Lately I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my lack of being present and in the moment as much as I’d like.
Truth be told, my phone possesses so much which contributes to my everyday life that even when I think to take a break from screen time – I don’t.
The weekends are somewhat different, as once I settle in with those I love I have no issue placing it somewhere in the house and just doing life. On the weekends my phone tends to be used for music or an occasional text or phone call to coordinate plans. Simple living at its finest, in my opinion.
Yet once the work week starts, it doesn’t seem to go as easily. Working a portion of my week remotely factors into this for sure. Some days a work day may start before my kids rise to get ready for school, while others may go beyond their bed time. At times, this can call for me to access e-mail via my phone, shoot out a text confirming something or even checking Social Media for proper spelling of a name.
As crazy as it may sound, I’m actually a bit envious of the few I know who still operate from a “flip phone.” Our Editor is one such person and razz her as we may, she’s holding on tight to her comfort zone as well as her tech-free freedom. She also works 97 hours a week and while I really love my job that’s a bit “extra” (as the kids now say) for me.
So last week as I looked forward to a coming week of respite and vacation I thought about the freedom of releasing my phone. Who really cares where I am or what I’m doing other than the people I’m there with. The present of being present. The simplest form of freedom.
The goal simple, head up, eyes open, phone free – aka off the grid. The idea actually excited me.
We spend so much time on technology.
I’m truthfully beginning to sound like a broken record, but in many ways I feel it’s a puzzle I’m still struggling to solve. The balance of getting it just right. Maintaining use of the tool without allowing it to rule how I operate. I think we call that discipline.
Funny how we can apply discipline in so many areas of our lives, yet the simple act of “just” checking e-mail, popping on Social Media or shooting a text seems like “no big deal.” For some perhaps it’s not, personally I was ready to relinquish control versus being controlled by said device. Vacation seemed the right time to start.
So, to the friend waiting for that delayed text reply. The parent or community member frustrated because an e-mail response still hasn’t arrived 30 minutes after it was sent and the Social Media trolls reading into a lack of “activity” – sorry not sorry?
It’s time for reconnection, disconnection and returning to the basics of life in its simplest form. I promise to reply once I’ve applied the discipline and established what this next phase looks like.
For the eyes which see this, my wish for you is simple. I hope my candid re-evaluation prompts you to review where your priorities lie. Perhaps what I’ve learned most is simple; the days still pass, the trick is will you see it “live” or through the eyes of another? It’s worth thinking about.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.