Guilty as charged …
If you’ve noticed my absence the past couple weeks, it’s because I took an overdue vacation. I ended up in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains in my home state of Colorado. Purposely, I chose a place without internet or cell service. (Sorry…that’s why there’s been no Friday Freebie.)
It was glorious, but my peace of mind didn’t slide in right away. At first, I was irritable, crabby, restless, and itching to check my email, my phone messages, go online and do some work…the list goes on. After a while, I was able to relax, hear the birds singing, listen to the quiet rustle of trees. I took hikes, and communed with nature. I slept when I was tired, ate when I was hungry, and breathed deeply for the first time in what felt like forever.
The view in front of my cabin…what a way to greet the day!
My Two Cents
I have become so accustomed to charging my devices, staying “connected” to everyone by not even seeing their faces, working with a screen in front of myself, and basically missing out on some of the best parts of life because I’ve become as guilty as anyone of “needing” this type of communication and work.
I’m in my fifties, so I can still consciously tell myself to stop. Take a break. Get outside and enjoy nature, or read a book with actual pages. Feel something besides the internet connection.
But…what about our kids? This vacation made me think of how they are just as “addicted”, if not more than I am. They can’t remember a time when the internet wasn’t around, when a cell phone could “think” for them, when video games were a part of life.
Let’s Take a Break!
After my quiet vacation, I thought it would be great to challenge you to have your kids take a day off from electronics and technology. You don’t have to go to the mountains to do this. Bring the mountains to you! Turn off the television. Unplug the computer. Put video games up. Even electronics I like, such as a Nook or Kindle should be stashed away. If it has a cord, get rid of it…for a while.
Make a tent in the living room with blankets. Have a picnic. Play tag outside at night. Get some sparklers and dance in the yard. Get a sprinkler and run through it with your kids. Buy squirt guns and attack each other with water. Have a board game marathon. Learn a new card game. Learn magic tricks. Learn something that needs to be read from a real, old-fashioned book. Tell ghost stories. Make up silly stories.
Make some Memories!
You get the idea… the options are limitless. You might have to start with an hour and then stretch it to a day. You and your children might suffer from the sudden “withdrawal” from technology like I did. But if you push through it and if you’re real inventive, maybe you can stretch your technology break into a week or more!
My kids are raised and I often look back on their childhood. These are the memories I hold firmly to…not the times they were sitting at a computer screen, playing video games, or watching television.
Happy memory making,