It’s hard for me to take a break. It’s hard to set things down. However, I realize it’s time to give myself permission to be.
Permission to Be Present
I need permission to be present. Social media has been a huge gift to me, especially over the last year. I’ve met some amazing infertility warriors, as well as some wonderful writers. Instagram opened me up to the world of childfree after infertility or childless not by choice or any of the other hashtags assigned to this group of individuals who are trying to figure out what life looks like when the journey of trying to create a family is over. I seriously consider these people my friends — most whom I’ve never met in person.
However, when I’m on my phone all the time, I have a hard time being present to what’s happening right in front of me. So, I’m giving myself some permission slips…
- I have permission to set my phone down.
- I have permission to show up to the moment.
On Sunday I forgot to pick up my phone when we went over to my mom’s to celebrate her birthday. I realized this before we left the driveway, but I opted to just leave it at home. I never leave my phone at home on purpose. In addition to it being my main form of communication, it also holds my drivers license and credit card. However, I knew I could get by without all of those things for a few hours.
And you know what? Aside from a few moments when I wanted to look something up, I never missed my phone. I enjoyed the time apart and the ability to be fully present to my mom and husband.
Permission to Be Absent
I need permission to be absent. All this online engagement has falsely taught me that if I’m not on the apps at all times, I’m not relevant. Some people share every moment (or so it seems) of their daily lives. This makes me wonder if I’m not sharing enough. I know none of this is true, but somehow social media has this way of causing us to doubt or second-guess ourselves. And, when I know publishers are looking at numbers of followers and engagements, etc, it’s hard to take a break.
I feel this constant need to be present for everyone (hello, enneagram two). But, that’s just not realistic and it’s not healthy either. Here are some additional permission slips…
- I have permission to take next week off of social media.
- I have permission to reduce my weekly posts from six to four when I return from my week off.
This may not seem like a big deal, but since July I’ve posted on Instagram six days a week. I’ve engaged with followers and friends every day. It’s time to set my phone down and get a reset. I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that worries if I’m gone for a week, I’ll be forgotten. I know that is not true and I trust that we’ll jump right in where we left off when I return!
Permission to Be Flexible
I need permission to be flexible. When I embarked on this book writing process almost a year ago, I made some changes to the way I show up on my blog and social media. Instead of writing a blog post whenever I felt like it, I committed to writing every Friday. Instead of any topic that came to mind, I committed to focusing on the theme of living a good, full life in the midst of infertility. This has worked well for me and for that I’m grateful!
However, there are times that I feel “pressured” to get a blog post written in time or find a story related to the topic. This pressure comes from me and no one else. So, I have two more permission slips to add to my collection…
- I have permission to not write a blog post next week.
- I have permission to write a blog post about my trip even if it’s not connected specifically to infertility.
Sometimes I just need to give myself permission to be flexible. Next week I’m headed to the Dominican Republic with my mom. I’m dedicating a block of time each day to work on my book. I may be tired of writing and come Friday I will nothing to say. Or, I may be inspired by the sun and beach and have a lot to say! I may have something to say directly related to infertility or not… and no matter what ends up happening, I have permission to let it be what it will be.
Brenè Brown inspired this idea of writing a permission slip to myself. I’ve taught others about this practice. But, I’ve never really done it for myself. I’m so glad I’m giving myself this gift next week… permission to be.
P.S. Have you signed up for my monthly newsletter yet? I send it out on the first Thursday of the month. It’s all about Living a Good, Full Life in the Midst of Infertility. I hope you’ll join me there! You can read past issues here.