeezing my boys, and being thankful for a year that was pretty darn good. We don’t have big New Year’s Eve plans but we’re continuing our tradition of Chinese takeout and a movie (Finding Dory), we got ice cream and pregnant lady champagne (aka sparkling cider), and donuts for tomorrow morning. We won’t be staying up until midnight, but I can’t imagine a better way to ring in the new year than snuggled in bed, fast asleep. #pregnantmamadreams

Happy New Year! Have a wonderful evening, whether you’re out on the town or home with your people. 2017 is going to be great!