Unplug

“Since being home, I have continued to journal every morning. I am also saying No to additional commitments, so I can make sure I have time for those priorities that matter most. I feel like my tank is full again.” – Michael Hyatt

My husband and I have normal cell phones; not iphones or Blackberries. There are no Androids in our possession. We have text ability, but no internet.

Writing is a second full-time job on top of my little less than 40-hours a week day job. I’m connected to the internet a lot. It’s a job requirement with writing, but I have deliberately kept internet off our phones for two reasons: 1) It’s unneccessary. 2) It’s expensive. My Kindle is dependent upon Wi-Fi. This leaves me able to focus on what’s important.

I can text statuses to Twitter and Facebook, but I cannot see the replies to respond. I am glad that I am hindered by this because it enables me to focus on real life without feeling the need to check my phone. It keeps my social networking in check. I don’t need to be connected 24/7.

When my husband watches baseball, I read on the couch and I may check Facebook on my Kindle, but I am working on making sure my writing doesn’t drain the time my husband and I enjoy together, even if it’s just reading and him watching baseball. I don’t want my memories made up of him and I in separate rooms talking to each other.

A picture on Facebook showed a typical family in this culture. They were sitting around a television and all of them had a gadget, either a laptop or a phone. Nobody was really communicating or engaging with each other. Sadly, I have seen this myself.

Communication is not just about the words you say, but the time you spend with each other. It’s the eye contact you make. Michael Hyatt also said, “Almost immediately, I saw my attention span increase. Gail and I spent every morning being quiet, reflecting, and journaling. We did a lot of reading. I didn’t feel the usual hurry-up and-finish pressure I experience in my normal life.”

In writing, there are self-imposed deadlines and neccessary deadlines. There are wordcounts to finish, blogging and social networking to do, and emails to answer. When not writing my novel, I am blogging or writing a short story or devotion. I am always working. But as my Mother-in-law said one day that I work hard, but also play hard.

The life my husband and I enjoy teem with memories of beautiful vistas, forest paths, roadtrips, and memories enjoyed with family. When I said to a friend, “I don’t schedule things on my husband’s work days because I make him a priority,” she had a strange look to her face. I wondered if this was an alien thought.

Meetings, passions, and other well-intentioned things can eat up the time you and your husband spend with each other. It can also create distance if you have a crazy work schedule. Marriage needs to be protected so the two people in it can grow old together, not a part.

Which is probably why I never do weekend retreats just for women (just day trips). I don’t have children that I need to get a break from and when I am away from him I miss him. He misses me. So it’s good to unplug; not just for marriages, but for friendships, too. People deserve your full attention.

Do you unplug?

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4 thoughts on “Unplug

  1. Wise words here, Nikole. Marriage and family is sacred and I don’t think we honor that, especially if we’re always ‘wired.’ I don’t do weekend women retreats either and I’ve often found that even women only Bible studies can easily turn into a bit of husband bashing if the leader doesn’t take charge and steer the conversations away from that. It makes me sad…

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    • I tend to speak up when that happens. Can’t stand husband bashing. I’ll be going to my first Women’s Bible Study myself in the afternoon. I know the leader. I know she won’t allow that. :o)

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