If you were to ask me to name one of my happiest memories, it would be this moment above.

Me and Andy had finished work on a Friday and to be honest, it was very out of character for us to not be in our pyjamas by 6pm and in bed by 9pm. I’m ever so glad that we decided for once in our lives to not be lazy and instead to head to Skinny Living‘s outdoor gig. I’d never really heard many of their songs at the time, but I knew they were really good. There are so many reasons why I loved that evening – the sun was shining, everyone there was relaxed, the music was amazing; just to name a few! But the main reason I have such fond memories of it was because I know it was a time in my life that I was truly present.

Generation scroll:

In today’s society it’s so easy to see life’s precious moments through a screen instead of through our actual eyes. We are a generation of scrollers and with the development of technology, it’s only going to get worse. Looking back at that evening makes me realise how very little balance I have these days between using my phone and being completely present in the moment. At the gig, I took the odd photo, purely as a keepsake memory. I wasn’t glued to the screen all the time and quite honestly, I’ve never felt more relaxed.

I think everyone who has social media is addicted in some sense, I just think thats the very nature of it. We’re all guilty of scrolling, aimlessly liking photos and refreshing the page. Finding blogging has had it’s ups and downs for me. On the one hand, it has given me a purpose – I love writing and when people say they have found my posts relatable, useful or hilarious, that brings me joy. However, I know for a fact that since I started blogging, I’ve been a lot less present. It’s less the actual blog and more the upkeep of promoting it through the likes of Instagram or twitter.

‘Make a memory’:

If you follow me and my blog, you’ll know I lost my Mum a few years ago. ‘Make a memory’ was her motto and it is one I strive to live by. I’ve made some incredible memories during my 26 years on this planet, yet I question how many of them I was completely present for. Like I say, what’s tricky is finding the balance between being fully present, enjoying the moment and wanting to capture the moment on screen to look back on.

I’ll be honest, everywhere I go, I find myself snapping a shot. I always have done and always will do. In a way, I’m thankful I am like that, especially because now my Mum is no longer here, I’ll always have photographs of her to look at. Yet I feel like with the popularity of Instagram and the decline in the use of physical photo albums, people are taking photographs less for personal keepsakes. Instead, it’s all about finding ‘the shot’ that you can share online. Rather than you and your mates just tucking into that bottomless brunch as soon as it lands on the table, you’re snarling Karen in the corner who thinks it’s acceptable to dig into her avo on toast before you’ve got the insta-worthy shot from up above. I’m sad to admit I’m one of those people! (Someone please comment saying they are too so I don’t feel like a saddo on my todd, cheers).

Being more present:

There’s no point me lying and saying I’m going to give up social media entirely. I love my blog, I love social media and I love taking photos. BUT, what I do want to find is the balance I’ve been rambling on about. I want to snap the shots, but still remember how it felt being in the moment, rather than how it looked on screen.

I struggle a little with the whole mindfulness thing because although I agree with most of it, I think it’s easier said than done. “Worry less” they say. Ok hun, trust me, if I knew how to just switch off the stress head mode, I would! One place I’ve found some fab tips that I want to put into practice though is on HeadSpace. It really opened my eyes and made me realise that I need to slow the hell down and live in the moment more. Here’s a few things I know I’m guilty of: 1) Always thinking of 100 things at once because I’m not fully completing a task before moving on to another. 2) Picking my phone up at any given opportunity. 3) Forever wishing for Friday.

I’m at a point now where I’m ready to flip those three things on their head, because after all, life’s for living. It’s time to start focusing on one thing at a time, stop reaching for my phone and start treating every day like it’s Friday.

Who’s with me?

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  • Athena Nagle says:

    I am learning this as well. I have been applying mindfulness practices into my daily life and it makes such a difference. There will always be days like today when I feel like poo and I do not want to connect outside my computer screen but as you say here, it is finding your balance.

  • Spence says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your post- generation scroll, love it!
    Becoming more present is both a challenge and is own reward.
    Peace and love,
    Spence 😁

  • Victoria says:

    What a fab post! I completely relate to everything that you have said and don’t worry, I am also that person that snarls at Karen for tucking into her Avo on toast before I have taken the Instagram Shot :). I’m also making changes and one of the things that I can’t wait to do is print of my pictures and place them all around my flat instead of looking at them on my devices all the time. I also need to know when to switch off as I find it super difficult. Such a great read xxxx

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Haha, glad someone’s the same! That’s a fab idea – I need more photos around my house I reckon, its just finding the time to print them! I’d probably have time if I stopped wasting time on my phone lol. Thanks for reading lovely xxxx

  • Yaya says:

    Great post – I’ve never tried Headspace but just clicked on your link and really like so will use it!! i badly need to slow down!

  • Nancy says:

    With technology, we can be physically present but mentally somewhere else. I try my best to give the other person my full attention when I am with them. It can be hard but made it a habit over time. It is good that you will work on being more present. That is already a big win :).

    Nancy β™₯ exquisitely.me

  • Amy Aed says:

    Becoming more present is definitely something that I want to start doing. I feel like if you never take a moment to slow down and take it all in then you’re definitely going to let life pass you by.

    Have a great week πŸ™‚
    Amy x Wandering Everywhere

  • Lucy says:

    This day and age, we seem so consumed by social media that we forget to look away from the screen and look at the world around us, which is sad really. I loved this post! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  • Great post and a lot to think about. It’s definitely tricky finding the right balance. I adore taking photos and I don’t think taking photos takes anything away from being in the moment or truly living! Unless you’re more worried about getting the perfect photo than actually capturing the photo, I guess! I’m definitely trying to limit my scrolling time in my free-time.

  • This is a goal of mine right now too! I’m not too bad, if I’m out for dinner or drinks with a friend, I don’t check my phone. But I’m definitely guilty if I’m just sat in a room with someone and be more present in everyday activities x