I took a few days off of work (my 8-5 job) and away from online work. I didn't blog, tweet, facebook, etc. I made reference to it here, as this is a daily series and I would be missing a couple of days. Turned out I missed three. And. It. Was. Glorious. :)
A bit about the psychological impacts...
I have to say, I had no idea how stressful it would be to disconnect from work. There was a part of it that was simply hard to break the habit, and alter my routine. For example, I wanted to kick off my time away with the Unplug Challenge.
I failed that challenge simply because I have formed habits around social media. I got my phone out, fired off a tweet, and then remembered the challenge. Woops. It was eye opening to see just how engrained social media has become in my day-to-day. Eye opening of course here really means horrifying. I have allowed my social networks way too much space in my life, and I'll be making adjustments in the near future regarding boundaries.
(Side note: if you haven't already, pick up Justin Wise's ebook The Top 10 Mistakes I Made in Social Media - I got it this past weekend. It was a timely message. Justin is a brilliant friend.)
On a deeper level, I felt just how important it is to my self esteem and ego to interact with others and add my voice to certain conversations. I went through what felt like a healthy detox. Through the process of disengaging, I was able to gain some perspective on what I value and why I value it. Although I can't say I was surprised by what I observed about myself, the honest look at how I spend my time and spend my attention truly helped me to gain some fresh perspective. I have a lot of work to do in order to align what I want to do and what I actually do. I'm sure you can relate.
My biggest takeway
Since I wasn't engaging in social media, and I wasn't writing a daily post here, I was able to reset my focus and reallocate my attention to other things. My spare time wasn't spent on adding to the world wide web. And you know what...? The internet didn't shut down. People didn't run out of things to read, say, or respond to. Everything simply carried on. You probabaly didn't even realize I was gone. Who would have thought?
Most importantly, I spent a lot of time with my family. We relaxed, ran errands and spent much more time outside than we normally do in our daily routine. I never knew yardwork could be so relaxing. I was reminded that my family is the most important gift God has given me, and just how little time I make for them in my day.
A little bit of rest went a long way. I'll be making some major adjustments by making lots of small tweaks in my life. I'm curious, do you have a rhythm of rest in your life? If so, what do you gain from it? If not, I'd challenge you to give it a try.
This is a part of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.