No, not that kind of move.
I turned 39 last week, and after half a year of weighing it out, I decided that the gift I am giving to myself when I turn 40 next year is the gift of all the reclaimed time I usually spend on social media.
Some of it has been time well spent; memes that make you laugh till you pee, recipes or sewing hacks, escapism in an English countryside, Beth Moore’s twitter screenshots, you know the deal. I loved that part of Instagram. But I didn’t love that I never seemed to find the time to use those sewing hacks, or write my own tweets, or plan a pipe-dream trip to The Kilns.
Much of my time – too much – has been wasted. It’s time I can’t redeem and already regret losing. Time I spent scrolling instead of sleeping, or time I spent anxious because I was over-informed and unable to take action on whatever the crisis-of-the-day was, or time spent riled up because it is in the interest of those with power and money and nefarious ends to have a riled-up populace. Time spent not-writing because it is far easier for me to get sucked into the Endless Scroll than it is to focus and execute on a task. I don’t want to do it anymore.
I want to go back to being bored and resolving it the way I used to; by going outside, or daydreaming, or creating, or writing. I want to wait in the grocery line and be present, even if it means feeling annoyed or impatient. I think it’s probably good for us to feel annoyed or impatient, occasionally. It gives us practice at not being God.
I want my attention to be unfractured, and I want to be undistracted. I want to set a better example for my kids. I want to write more, and read through my massive bookpiles, and sew my ridiculous seasonal skirts.
I want to be human again.
So, I quit social media, and I’m moving my newsletter to Substack. You’ll be able to read my words here at https://doctorpew.substack.com, and all the “pocket lint” photos of my nature walks and mornings in the garden will be found over there under the Notes tab. If you want to keep getting these emails, do nothing! I’ll be migrating from Mailchimp over the next week. If you don’t want my words in your inbox, feel free to unsubscribe or shoot me an email and I’ll manually take you off.
Our family is ending one season, and beginning another, and I want to be present for all of it. In three short weeks, I will be returning to work for the first time in almost five years, and six short weeks after that I will finally, finally begin my M.Div program at Cairn University. After a year of uncertainty where we didn’t know if our family would have to relocate, we are sure that we do not, and we are eager to strengthen the roots we have here. I want to be present for all of it.
Here’s to the end of some things, and the beginning of others. Here’s to embracing boredom in lines and irritability at traffic lights and chit chat and small talk and being present in our embodied lives. Here’s to missing out on everything we fear we can’t miss out on. Here’s to the small, the embraceable, the enjoyable, the actionable. Here’s to it all.
Thank you for sharing this and my social spaces with me over the last few years. It’s been an honor to sit with you here in the Pew!