Lately I have been reading the book “Mitten Strings for God” by Katrina Kenison, it discusses motherhood and the hurriedness that plagues most of us. It was published well before I became a mother, recommended by an old mentor. It was actually published the year that I graduated high school. This was a time before cell phones were clutched in palms, a time that was fast paced in respect to it's time, but much slower compared to the lives we live today.
Haven't we lost something in this trade-off? We've traded time for connectivity, yet we seem to have less time and less connectedness.
It seems as though we need to be "on" at all times; if we stop scrolling we're going to miss something; we're going to miss the life that is right in front of us. It's not only the technology, it's the scheduling of life, the rushing of everything, the busying of hours that don't need to be busy.
We need to hurry up, and rest.
Throw Your Phone in the Trash (just kidding)
I would love to for so many reasons, but that's not a practical solution, although I'd love to try it, maybe just for a year...hmm.
Most of us end up pulling our phones out whenever we have a single moment to spare: doctor's office waiting rooms, bathroom breaks, waiting in line, etc. Spending all of our free moments reading information, watching "stories", and scrolling fills the minutes.
Maybe in place of scrolling we should put our phones away, and take in our surroundings. We can strike up conversation with those nearby, or daydream, when is the last time you can say you "daydreamed"? By taking the time to step away from our phones, we can give our brains a little bit of space to relax, to breathe, to rest. (I am 100% guilty of using my phone too much, much like an addict. As a family we are considering changes to be made, lasting changes, not just a fast, but something substantial.)
Rest in Nature
Spring is just around the corner! Maybe we could trade out the Netflix subscription and eating out too often for a weekend camping getaway that includes a recommended ChooseMattress for the tent. Not only would we be able to wake up in nature, but we can all benefit from this type of disconnected, quiet rest. If camping sounds more stressful that restful, consider rearranging pieces of your life to bring more comfort, which lends to more rest. Develop a habit of walking on a local trail a few times a week, and leave the phone in your car, or sit in your backyard and read a book when the days warm up.
I often wonder if we learn to join the "rat race" of life while we are in school. When I was a teacher I disliked anything that pushed the students to rush, to "finish up". It only sends the message that completing something is better than spending the time needed to beautify a project. Practicing how to take your time is a recipe for creativity and rest.
Deadlines can add pressure, but when we take our time with the things that matter, we begin to carve out the things in our lives that don't matter.
*This is a collaborative post.