While spending last weekend in Door County, the beau and I decided to leave the laptops behind, to silence our phones, and to keep the television off. It was only for a weekend, but I found that it made a world of difference for my soul.
I sit at a computer all day for work. When I'm not at my desk for my full-time job, I'm at my home office plunking away on my laptop for my freelance work. I watch an episode of TV on Netflix or Hulu while I eat lunch (I know, I know). I watch TV with the beau to unwind; we are both fans of "Chopped" and the NFL. My workouts usually involve a screen of some sort, either by watching a DVD for my exercise routine or by jumping along to my dance-related video games. I rely heavily on technology for my work and productivity, but it is sometimes more productive to step away from it for a while.
It had been some time since I'd let my soul breathe without screens in proximity. Granted, I didn't need to go on a mini-vacation in order to unplug... but it sure was nice to look out at Little Sturgeon Bay in the morning, to cozy up to the fireplace in the evening, to read a book or play board games during downtime. It was both relaxing and invigorating to wander various shops in the little towns along the peninsula, to sample wine and apple brandy and fudge and cheese and creamy artichoke dip. It was reassuring to ignore what friends were posting on social network feeds and what I call "useless" news that just exists to fill airtime... ultimately realizing that the world didn't end just because I wasn't hyper-informed.
One of the items on my 30 Before 30 list is to unplug from technology like this for one whole week. An addendum also suggests avoid television for an entire month (and I'd have to count Netflix as television since I predominantly watch that). I'd do this without going on vacation, though I would take the week off from work. Can you imagine how productive I could be if I did that? I could:
- sort through every box in my basement and post everything expendable on Craigslist or eBay
- paint my front door and my backyard winterized
- read a novel or two
- bake up a storm!
- paint the canvas that is gathering cobwebs on my easel.
- make personal stationery out of the scores of scrapbook supplies I have but never used
- visit parks and attractions in my own city that I haven't had a chance to visit
- have lunch dates with friends
- squeeze in some extra workouts
- set up my tiki bar (yes, I have the elements to make a tiki bar)
- drop off my clothing and kitchenware donations to Goodwill
- visit my sister and nephew, or see my grandmother
- wash all my windows before sealing up the house for winter
- give myself an at-home spa day with masks, a mani-pedi, and a bubble bath
- have friends or neighbors over for dinner