Detoxing, Refocusing, and Entering Into Advent

I’m sitting in my living room right now, laptop perched halfway on one knee, halfway on the arm of our old and worn-out chair. The fire is on, snow is covering the branches of the trees outside though the sun has melted it from the sidewalks and streets. My girls are across the street watching a movie with their bestest friend.

Even though it’s cozy and wintery, our house is not yet decorated for Christmas, nor do I have a desire to start early. (No judgement if you’re in the three months of Christmas camp!) I love this week before Thanksgiving. I love easing into the season and being aware. We have our November ritual of thankful leaves each night at dinner, remembering the small and big things we’re grateful for, preparing us for a nightly Advent reading later in the season.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

WordPress recently reminded me that I started this blog about six years ago. Some years were certainly more prolific than others but it’s interesting to think about writing in this space, in this teensy corner of the internet for that long. I’m glad I took the leap and am especially glad for the friends I’ve made because of this space. Of course, I’d do some things differently but I wonder if there’s any experience I’d be completely satisfied with?

One of the hardest parts about the writing world is the idea that you have to keep getting bigger; that there has to be a larger goal that simply blogging. I am so very proud of my friends who have started blogs that have turned into articles that have turned into books. That is pretty impressive! But I find myself comparing their successes to my own goals and dreams. I tried to make things work that didn’t and spent too much time on things that took away from writing.

So, as we enter this Advent season, a time of joy and anticipation, I want to return to the joy of blogging for its own sake. I’m joining my friend, Leslie in a “digital detox” as a way of staying more present in this season. But I’m also joining her because I want to remember why I started writing. I want to blog about the everyday lessons I’m learning and the things I’m into right now. I don’t want to think too much about polish or reach.

I’ve had an idea for an Advent book for preschoolers brewing for a few years now but have been bogged down in the steps I “should” take instead of writing it for me and my family and sharing it with whoever may benefit from a simple guide to the season. Instead of making it into an ebook or trying to sell it, I thought I’d write it here.

So, for Advent, I’ll be quieter on social media. I’ll be using my phone only for communication with people I know. But I may be louder in this space. I want to enter this season thoughtfully, yes, but I also want to reconnect with the small community here. I’m looking forward to using this season to refocus and to spark my own creativity.

What about you? Have you ever done a digital detox? How are you looking to enter this season of Advent?

11 thoughts on “Detoxing, Refocusing, and Entering Into Advent

  1. Congratulations on six years of ministry. I have personally been blessed by many of your posts. I’ve been on this journey for five years and I too struggle with the comparison demon. Some who started out with me have written several books. are writing for noted online sites and have numerous speaking engagements. But for now, I think God has me/us right where he wants us. I love your digital detox idea. I’m going to hop over to Leslie’s and read what she says. I hear God calling me to a writing project but my thoughts are jumbled. I’m sure a digital fast would help clear out the gunk.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement! I think it’s the jumbledness of this project that has finally made me think I need to cut out noise and distraction. We’ll see what comes of it but I think it certainly can’t hurt! Let me know how you find yourself focusing for your project!

  2. I am just a badass dude
    of whom the wide world’s unaware,
    but I have nothing left to prove,
    and so I do not care.
    I write the cancer journey,
    and if it’s read, that’s cool,
    When I’m dead on some cold gurney,
    I’ll leave my words as someone’s tool.
    I think that maybe we are rocks
    dropped in a mirror-pond;
    ripples flee the cage of clocks
    and head to the Great Beyond.
    My words may wash some istant beach
    that I, myself, could never reach.

    1. This is what I love about the openness of online writing – our legacies continue, however that looks for each journey! Thankful for your stories and continued sharing!

  3. I have heard several people I know of do this digital detox. Actually I would not think of doing this. Next month I will be 76, health not too good, mobility poor and local friends are lacking. I spent 13 years in Turkey , came home in 2003, moved all over the US for the next 15 years and am now living with my son. So my digital contacts are very necessary to me. Most of the contact is with friends I won’t see. But I applaud you and others for doing this so you can be more in the present. I hope you are refreshed during this time.

    1. I think it definitely depends on circumstance and season! A lot of people like to unplug for Lent but that’s when Frank is working 80+ hours and I find myself so loney. The online world keeps me connected and out of my head then. In the same way, when the girls were tiny babies, online spaces helped me see beyond early motherhood. I think it’s all about timing, space, and intention!

  4. Good for you! Yes, I took the month of October off from blogging, social media, and even turned my phone off for two hours in the afternoon. God helped me to see how I was using my time and how much importance/pressures I had placed on myself to blog or not blog, yadda yadda, I’m sure you know. It was nice to have that time away and I had some major emotional healing taking place. I hope you find joy in this advent season in the present and simply being!

    1. Oh, it’s good to hear about your experience! Yes, I’m hoping for space and presence. I can so often put too much emphasis on these types of experiments and this time, I’m just hoping to notice more. I’d love to figure out a natural way to work things like this into my yearly rhythms.

  5. We all need a break from the constant noise out there and from the myriad pressures we place on ourselves. December is the perfect month for this since most of us are so busy with Christmas. We must relearn how to pause and just breathe!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.