I’m on a reprieve. Specifically, from social media. I needed to take something off my plate for a few weeks. Social media can be wonderful in so many ways. But, sometimes, it can add stress to our lives. In today’s post, I’d like to share the power of a reprieve.
Let’s start with the “WHAT”. What is a reprieve? In the most serious scenario, a reprieve is a delay of some sort of punishment. It also can be a delay before something detrimental. Lastly, a reprieve can offer a period of relief, or just time “off”.
In today’s culture, and particularly in the United States, the average person carries more than what he/she is able to carry. Oftentimes, we are our worst enemy. Trust me. If you look up “hard head” in the dictionary, you will probably see my name there! I almost sacrificed my marriage because for years I was trying to fulfill a work position that was basically impossible to succeed. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I was doing a job that several people could barely handle, even when it was divided amongst them. My body literally collapsed. And, it wasn’t until after this happened, that my doctors recognized and validated my health issues. (I guess you can say, leaving the workplace, for me was a blessing in disguise. Especially since I have not yet been miraculously healed of these health issues.)
I learned the hard way to listen to my body, before I hit rock bottom. Having autoimmune disease, the signals come in all sorts of ways. For example, they may be physical. Fatigue. Pain. They may be emotional. Mood swings. Anxiety. The one behavior that others may notice is that I push people away. I’ve noted that that has been happening, recently. I can’t remember the last time I made a phone call to a random friend or coordinated anything with others. I know this is because I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.
Not to mention, the symptoms I wrestle with, on a daily basis, are unnoticeable. So, it’s just plain old uncomfortable to be around others who don’t understand. I appear perfectly healthy. I also have a high threshold of pain, so I may or may not be suffering with a migraine or severe pelvic pain even while around others. It’s good. But, it’s really not good.
Personally, there’s a lot going on, right now.
I’m still grieving the loss of Baby Banana. I have not seen her in six months. I spent every day with her, practically every hour, for almost two years. Then, one day, she disappeared. (Well, she was reunified with a bio family who chose to break ties with us and basically erase her memory of us.) I honestly thought it’d get easier, as we continue to foster other babies. But, what’s happening is that I am experiencing the complete opposite of what I went through with Baby Banana. Scott and I have been working with case workers, law guardians, and BIO families that place the babies needs above their own agendas. It is constantly reminding me that Banana was mistreated. I hate that I couldn’t help her. I hate that I had to watch her suffer, everyday for nine months. And, I hate that her case worker, her law guardian, and her Bio Family ignored it all.
I know. I need grief therapy. Don’t worry. I’m on it.
Scott and I want a family. We want to be a forever family. Not just a revolving door, family. The Foster care experience is harder for families that have no bio children and are hoping to adopt. We loved our experience with Baby Berry. She’s been reunified, and we love her Bio Family because they were so sensitive to her and helped her with the transition. She is the same baby for them, as she was with us!
Baby Blue (our current foster baby who is now 4 months old) has an undetermined fate. We are hoping and praying that Baby Blue will either be reunified before he hits that 8 month mark (where they start to bond) or adoptable. I will say that his situation is looking like an adoption. I can’t give details, but there are cues in making this prediction.
We want Blue to have a sibling, and so we are now praying that God will bring us another baby. I get calls for newborns who are going through drug withdrawal, every so often. But, right now, I ask for as much information as possible about the baby’s biological family. If I’m told that there is a family member who is wanting the baby, or that one or both Bio Parent(s) is/are accepting services to get some help, I’m saying no. For now. If we didn’t already have a baby to care for, and if I were still in my twenties, I would say yes. Because we’d have all the time in the world to start our own family. But, it’s crunch time for me. It’s time to get a little selfish.
Of course, we’re open to other ways to start a family.
There’s still options available for us via infertility treatments. I put that on hold a few years ago, because after an unsuccessful round, I was heartbroken. My body suffered, and for nothing. It scares me to death. But, we are considering this. I think this fear has been adding to my overwhelmed feelings. And, anxiety.
I guess you can say that I needed this reprieve to just collect my thoughts and listen to God’s voice. It’s kinda hard to hear God’s voice with all the noise of social media! If you feel overwhelmed or that you haven’t heard God’s voice in a while, it may be time for a break from social media.
The Power of a Reprieve
Here are a list of symptoms that may be prompting you to take a reprieve. From social media or something else that is making extra noise.
- Feeling stressed.
- Unsatisfied with your life.
- Struggling with relationships.
- Binge eating.
- Losing patience.
- Feeling angry.
- Shutting others out.
- Skipping obligations.
- Losing interest in people or activities.
- Ignoring responsibilities.
- Yelling at your kids or spouse.
Here’s another huge reason why social media may be doing more harm than good. Social Media is the ideal platform to portray a fantasy! 90% of the time, I don’t mind this at all. But, lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling agitated with some social media influencers, that I follow.
There is nothing worse than watching MRS. INSTAGRAM PERFECT and her perfect (fake) lifestyle to remind you that your life is far from perfect (real). So help me, I was getting so tired of seeing nothing but perfection on every post, story and photograph. These women are so tiny and…unrealistic. In their mouse-sized voice: “This item runs true to size. Oh, and I’m wearing a size XXXXXS.” Or, “Look at my perfect little angel sleeping so soundly.” Without a swaddle. Or slobber. And, “My perfect husband loves me so much!” Insert husband wearing tacky sweater and boat shoes holding size zero wife in a perfect embrace.
Listen, I’m all about idyllic and attractive photographs. But, break it up once in a while, will you?!
Ironically, I’m caught somewhere in the middle. On one hand, I’m hoping to improve my photo feed and showcase more attractive photos. (I’m breaking out the real camera, and starting to take photos with something other than my phone.) But, if all of my photos look perfect, then I’m not providing my followers with a true picture of who I am. It just so happens, that I more often look a mess. I rarely have perfect hair and makeup. I’m not even allowed to take a photo of my Baby’s face! (LOL Because these are foster babies!) And, I am barely squeezing into a size 8 these days.
I’m just like you. I, too, roll my eyes at Social Media Influencers who only post the good stuff. It’s not all their fault. They’re trying to make money to support their families. As it turns out, brands will not work with influencers unless they have an attractive photo feed. All this to say, I’m hoping that this reprieve will help me to establish a balance. Because as a follower, myself, I find myself often frustrated with the perfect social media personalities.
Show me the bad stuff. Show me your underbelly! Disappear for a while and tell me that you were stressed out. PLEASE!
I need this reprieve so I can refocus and make some critical real life decisions.
Decisions pertaining to the next steps in growing a family.
Decisions pertaining to the kind of blogger and influencer I want to be.
I’m hoping to find the balance during this reprieve. Ideally, I want to share my best, but also some of my worst. I want to take risks without the fear of failure. I want my readers to know that I am normal. Imperfect. Real. Human!
Friends, there is power in taking a reprieve. And, there is power in vulnerability. Admitting that you just lost your shit! (I lost my shit, this week, by the way.) Your kids aren’t perfect. Your marriage can literally suck some days. Your husband farts. YOU FART. Your kids can be little farts, sometimes.
Ah, this is liberating already!
I’m taking a reprieve, and I think you should, too. Don’t tell me that you can’t take off work, because it doesn’t have to be work. It can be social media. It can be the gym! It can be a break from family functions. A break from being home with the kids every day. It can be a break from your perfect diet. There are ways to make it happen. So, make it happen.
Life is short. And, there is power in a reprieve. Those who take breaks typically come back better and stronger. So, show me your underbelly. Tell me you’re not perfect. Admit your faults. Lose your shit!
I’ll actually like you more. Because then, we’ll have something in common. xo