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Unplugging and backyard camping

Our life has changed a lot in the past few weeks. My maternity leave is over and I’m back to the day-to-day office work (yes, I still take bookings for the family sessions, but spots are very limited). That’s why it’s been so quiet around here- I’m still learning the ropes of organizing all the things I have on my plate and not going crazy in the process. Getting the hang of it :)

So the job is eight hours, four days per week. Time with family has shortened, but because of that I feel there is more purpose. Office takes eight hours, plus the commute so everything else has to be squeezed into way less hours than before. Meaning that prioritizing and focusing became our second nature.

This has made me realize how much time I was wasting by idly scrolling through newsfeed on Facebook and browsing the internet. And that in fact this habit was bordering on addiction. I was terribly distracted and way, way too often glued to my screen. Meet my new, distraction-free iPhone.

No mail, no Safari, no social media. I decided to give it a go as an experiment for a week. It’s been almost four weeks since and I’m not going back anytime soon. And yes, I still like to have a smartphone. Shortly after going distraction-free my phone fell on the floor and the front glass is shattered. I was forced to use a dumb-phone (aka old NOKIA with a keyboard) and I really miss Google maps & navigation, camera, WhatsApp and Audible for listening to audiobooks on my way to work. So these are the smartphone features I would like to have. It just seems I’m not dealing very well with having the world of internet and social media at my fingertips. So I will skip that and keep the rest. If you are interested in nitty-gritty details of uninstalling apps and son on, here is a really good how-to article.

In lieu of the missing icons on my screen I carry these three things with me:

– journal for quickly writing fleeting thoughts/ impressions/ ideas

– sketchbook for line drawings (I guess you could replace it with anything creative. Crocheting thingies for example)

-small book of poetry. This is like Twitter, just… better.

Admittedly, my bag is (way) heavier than before, but my head feels lighter.

From the time we come back from work and daycare we have some 4 hours together as a family. That’s not a whole lot, considering that we also have to eat, take care of the household and dog during that time. But having so little time and not a whole lot of digital distraction means we actually focus and most of it is quality time. Spent on fun stuff.

One evening we built a fire-pit in the backyard. Just a big hole, lots of stones and simple benches around. Since then we’ve spent many an evening sitting around a fire, roasting marshmallows, watching sunsets and just… being.

This post is part of Childhood Unplugged photography collective. Check out Childhood Unplugged on facebook and play along on Instagram by tagging your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged.

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Mary Yung - Your post resonates with me so much. Participating in this journey of Childhood Unplugged made me examine my own plugged in time and make it a point to be online. Kudos to you for your heavier bag but lighter head!

Noora Tuomisto - Sounds lovely :) Very much like how I feel about digital distractions. I have been somewhat addicted to facebook and very addicted to angry birds (though this also brings back nice memories as playing angry birds co-incided with breast feeding our youngest son when I was still at home and he was still so little that we were almost as one). After testing life without them I feel much more present. Contacting friends using the phone (as an actual telephone!) and meeting them in person is for me much more fulfilling. This of course cannot be done on a daily (or even weekly) basis – as visiting facebook – but I feel that still less is really more. Haven’t yet tried removing email from my phone, but considering it – already helped, when I took work email off my phone.

Skipped morning yoga today and cuddled in bed with our kids for an extra half an hour. Now my shoulders miss yoga but still no regrets, the kids are so sweet and so real :) Like it says on a postcard: “Life is now. Press play.”

karba - Noora, this sounds lovely! Try removing your email for a week maybe? It’s so easy to bring it back if you decide you need it.
Life is indeed happening now and it can so easily slip. Kudos to you for pressing play :)

Ania - Dziękuję za kolejną inspirację… Po odkopaniu pasji teraz to :-)aż postanowiłam napisać.. ;-) stara prawda, jak świat stary: nie brakuje nam czasu, marnujemy go… I ja odczuwam to jak łatwo go tracę, jak mi umyka..życie odłożone na bok nie zatrzymuje się przecież, pauzy nie wcisnę..a najgorsze jest to, że to bardzo męczy!rodzi tyle niepokoju i poczucia frustracji i rezygnacji…
A palenisko piękne wyszło :-)
Mam wrażenie, że dużo od Ciebie biorę.. Czy kiedyś uda mi się odwdzięczyć?mam nadzieję :-)

karba - Aneczko, cala przyjemnosc po mojej itd :) Odwdzieczylas sie piszac tu :)

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