No Social Media………For 2 weeks!

Hello everyone, it has been a while. I have been on social media for a few years now and have worked really hard to grow my blog and online presence educating and being a part of the change for those who are blind or partially sighted.

Social media has allowed me to be able to reach thousands of people that I never thought possible. But it also took its toll on my mental health little but little. I think with everything that is going on with Covid-19 and all the extra stress that has been in all of our lives I just hit a spot in my journey where I needed to make a change and a drastic one.

I have had a lot going on in my personal life, work life, momma life, guide dog life, chronic illness, trying to go to school life. There was just so much on my plate that it started to crack. The one place that was negotiable in relieving some of that stress was my online life. I do not share all of my life online so it was the easiest place to step back and just let it go. So November 14th that is what I did.

I had made my last post on instagram and never said anything about leaving, I just did. I put a post on my personal Facebook page that if friends wanted to keep in touch to reach out as I was taking a break and didn’t know when I would be back.

There are few things that we can really step away from and re-assess how it is affecting us, and social media and the online world is the one that we have so much control over. I would spend hours trying to stay relevant in the online world and make sure that I was sharing content that would always go towards the things I was passionate about, like disability, chronic illness, educating those who would read my content. But in all of that I lost myself.

There is so much more to me than my disabilities and even though I still am very very passionate about all of those things and want to continue to share and educate and create change. I am also very aware of the effects of social media and what that can do to us.

When you are online it is not always a nice place and you have to consciously ignore and leave behind that negativity that is so easy for individuals to spew when they are not in a good space themselves. And when we are not feeling the greatest ourselves that becomes almost impossible.

Over the last couple of weeks I deleted all social media platforms, youtube, my blog everything from my phone. I have seen a huge change in my mental health (I still have a long ways to go) that I can do it and that I need to reevaluate what role social media has in my life.

I found that even though I have built a community of people online I was feeling more lonely than I ever have. Building true friendships is something that I have always said didn’t matter to me, but that was because I have always struggled with friendships and even more so as an adult. But now I know that I am someone who needs those real connections to people. I need to be able to pick up the phone and chat with someone or send a hundred text messages back and forth during a week because those relationships are what make me feel whole. And I was not finding those scrolling online,

We all have a journey that we are on and this is just a portion of my journey. I have no idea where it will take me or where it will end up, but I do know that I love to write, educate, engage and create change, so I will never stoop doing those things. But how I do it, is really up in the air.

I hope you are all staying safe and I hope you take some time to think about what is bringing you joy this time of year and always.

Until Next Time!

Ashley and Danson

Quiet Time…..

As someone who for so many years needed to be busy, busy all the time I am finding that I am really enjoying the piece and quiet. I still keep busy I suppose I mean I work full time, have three kids and a husband (so almost 4 kids sometimes), I also go to school, and have a YouTube Channel and this blog. I mean I suppose when I write it all out it sounds busy. But I used to sit on a lot of boards and be a part of many different things and now I find myself doing more for me.

I know there are times that I feel a little selfish for prioritizing the things that I love like reading, blogging, YouTube, furthering my education. Those are all the things that I chose to take on, because they make me feel good. When we say that we prioritize ourself and the things that we want so many times people will make us feel bad for that.

The major difference that I have found over the last year or two is that when I prioritize myself and the things that I want to do, my mental health is what wins at the end of the day. I can be a very stressed person, I want things to go my way, I want to plan, I want to know exactly what is happening. But taking the tine to do things for me has really helped to curb that in my down time. Now at my 9-5 job….well…..we are all a work in progress………right……….?

a close up dark image of a Mac laptop keyboard.
my computer is my happy place

I have often talked about how I love to read and one of the other things that I have always loved to do and have been doing since I was a kid is writing. Hence the blog. I find that when I am in the mood I can sit down and write multiple blog posts, and articles in a matter of a couple of hours. Are my blogs perfect? Nope not at all, but they are a true image of me, imperfect but perfectly ok with that! I have always been that type of person that when I sit down to write it just flows. I have been really thinking about this and being mindful when I get in the head space for writing and it is my therapy in some ways. It is the only time that I am not thinking about anything else except what I am writing. It is the only time that I feel at complete peace, it is the time when I feel like I can express myself in the way that I want to.

dark living room close up of a corner with a lamp not lit and a candle lit sitting on an end table.
there is always a light at the end of the tunnel

I think we all need to have that thing that is our quite time. That thing that is simply for us, and brings us a great amount of joy that after we are finished doing it, you can think, wow I needed that. In this time of life and society with social media and the notion that we need to be as busy as we can possibly be or you are lazy, or unproductive, or you won’t amount to anything, is craziness. I think more than ever we need those times of quiet, those times of absolute selfishness where we prioritize ourselves and what we need as human beings.

What is your go to quiet time, what is that one thing that brings you the most joy just for you?

Until Next Time

Ashley and Danson