Monday morning came a brutal run. Lucky for me, I have the best friend, Bri, who I convince to brave the elements and run with me. Running with friends is def one of my top favorite past times. Usually I feel like I have a hard time talking sometimes; I mix up words, don’t say exactly what I want, etc. But when I run, I feel like the movement loosens everything up – even talking – and it all just flows out smoothly. My mind & my tongue finally sync.
We had one of those runs on Monday. The discussion on hand was pressure, anxiety, and the ‘never feeling enough’ mindset. In our modern world it’s so easy to never feel enough. Social media makes it so easy to take a peek into everyone’s lives – to see how great they all are. It’s so easy to access all the great possessions, clothes, etc. Everyone & anyone’s opinions are right at our finger tips on how best to parent, to eat, to dress, what’s good for you, what’s bad for you, etc. It’s all just RIGHT THERE. It can be so overwhelming. And, unfortunately, it can lead people to constantly feel down on themselves; to have increased anxiety, depression, & pressure.
Now, I’m not saying that any of this is inherently bad. The problem is that most people only show the highlights of their lives. And they should! But, I would love to also see the struggles. The hard times. The times that ‘they’ don’t know what in the crap they are doing as a parent. Because, don’t we all struggle? All feel overwhelmed? All feel lost at times? We do. We just don’t talk about it. Because in large part, social media makes us feel like we shouldn’t feel that way. That we must be the only ones to feel that way. Then, on top of feeling overwhelmed, you feel so alone. It’s easy to just say, “oh, it’s social media’s fault.” But who is social media? It’s me. It’s you. It’s all of us. We are making each other feel ‘never enough!’ and it makes me so sad. It shouldn’t be like this. Having the blessing of being so connected should make us feel so supported. So together. And, of course, in many ways it does! Many people do a great job at just being real. Showing life how it is. But there is also the hard side of it all and that part makes me sad. And fed up. So fed up, that one day, I just stopped caring.
I remember the day very well. It was a blessing in the midst of trial (don’t a lot of blessings seem to come that way?) I was sitting next to my suffering husband, who hours before, had told me death felt very welcomed. He said if it weren’t for me & Ames (pre Corra) he would gladly die. I was scrolling through Instagram and picture after picture built so much rage inside of me (probably more than it should have, but remember my setting, haha). Everything seemed to be about worldly things…makeup, clothes, their hot new bod, etc. I got so mad that I threw my phone down. I just wanted to scream, “NONE OF IT MATTERS!! I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF THIS!” Watching my husband be so miserable made things very black and white for me. I learned (the hard way) that the only things that really matter are the people. Our friends. Our family. Our relationships. From that day on I have cared so much less about anything I see on social media. I hardly care at all what others think of me. I don’t feel the pressure or anxiety to ‘keep up with the Jones’. I mean, I’m human. It happens from time to time. But for the large part, I honestly have stopped caring. And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
An example at how this has helped me is in my running (you surprised? ha). During high school & college I cared SO MUCH about running well. I cared so much about what my PRs were. I got embarrassed when someone asked me my PR & it wasn’t as fast as I thought it should be. I was in a constant state of “not good enough”. And not only did it make running so much less rewarding, it, in fact, made me run slower! I remember being in the middle of races and being so tense. It wasn’t that I was so physically tired, as much as I was mentally. I was so anxious to run well & get that time I thought I should have, that it made me tense up, and run worse.
As Nate was going through cancer I set out to break the 18 min barrier in the 5k, something that physically I should have done in college. But because of the pressure & caring SO MUCH about a good 5k time, I never got it and it always bothered me. Plus, I needed to cope with cancer life 🙂 So, I started training hard. Training went really well, as it usually did for me. But then race day came. But this time around, race day felt much different. I felt excited! I actually vividly remember sitting in the middle of the field a couple hours before my race. The thought popped in my head, “What if I don’t break 18?” That pressure & anxiety tried to take over but this time was different. I just didn’t care. I didn’t care what time I had on paper – I remember answering that question right away in my mind – “it doesn’t matter, none of this really matters” and I smiled. For the first time in my life, I really felt that way. I knew that, although I would love to run fast & do well and I love to train hard and achieve goals, at the end of the day my 5k time has no real significance. I now knew what really mattered. With that knowledge I was able to go into the race with nerves, yes, but mostly excitement! Running was fun again. I felt the joy that comes through the pain of racing. And you know what? 17:45. Crushed it.
I stopped caring. Not about my eternal progression. Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty driven & work real hard. But now, I hardly think about ‘dressing to impress’. I wear what I like & what is ‘me’. I can wear a swimsuit a month out from giving birth, because I feel comfortable in my own skin, even when my skin is chubby. I don’t really care what other people think about how I parent. I’m not tempted to follow any fads just to ‘keep up’. I’ve learned to just be Kacee. I still struggle. I still feel that pressure, & those “never enough” feelings from time to time. I make mistakes. I know that I have a lot to improve on. But finally, I don’t care what others think & don’t do things based on others opinions.
I stopped caring.
And it’s the best thing I have ever done.
Pictures from this week:
If you look closely you can see a little body I’m extracting haha. She’s into EVERYTHING.
Post nap snuggles 🙂
Sunday Trails are back & I’m all sorts of excited!
Ames figured out how to take pictures on my phone. He snapped this when he was supposed to be taking a nap. Kinda glad he snuck outta bed to capture this 🙂
My other favorite guy to sleep with 🙂
Corra May turned the big 10 months this week! she is SO active, feisty, sweet, gives the best hugs, only kisses her stuffed dog & not me, so good with her hands, talking more and more. she’s the best.
love these 2 more than words can say.
-till next time-