Giving Up (For 40 Days)

posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2016


[Making space to get my eyes off of screens and onto paper]

Today marks the beginning of Lent. I was somewhat raised in the catholic church (I’m also technically Jewish, by Jewish law, but that’s another story). Even still, I didn’t know much about lent more than the general idea of it. I practiced it once in college, giving up soda as my big sacrifice, but still didn’t completely understand the “why” behind it. This Sunday, our pastor discussed that he and his wife were giving things up and explained the “why” and the heart behind these next forty days.

I’m a little late (should have decided this before today), but I have my list. I also have a theme and that theme is to refresh and make space. Make space for God to move in my life, make space for creativity, make space to figure out some next steps for myself, and get refreshed for a wonderful new season. I know the logistics of it won’t be easy (old habits die hard, they say), but the result is going to be beautiful. I am expectant of that.

On that note, here is what I’m giving up for these 40 days:

Facebook + Twitter: There’s so much more negativity than positivity on my feeds these days and I always leave stressed, overwhelmed, and overall negative more than I feel positive. This being an election year, I know it’s only going to get worse. I know that part of it is following the right people, but giving myself a break from all of it for 40 days will help me see clearly who I find uplifting and who just makes me feel negative all the time. Negativity breeds negativity and it was starting to show on me. I don’t like that. This one is tough for many reasons, but I’ll still be on Instagram and Snapchat (@iamkatyhill on both) because I find both to be fun, inspiring, and positive. I’ll also post to Twitter and FB through Instagram, but I won’t be reading. I just need a break.

Excessive TV: This one is going to be tough, but I’m also excited about this challenge. I rely too much on TV as my comfort, as my background noise when I work, and as a distraction. In college, I would have Friends on in the background when I did school work because I had every episode so memorized that I could watch a little if I wanted to or just let it be my white noise. I asked my friend Erin what she was giving up and this was it for her, so it got me thinking. I have been noticing my excessive TV consumption lately, so this will be a great refresh. It’s also an excuse to discover new music, read some good books, and buy more vinyl (yes, please).

Sleep: More specifically, my current sleep habits. I’m usually up way too late and therefore sleep in later than I want to. I realized last night that I’m not really a night owl anymore, at least not a productive one. Even if I get a second wind, I’m never motivated to be productive and I certainly don’t do my best work when I try to be. Mostly, I just want to keep watching TV, which goes back to my last point. My goal is to be up by six every morning (maybe earlier, but let’s not get too hasty) and start my morning with prayer, journaling, and reading with a good cup of tea. I’ve noticed that when I start my mornings off earlier and get productive sooner is when I’m my happiest, most productive self. It’s just hard to convince my brain of that when it’s still dark outside, cold in the apartment, and my covers are the perfect level of warmth and coziness. It’s a sacrifice, but will be such a good habit for me.

I have some smaller goals as well that go along with lent, but those are my main three. As I mentioned, I will still be on Instagram and Snapchat and will also keep blogging. I just see this being a time of refreshment, getting out of habits that aren’t helpful, and of making space for clarity, creativity and joy.

  • Caroline Arey

    I love this. I love you. You are so inspiring.

  • Oh gosh, YOU are inspiring! So, so inspiring. Thank you for your sweet words. Love you, friend.

  • Laura B

    I took a minor step away from the internet for just over a month (i’m still on it, a hiatus of such)… It’s been refreshing and i’m definitely ok with being more present in my real life.
    Also, TV – I don’t watch TV on TV but i do online.