First of all, I just want to give a shout out to the Plugged.
There are a lot of super-cool things about our current technology.
I love it that I can text my wife and ask her if she wants anything at the store when I’m there.
I love our Facebook community at OhMyGod Life and all the wonderful connections we’ve made there.
I love it that my brother, who has a full life, can call me when he’s on the way to pick up his kids from school.
I love our Netflix streaming service with all its fabulous entertainment options, including obscure movies and TV shows that aren’t available at my local video store.
And I love that I have found a way to step back from the Plugged one day a week.
I started by taking off one afternoon a week. Then a whole day.
I’ve been taking a weekly day off for a few years now.
On my Unplugged day, I can do whatever I want. Including nothing at all.
More recently, my day off has become one of silence. Even if Melissa is home with me, we don’t speak.
At least, that was the plan. Lately, she’s started speaking on our days off. But I still don’t speak. This makes for some fun spoken-and-pantomime conversations.
The silence has allowed my days off to become even more restful. Even if I’m pantomiming with my wife, there is still a level of peace and internal calm from my withdrawal from speech.
Plus I’m very chatty, so just knowing that I am capable of ceasing to talk for a day every week is empowering!
But my favorite thing about my day off is how solidly Unplugged it is.
Not only am I taking a break from work and speech. I’m also taking a break from all of my electronic devices.
I do not talk on the phone. I don’t email. Or text. I don’t go on Facebook. Or Instagram.
I know that all those things will be waiting for me when I plug myself back in. Like I said, I really do enjoy the connection of the Plugged.
Indeed, I think I love All Things Plugged even more now because I take a break from them once a week.
I’m an introvert, and in the last few years my life has moved in an increasingly extroverted direction. I am in the public in a way I’ve never been before.
Going to the opposite corner, where I’m all alone in my own space, doing whatever I want (usually reading), is a wonderful way to balance my life.
Having my Unplugged day actually makes me feel safer to go out into the world in new and bigger ways, as I know I will get to retreat to the silence and safety of my room afterwards.
For those of you who are considering the Unplugged option, let me break down all the ways it has improved my life:
- I have greater peace of mind, both on my Plugged and Unplugged days.
- I have a deeper relationship with myself.
- I have deeper relationships with others, as I am more present with them.
- My mind gets a break from its usual concerns, allowing me new perspective on all kinds of things.
- I’m not as work-focused, as I majorly Step Away from it once a week.
- I rarely get sick anymore. (Back in the day, the only way I got time off was if I got sick. Now that I’m taking the time without getting sick, the need for sickness has disappeared!)
- I have a time set aside where I can do things I don’t have time for in my day to day life. In my case, this means I have time to read books and articles I never would otherwise.
- I can take bigger risks, as I know I’ll be able to retreat and recoup afterwards.
Maybe you can’t take a weekly day off. At least, not yet.
I started out with just one afternoon a week. It was only a few hours. But the commitment to those few hours, once a week, allowed that time to grow.
So even if it’s just a half hour, once a week, do it!
It will change your life.
Let us go forth fearlessly into the future – Plugged and Unplugged!
What is your experience with Plugging and Unplugging? Share your comments below!