I had a day yesterday like no other. It began with the snake’s lunch getting loose (found later that day, by the Sports Dude, in the nanny’s lunch … ick factor 100 on a scale of 1 to 10). Business meeting. Major family drama. Which, having four siblings meant long calls with my mom, older sister, younger sister, brother, former brother-in-law, back to my mom, quick one with younger sister, long one with older sister, and closing the night off with my brother. Lucky for me, baby sister just had a baby, so one less phone call. Oh, crap. I just realized no one called our dad. Then my daughter opened up about all the drama that’s been going on with her circle of friends. I so hate 7th grade. One of my Girl Scout families popped by to pick up some more cookies. Then panic sets in as I realized, at 10:00 pm, I had yet to order all the cookies for our booths this weekend. Oh, and work in between all of this. Taking that all into consideration, one of the first articles to hit my stream this morning was Tech’s Best Feature: The Off Switch.
It’s Friday evening. The smells of rosemary chicken and freshly-baked challah fill the house. My daughters, 3 and 9, sigh as I gently detach the iPads from their laps. One by one, our screens are powered down. My husband, Ken, is usually the last holdout, in his office, madly scrambling to send out just one last email before the sun sets. Then he unplugs too. We light the candles, and sit down to a sumptuous meal. I’m prepared. I’ve printed out the next day’s schedule, along with maps and phone numbers that live on my cell phone. Most people in our lives know they will not be able to text, tweet, email, Facebook, chat, or Skype with us for 24 hours. If they want to reach us, they call our landline. Or they come over. And so it has gone, every week for three years. Our “tech Shabbat” lasts from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday.
I thought it was a God shot, until I realized that today is National Day of Unplugging. So it’s a coincidence. Yet I don’t believe in coincidences. DEFINITELY a God shot. I have fear around unplugging. I want to blame it on the fact that I would have to unplug not only myself, but a teenaged girl, her tweener sister, and the Sports Dude. Too many moving parts. What if there’s an emergency? (oh, yeah, I have a landline, too.) Yikes. What an order. Can I go through with it? It’s not like I haven’t done it before. Both the Sports Dude and I unplugged during our honeymoon, and our world did not come to a crashing end. I even blogged (irony) about it here: I think the Hippies were on to something:
The Sports Dude and I just returned from our honeymoon to New Orleans where we departed for a four-night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. The Sports Dude and I headed off to Mexico via Carnival As we made our way down the Mississippi we knew we’d lose 3G reception at some point, so we snapped some pictures and got them posted to Facebook before we went dark. We had no cell phone, 3G or WiFi for three entire days, as in 72+ hours. For three days my iPhone 4, which is usually in my hand or on my person somewhere where I can easily hear/feel the phone ringing, sat in the safe in our stateroom. For three entire days I lounged around the pool with my fully loaded Nook enjoying my summer time reading. I blew through The Lincoln Lawyer, and made headway through New York: The Novel (an 800+ page volume that would normally NEVER make it onto my poolside reading list. I love my Nook).
We unplugged for four days, and they were a blissful four days. Leaving my phone behind, allowed me to be present. I gotta do this. I need to recapture that energy. I HAVE to recharge. And, how lucky for me, I will not be alone. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get my family to participate, but I don’t need their permission to turn it all off for 24 hours. But I don’t want this to be about the next 24 hours. I want it to be about reclaiming a part of my life. I’ll let you know how it goes. Yikes. I can do this!