I Made The Best Mistake!
Yesterday I turned 40. But if I’m honest, I’ve been feeling mid-lifey like crazy for the last 2-3 years. Maybe Covid had something to do with it. I’m not sure. Either way, I knew I wanted things to be different in the second half of my life. I just didn’t know exactly what, or how.
Hence over the last year I have been playing around with my business, with work, with how I write, with how I share what I know.
Then a week before my birthday, it hit me. I needed to stop using social media. Obviously it’s not just about social media. But this was the main thing that I knew I needed to start with.
10 years of posting to facebook
After all, it’s been 15 years since I created my facebook account. 10 years of which has been writing and sharing everything I had learned.
That’s 10 whole years that I had my ‘Body Mechanic’ page where I wrote about movement, fitness, Biomechanics and therapy. This then evolved into ‘Sarah Keates Andrews’ and focused on female health, hormones, menstrual cycles and menopause.
That’s 10 years of posting, almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day, the majority of which was new information. Building up a following of 16,000 people.
A Love-hate relationship
I love collecting research, connecting the dots with other areas, and creating something. I love being able to take a subject that is highly complex and make it easy to understand, to help others relate to.
But I hate the expectations that I put on myself. The expectations to keep creating. To keep posting. To work on getting likes and followers and fucking shares. It’s exhausting. (I know many of you who have your own business pages and will know what I’m talking about.)
Deactivated deleted my account
Anyway, my point is that I needed to take time away. So I made the decision to deactivate my account which I was intending to do for the rest of my 40th year. 365 days of no social media. Of no posting. Then after that time I could make a decision of how to move forward.
BUT it turns out, I didn’t read the small print (which actually wasn’t small at all). And I DELETED my page.
Oh, my ego had a field day. “What the fuck have you done?” “Well done for screwing this one up!” “10 years of work down the drain”.
But, my deeper self, well she took the longest breath out and smiled. She knew that this was what I really wanted. To untether myself from everything. To cut the ties that had been holding me for so long. Ties that had been binding me so tight that I struggled to breathe.
My husband, well he just didn’t get it. “Just don’t go on it” he would tell me. But it was never that simple. It was an addiction. To write. To share. To read comments. To take to heart everything anyone said.
I can finally breathe again
Now it’s over I can finally breathe again. Whether it was subconscious or not, deleting that page was the best thing that I have done in a long time1.
Now one thing I have learned over the years is that things change whether we like it or not. And when they do, we are often faced with the question…What now?
This in itself can send us into a spiral of panic. A dark unknown territory. With fear and anxiety expanding with the uncertainty of it all. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Asking “What now?” can also be our joy.
As Ann Patchette says…
“It is a declaration of possibility, of promise, of chance. It acknowledges that our future is open, that we may well do more than anyone expected of us, that at every point in our development we are still striving to grow.”
So, what now? Honestly, I don’t know. I have some ideas but the first thing I am doing is lowering my expectations. I am letting go of control and letting life unfold. I am surrendering to possibility and chance. Because I know the more I tether myself, the less I can breathe.
And I want to breath. I want to create space for wherever life takes me.
Keeping my website
That said, I have decided to keep my website up. And I will continue to write and share what I learn. But I will do so on my own terms rather than following all the ‘should’s’ that the ‘gurus’ tell you to do when it comes to keeping a website.
I will write and share because I have something interesting. Not just for the sake of it. Not just because I need to maintain a ‘presence’ within the digital world or because I need to grow my ‘following’.
So, I will not set a schedule of how often I will post (or email you if you subscribe to my newsletter). But rather, when time allows, when I feel the ‘nudge’ to research and write and share, I will pop by and say hello.
And although I may continue to write about the body, about pain and fitness, hormones and therapy, wellness and female health, I may also write about other things too. It will be more like us sitting down as friends for a coffee 2, and me sharing what I have read, learned, thought and felt recently. Should you be so inclined, you may want to write back and share your thoughts too. 3