So, I’m nearly two weeks back from a fantastic 10 days in California with my sailor. Sometimes I wish I was still out there, even though I know it wouldn’t always be a vacation. And there’s work and school and life and bills to pay. UGH. Adulting. *sigh* But, anyway, it was a great trip and I’m happy to have had that time with him while we are living apart (woo, military life!) for a while.
We did have a few things we planned on doing (Navy function, hiking, wine tasting) but for the rest of the time, we just kind of flew by the seats of our pants. (Okay, am I the only one who thinks that’s a weird expression?) I took my planner and laptop with because I had some blog posts that I’d planned on writing and some other social media stuff I’d planned on doing.
But, I didn’t do any of it.
I mean, I did participate in a Facebook live discussion with my Personal Development book club (so much fun!) and I was kinda active on Instagram but I didn’t blog, I didn’t really tweet, and I didn’t Facebook (too much, anyway. just a few pictures.).
And, it was okay. In fact, it was more than okay – it was necessary.
We read “Present over Perfect” (link added in case you’re interested. NOT an affiliate link.) for book club and quite a bit of it really resonated with me. I can often feel like I need to do all the things and then, I miss out on some fun stuff because I’m just so busy. I don’t really ever relax. If I’m relaxed, it means I’m sleeping and then, honestly, even though….I’m not so sure I’m really relaxed. I can’t remember the last time I actually slept through the night.
We did do a lot while I was out there but it was unstructured and we often had time to just sit and be because we didn’t have anything or anywhere to rush off to. We just took our time and enjoyed each day. And it was glorious.
We’re all already just so busy and so much of our lives can be sucked up by hopping on the social media train that we miss what’s happening right in front of us. Ahh, good ole Facebook. The social medium that can suck you in and give you a serious case of envy (hello, comparison trap!). Or frustration (hello, people who don’t check facts, or Snopes, before they share something). Or whatever. I’m better with Instagram (way less frustration) but still, there are times when I can mindlessly scroll through my feed and completely disengage from life. I don’t want that. I don’t think YOU want that.
I wanted to be present while I was spending time with my sailor. I only had 10 days with him – why would I want to waste a single moment goofing around on the Internet when what was happening right then in that moment was so much more fulfilling?Experience the life right in front of you by becoming a part of it. #sweatpink #iamempowered Click To Tweet
Unplugging can be hard, I know. I know plenty of people who carry around multiple phones and they are basically tied to them. I know some people who practically live on Facebook. I know some people whose phones are basically an extension of their arm. I can be that way sometimes too.
But, unplugging, even if for just an hour (and no, taking an hour long nap does NOT count as unplugging), is so beneficial.
1. You’re present and in the moment. Let’s say you’re out at a kid’s soccer match and that kid scores a goal and looks to you for cheers and you’re staring at your phone. Um, well that’s a bummer. Unplugging (put away the phone. put it on silent. hell, turn it off!) helps you capture those moments and be a part of them. And you become a part of others’ experiences. You’re sharing them. And that can be so amazing.
2. You don’t have to compare yourself. You are you and that’s awesome. Unplugging gets you away from the comparison trap on social media. You know, most people don’t show their real lives and all about it over social media – they just show the good stuff, the stuff they want you to see. Your life is good too! But you’re not going to know it if your nose is stuck in your phone or your laptop has adhered itself to your legs. Don’t try to live the lives that others portray – go out and live your own!
3. You can stop and smell the roses. Okay honestly, my normal breakfast routine generally includes drinking my coffee and checking social media and catching up on stuff. While I was in California, I poured my coffee and went out on the balcony and took in the sights and smells of the morning – the sun coming up, the colors in the sky, the seals barking down by the bay, the smell of the salt in the air, the acorn woodpeckers chattering away, deer ambling by, a random dog barking in the distance…. My days were so much better, so much lighter when I did that.
4. You get a break to just … be. I mean, wouldn’t you like one? It’s refreshing! It’s relaxing. It’s rejuvenating.
5. You can reconnect with the people you love. When was the last time you went out on a date? Yes, even married couples can go on a date!! Okay, when you were on said date, did you two talk and laugh and stare lovingly into each other’s eyes? Or, were you too busy playing on your phone to notice? Relationships – marriages, friendships, parent/child bonds – take work and attention. They’re like flowers and attention is the water. Take care of them and they’ll bloom!You only get one life to live. Don't miss out on it! #sweatpink #iamempowered Click To Tweet
So many, many thanks to Amanda for letting me link up and Think Out Loud.