I had a great girl's date with one of my best friends a few weeks ago.
Among many other things, we talked about going "unplugged."
And how our internet-attached world is making it harder to attach to our kids and our husbands and our real lives.
She said she's started doing Sundays unplugged. No internet, no phone (she leaves the phone on, though, in case someone needs to contact her...Sundays often mean Church business calls)
And I knew right away that was something my family needed to do also. Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, but with two little children and a three-hour block of Church to attend, they often feel like the hardest day of the week for us. Much of that feeling, though, was because we were distracted, and I knew it. Facebook, blog reader, pinterest, google+, random news reading, mindless surfing, games on the phones, disney movies for the kids...
we thought we were resting,
but really we were just distracting.
Last week we started our very first "Sunday off." And it was everything I hoped it would be. We took turns going to Church because we kept our recovering-but-still-sick kids home. When I got home from my half of the meetings, I walked in to find a giant blanket fort and Kent on the floor playing cars with Nicholas. A beautiful mess.
We made blueberry muffins. We pretended we were at Disneyland and ran around the house because we were on the Dumbo ride.
We played with "Spot" the dog (aka Nicholas).
We made Valentines to send to people. We did concede at one point and let Ellie watch Baby Einstein because we were trying to make dinner and she was still sick-whiney and we needed to set her down for a minute.
The best part, though?
Our Sunday off gave me strength to set aside the computer for the rest of the week. (I don't have a smartphone so the computer is my internet vice.) I felt like I didn't really even want to check Facebook or pinterest. When I have down time, I've been reading (hooray!! time to read!) instead of mindlessly-but-well-meaningly checking the internet.
Having Sunday "off" gave me power to focus on what really matters most.
Now, I'm working day by day to put down the "connected" world and connect to my real world.
My next steps? I want to establish a phone "nest" where we place our devices when we're at home. Not in our pockets, not accesible at any moment, not in front of our faces when we should be having family time.
I want to stay off our phones when we are in the car; save that time for talking to each other.
I want to have our devices charge in a room other than where we sleep.
I want to save my phone-talking time for times when my children are asleep or otherwise occupied.
To put it simply, I want to live with purpose and connect with what matters most. Little by little. Who's with me?