Five days of amazing food & beverages, tons of outdoor activities, board games, front porch sitting, laughing and snoozing. Everyone had a great time, the kids got along and there was virtually no stress, or should I say no virtual stress?!
I know, I know, there are constantly reports shouting the importance of unplugging, but until you really do it, it’s hard to admit how addicted we are to our devices.
In fact, although I didn’t miss it one bit, the second it was available, I was plugged back in. Checking email, social media, texting, sending links to my friend…you name it.
When I got home and I really hunkered down in front of my computer, I found 1400+ unread emails. And most of them were junk…pure, unadulterated timesucks!
Then, there was the important stuff. New project proposals. New deadlines. Registrations for this, reminders for that.
Stress and anxiety poured over me.
I would love to say “fuck it!” and permanently go off the grid, but it’s just not possible. Unless I moved somewhere that was truly off the grid…found a new profession, homeschooled my kids, etc., etc.
So how does one find balance?!
How do I complete my work and get paid (when it is all done remotely) without being plugged in all of the time?!
How do I prepare myself and my kids for the upcoming school year without monitoring my email 24/7? God forbid I miss a memo about school supplies!
How do I make sure all of our friends and relatives are “in the know” and able to watch our kids grow up even though they are in different cities, states and even countries?!
Last night, I unsubscribed to over 300+ email subscriptions.
Today, I took the boys to the pool for nearly three hours and didn’t look at my phone once.
We’re already big book readers, but I’m declaring once and for all, no phones or computers in the bedroom. Night time is time to relax and unwind. Read a few chapters…not worry about everything that didn’t get done today and or everything that needs to get done tomorrow!
Our kids are still little and don’t do a whole lot in the way of screens…YET! Sure, they watch TV sometimes and we’re big into family movie nights…every now and then they’ll play a game or watch a YouTube video on my phone, but for the most part, their screen time is pretty limited.
However, they see us on our phones and computers ALL of the time. Our big guy is only approaching 2nd grade, but his teachers are already encouraging him to check out this website or use this app, etc. It’s scary.
Sadly, “the grid” is a part of our existence.
It’s up to us to be mindful. To use it as a tool, not for it to turn us into tools!
Thankfully, we have already been invited back to this magical place with no service. Until then, I will be counting down the days and working on unplugging more and more each day.