This weekend was packed with activity. I spent Saturday hiking in Shenandoah National Park with friends from church before driving to Scottsville for an evening show; on Sunday, I was either rehearsing for or singing in church services most of the day.
By the end of most weekends, I’ve become totally burnt out on blogs, style posts, pinterest boards, and online boutiques. I spend a lot of my down time doing things that aren’t fulfilling, that do nothing to add joy to my day, and that often lead to unnecessary spending. I knew it was a problem, but it took spending a weekend almost entirely consumed with activities that occurred outside my house and away from the computer to expose how harmful it is to my personal growth and overall well being.
I’ve been a part of the online shopping and fashion community since middle school: I did the Teen Vogue forums, I shopped boutique websites, I scanned through hundreds of fashion week photos on style.com. I do find a certain amount of fulfillment in continuing to participate in those activities. But I can’t let myself continue to spend the majority of my leisure hours poring over things that make me feel inadequate, poor, or purely consumerist.
I mention often that it’s important for us to see ourselves as more than consumers; we contribute more than our dollars and curation skills to the world. But how do we live that principle out? We have to take steps to distance ourselves from the pull of consumer culture. We have to do things that let us realize that fulfillment can be found – and is often more easily found – elsewhere. It took unintentionally living that out this weekend for me to see that joy is readily waiting for us when we walk away from ads and sales and sponsored content into a park, a sanctuary, or a new story. When we actively and consistently choose to do things that yield greater excitement, fulfillment, and purpose, imagine how rich our lives will have become.
I encourage you to step back and take a whole day off from social media, shopping, and media bytes to do something tedious, social, physical, or challenging.