My husband and I read together. Out loud. There is a whole train of thought that reading aloud is one of the best things you can do for your brain but, for us its more about being together, doing something “old-fashioned” and simple. Going back to the basics and to things that make us joyful. Reading aloud was one of those childhood things that takes me back to days of Narnia and Lord of the Rings and my parents voices at bedtime. Between the amount of shows and social media, the art of reading can get cut out and squashed out of life. And that is saying something when a book-worm like myself says it!!!
This summer my lofty goals of reading are by far way behind but, I am still relishing in some good reads and enjoying the process of slower months and my children’s nap times. A book on the back deck with some sun has been bliss for me and something that truly feeds my soul.
The most recent read we are into has sparked a summer choice that I might do for the rest of life. The book’s sub-title says it all…… “the effects of technology and the internet on parenting, work, and relationships”. Its been a fascinating read so far and as the summer launched I was feeling the effects of being “tied” to the beeps and sounds and “oh I need look that up” mentality. Not even 15 years ago I was still on the land line in my parents home and unless someone called or went through the trouble of dialing up the computer I was “free”.
Summer is freeing. It is my happy place. Sunshine, poolside, no school, vacations. It holds a more relaxed schedule and as such I decided to put into place a silent phone rule from 4- 9 pm every day. I don’t check, or Pinterest, or Instagram, or Facebook, or ask Siri anything.
Let me set the record straight for you. I am not someone who is “all the time” on my phone. I am the opposite according to most of my friends. I am also not saying that technology is bad. It can be a marvelous and wonderful thing. But I can see it creeping into my afternoons more than I would like and I have felt a pull to cut back. To get back to tangible things that are in front of me. My Lunch, my kids. Do I really want to spend the only quiet hour and half (of my children’s nap) on my phone, laptop or tv?
This decision all started when I was at the park a few week’s back. I was mad texting and debating someone over a heated conversation while I missed all the sweet fun with my toddlers on the play ground. I left the park flustered, frustrated, and furious. It was also fruitless. The whole conversation got me nowhere and there was no resolution to the situation. How tragically sad. It didn’t benefit anyone and left me not only in a bad mood but I missed precious moments. Moments I don’t ever want to be distracted from. I want to see that these are fleeting times and so very much important. I want to live in this season and be ever present.
I am a one track minded individual and I wear the title proudly. Because of this trait, I must learn how to turn into things and turn off others.
This resolution has shifted over time and has evolved into adding the TV and the computers. My kids are not watching tv in the afternoons and I am not on my computer. It’s not implemented perfectly (I sometimes cave for a rerun of kid shows when I’m going crazy) but, it has created space. Where we have space to be quiet. Where we color and build tents. Where we read.
What are you choosing, in this season, to unplug from? A negative person, or attitude? Maybe it is something that is a good thing but has now become toxic for you. Whatever it is, take the steps to shift into your now. Be present to whats in front of you today.
I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies.
Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the world that works.
Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career out of it.
Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things. – Douglas Adams