What I learned during my Advent break…

Hi friends! How is your new year so far? I am really excited about some of the focuses for the blog this year! This is the first post I’m writing after my pre-written December break that ended up spanning a little past Advent as far as this blog was concerned… so I thought I’d touch on just a few things I learned on my break:
*Margin is key. I am so glad I blocked off lots of free time in the lead up to Christmas. NO matter how hard I tried to plan my whole calendar in advance, extra things inevitably came up. Things that we decided were important (like seeing friends only in town for a few days) and things that we decided were just too good to pass up (like zoo lights tickets that

My son and two of his best friends take in the wonder of Zoolights and roar right back at the lion…

came with our membership renewal Christmas gift. Thanks mom!) and if we’d blocked off almost all of our time we’d have ended up missing out and also dealing with super cranky kids. While it was hard at the time, I am very glad we said NO to so much so we could say YES to some really wonderful memories and to a lot more calm. As it was, we even had to cancel a few things because we were still battling sickness throughout this month. It never ceases to amaze me how much harder it is to recover from a simple cold when you are running on little to no sleep!
*Facebook really hates posting remotely. That site seriously wants to keep you on their page or their app and my posts were shown to a lot less people when I was sharing via my blog instead of posting links myself. In my ongoing love/hate relationship with social media, this leaves me with only more questions about how I want to use both facebook and my blog in the future. On the off chance their algorithms made some of my readers miss a few posts in advent, here’s a recap of what my 2018 focuses are: Explore, Entertain, Everyday, and Endure.
*People who really want to get in touch will get in touch. One of my anxieties I always have with leaving a social media sphere is the classically diagnosed FOMO. What I learned more during this break than I have on any other in the past is that I will still find out the really important stuff from the people closest to me. Babies, deaths, plans that are of the utmost importance, news stories- all those things came to me in other ways. Not always at the exact same speed as if I’d been online all day, but in a way that I could process more. People who aren’t as close may have had major things happen that I’d usually like to respond to or that I felt weird responding to so long after the fact once I got back on facebook, and that was something I still have to sit with and reflect about, but over all the fear of what I might miss is finally starting to register with me as way overblown. The online world goes on without me just fine.
*It’s easier to reflect and set new goals with a little less noise. And I don’t just mean the social media noise referenced above, I mean taking time for myself away from the background noise of our house and the adorable but very loud children and just giving myself time to sit and be. I think I write better posts that way too so it’s something I want to continue to strive for this year.
*Time goes FAST. It felt like I just started my break and then it was time to get to writing again! But it was enough time to recharge and get some ideas ready for the new year. And the speed is not just related to breaks- I can’t believe my daughter is celebrating her first birthday this month. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging regularly for three years. Some days I still can’t believe I have people willing to give their time and read my posts, let alone those of you who have dropped me comments or private messages about enjoying some post or other. So thanks for sticking with me as we begin another letter and another year.


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