In September, I took what was supposed to be a week off Instagram but what turned into three months instead. When you temporarily disable your account, it gives you 10 options as to why:

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“Just need a break” is the one I chose. Admittedly the thing I needed a break from most was sabotaging my relationship, but I figured one way to do that was to give my mind a break from constantly comparing my life to the lives of others. I’m not blaming Instagram for my relationship woes, it’s shitty decisions I make on my own with all of the self-awareness needed to stop them that was the problem. What I’m saying it that my head is full of nonsense at baseline, so I thought it would be nice to stop the external input of further nonsense for a while.

Aside from one or two times reflexively opening the app only to be bummed when I remembered the sabbatical I had taken, I didn’t really miss it. And that’s probably because I was able to get my scrolling fix elsewhere. My Facebook involvement remained relatively the same, and that’s at less than one open a day. I’m not sure what it is about Facebook nowadays but I don’t care much for it. Is it for an older generation? Or maybe it’s because I mostly only keep it for career-related purposes. My Twitter engagement also remained relatively the same which is nil — I’ve never been an avid tweeter, mostly just a lurker.

My need to scroll ended up being satisfied by the news app. I suddenly knew all about the impeachment inquiry in the states, the close race between liberals and conservatives in Canada, and about the eleven elephants that died trying to save a baby elephant from drowning in the Haew Narok Waterfall at Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. After that first week I felt as if I could contribute to the conversations that were being had in politics. I felt like I had an opinion and that it could be backed up by facts. I felt like the break was helpful. But, I also felt like none of that mattered.

And the reason it didn’t matter, was because I realized there was only one thing or rather person I could rightfully blame. Instagram wasn’t ruining my relationship. Instagram wasn’t keeping me from reading. Instagram wasn’t keeping me on my phone. Instagram wasn’t keeping me from being productive. No matter what distractions I remove from my phone, I could always find a new way to procrastinate. Keeping up with the news was simply a way to give my procrastination an air of pretension. Bottom line, I found out that the thing I “just need[ed] a break” from, was not holding myself accountable.

Now excuse me while I go onto my two different Instagram accounts to promote this blog and my podcast @thescriptisbetter. What? It’s not procrastination, it’s work!

You’ve been working way too hard lately. Part of that is due to the standards of perfection that are set out for women. Between the job, the gym, the cooking, the chores, the errands, the juicing, the 8 step nighttime face routine – it’s no wonder you’re exhausted. I get it. And the other part of it is the impossible demands you put on yourself. You’re your own worst enemy when it comes to balance. They really either need to make days longer than just 24 hours OR something has got to give.

Tomorrow hardly seems possible. Gym in the morning, an 8 hour work day, pick-up the dry cleaning, cook dinner, meal prep for the rest of the week so you won’t have to cook dinner again, pick-up that prescription, return all e-mails you’ve flagged for later in your inbox. It hurts just thinking about how you’re going to fit everything in while still taking the time to be mindful and gracious throughout the day. No one should have to work as hard as you do. So here is what I propose:

Take a break.

Shocking, I know. But the way you live is superhuman despite not having the perks of mutant abilities like blue scales of blue fur. Why not just skip the gym tomorrow? Take an extra in hour in bed. OR use that time to prep dinner in the morning instead. Read a book! Remember those? This is your time. You have earned it. And you can do whatever you want with it. Oh, the possibilities.

Three Days Later

Yes, girl. I am very proud. You decided to extend your break a couple days. I love it. You’ve truly come to realize what a fierce being you are. One that is deserving of whatever she desires. I must say, the two baths in one day thing was a surprise. Can’t imagine you got very dirty while binge-watching Dexter in your PJs. But then again, baths aren’t really for getting clean anyway. The point is, the world told you no, and you gave it the middle finger. Well done.

Question: did you have to use a bath bomb both times? Because those are like $5-9 each, so that’s a pretty expensive day. No judgment. I’m just thinking since you took the day off yesterday and again today, it’s probably best not to spend too much money since you’re not bringing in exactly zero dollars.

Two Weeks Later

You’ve really taken this whole “independent woman” thing to the next level. It’s inspiring. I remember the days when you wouldn’t go out in public without at least some under-eye concealer and your eyebrows done. But this IDGAF attitude is brilliant. And whoever said you can’t leave your house in head-to-toe sweats hasn’t seen your 12-year-old sweatpants with your high school’s name on the bum. And the paint stains? Forget casual, this is artist chic.

That being said, I do have some thoughts.

Sometimes it can seem like an insurmountable task to get your routine back on track, so I suggest baby steps. Change one thing at a time. You don’t need to floss every tooth and gargle with mouthwash for 30 seconds TOMORROW. How about you just start by using a toothbrush. Remember those?

And about the bed. I am so over the act of sitting down. Call me kooky but I’m definitely on board with the whole standing craze. Humans used to squat to sit and the invention of the chair has done some serious damage to our long-term mobility. Standing desk? Yes. Typing on your laptop while lying down? Totally. So I do love that you’ve found a way to use your sleeping area for any number of things. Like, for instance, using your sheets to collect the crumbs off your plate instead of letting them land on the floor. No need to sweep. Genius! I am wondering though if it might be time to give them a wash, crumbs and all. I mean, beds are usually meant for an average stay of eight hours per day, but recently you’ve been spending most of your time in yours. Couldn’t hurt to give it a bit of a freshening?

What do you say?

One Month Later

I don’t know if I’m helping or hindering anymore. But just know that I’m here. And I’m worried about you.

I’m really, really worried about you.