My week off social media

For the past week I decided to unplug from social media and reduce my internet use. Why? mainly because I feel that this tool in my life is becoming a weird addiction. It is disconnecting me from the present moment and giving a sense of connection with others that doesn’t particularly run deep.

IMG_3742_fotorIt is Monday, day one, I sit waiting for coffee and automatically reach for my phone, then stop because I can’t. Instead I look around. I notice that the baristas all have beards, and smile at a group of trendy elders who laugh at each other’s wit. Well hello world, here you are.

It’s amazing the space in my mind that is taken up with thinking about plugging in. Take a photo to share, look up this fact, find that thing, quick who is doing what? Reaching for my phone or computer is like an itch, annoyingly wanting to be scratched and encroaching on my day.

As the week goes on it becomes much easier. When I think of something I will need to research online I write it down. If there is a friend I need to contact I text or call. I pull my lap top out of the draw for a little during the kids nap then again at night. But I am not sucked into an ever updating newsfeed of information I was not conscientiously seeking. Instead I check my email, go through my research list and then complete projects offline.

Sunday eve and I am considering checking back in but I feel really strange. It’s been a week without the constant sharing back and forth. I know when I open up the portal to life online it will not have missed me. Though I thought about it often and somewhat compulsively, I have no doubt my lack of presence went unnoticed, the constant stream wouldn’t look blank because I didn’t post. I know my need for plugging in is not a reciprocal one, and that makes me feel tuned off to it all. I have always had a thing about feeling special, but social media can make you feel like the over zealous lover of the biggest player on the block.

So what have I learnt? I definitely have an addiction to plugging in, and it is not one that is serving my best interests. I was able to achieve quite a bit when I left the distraction of social media and constant internet perusal. There were projects I had been meaning to get to for some time that actually got DONE. The other thing I realised was I was externalising my worth, throwing myself and a pretty version of my life out into the world for someone, anyone, to approve and validate. Without the constant intention to share my experiences I was able to enjoy them for exactly what they brought to MY life and to MY family.

I am not ready to give these tools away, lord knows most of the word runs through them, but I am more then happy to commit one week a month to unplugging.

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Share the load and find some headspace

A friend of mine recently said something along the lines of “You love your kids even more when they’re sleeping and I found out why… It’s because you actually have a moment to think about it”

IMG_3590_fotorAs parents, and particularly if you happen to be a stay home mum or dad, it can be rare to find a moment that is not consumed with either the responsibilities of living or the responsibilities of making sure your child doesn’t decide to grab hold of your dogs tail and attempt to bite it off. Your mind is constantly focused in the moment or the ever so boring to do list, that you actually do not get the chance to reflect and appreciate life.

There is another thing that tends to happen as well. We become so use to the treadmill that when someone offers to tag team, jump on and keep it rolling while we take to the bush track instead, we tend to deny them. I seriously crave the sort of me time that for 27 years of my life was on tap. Nothing extravagant…just conversation with a dear friend that includes my full attention and no interruptions. Or a walk along the beach to wonder at the ocean and waves without seeing them as a immediate drowning hazard. I have an amazing husband who will often ask if I want to take time, but I get so stumped about having time that I can barely come up with what I want to do” ahhh…ummmm…okay……ummmm”, or I feel this weird guilt for leaving him to wrestle our son for an hour (all the while being completely aware that it is RIDICULOUS, unfounded, hogwash, self indulgent guilt).

IMG_3591_fotorThis morning I ask for some time and it was happily given. Of course it would be happily given by my husband, our family or a friend pretty much when ever I was in need. But this morning I TOOK IT! It was wonderful. One and a half hours of just walking along enjoying the world, sitting to meditate not on my bed at the end of a busy day but in the soft sand while gazing at the waves, finding some head space, just being…reflecting and feeling grateful.

So to all of you out there who have little time to turn off from what is right in front of you or what is hijacking your mind…jump off the treadmill of life, find some head space!!!! You do not have to be a parent, maybe your life is full of work, or stress, or relationship needs. Whoever…whatever…when some one offers to share the load so you can find peace…please… let them.

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