I was able to arrange to have an entire day with my husband yesterday in celebration of my last year in my 30’s. I decided to leave my phone at home so I would be fully present with my # 1 and take a real day off from work. I know it’s silly, but when I got in the car and pulled away from my house with my phone locked inside of it I actually felt my heart skip a beat.
I am constantly plugged in to all things going on in my work life through my phone which is mostly fantastic. I can attend to log-in issues for my website right away or instantly book a client in a class at the last minute.
I make a mockery out of those conveniences most of the time though.
I repeatedly check IG and FB as a way to pass a quiet moment. I message with one friend while I’m in the room with another friend. I feel the need to respond to emails immediately that do not need immediate attention. These compulsions leave me feeling on edge and tense throughout most of my day.
What I know for sure is that I work way too much because I “conveniently” can, and I’m not fully present most of the time. I’m distracted and can rarely finish a task because I’m doing 3 things at once. On edge and tense have started to feel normal.
So yesterday I did an experiment of 24 hours without my phone and here’s what happened after my heart skipped its first beat. It kept happening. I am embarrassed to say that for about two hours I felt pretty icky, but it slowly went away. And then it happened…I was actually in my body and mind. I listened to what Marc was saying, completed my own sentences, and even experienced having a complete thought.
I took-in the cloudy, cool, and rainy day we were having. I also reached for my phone (which wasn’t there) at least 5 times because it’s my instinct to document lovely moments and share them.
At one point Marc walked to the car and I stayed at the restaurant alone. I kept my gaze out and up rather than looking down at my phone. I was in the moment. I don’t remember the last time I had a minute alone, whether in the pick-up line or in the waiting room of a doctors office, that I didn’t fill with checking my notifications.
So friends I’m writing this just in case you share my over-worked and overly plugged-in existence. I learned yesterday that I CAN be more present, but I have to be intentional about it. For me leaving my phone at home or in the car is necessary for me to resist the urge to check in with the electronic world.
I know most people have a very healthy relationship with their phones and are reading this and thinking “how sad!” and I agree! I also have a suspicion that some of you understand what I’m writing about very well and this blog post is for you.