I often reminisce about our time in New Zealand back in 2011-2012. You see, those were the days when all we had was a local Nokia phone with no extra features, our car had no radio, and the only access to internet we has was when we were at the house connected to wi-fi. That means when we left the house, we DISCONNECTED. We did not have access to email, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. And when the kiwi was out training for ironman, I’d often tag along and walk or read a book while he trained.
On rest days we’d take day trips and just relax.
When we got back to the states our lives went from 50mph to 100mph again and I found myself trapped in busyness trying to run a business. Work Work Work, go go go. Crash, burn, repeat. It wasn’t until this past year that I really tried to channel that slowdown and work on disconnecting. Yes, work on disconnecting more. Sounds so easy, right?
Recently, my good BLEND Jess decided to take a complete 7 DIGITAL DETOX to celebrate her 10 year anniversary with her husband. I couldn’t wait to hear about her trip, and honestly, I wanted to hear more about her time AWAY from it all. No phone, email, social media, etc. I recruited Jess to share her digital detox “musings” here, today!
Birds chattering. Crickets chirping. Loudly. All evening and all morning. Waves lapping the shore. Toes in the sand, warm and soft. All of these are quiet, seemingly small moments. But to me? They were monumental.
It meant I was in the moment. Soaking it all in. Completely present and undistracted. Truly there.
Sure, it would’ve been fun to share all of this on instagram. I fully admit that I’m a totally instagram addict when I’m at home. I love sharing snippets of my day in photo form — to me it’s sort of become my form of ‘blogging’ now that I don’t blog any longer. However, instagram was the farthest from my mind in these moments.
To say that I learned a lot while Scott and I were away in St. Lucia to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary would be a giant understatement.
For the first time in Lord knows how long, we completely unplugged. And I truly believe it was this disconnecting to reconnect that brought us closer than ever before. It all hit me about halfway through our trip. There was a singer on the stage near the pool after dinner, he sang country song covers all night long and was taking requests.
When he sang the first few chords of ‘We Danced’ by Brad Paisley – our wedding song – I felt the tears on my cheek, the rush of emotions (that took me by surprise quite honestly) and I leaned my head on his shoulder. After just a few days completely detached from the ‘real world’ – a life at home that we adore but that is typically chock full of activity –I finally took a second to exhale. Letting my mind rush back to our wedding day soooo many years ago and that very first dance. I remember how excited I was. I was over the moon in love with my new husband and excited to share that with my family and friends who surrounded us while we danced.
In these moments, over ten years later, it was just Scott and I. Our song playing. I was simply in awe of this man with his arms around me, a man I am ridiculously proud to call my husband. A man that I all too often am so distracted around, that I simply don’t spend enough time just being with him. Just us. No electronics. No distractions. Appreciating him for all that he is and all that he means to me. Truly there.
As our week away neared its end, and we realized this little digital detox of ours was almost over, I was a little bit sad. It was so nice to just focus on Scott, on each other, and on nothing at all (and surprisingly WAY easier to disconnect than I thought it would be…).
Why on earth do we NOT do this more often?? I mean sure, we have jobs, we have commitments and responsibilities. But we have a choice in how we spend our down time, our free time. Why not make that ‘free’ time, truly FREE? Uncluttered by all things digital entirely. If you think about the word ‘free’ even – by definition it means open, unrestricted. And if I look back on our time in St. Lucia, I’d absolutely define that time as open, unrestricted and yes, liberating.
Now that we’re back on home turf, I’m taking what I’ve learned to heart. And lucky for me, Lindsay asked me to share that learning with you guys here.
Lesson learned from our digital detox
- To be free, to have free time, to have the freedom to choose to spend that free time however we want is a gift.
- It’s a gift to yourself as much as it is a gift to the loved ones around you.
- Give wisely. Give freely. Give often.
- Time literally slows down when you aren’t constantly checking in on facebook, instagram, twitter and foursquare.
- My mind felt at ease that week, no mind crazies, no fretting over what I was eating, drinking, doing for my workouts (or not doing). Coming home, it’s been far harder to shut the mind crazies down but I’m trying.
- Conversations were more engaging, we weren’t constantly half listening to each other. We were REALLY listening.
Also? I learned that I love my husband a whole heck of a lot more than a week ago.
Sounds pretty Marvelous, yes?
Do you need a Digital Detox?