Hello my lovely friends. I sure hope your holiday season so far is beautiful and full of light and love. Mine has been and will only get better here soon when we head back to Seattle late next week to be with my family for SIX whole days for Christmas. Part of which we will be in Chelan (Eastern Washington) celebrating with about 30 other extremely important people in my life. I’m so excited I really can’t hardly wait to hold my new little niece, Kate, in my arms and give my nephew Henry a big old hug and kiss from his “Auntie Manda”
I know that for many people this time of year can be stressful and some don’t always welcome it with open arms. There are those that find it’s a lonely month and for others it’s jammed packed with cocktail and cookie parties which can be stressful in itself!
I will admit, the month of November was a challenging one for me emotionally, mentally and ultimately, physically. I entered the season of hope and joy emotionally drained, discouraged and hopeless. Feeling as if I had had my dreams shattered, I was left heading down a dark and scary downward spiral of depression and I knew that wasn’t how I wanted to spend the holidays but couldn’t figure out how to get myself out of it.
Then the other day I was at Whole Foods and I as I was checking out I instinctively grabbed my phone and started thumbing through my various social media sites as I so often do when I’m in line or in a doctors office or lying on the couch. As I was doing so it hit me. What the heck am I doing? What the heck has technology done to us? How often do you see people walking around or even worse, driving while texting or talking on their phones?
I quickly put my phone in my pocket and as the guy behind the check out counter started to ask me how my day was, I gave him my full attention as I looked him in the eye while chit chatting with him about completely random things. I left Whole Foods with a new profound feeling of awareness I have been missing out on for awhile now. And I felt the fog lifting.
Now, I’m not saying social media or phones are bad. I think the technological advances that have been made are pretty amazing actually but what worries me is how dependent we all have become on them. Checking in, tweeting, instagraming every activity we do. I was talking to my friend Ally one day and she mentioned that she actually hides all of her good friends on facebook because she wants to be surprised by what is going on in their lives face to face instead of hearing about things online. I couldn’t agree more.
I think part of my profound sadness, apart from some uncontrollable events in my life, was brought on by always being connected and not appreciating the things that I have by just being present and aware. It’s so easy to compare yourself with others and it’s a whole lot easier to do so now that everyone is so connected in. I’m not trying to bash facebook, etc., I’m just wondering what would happen if we all took a little more time to look people in the eyes instead of zoning out on our phones?
After that day I removed facebook and twitter from my phone. Originally I was going to try it out for one month but as the days go by, I don’t really miss it. I’ve kept Instagram because well, I think that app was really designed to be used with your phone and having the ability to take pictures wherever you are with you phone can help preserve memories. I just don’t check it as often as I did before.
I want moments in my life to be connected, even if it’s watching a movie on the couch with my husband, I want to fully be aware of everything instead of zoning out and flipping through my phone or ipad. We’ve actually set a rule in our home that no phones (other for their originally purpose), ipads, or computers are to be used after 7:30pm if we are both home.
I’ve even cut back on how much time I spend on the computer in general. It’s so easy to get caught up in perusing blogland and before you know it, you’ve looked at 20 different blogs and spend two hours on your bum. I blog when I feel like blogging now and it’s added so much freedom to my life. I check facebook every now and then and I’ve spend more time with my nose in various books and cooking in our kitchen.
I feel the grey cloud lifting and the sunshine is coming out again because I’m taking more time to appreciate the small things and the things that I have. I started a morning meditation routine and journal immediately after it because it helps me start my day off right. With a profound sense of gratitude and hope.
I think it’s important to disconnect to reconnect with reality. Let’s turn off our phones and computers and get back to face time the old fashion way. Let’s reconnect and have those meaningful human interaction again!