A Fond Farewell(ish) to Instagram

Springtime Crocus

When I put up my Instagram post fifteen days ago I honestly had no idea that it was going to be my last. I knew I was tired and starting to feel burnt out. I knew I was always a little bit behind on things and could never quite catch up. I knew I felt kind of frustrated and frequently frazzled, but what did that mean? Like, exactly. Did I need to scale back? Or just take a rest? Or maybe even hike out to the middle of the woods and stay there for the next 30 years? Really, there are countless possibilities.

Ask, Listen, Wait.

I had fully intended to wrap up my two-part Instagram series the very next day. The concluding post was already drafted and ready to share until I gave it a final read-through and realized it was completely and thoroughly wrong. Not at all what I wanted to convey. So what did I do? I wrote it again. And after giving this new version a final read-through, I realized it was still completely and thoroughly wrong. Where were my words? By about the third time through it finally started to dawn on me that something was off; I clearly didn’t have the answers that I thought I had.

But sometimes things get fuzzy and it’s not so easy to find my answers, even with the careful introspection and the waiting. Always the waiting while I ponder which direction to take, or wonder if I accidentally stepped off of my path and am wandering somewhere in the woods nearby. Sure, the scenery is beautiful, and the squirrels are entertaining, but it’s probably not the quickest route to where I want to go. And I’ve never been a fan of wasting time; there’s far too little of it to squander. Who knows how much life I have left? And I’ve got very important places to be.

You Have Five Minutes. Enjoy.

So there was nothing to do besides put the whole thing aside (with more than a little confusion) because sometimes, even when I think I already have the answers? I don’t. My life is really just a series of humbling moments. Don’t get too cocky, Life says, because I intend to shake things up again. In about five minutes. Enjoy.

Taking a semi-forced vacation was fine, though, because I was (and still am) in the middle of three really big projects, and there just isn’t enough time for everything. Pick and choose. Prioritize. Life is a constant re-assessment; some things stay consistently at the top, while everything else is in perpetual motion. The order of importance can easily change with the day’s demands, like after my gramma passed away in February and I took on the task of sorting through her many, many boxes of pictures. I quickly recognized that some things would need to be set aside in order for the picture job to be accomplished. Things like this blog, the shop, and Instagram all had to be temporarily suspended while I made my way through the mountains of photos which had become an unexpected priority.

I Missed It

And honestly, I was having a pretty good time piecing together the story of my grandparents’ lives through decades of photos. But while I studied the golden moments from the 70’s and the sepia-toned glimpses of the 30’s, I started to realize something. Something that felt really important. And as everything began to slow down, I felt lighter and more like myself than I had in a long time. My life felt like my life again, and you know what? I missed it.

My second post–the one that never made it up–was what I thought my final decision had to be. I decided we would have to let the blog sleep for now while I kept up my Instagram and figured out how to get things back on track. The girls were all fine with that, occupied with their own projects and jobs, and I (prematurely) congratulated myself on a seemingly sound decision. Until I couldn’t find the words and, consequently, disappeared for two weeks while looking for them.

Hiding. Smirking.

I found those words again the other morning, hiding. And smirking. Because the answer was probably pretty obvious to those who know me. Those smug little words were just waiting for me to realize that it wasn’t the blog that needed to sleep, but my Instagram. And with that moment of clarity, I realized that I’d reached the end of this Instagram road. Or these woods? Because maybe this is me climbing back onto my road, having gratefully stumbled across it once again. I like my road. It’s shady and quiet. And straight. Country dirt. It should lead me straight Home, if only the squirrels would stop distracting me.

My brain struggled to come up with another option, but the thing is that underneath its noisy objections, life already feels more quiet. The distractions are already less distracting. The only compromise that I can come up with is to continue sharing Insta stories, since those are pretty effortless for me. Because even though I had initially thought that Instagram was just a kind of stepping stone, it ended up being so much more. Just full of unexpected surprises and beautiful people. And I guess maybe I’m not willing to say a complete goodbye unless I need to.

End Goal

But the reality is that Instagram was never the end goal anyway; this blog, and my plans for it, are where I’m ultimately heading. And without the time to give it, so many of my “grand” ideas were just languishing. Posts drafted but never finished. Directions plotted but never taken. And while Instagram was fun, one of those harsh realities of life is that just because something feels good, doesn’t mean it is good. Especially when I factor in exactly where it is I’m heading.

