Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Cell Phone for 8 Days...5 things I learned

The day started out like any other...the alarm on my smart phone woke me up.  I took a shower and prepared for the day.  I checked my email accounts (plural), looked at Facebook, tried to clear a  board on Candy Crush (fail), and reviewed the calendars (plural) to make sure I hadn't missed too much since dozing off the prior evening.

This day was about to be dramatically different.  I was leaving my smart phone at home and would not have access to it for 8 days.  Yes.  8 full days.  No access to texts.  No access to emails.  No access to voice mail.  No access to Facebook.  No access to Candy Crush.

(pause while we wait for those that just fainted)

Many of you are just like me.  You've been connected since the dawn of the cell phone.  I have had a cell phone since 19** and have not left it behind ever.  Well, there was this one time (not at band camp) when I got a couple miles down the road in my car and realized it was not with me.  YIKES.  I turned that car around and went back to get it.  I have taken a mobile device with me everywhere since those days in the 90's and this was the FIRST time since I got my first mobile phone that I went somewhere without it.

Here are 5 things I learned:

1.  Turns out, it takes about 3 days (for me) to get over a Candy Crush addiction.  For the first 2 days, all I could think about during any down time was that I wanted to be clearing those little fruity squares and getting those cherries down to the bottom of the grid.  Upon return, I deleted all those games from my phone and have not indulged since.  (ie:  Candy Crush free since Aug 2, 2013).

2.  Books are still cool.  I left my kindle at home too (wanted to REALLY be off  the grid) so I brought a couple of puzzle books to keep me entertained on the plane and during down times.

3.  If I had to go on an old fashioned treasure hunt RIGHT NOW and follow a paper map, it would take me an embarrassing amount of time to figure it out.  I have traveled across the country using just an atlas and some state maps purchased at gas stations and now that Siri and Google have taken over telling me where to go, my map skills have waned.  Sigh.

4.  There are a lot of things to see when my head isn't bent down looking at my phone.  Not sure if you're all aware of this, but nature and people are fascinating!!  It was so nice to just be in the moment with my boyfriend and family and not distracted.  While the necessities of work deem that I pay attention to my phone at times, while off the clock I make a conscience effort to not be obsessed with the device.  Once I got past day 2 of reaching for my phone out of habit, it was so nice to be "unchained".  I was able to just relax and get the needed break that I've desperately needed.  There was much freedom that came with knowing that things would just have to wait for my return.

5.  The hardest part:  dealing with my own hurt ego.  I was able to go off the grid for 8 days and you know what?
    Nothing fell apart.
    The city remained standing.
    Things got done.
    Time went by.

Perhaps that's actually the blessing to be realized.  I work with amazing folks that kept my part of the business going and friends that were able to help with the dogs.  Everyone should take some time at least once per year to go "off the grid" and get some true rest and relaxation.


Rhonda B said...

Going off the grid for any amount of time seems courageous, and 8 days is crazy good! I hope I have the courage (and ability) to do that sometime!!

potpourri group said...
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Tim Lamont said...

Kath, if you ever find yourself on a treasure hunt with just a paper map, call me! :o)

Peter said...

Excellent Post! Got me thinking. I may go off the grid soon.

Peggy said...

I just had a similar experience, although unexpected when my gallbladder decided it had had enough! Shutting down for a week was glorious; and I, too, am making changes as I come back online...