How I Transformed In 365 Days of Taking Habit Out and Letting Life In

A Year has passed.

This morning, I woke happy. I brushed my teeth with my homemade toothpaste; it dribbled from my mouth when I noticed sunlight speckling in through the window and smiled too wide in response. Mitra and I took to the streets and I let her lead us on an unfamiliar route. I snuggled dogs I’d never met before and complimented a stranger’s shirt. We lazily wound our way home. It’s my hood’s composting day, so I pulled the bin of scraps from my freezer. To it, I added coffee grounds. I blended and pressed the almonds I’ve had soaking for two days into milk, then added their sticky pulp, too. We headed out again, dropped off the bag, I returned to my desk, and I started editing audio for a new client.

This morning was completely unrecognizable from June 20th one Year ago today.

My Year of Abstinence has ended.

A Year of studying habit removal. Of saying “no”. Of taking out to see what comes in.

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This Cemetery Is Quiet

It’s so, so quiet.

Up here, on the top of a mountain, I sit in the cemetery where some family members are buried. I hear a lot of crickets. And the wind blowing through the palms of trees, and the dried branches of tall corn stalks. Out of sight, waves crash on rocks.

After a while, my ears adjust, and I can just make out the hum of a motorcycle as it turns around a bend, and a truck engine gasp its way up a steep incline. Moving anywhere on this island, thrust up as it was so long ago by volcanic force, means always ascending or declining, gently or with force, in first gear or constant brake. Continue reading

I’m Not Feeling Social

Since the start of this exploration, a lot of people have shared a wish to pull away from social media for an evening, a weekend, or a short bit of time. Others have asked the general, “How’s your summer been?” And because of the whole Love Bites thing, I’m constantly asked, “How’s dating going?”

My answer to all of these: “I’m doing great, actually. Spending a quiet summer mostly by myself.” Continue reading

I Take It Back! I’m Going Back On Social Media! Sort Of!

I went off of social media because it was overwhelming so many other experiences. Because I was losing time in it. Because it had become a really bad habit. Because it wasn’t making me happy. And because I didn’t like living in such a digitally-focused world.

Going off of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and dating apps for forty days helped me completely reframe how I spend my time. I learned more about myself than I ever had expected, as I’ve been journaling here. It felt so, so good to be off. I don’t really want to go back online. But staying off for an even longer period of time now would just be creating a new form of escapism.  Continue reading

40 Days Off of Social Media Done!

Day Forty-One!

Last night, I went onto Facebook and Twitter for the first time in forty days. The reunion wasn’t at all fulfilling. Nothing on my feeds thrilled or delighted me. The birthday wishes observed were sweet, yes, but nothing like the double rainbow I saw out of a plane window during my layover in Norway on that day, or the breathtaking view while flying over Iceland. Nothing I observed about my absence shocked me, either. Yes, the engagement on my work FB posts dropped a bit, and I lost some Twitter followers (I gained some, too).

I guess the more important observation was that I didn’t care either way about what I saw upon my return.

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Cumpleanos En Route

Well. I’m 35. In Spain. Sitting on the beach at 8:40am before my flight. Tired from jet lag and overwhelmed from a long day yesterday of walking and working, emotional from the weight of my body, and from being alone and talking to so many strangers in three languages.

But I’m at peace on this beach, hearing women laughing in the water, sitting on the cool sand with food in my belly and a car ready to take me to the airport, humble and tired and sore and grateful. And ready to go home. Continue reading

Sick… But Not Sad…

Not feeling well. Been building all week and so am spending the weekend alone, in bed in the dark, which is honestly all I want to be doing.

Finished Unbroken and – holy shit! – is that an amazing book! I texted with Muffin, Ben called to catch up… feeling zero pull to connect via social, and no loneliness or sadness about being home alone and sick again.


Abstinence… Sorta… and Addition

I have to quickly confess that it’s been a 98% break,and the 2% is rational and unavoidable. I had to look on the Love Bites Radio Facebook page today to check if I had scheduled a post for that day (so that I didn’t double post) – I had, and so checking was a good thing – but I didn’t log in or look at engagement or anything.

Then a chef showed me his Instagram feed to articulate something in our article. Continue reading

Encouragement From a Friend

Work is hard without social media to check up on. An editor asked the reaction I’m getting to a piece, and I couldn’t tell her, since I’m posting it via Hootsuite but not tracking engagement. I don’t remember some pieces I’ve put on Facebook… or if I haven’t.

But otherwise, it’s still awesome. This is an email I wrote to [a colleague] this morning when he checked in with me about it: Continue reading


Portugal won the Eurocup! Holy crap! Celebrated watching and the win with family, and cheated only slightly, looking on big sis’ phone to see what photos other family members were posting on Facebook. But that’s the ONLY real cheat so far.