So Instagram may be off, but Follow Us Home is back on. Which is perfect, because there are so many things and thoughts and lessons and stories (and recipes!) to share. I can’t promise where each post will take me; but if nothing else, my life has been an interesting one, so I expect some surprises along the way. Guru really likes to keep me on my toes; I’m just really hoping you’ll join me for the ride.

I hope your Sunday has been a beautiful one. xoxo

7 thoughts on “A Fond Farewell(ish) to Instagram

  1. Ah. Yes. The choice between blogging and Instagram. Ultimately my goal is the blog as well, but I find that a lot of my blog traffic is driven from Instagram. So I must do both. But I also have Facebook that I’m thinking about giving up. It gets zero traffic. And now i’ve started a second Instagram. But it all comes back around to the blog. I find you can really flesh out thoughts, ideas through a blog space, and share so much more anyway.

    I’ll miss you over on the ‘gram, but I’m glad I will be able to find you here ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you, Kristen 🙂 It wasn’t an easy choice, and actually involved some moderate wrestling! But every time my brain started to sabotage me into believing that this space would fail without a social media boost I remembered that I’ve had a successful blog in the past, also without a social media outlet. Maybe it’ll take longer, but I’m in no rush. I guess I decided my peace of mind was more important, lol. Plus, I think that most of the people who enjoy my Insta posts have already signed up for the blog, so maybe there won’t even be a huge change. Time will tell I guess. In the meantime l’m just going to love all of this SPACE to write freely. Looking forward to a simpler life again. Thanks for the comment, it’s one of the things I’ll miss most about Instagram, all those conversations! I need to get people talking here…❤

      1. Well, I admire you for taking the leap. I get zero comments on my blog, although my analytics tell me people are looking. I hope by continuing insta and posting more regularly on the blog, I’ll eventually be able to drive more traffic to my blog. Interacting with other bloggers, on their blogs, probably helps too. I’m trying to be more mindful of that. If I want a comment on MY blog, I should return the courtesy to fellow bloggers.

        YAY to more space to just ‘be’ and say what we want/need to say. ❤️

      2. I’m sorry, I meant to reply to this days ago, but after your comment I had to go and hunt down a better commenting system. It’s no good if people aren’t getting my replies! We’ll see if this one is any better. And yes, my comments are on the (very) low end still, but I expect they’ll approve in time. In regards to the interacting with other bloggers, that’s exactly what I did during my last blogging adventure. And it worked much the same as it did for me on Instagram. The more attention I gave to others, the more they gave back! And the more that visited, the better I was found on search engines. Couple that with a lucky post (tutorial on making indoor fountains) that got a TON of views and things were looking good. I figure with patience I’ll get there again. Someday. 😉 I wish you all the best with your business and blogging plan, in fact, I’m headed over to catch up now… xoxo

      3. I agree wholeheartedly. I think the more time we can invest in cultivating the positive relationships, both online and in person, the more of a return we will see.

        Are you using WordPress.org? What commenting system are you using? I don’t get notifications when I have a comment on my blog.

        There’s sooo much to learn! Thank you for always being so supportive!

      4. I’m using WordPress.com (a business account). I decided to invest some in this one, and I’m especially glad that I did – if only for the support! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used them. The commenting system is a plugin called Replyable. My main issue with the Jetpack one was that people had to click on the box to get my reply comments and if they’re coming from Instagram (as most are at this point) I imagine they expect my replies to be sent right to them. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how many ever saw my answers 🙁 Replyable sends the replies automatically to their email and you can even comment right from your inbox. So far it seems to be going well, but really it’s brand new to me. I’ll keep you posted…

        But then I found out, Replyable isn’t compatible with the Jetpack subscription “thingy” (no one was getting their new post emails), so I just spent two days setting up a MailChimp account and sending out my first “New blog post is up” campaign. Lots of work but it looks much more professional. We’ll have to see how that one goes too…Again, I’ll keep you posted 😉

  2. Okay…so I figured out the comments section on my blog. I now get notified when someone comments! Whew! And I also get notified when someone subscribes as well (not that there are that many…ahem…none). I switched to WP.org so I could incorporate my online shop and it’s been a learning curve, but I think I have most things figured out now.

    I like your font for your post headers. Very nice! I guess I just like the whole look of your blog! Nicely done!,,

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