Jan 15, 2015

Step Away From the Phone

We have big news in our household. An announcement of sorts.

After three years (and many, many before that) we upgraded our dinosaur phones for newer, flashy, smart phones. I feel like I've entered the twenty-first century (or something). So much power. The world is at my fingertips! And by "world" I mean, the World Wide Web, because really, isn't there so much more to the world than what's offered on a phone?

Which is sort of my point here, I guess. Even though I made jokes about my Zach Morris phone, I kind of liked not having a smart phone. For the most part, I was perfectly happy living without checking Facebook or reading emails or Bubble popping whenever and wherever.  In fact, to be perfectly honest, I kind of turned my nose up at how often people pull out their phones and stare at the screens.

But, it's easy for me to be judgy-mc-judgerson when I don't have the siren song of a smart phone singing in my purse. It's easy for me not to be distracted by my phone at.all.times when I don't have a phone that offers much more than fuzzy pictures and minimal texting (which we had a limited number of per month anyway).

The reality is, I know myself. Even in my snobbery, I knew that if I had a smart phone of my own , I wouldn't be able to resist the allure of checking or playing or being on it at all times either. I was afraid to get a phone with AllTheThings because I knew that I too would become tied to the world at my fingers. I would be distracted by apps and Instagram and what is going on that little screen instead of around me.

And I am. I so, so am.

Having such a big technological distraction is too tempting. And, because it is new and exciting and all-things-exclamation-pointy to me, it is even harder to limit myself. I put off getting a smart phone for a long time, which is also an excuse I use to my current addiction. I haven't had a smart phone for years so now, while everyone else is scaling back and moving on and putting their phones away, I am in the stage they all were three years (or more) ago.  Can.Not.Stop.Looking.On.My.Phone.

Who can I text?

What can I check?

Why aren't people doing more on social media and entertaining me AT ALL TIMES!?

It's embarrassing to admit, really, how distracted I've been lately. How much my phone is taking away from my focus on the things around me, the people around me.

The first week I cut myself some slack because, it's a new toy and of course it's okay to overdose when it's brand-new. But my One Week is spilling into Two Weeks and I can see how quickly this could get out of hand. Put down the phone, Christine. Just Put.It.Down.

Still, I'm trying to give myself a little break. To not beat myself up too much. I am only human, after all. But, I'm aware of it. And I'm not okay with it. (The first step is admitting there's a problem and all of that.)

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go check Instagram. I mean, play with my kids.

xoxo, christine

Jan 13, 2015

A Toast, Of Sorts

I am not a big resolution-maker or word-of-the-year-declarer, but I am in the business of wanting to better myself and live a fulfilling life.

The other night my husband talked about focusing on balance this new year and living with Presence, something I think our whole family could do better with. It got me thinking though, if I was choosing a word to focus on for 2015, what would it be? My initial thought is Gratitude, because I desperately want to see the good things I already have in front of me instead of focusing on the things that I think are missing.

Obviously I have much to be grateful for, and I forget to see it more than I'm comfortable with. I have spent many years working with a therapist to trudge through my depression, and I finally feel like I'm at a point where I can move from working out my depression to just working on being the best (or at least a better) version of myself.

I'm not entirely sure who that looks like, but I want her to be filled with gratitude and appreciation for her life and to open that heart of hers and let love out. I want her to see love and feel love and, most importantly, give love as much as possible.

I don't generally think of myself as a pessimist. But, when viewing the glass I'm not sure that I see it half-full either. I tend to see the glass and just worry. Is there enough? Is it clean? Is it going to break? Is this even my glass to drink from? What's it filled with? Etc. Etc. Etc. I don't think I'm a negative person, per say, but I definitely err more on the side of hardships and difficulties and worries. I think part of that is due to depression, which is maybe why I'm feeling like I can move beyond that part of me. Not only can I be a person who's depression is managed (gasp!) but even go as far as to be a person who is joyful and even positive.

I am looking forward to this year. (I think.) I am looking forward to delving deeper into what makes me happy and what is important to me and who I am and who I want to become. I am looking forward to putting more emphasis on being with my family and spending time with friends. I am looking forward to seeing the good in things, even if I have to work so hard to retrain my brain that it hurts.

I am going to lasso a golden unicorn and ride it over the rainbow into this new year.

{image credit}

xoxo, christine

PS. Did you know you can like And it is Love on Facebook? Also, the new year brought us new phones (read: smart phones) so I now am officially on Instagram too.

Jan 6, 2015

Seven is...

Last year she was six. And as the new year was ushered in, so was she, into the big, wide world of seven. There is something about the age "seven" that feels foreign in my mouth. It feels bigger, older. Less Little Girl and more Girl.

Seven is a tiny baby teeth smile turning into a big grown-up teeth grin. It is learning and practicing math over and over and over again. It is sight words and picture books and the allure of long chapter books with no pictures.

Seven is teasing her sister in the morning and spending hours playing Honey with her sister in the afternoon. It is wanting to have the top bunk as an option, but choosing to sleep in the big bed with her sister every night instead.

Seven is making her baby sister giggle and wiping the spit up off her face. It rushing to grab a toy or a diaper or a burp cloth. It is being the Helpful Big Sister.

Seven is understanding more grown-up jokes, and pointing out sarcasm. It is rolling her eyes and stomping her feet and huffing out "fine." Seven is becoming more and more embarrassed by her parents.

Seven is full of questions and wonder, but also fear and apprehension. It is understanding more of the bigger picture and being responsible.

Seven is deciding to have her first friend birthday party. It is knowing what she wants and asking for it.

Seven is playing outside by herself. It is being ready for a bigger bike, now that she doesn't need training wheels. It is wanting someone to play with, but not needing someone to play with.

Seven is wanting more independence, but still needing cuddles and snuggles.

I realize that she has only been seven for a handful of days. Some of these things linger from when she was six and continue on. Some things will change as she moves further into the year.

Her amazingness though, that will be with her always. It is the spark that makes her Hope. And I am so grateful to be a witness to all that she is.

Happy 7th Birthday, Hopey!

xoxo, christine