If you’ve tried calling, emailing, or texting me today my apologies in advance. If you’d like to contact me tomorrow please use my home phone number (yes, we’re one of those crazy families who still have one). My iPhone is currently in the same place it has been all day. It is in exactly the same mode now as it has been all day and as it will be tomorrow – powered off.
Outside of this short period of time blogging today there has been and will be exactly zero minutes of screen time for me today. Yes, I’m going full blown cellphone and screen celibate today.
Why? My answer may surprise you. “Why not more often?” Today I’ve been so much more calm and relaxed. I really don’t need any updates on the election. I could care less about any sports scores. There aren’t any shows I’m missing. Instead of playing an online game I’m planning on playing games IRL (in real life) with my family instead.
This morning we went for a hike in the bluffs. There were a couple of times I wanted to stop and take a quick picture and realized I didn’t have a device with me. I smiled at myself, stared at the scene I wanted a picture of, studied it intently, and moved on. As we moved on I wondered to myself if I would have paid that close of attention to the details I was appreciating had I taken a picture instead.
When I took Dominic too and from the soccer fields to ref I caught myself wanting to grab my phone on the way out the door. Without it I felt like I was forgetting something. Each of these urges and sensations is helping me realize I need to do this more often.
Throughout the day I’ve had weird desires to check my email, check my texts, and look something up online. I’ve found it easy to resist those urges as my phone is still sitting in my bedroom on the dresser. What I’m also seeing is that I am doing just fine without the extra distractions.
While cleaning the garage today I struggled for a second. Maybe I could just turn on my phone specifically for music while I clean… Horrible idea. I know what would have happened. As soon as I went to change the music I’d check for alerts on my phone and would quickly undo everything I’ve been working on today. Instead I went old school. I went into the basement, pulled out a huge and archaic device, grabbed a binder of plastic covered foil and when outside. I’m amazed that I still remember how a CD player works! 😉 No advertisements, no alerts, nothing but one album from start to finish. Not only was it peaceful but I was shocked to see how many lyrics I still remembered!
Off to church, grab supper, play games as a family, do my breathing practice, read in bed, and off to sleep. No screens, no news, no alerts, and no distraction. Just chilling and focused in the moment. I can’t think of many better ways to wrap up the last quarter of a day.
My stress level has been totally low all day. I’ve been focused on the task at hand and have been more productive. When I’ve had moments of peace I’ve pulled out a book (Breath by James Nestor – I had no idea how much goes on in our bodies when we breathe everyday!). My mind has been present more often. I’ve been thinking about deeper thoughts and how to grow and close the gap between who I am and who I should be more today than I have in a long time. Long story short, my day has been significantly improved by my cellphone and screen celibacy today. I’m sure tomorrow will be too!