Thoughts before I go

It is that time of year again, the time not so far removed from the start of the year that we haven’t forgotten our New Year’s resolutions, but also a time to make new ones. Wednesday marks the start of Lent, a season in the church year that lasts for about a month and a half, from Ash Wednesday until Easter. You probably know people who commemorate Lent by giving something up, or you give something up yourself. I’ve been doing this since high school to various extents. Some years I’ve been excessive with it, giving up all forms of social media and a lot of foods. I don’t think that’s necessary, though. It’s better to give up one thing that’s especially giving you trouble, or that you’re addicted to. Last year, in my case, that was Snapchat. This year, however, it is a little different. I’m giving up Facebook, which I’ve done before, but not because I’m addicted, but because I’ve come to realize since I graduated college that the network causes me quite a bit of anxiety. I feel that I have to keep up a certain appearance on Facebook to stay afloat, and often I have mistakenly presumed it to be the judge of my relationships. I take “likes” on my posts to be signs of love and worry that if no one likes my posts, that I am unlovable and annoying. Consciously, I know this isn’t true, but living on my own, I receive less in-person affection from others. And, as an introvert, I feel less motivated to put in the work to seek it out. So, I’m taking a break from Facebook, as in, I’m deactivating it entirely rather than just not going on. My prayer is that by removing it from my life, I’ll find ways to connect with others that build me and them up, rather than causing anxiety.

This all connects to my philosophy that if you are going to cut something out of your life, you have to stay positive and replace it with something else that’s healthier. This partly comes from Pete Carroll’s #WinForever mantra (which I elaborate on in my last post… let’s not talk about the Seahawks though), and partly from a talk the wife of my church’s senior pastor gave a few weeks ago regarding anxiety, which I also briefly mentioned in my last post. It turns out that this is a great Lenten mode of thinking, because the point of giving things up is to refill your life with something better, that brings you closer to God. Be intentional about what you choose to take out, and know the point of it. I know now that this anxiety is detracting from my relationship with God, so I’m letting it go. As our pastor said in his children’s message on Sunday, you can’t drink a mug of hot chocolate if the mug has something less delicious sitting in it. You have to pour it out and make the hot chocolate. In the zero degree temperatures of Minnesota, that sounds pretty nice. 🙂

In other news, I’m about to go abroad once again! A month from today, I will board a flight to Heathrow Airport and work in England for a week, including at a large bead show our company puts on. The flights have been finalized. And I will be taking a side trip to Berlin afterwards, just for a couple nights, before I return. I will be posting photos on my Instagram account ( whenever I get a chance. I’ll try and write on here too, in lieu of Facebook. I’m very excited and nervous. I’ll be bringing my German dictionary and reviewing all I learned in 3 semesters, so I can at least get by. We’ll see how that goes.

Here in Rochester, not much is new from my last post. I had an EXCELLENT birthday weekend, visiting Melissa, which involved playing with three cats, eating angel food cake and Pulla French toast, buying wine, and proofreading websites. And hearing Nordic Choir and LCSO on my actual birthday… still blown away. I’m active in my church’s music ministries and will be joining the Rochester Pops Orchestra next weekend. Work is still busy with all of our magazines. And somehow, I stay connected with my friends and family, wherever they are.

Here’s to a Lent of growth and reflection. See you on avenues other than Facebook. 🙂



One response to “Thoughts before I go

  1. Pingback: Lent: Rest & Repentance | A Journalist's Fantasy

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