Why I’m Taking a Break from Pinterest

“I think we need a little break.”

The only sentence more indicative of a poor outcome to the conversation is, “We need to talk.”

But since I can’t really chat with Pinterest, instead I’ll go with the former. I need a break.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, let me tell you, it’s amazing. Addictive. Inspiring. All-consuming. Blood-sucking.

See a theme here?

I love the share-ability of Pinterest. I love the graphic aspect. I love the plethora of ideas and inspiration. But here’s the problem:

I pin and pin and pin away, thinking about all these projects I’m going to create, outfits I’m going to put together, places I’m going to visit, recipes I’m going to make, books I’m going to read, movies I’m going to watch… AND THEN I NEVER DO IT.

Oh, I think I’m going to bake that caramel apple cake or sew that cute sundress or scrap lift that adorable layout… but it doesn’t happen. The pinning itself has become a substitute for the actual act of creating.

And to me, that’s just not okay.

I’m a creator at heart. I have to write and draw and build and make, otherwise I feel stifled and lazy. And Pinterest was sucking me in with its possibilities, but I wasn’t actually CREATING anything.

So I started to feel overwhelmed and backlogged and sad. Yes, sad.

Pinterest was making me depressed!

And I don’t think I’m alone. I listened to this fabulous podcast on “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” from one of my favorite “big thinkers,” Michael Hyatt, and he said,

“The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.”

This isn’t just “1984” psychobabble Luddite fear-mongering; it’s true. I felt it myself.

And I decided enough was enough. So I’m on a pin-free diet for the next month. Oh, sure, I’m going to check Pinterest — but to find things to MAKE and DO, not just to pin more things I’ll never make and never do.

I’m going to work through that backlog of ideas and inspiration. I’m going to free up the creative juices by stretching my REAL muscles, not just the virtual ones.

I’m going to create.

Want to join me?


Posted by LEadmin
August 22, 2012

The Hardest Thing.

Four to five times a week, I force myself to do the hardest thing.

I push myself out of my comfortable little nest of computer, writing, creating, and communicating, and insert myself firmly into the physical world.

This is not natural for me.

I am a cerebral type. I prefer thoughts and ideas to the physical. I find most material needs — food, sleep, showering, etc. — to be more of a nuisance than a pleasure (okay, except for food. I really like food). If I could be like “IT” in “A Wrinkle In Time,” just a disembodied brain, I think I might be quite happy. Or at least as happy as a disembodied brain could be.

But I’m not. I’m a corporeal person, like it or not. And I have to force myself into that body.

I am not a person of moderate steps. I’m black and white. So I run half-marathons, I walk 60 miles, and I do Bikram yoga.

If you’re not familiar with Bikram, it’s a hatha (breath) based discipline developed by Bikram Choudhury. It includes a series of 26 poses completed in 90 minutes, and (here’s the hard part), it is done in a studio heated to 105 degrees.

Yes, 105 degrees.

That is hot.

And I love it.

I sweat something like four pounds of water weight. I leave feeling absolutely wrung out, stretched to the limits of my capabilities. Because the same 26 postures are done in every class, anywhere in the world, it is predictable and I can track my progress.

And yoga is all about progress. Not the achievement, but the act of achieving. Not the end goal, but the process of becoming.

Not natural for me, but oh so important to learn.

So Bikram challenges me mentally, spiritually (be here now!), emotionally, and physically. And even though I know how good it is for me I have to make myself go. After all, 90 minutes of intense effort is no easy feat, either in terms of actual performance or in terms of finding time in my already-packed schedule.

But I’m not here for the easy path.

I’m here to do the hardest thing. And then to do it again and again and again.

What’s your hardest thing?


Image used with permission of OpeningMinds/Flickr

Posted by LEadmin
August 17, 2012

Going Home Again.

I’ve spent the last few days at the house I grew up in. Sleeping in my parents’ bed. Swimming in the pool I swam in many decades ago. Hanging out with my family (original and by marriage). And it gives me a lot of time to think about and observe patterns.

Patterns in the way I relate to my dad, my sister, myself.

Patterns in the way I move through the day, both in terms of physical space and emotional space.

Patterns in my own children and how I interact with them.

Patterns in the ebb and flow of life (cliche alert: It goes fast!).

Some are good, some are not so good. Some memories are good, some are not so good.

I remember how my mom retreated to her office to work, work, work and see how I do the same now, never realizing I was repeating something I’d learned from birth.

I remember how I always felt frustrated at what I saw as preferential treatment for my brother — and I realize I still feel that way (maybe it’s time to give that up?).

I remember how abandoned and scared I felt when my parents were constantly bickering and fighting, sometimes waking my sister and me up in the middle of the night to “choose sides.” I remember how I vowed I’d never do that with my husband, and I realize how proud I am now that I was able to break that cycle.

It’s been good. Hard at times, but good. Some things change, some things don’t. But there’s always a choice.

Posted by LEadmin
August 16, 2012