Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.
Day 9: What do you wish you did less of this year?
Yesterday’s post was all about the things I wish I did more of this year. Today, I’m flipping that question around to reflect on the opposite—what I wish I did less of this year. Here’s what I came up with!
1. Screen Time
Owning a smart phone has its definite upsides, but I personally feel that it comes at a pretty significant cost. I have written numerous times about how I need to spend less time on social media and looking at screens in general, but to be perfectly honest, my phone addiction has become significantly worse this year.
For the first few months of 2018, as I was trying to get over the initial shock of how many hours a day it took to nurse a newborn, I tried to keep my mind entertained by binging on Netflix or googling the answers to all my questions about baby sleep. But here’s the reality folks: the more you stare at your phone, the harder it is to look away.
Ryan and I are trying hard to avoid the use of screens with Avra for the first few years of her life, but that is difficult when you yourself are addicted! As Avra has grown and become more aware of her surroundings over the course of the year, the extent of my screen addiction has become very real and very concerning to me. I don’t want my child to grow up in an environment where her parents are more responsive to their phones than they are to her. I have already begun to seriously cut back over the past few months, but I still have a ways to go. Screen time is probably the number one thing I want to decrease in 2019!
2. Needless Fretting
This year, I am celebrating the fact that my overall anxiety levels were noticeably lower than they have been in a long time! Yay! But on a smaller scale, I know that I still spent more time than I would like to admit fretting over little things that don’t really matter.
As a perfectionist and a chronic obsessor, I am the kind of person who loves to color neatly inside the lines. I want to know what is expected of me, and I want to do everything the “right” way. But some undertakings in life don’t exactly have a “right” way or come with a clear set of instructions—like mothering a baby. Sure, there are a lot of important rules and guidelines out there to get you started, but a lot of the every day decisions come down to individual choice.
This was a mental battle for me this year! There were so many times when I questioned if I was doing the “right” thing and making the “right” choices as a mom. I freaked out a little inside when things didn’t go according to my well-researched plans. And whenever that happened—which was often—I had to intentionally choose not to jump to the conclusion that I was doing something innately wrong, or that I was somehow a huge failure. Looking back, I wish I had just loosened up a little bit, embraced the chaos, and stopped fretting!
Sometimes I am my own worst critic, and other times I am completely blind to the bad habits in my life that can be hurtful to others. I did not realize this until I married someone whose biggest pet peeve in life is being interrupted, but apparently I interrupt people a lot (or, at least, I interrupt Ryan a lot!!). And I don’t like being interrupted any more than the next guy, so I don’t know how I have allowed this to become a thing in my life.
I love and respect my husband so much and I hate it when my actions hurt or dishonor him. I don’t think my interrupting habit was necessarily worse this year than in previous years, but I also don’t think it was particularly better. I wish I had done it less, and quite simply, I feel this is one bad habit in my life that has just got to go! I will keep working on that in 2019!
Thanks for reading! Comment below and tell me what you wish you had done less of in 2018!