I have to say that I have noticed a change in what I have been consuming on social media. I have been following more and more people that give advice. Good advice. Sound mental health advice. I love Dr Julie Smith and find that I think about her one minute posts all day. The are fantastic and here is one of my favorites:
But there are many more people that I love. One is a Zookeeper who gives sage advice. Another is a grandpa, one is a GenX er and another a Zen master. I found out something about myself as social media has grown over the past decade and it become a place where I really wanted to make my mark in the quilting universe. I started a dangerous practice of comparing myself to others without any of the facts or circumstances surrounding other peoples posts. The comparison started to branch out to everything I was consuming on social media décor, plants, gardens, hair, makeup, style, parenting, aging, and the worst thoughts for me was that other people could succeed and make money in a creative “job” when I couldn’t. I felt I couldn’t succeed in my day job, my housekeeping , or my appearance.
I realize now many of my assumptions were not true. I assumed that if you made a quilt and were sponsored that you got paid. Many times you get fabric but the three months of work is not paid for. It is a form of you doing the work for a mention on a social post by the sponsor. What??? I couldn’t believe it. I was realizing that the same was true about many feeds on social media and the really successful ones were a combination of luck, 100 hour work weeks, huge investments of money and tons of marketing.
I assumed that people who were in social media businesses were making money. I found many were breaking even and living off the income of a spouse or partner. In my dual income family, I was trying to work my day job and a side hustle to help pay for my kids college. What I got was a few hundred dollars here and there that kept my house from being foreclosed on years back and bought Christmas gifts when we had no money. For that I am extremely thankful. But it still hasn’t paid for the kids college. So I tried even harder to be successful, monetarily , and I kept failing over and over again. The total dollars made being the measure of success.
So what I have learned from my favorite social media accounts this year is to take care of myself. Stop comparing. Stop trying to work so hard to make more money. Stop trying to be on trend, present a picture perfect product and life, and start living. A real life and If choose to share on social that ok. More to the point, I don’t have to share, don’t have to do jobs on the side I don’t want to and focus more on my real life, job and relationships.
I love making and creating. I don’t want to strive so hard for it to be my living anymore. I want it to be my passion and let go of the fact that I should be selling or making money. I do what I love and what I am passionate about. That is teaching, podcasting, and making quilts /crafts that I want to make, in my own time. Its the perfect Zen place to be. I am not going to “work” 12 hour days any more. I am going to do my day job for as long as it lasts and I am able. When I get home, I am pursing my creative passions with Zen passion. And enjoy my relationships. Any my dusty house with totes all over not magazine worthy. And my comfy eccentric style. And my nature rides. And adventures. And my time of solitude to recharge. And writing goofy blog post. Recording podcasts. Experimenting and play more in my hobbies.
Its ok to be content right where I am and be a good caretaker of the things and money I have.
In the end, I love social media. But I am consuming it differently and my content may change this year. I am not going to sweat the perfect feed anymore. I am ok with showing real life, my real face and body. I am showing my real projects. The comparison will stop and I am seeking only the things that are positive and good to dwell on. It’s mostly a mental shift. I am not really sure it may be detectable on my social feeds by others.
Have a most creative and Zen weekend in spite of Mercury in retrograde, daylight savings time , Friday the 13th and a full Moon…. all happening this week.
Thank you for this post! I went from living on a hamster wheel working full time, longarm quilting for customers, caring for and supporting parents and family and no time for myself and tons of guilt for not accomplishing what I thought that I should. Reality hit when my Mom passed last winter….work became casual, more time for customer quilts but not the pressure to keep building business, more time for myself and what brings me joy!
Social media is so interesting but it needs to be viewed as it is…what people want others to see and not necessarily reality.
Enjoy life! I look forward to reading your Saturday Morning Coffee posts while I relax with my coffee!!!
I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. What is so interesting is that we can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone else has it all together, all the time. I am really hoping this year I can take time to care for myself and truly not feel guilty about it! I hope you do too! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!
This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I really am in a very similar spot! I heard a saying that comparison is the thief of joy and realize how true that is especially in the social media world. I have been struggling to come up with a side hustle while working full time too and finding myself unnecessarily unhappy with my job plus not having time to sew for pleasure or spending time in my sadly neglected flower garden- which I love to make boquets from for friends I don’t have time to see! I’m with you in slowing down and not worrying so much about this extra pressure to perform in areas I don’t need to worry about right now. I knew it deep down but seeing you put it in words confirmed my gut feeling I am on the wrong path for me at this time. Thanks for keeping your post real and sharing what’s in your heart.
I think that when I retire and look to have a second career I will pick up more in teaching, travel and longarming. And t shirt quilts. It is really hard to make a living crafting but keeping my passion as a hobby and looking at making money thru other avenues is still something I wanna think about however ….. I need to keep my mind in balance and at peace. Thanks for commenting andmd being such a big supporter !
You are so right!
Thanks! I want to stop this bad habit !
I LOVE THIS POST!!! It’s spot-on! I suffer from perfectionism in most ever aspect of my life: House keeping, my appearance, church, hobbies, etc. Thank you for the inspiration and permission to simply BE.
Love your podcast!
Thanks for commenting! We all need to be the person we are and enjoy each special moment!