I’ve been off Facebook since the beginning of January and off Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest since the third week of January.

It’s equal parts self-imposed banishment and spiritual fast with my church, The Belonging Co in Nashville. Our church does an annual Daniel Fast at the start of each year and I felt I needed to include my access to social information and news sites on my list of things to remove from my daily consumption.

Along with all forms of dairy, animal meats, caffeine, and flour, I have not had a taste of my social media feeds or go-to news sources. …

1. What was your favorite single day/single event of the year?

Seeing U2 in concert in Indianapolis with Lawson.

Image for post

And hanging out with my daughter at the Southern Festival of Books.

Image for post

2. What was the best thing you built/created?


3. What was the most impactful decision you made for you and your family’s future?

Returning to Apple Retail.

4. What was your best financial achievement?

Tithing faithfully!

5. Did you achieve any lifelong goals?

Saw U2 in concert from the ground floor for their The Joshua Tree tour.

Image for post

6. What was the hardest lesson you learned over the past year?

I am not entitled to anything and can lose everything at any time.

7. Did you develop any new hobbies or passions? Are there any new hobbies or passions you want to develop in the New Year?

I became an expert on packing light.

8. What was the most humbling experience of the past year?

Losing my apartment, re-homing my dogs, moving in with my daughter and her family.

Image for post
Image for post

9. What is the one thing you are most grateful for from this past year?

My daughter and her family taking me in and my friends letting me crash at their places.

10. What are your personal goals for the coming year? Family goals? Religious goals? Health goals? Financial or career goals?

Visit my grandson as often as possible. Grow in my friendships at The Belonging. Return to my Yoga practice. Create a huge emergency fund.

My phone made me cry as I looked through old messages. I was cleaning out my Inbox. Keep, delete, delete, delete, keep, keep.

I chanced upon a message that had been sitting unnoticed and buried past the bottom of my screen. I didn’t remember who it was from but I knew the name. I clicked on it and my heart skipped a beat.

It was a series of photos of my two dogs at their foster mom’s house. Kirby, my pudgy Mini Pinscher Chihuahua mix, and Oscar, my Havanese, were sitting together on a couch. …

Image for post

The hardest part about being homeless is not having my own space. I’m not living on the streets but I’m in a temporary living situation in my daughter’s guest room.

I’m not standing at an intersection carrying a backpack. I’m roommates with two adults and their toddler and I’m having a blast.

People give me a cautious “Oh…” when they find out I live with my only child and her family. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Adult children move in with their parents after college and before they find a job, right? …


Thelma Bowlen

Technology trainer by day, sleep nerd by night, grandma and writer on my days off. #GeekyGrandma

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store