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  • Jenny Runkel

Cookie Monster

I'm convinced that social media is the chocolate chip cookie of connection. Once I start, I stop only with great difficulty and I always feel slightly bloated and sad afterwards.

It's easier to grab than a phone call or a zoom session, and because of that, I reach for it more often than I need to. Like, several times an hour.

On FB, every time I see a video or a picture of a family I know sheltering in place I feel an odd combination of tender love for them and an erosion of the gratitude that I have for my own situation. My immature "little self" whispers,

"They have a bigger house and family than you.

They are having more fun.

You should have insisted on music lessons for everyone.

You shouldn't have sold your house with your big yard."

On Instagram, every time I see an ad (which is every other post these days) geared towards writers or speakers or coaches (me, apparently...) that same self whispers,

"You don't have what it takes.

You don't know the right things.

You don't have what it takes to do this.

There's enough noise out there, what could you add?"

Then a second "little self" chimes in with the real daggers...

"How could you even think about business in a time like this?

How come you're not sewing masks?

Why didn't you become a nurse?

You aren't doing anything to help people."

Last night, I actually slept for the first time in a long time and I think it was in part due to the fact that I intentionally stopped checking my dang phone way earlier than normal.

I don't begrudge anyone's postings. I love the videos of families singing and playing games, I really do. I think they are heartwarming and they inspire me to try those kinds of things over here. Thinking anything different would be like me trying to cut carbs and insisting that everyone around me go gluten free. That's absurd and selfish.

My mental health is as much my responsibility as my pants size. And for the sake of both, I'm going to try today to only have a couple of cookies. I'm going to schedule them into my diet of screen time.

This was my morning one and it tasted delicious. Now, it's time to close the jar and move my body and mind so that they don't get caught in the addictive loop of wanting more and feeling less.

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