I had a completely random thought the other day that caught me by surprise.
Our world is very driven by the influence of others. This isn’t always a bad thing. Some mom might share her favorite recipe with me and suddenly it becomes a staple in our house. Or I might read a blog about this book someone recommends and I’ll add it to my Amazon cart. It’s fun to discover new things and adopt new interests and get inspired, but I realized that I hadn’t stopped once to think about what I love. What are the things that I’ve naturally become drawn to? What are the things that would still be a part of my life if the internet didn’t exist? What are the things that I’m passionate about? What are the items that have subconsciously worked their way into my daily/weekly routine? What are the things I love that haven’t been recommended by some hip mom on Instagram?
Social media is a great tool to inspire creativity and encourage others with glimpses into our own lives. I won’t get into the downsides of comparison because we already know all of that. What I hadn’t considered, though, is the fact that social media has a tendency to form my likes and interests in a very gradual and disguised way. It makes me wonder how much of us is influenced by others? And also, are we just playing the game? I have to remind myself often when reading blogs that many of these bloggers are being funded/supported by a company that wants you to buy their product. They’ve hired a cool girl with a sh*t ton of followers to make their product look cool and then suddenly dozens of other girls think they need that too (I’m 100% guilty of this). And like I said, it’s not always a bad thing! Sometimes I end up really loving that product or tip and that’s great too.
Am I making any sense? Am I completely alone in this? I guess what I’m saying is as I get older, I want to continue to strive to give social media and blog influences a proper place, but a small one. I want to utilize them for what they’re good for, but I don’t want them to distract me from finding my own creativity and my own interests, whether they are Instagram-worthy or not. For the most part, I want to be in a place where my life would look the same whether I was going to share bits of in on social media or not.
So. The only proper reaction I could think of was to come up with a list of things I love. Not things that I wish I loved (like cooking, or using all-natural products, or skincare, etc.) but things that I’ve come across over the years that have become a part of my life to a certain degree.
- J.CREW CAMP SOCKS My mom bought me a pair 6 years ago and I’ve loved them ever since. They are thick and cozy and the perfect thing to wear around the house during the colder months.
- MONDAY MORNINGS ON KZUM I discovered our town’s local radio station back in college. Some of it I don’t care for at all (not a big blues fan and they play it EVERY afternoon) but every Monday morning an older gentleman named Con Good comes on the radio and from 8 to 10 he plays the best of big band music. It is my favorite way to start the week. His voice is gentle and friendly and I really wish he was my grandpa. You can live stream it via their website.
- INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC Over the years, I have grown to really love instrumental/classical music. There is so much noise in my life so I think that genre of music brings a necessary gentleness that I need. My sister calls it Hobby Lobby music. I call it peace.
- REVIVE OUR HEARTS This ministry has played a huge role in my spiritual maturity. I respect Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth so much and I’m thankful for her wisdom and insight into the scriptures. No, it’s not very hip. The intro music is a bit cheesy. But the teaching is so solid. I often put her podcasts on while I’m cleaning the house. I went through a phase during the early years of motherhood where I always had a Netflix show playing throughout the day and I didn’t like how it made it feel. Listening to podcasts was a great transition out of that and it made me feel more intentional about my time.
- WOMEN OF THE WORD This book is a GAME CHANGER. I didn’t grow up with a very solid foundation in scripture so I approach the Word very timidly. Jen Wilkin has played a huge role in giving me confidence to study God’s word for myself instead of just turning to scholars to tell me what it says. In turn, it has given me a love for the Bible like I’ve never known before.
- VANILLA CHAI I worked at a coffee shop in high school that sold this brand of chai and I haven’t found anything else that can even compete with it. I love to stir it into some warm almond milk at night before bed. Soooo good.
- JAZZ/BIG BAND I love love love jazz. Especially in the fall. There’s nothing better than jazz music on a crisp fall day. Truman and I are currently taking dance lessons so we learn how to dance to this genre of music. Even if it’s just in the middle of our living room.
- WEEKLY PLANNER The notepad I actually use doesn’t exist any more. It’s Sugar Paper from Target and I can’t find it anywhere online. But if I had to choose another one, it would be this. I’m a big list-maker. Every Sunday night, I sit on the couch with my planner and calendar and write down everything that needs to get done that week. I’m a visual person so I need to see it written out in order for me to gain motivation to do it. It’s an added bonus when you can write it on cute stationary 🙂
That’s it for now. It’s nothing glamorous, but these few things are significant to me and I love that they naturally weaved their way into my life. What are those things for you? Have you ever thought about it? I would love to hear.