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Monday, April 03, 2017

April Showers

I'm now in my fourth month of The Mighty's Year of Self-Care. This month's theme is kindness, and though The Mighty provides you with guidelines for how to honor this theme of self-care, I've decided to forgo their prompts and do two specific acts of kindness to myself:

1. Stay off Facebook for the month 
2. Participate in NaJoWriMo.

Facebook: A Catch-22

The reason why staying off Facebook is an act of kindness (at least for me) is the same reason why almost everyone I know periodically de-activates their accounts. And, it's the same reason why I've advised countless students and clients of mine to take a social media break.

Social Comparison Bias. Or, in laymen's terms, playing the who's-better-than-me/who's-worse-than-me game. Playing the game...and failing every time.

No matter what kind of Jack Handy bullshit I tell myself, I wind up feeling less than when I read other people's posts. Not all the time, but if I'm in a particularly vulnerable space in my life, I tend to "compare up" which leaves me feeling very down. If so-and-so is on a vacation to the Islands, suddenly I'm a loser who can't afford to take trips. If another so-and-so has an article published in a medium that I've failed to be published in, I'm the wannabe-writer-loser who should give up.

Now here is the Catch-22, despite the above reality, when I am in a calm and peaceful place within myself, Facebook is like the local watering hole where I connect with old friends, plan a high school reunion, brainstorm ideas for a new story, or post cute pics of my cats and kids and "like" other people's posts of the same kind. Also, this is the place where I can share links to this blog, and it is the place to market my work for free!

Despite this conundrum, I will not delete my Facebook because the good and positive outweigh the bad and the negative.

However, for this month, I'm on a "face-cation".

NaJoWriMo

I love committing to journaling because journaling always makes me feel better, yet, like eating avocados or drinking green tea, I don't necessarily do it. Actually, bad analogy. I hate avocados and green tea tastes like dirt to me. And, it's not that I don't journal or hate journaling...Actually, journaling is like yoga...which I do every day...but for about ten minutes. So it's not that I don't journal or do yoga, it's that I could do it more, and doing it more would be very beneficial.

Usually when anything about NaNoWriMo or its derivatives (NaBloPoMo) comes across my virtual path, I walk quickly in the other direction like I'm at the supermarket avoiding anyone I know because I'm dressed in pjs and a baseball hat and in my no-talking mode. When I saw it on Twitter last week, I hooked my fingertips right into the keyboard and committed myself for the month. The reason I typically avoid these long term commitment gigs for writing is because they can start to feel like a burden instead of a source of inspiration; the goal for NaNo and NaBlo is publication, whereas this commitment for NaJo is a commitment to yourself. There is no seeking external validation.  

Which brings me back to staying off Facebook, celebrating the theme of kindness for the month of April, and journaling.

So, I will post on here as I feel inspired to do so, but at the same time, this month's goal is to be kind to myself and to not put any undo pressure on my writing or journaling.

Happy Month of Self Kindness!

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