Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Disconnecting to Connect

In the past 5 years, I’ve only been on 3 vacations where I truly disconnect. One was my honeymoon so I felt entitled. The second one was panic inducing because I hadn’t been prepared to be completely without cell service. I worried a lot about what was going on with work and how my work was being handled. For our 5th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I was again without service. This time, I was prepared to be totally disconnected from work and when I tell you it was just what the doctor ordered, I am not exaggerating. I was able to truly live in the moment and let my biggest stressor go for a full 7 days. You know how people make up all of these words to describe great things? Amazeballs, fabulosity, awesomesauce? Yeah…it was all of those. It was also life changing.

It taught me the importance of disconnecting every now and then so I can connect with the world around me. I don’t have to be in another country to do it. I can take a Saturday or Sunday to go out and enjoy the day without my electronics. I can enjoy food, wine, family and friends without constantly looking at my phone to check every little buzz. I can silence and only allow VIPs through (just in case of emergencies). I can wake up on a Saturday and NOT PLAY CANDY CRUSH!! And I can sleep peacefully without watching 3 hours of reality TV before bed. It really is very simple. I just have to tell the friends and family that I talk to every night in advance so no one worries.

I think I am going to aim to disconnect twice a month to start and see how it goes. That may sound small to you but you know that girl in the hospital bed that is hooked up to oxygen and an I.V. and still answering work e-mails and participating in conference calls? Yeah, that’s me. (That sounds so crazy and I would yell at my friends for doing something like that yet, I am guilty). So, yeah—I’m starting small and hopefully expanding from there. Moments happen when you’re belly laughing and creating memories with friends, not when you’re LOL-ing through the phone.

Do you take time to disconnect? What do you do to make sure you stick to it?

*The item in the picture is the Cell Lock-Up. Yes, cell phone jail is a real thing. There is a timer and everything. If that's not a sign that we all need to disconnect sometimes, I don't know what is.

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