I think we know each other well enough by now for me to confess something: I’m totally addicted to being connected. I am that person who wakes up in the morning and the first thing I do is reach for my phone and check to see what I missed while I was nocturnal. I run through the list: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Email, respond to comments, read interesting articles and post to my feeds, repeat. Usually two or three times before I get out of bed. Unless I have to pee. Then I just do all of that from the smaller room down the hallway. (And apparently, that’s really bad for your health.) I make coffee, I get ready, and once I hop on the bus for the morning commute, the cycle repeats.
And it repeats. All. Day. Long.
The moment that I realized I had a problem was one morning when 6-year-old Alissa said to me, “Sometimes I feel like your phone is more important to you than what I have to say.”
While it’s true that I have missed some major life events of my friends while taking a social hiatus, I have to be honest with myself—I’m really not missing anything by not being connected all the damn time. And if I only knew about the engagements, babies and new homes because they were on Facebook, well then we must not be close enough friends for it to matter.
So as part of the current challenge I am taking on with The Break Changer, I’ve been challenged not to connect first thing in the morning.
Oh geez. This is going to be a tough one. But not impossible. Mindfulness is a good thing.
I’ve already learned so much (like the fact that my phone could probably appear on its own episode of Dateline for all the germs it must be smuggling around town. Ick.). Not only is my morning habit far less productive, it’s cramping my creativity. You see, when you jump right into the mode of consuming first thing, you completely obliterate your own priorities for someone else. Not cool, folks. I’m a big believer that we should live our lives they way they tell us to operate the oxygen masks should the cabin lose pressure: take care of your own first.
We’re only on day one of this week’s challenge, but this morning, I was very conscious of not interacting with my phone before I left for work. In fact, I didn’t even mess with it for a full hour and a half after I woke. Instead, I got myself ready and walked a mile while I got lost in my thoughts. It felt great to let my mind wander and process a lot of the things that were on my mind this morning when I woke up. And the funny thing I noticed? I didn’t spend all day letting those thoughts distract me as usual. I’d already dealt with them and opened my mind to be ready for other things.
That’s got to be a step in the right direction, wouldn’t you agree?