A Moment of Gratitude and Reflection.

As I type this, I am on day 6 of a social media fast. Now, just to be clear, for me that means no Facebook or Instagram. What I don’t restrict myself from are Pinterest and Youtube because generally speaking, those spark my creativity and don’t cause me any mental health issues.

In this time, I’m making efforts to return to my passions of the past that I have brushed aside. I’ve recognized a lack of creativity in my present life. I’m very good at maintenance and routine, which is actually super beneficial to my mental well-being, however, it leaves me bored.

I reflected a bit and realized somewhere along the way, I pushed aside some real interests of mine. Truthfully, some of it was out of financial necessity. Hobbies often present expenses and it’s been just under three years that I have been financially joined with my husband. I went from being single, living rent-free with my parents, and having pretty few expenses to navigating paying rent, an auto loan, and all kinds of other things. In the transition, here are a few interests that fell by the wayside:

  1. The Zero Waste Movement
  2. Essential Oils
  3. DIY projects as a whole
  4. Songwriting
  5. Blogging

As far as my interest in the Zero Waste movement goes, I’ve been intrigued for years by people like Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer. If you don’t know who they are, Google them and watch their TedTalks. They’re pretty remarkable and I commend them for living counter-culturally and for their efforts to create less trash. In 2018, I really enjoyed going to this grocery store in the city that offered bulk options for food, coffee, body care, and more. I brought my own jars, would tare them, and would carry it all out in reusable bags. Seriously! I did that! I bought local produce and used reusable produce bags. I tried things like shampoo bars, a menstrual cup (TMI?), and I even used cocoa powder for bronzer. Some of my Zero Waste habits have stuck. Some of them didn’t go so well for me. For instance, all of my Zero Waste hair care really wreaked havoc on my hair. My hair was horribly dry. My scalp was itchy or oily. There was no win here. However, products have come along way since I started, and we are finally at a point post-pandemic (Are we technically still in one? You be the judge…) where it is getting easier to make strides in this area. I plan to really try new things and make this a priority in the coming months!

Essential oils have intrigued me for about 7 years now and I am a pretty devoted customer of Young Living. (Spare me the MLM hate comments. Supporting this business is something I am currently comfortable with, and perhaps that will change in the future, but as for now – I enjoy their products and will continue to buy.) I have built up quite a collection of single oils and oil blends. It’s not the most impressive collection, but you can bet it cost me a pretty penny over time. In the busyness of life, I have let my diffusers get dusty, and I have neglected to actually use my collection. I think somewhere along the way, I got more interested in building my collection than actually utilizing the oils. I’ve decided to change that. I have been diffusing, DIYing, and applying consistently lately and plan to keep it up.

Speaking of DIYing, I’m finally interested in putting in the effort again! For a while there, I had gotten used to just going on Amazon and having everything delivered to my door. I suppose with my new schedule, I can more easily find the time to do things like create my own makeup remover or mix cornstarch and cocoa powder for the perfect shade of bronzer. I’m not going to dive in headfirst and take on a bunch of projects like I have in the past, but the curiosity and interest is there again, and that is exciting to me.

#4 was hands-down the hardest thing to admit. In 2019 (perhaps due to a social media fast), I wrote my best songs. I wrote the most songs I’ve ever written over the course of a year. I am still pulling out songs of 2019 and giving them a chance to shine. I think due to a variety of reasons (getting married and moving in with my husband, losing my creative job, stress of the pandemic, etc.) I just lost the rhythm. For me, I think that’s it. I need the rhythm of writing. I have to force myself to dig deep and create. I have to figure out what that looks like in 2022. I certainly have time, headspace, and things to express.

As far as blogging, here I am – showing up imperfectly, trying to discern what is appropriate to unpack to the worldwide web. Much of what I expect to share is personal development (of my own) and also my professional/spiritual development within the context of my current job. It’s a really exciting time in my life and I don’t know if it’s really me or the anti-depressant talking, but I’m hopeful, immensely grateful for God’s grace and provision, and ultimately on the edge of my seat anticipating the good that is to come. Amen.

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