I have been thinking a lot about social media lately. The way it has impacted our lives and it really got me questioning some things. In particular, when did we start living for the social media picture than for the moment?
I was recently looking at old pictures where it was just about saving the memory in that moment. It wasn’t about trying to find the perfect pose or the perfect lighting, just capturing the memory. It made me realize how many moments I haven’t wanted to capture because I didn’t fully like my outfit or I had no makeup on or felt bloated that day, and I missed out on ensuring that memory would last because of these superficial things that never would have over shadowed the picture in the long run anyway.
A couple of weeks ago I got to go meet my sister’s baby and knew that I needed to go unplugged. I went to London and really wanted to be in the moment. It was incredible. From the little things as not feeling like I needed to be dressed to impressed (because the baby certainly didn’t care what I wore or if I had makeup on) or as silly as not having to worry how recently I wore a certain top (embarrassing to even admit that!) if I was going to take pictures, and I found I actually took more pictures because I was focused on wanting to keep the memory verses having a “social media approved” picture.
I felt more in the moment than I had in a long time. It helped that I didn’t always have wifi, but it really reminded me what it was like pre social media obsession. Everything was about the moment and not about how it would look online.
After my trip to London I visited my in laws on the east coast and with how freeing it felt in London, I decided my phone didn’t need to be glued to my hand. I only really wanted to make sure my phone was near if I knew I wanted to take pictures of something we were doing. Even still, I knew the pictures were for my family, our memories, for me; and that made them even better than the ones specifically for social media.
I obviously haven’t given up on social media because there are some great aspects to it like staying connected to old friends you may not have otherwise and even getting my writings out there, but unplugging and living in the moment and not on my phone is going to be a new focus for me. I want to continue to remember what it was like to live in the moment and capture moments not for how good they will look on social media, but to keep the memory from being forgotten.
Someone recently told me how I am going to bounce back so quickly after this pregnancy with all the running and working out I have been doing while pregnant. As sweet as the comment was meant to be, I couldn’t figure out why it sat sideways with me. During my first pregnancy I would have been so excited about someone saying that in hopes that it would be true. This time around, for my second pregnancy, I view that comment differently. Sure, it will be nice when I have gotten back in shape, but unlike the first time around there isn’t this immense self induced pressure to get back to my “pre baby body”.
I know what my body can do now. I have seen how big my belly can expand and that with hard work and good eating it will eventually go back down. I know my body may look differently after this pregnancy even compared to after my first pregnancy, but that is okay. Being able to appreciate what my body can really do has been amazing for my mindset this pregnancy including simple things like not obsessing over the weight gain. My first pregnancy I weighed myself daily and would be worried if I felt I gained too much to start or in any given week or month. This time around I put my scale away and felt a weight (no pun intended) lifted off my shoulders. I have a better understanding of what my body needs and as long as my doctor is pleased with my weight at my appointments, then there is no need for me to put that added stress on myself.
This time around I have learned to trust my body in knowing it will give me clues as to what is too much, what is just right and what is not enough. I also have the benefit of knowing all the changes mentally, emotionally, and physically are all truly worth it because I know that indescribable feeling I will feel the first time I hold our new baby.
I wish there was a way to share this with my pre baby self (so I share it in hopes that it could help someone else go easier on themselves). To know that some of those superficial things that were once so important become trivial once that little miracle arrives (cliché but true). To know that my body will never be ruined even with stretch marks and loose skin on it, because one look at my little man and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
So as great as it would be to “bounce back” quickly, I am in no rush. I know that it will happen in time but I want to be able to enjoy adding the final member to our family and not have my focus pulled in any other direction.
No one judges the stars. Some are similar and others so different. We just look at them and see their radiating beauty. Imagine a world where we did that with people. Don’t try to change them or even fully understand them. Just appreciate the beauty they offer and marvel at how the universe is a better place because their individual beauty exists.