It's been almost three months since my last Year of Simplify update! I'm still forging on in my quest to slow down, and these three months have been a pivotal time in figuring out what that looks like.
When I declared 'simplify' as my theme for the year, I was at a point where I had a lot going on and felt overwhelmed by all of it. A new full-time job parlayed off a contract was the big wrench that threw my life in disarray. I began reacting negatively - first to blogging, which used to be a source of joyful release; then to other parts of my life. Eating healthy seemed like a chore I didn't want to do anymore (and my body started to show it - but that's another blog post); my daily workouts didn't come with the positive benefits it used to; and social media became a cess pool of comparison, complaints and FOMO I'd become addicted to. Nine months in The Year of Simplify, I've managed to turn a lot of that back around.
Relaunching this site last month was the big culmination in reconnecting with blogging. For a long time, I was cranking out blog posts with no soul, and the stress of blogging clouded over the passion I'd had for it. Taking a break to focus on constructing a new site and migrating all my content over was the time I needed to understand blogging's place in my life. I enjoy telling stories. I enjoy sharing cool & interesting things about my city and beyond. I enjoy working with brands to create unique experiences through my eyes. Although, now I'm not so hard on myself about cranking out blog posts. Sometimes there's a lot to say, and sometimes the time needs to be spent living instead of saying. I always come back. :)
I'm still saying 'no' to a lot of events and obligations, which I'm getting better at feeling less guilty about, but has taken a lot of getting used to. My friends and I will talk about how we used to roll out to four, five events in a night. Just the thought of doing that now makes me want to nap! The tradeoff of spending one day with a good friend or reveling in having nothing to do far outweighs a packed and exhausting schedule. And I end up working harder on the things and people that matter to me. It's fucking wonderful.
My big 'work in progress' remains in cutting down on online time. Isn't it crazy how reaching for our phones seems like a reflex nowadays? I need to cut that shit out. It's nice to know what your friends are up to and read up on the latest, but when you're doing it excessively it just starts to feel like a time and energy suck. "Are you creating, or consuming?" is something I try to ask myself constantly, despite the allure and the ease of picking up my phone for another endless scroll. I can't ever fully break from social media since it's essential to what I do professionally, but being better about not having my phone around so much has improved my sleep and my presence in the moment. Sometimes I fall back in the cycle, but I keep trying.