Content Fatigue

I first heard the term “compassion fatigue” in a meeting for volunteers. It was about not trying to pour from an empty inner cup. Giving is good, but we have to be resting and taking in what we need to have anything to give. Excellent concept – and important for all of us to avoid compassion fatigue so we can say yes when God calls on us.

Then, in trying to grow as a mother, after walking through my young son’s suicide attempt, I sat in the middle of my bed, with books stacked on the nightstand, pod casts sending notifications on my phone screen, books due back to the library, and YouTube channels subscribed to, but the videos mostly untouched.

I’d read some. Listened some. Watched some. And soon the messages were blurring together, I wasn’t uncovering anything that I hadn’t just read/listened to/watched. But I was trying to keep up with consuming all this media to help me grow through this experience.

Good idea, bad strategy. It was too much. I was deep in the throes of content fatigue and not gaining ground in the whole growing-through-pain thing I was shooting for. I was momentarily caught up in so much content that I forgot to reach for even the hem of my Savior’s garment. I’m not really a “self-helper” so my piles of media were Christian based. Or at least Christian sprinkled.

I was overwhelmed and not seeing God in the mess – especially in the part of the mess that I was making for myself. I took books back unread. I deleted pod casts. I unsubscribed to YouTube channels and emails. I even stopped multiple Bible plans in my YouVersion app.

Not all of them, Bible plans are good food for our spiritual journey. But I am a busy mom and I needed to live in the mess, not in the piles of media, trying to become an expert or something. And when I crawled out of the rock pit of too much media, I was able to apply what I’d read, listened to, or watched. I was able to see the hand of God moving in my life, through people, and in the midst of painful circumstances.

Maybe you are drowning in content, not because of a tragedy, but because you are trying to learn something new. Or you are just greatly interested in something. Whatever it is, it’s okay to not consume it all. You cannot consume it all. There is too much content being created and released on a daily basis for one person to consume it all.

Read one book at a time. Listen to one or two pod casts at a time. Watch one or two YouTubers at a time. It’s okay if you don’t “complete” all of their content – get what you can for a while, then unsubscribe. You have to use what you’re learning to keep learning more. You have to apply it before it really starts to sink in.

Don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t watched/seen/heard the latest thing that is a craze. Pick content that makes you more of who God is calling you to be. Pick content that stretches your mind, challenges you and keeps you focused on Jesus.

Until next time,
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Bait and Hook Click Funnel

If you’ve ever set out to learn something online, you may notice that social media starts sending targeted ads about what you want to learn.

For me – I want to turn my writing into a career, through novels, articles, blogging, and more. I set myself up a plan and some pretty good goals. I’ve read a lot about freelance writing and I really felt up to the task and starting the work.

Then the targeted ads started pouring in – join this group, sign up for this training, FREE checklist, paid training, write better, sell more, train, pay, train, pay, and I was signing up left and right for all of the free things. My inbox was getting stacked fuller and fuller – so much so, I couldn’t possibly read all of it in a reasonable amount of time, and the attempt to read it all was stealing time from me actually writing.

It happened with horse training too. Also, my walk with Jesus. It doesn’t take long for those ads to pick up on what we are looking for, and to flood us with content. Baited by free content, and then hooked with an offer to pay to learn how to earn $30,000 a month, just like them!

It starts feeling very scammy – I’m going to collect your money to walk you through how to create a bait and hook, so you can collect money to teach someone else how to do it. I don’t want to bait and hook anyone. I want to participate in real writing opportunities.

So if you’re like me and you are trying to grow in an area of your life, but you’re drowning in content, please take this as permission to unsubscribe, don’t spend your money, and delete the mass of emails you can’t read in a reasonable amount of time.

There is valuable content out there – and a lot of it does cost. Because creators of good content deserve to be paid for their time and energy.

But I’ve never found the best content on social media. I’ve just found the bait and hook click funnel.

Whatever you are working on, creating, or growing through, find resources that truly help you grow, that is important. Remember, not everything will help you along the way. Don’t drain your pocketbook for cheap sells.

Until next time,
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Yes isn’t always the best answer.

I’ve been reading a lot of parenting articles in my motherhood groups lately. The focus seems to be on saying “yes” more to our kids. I was buying into a little at a time, slowly doubting myself in a new way, and thinking that I just shut the kids down too much, too often.

So “yes” started becoming my new mantra. Not to anything dangerous, of course. But I found it pushing bedtime back because my new question was, “What does it hurt?” And if they stay up a little late, they can sleep in a little, it’s summer. We homeschool. We’re on our own schedule.

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

Every interruption that came, I was trying to meet with a sweet, “Yes baby, let’s do that.”

With 5 kids asking me for time, attention, snacks, activities, things to do, I started to feel overwhelmed. I was being pulled in more directions than I could keep track of, and I started to see the disappointment and let down of the yes’s that I couldn’t follow through on.

Is “yes” the best answer when the hours of the day run out and our children feel like we’ve broken a promise? Yes is like a promise to a child.

Today, as I was down to only a couple of the kids, and we were having special time together because I rarely have just the girls, it just kind of hit me – if God is wise enough to tell me no, why do I suddenly think I need to always tell my kids yes? Yes is not always the best answer.

I am limited. If I don’t guide my kids through how to manage my own human limitations and give them a solid example of choosing how we spend our time, then I’ll send out adults who run themselves ragged and don’t know how to say no. They have to hear no, have no be enforced, to be able to say no. If they never hear me say no, they may turn their backs on God when He says no.

“No” should not be a foreign concept to my children. “No” is disappointing, but not as disappointing as a yes that wasn’t followed through with. “No” teaches patience, boundaries, delayed gratification, selflessness.

See, if I’m crawling into bed weeping because the interruptions were too many and I didn’t allow “no” to protect my energy, then I’m eventually going to resent them. Or resent motherhood. I don’t want to look back on these days and only remember the exhaustion, overcommitment, and crawling into bed in tears because I wasn’t enough that day. But that’s easy to do in motherhood.

I would rather so no to some things, so I can say YES to the best things- as my Pastor Craig Groeschel says.

Today we did a face mask and painted nails, but I said no to writing a story. That was a hard one, anything that moves their minds is kind of my jam. But today was a good day for pampering and I also had chores to do, a personal project, and meals to prepare.

I have more peace about saying no to writing that story than I’ve had in the last several weeks of trying to say yes to everything.

I’ve learned that God says no when I’m not in His will, not looking the direction He wants me to, to keep me safe. I don’t always understand, and I don’t always like to hear no. But I trust that God has my best interest in mind, and I want to lead my kids to trust that He has their best interest in mind by showing them that I do. I also want to lead by example that it is okay to say no to some of the things that tug at our time and attention.

How do you feel about saying no to your kids?

Until next time,
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