My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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“An Unexamined Marriage”

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A sort of miracle happened today. I was able to watch my wedding.

What you don’t know is that for the past two years, over two years actually, I have tried to watch our wedding DVD’s.  They were in a .mov file format.  I tried watching them on different MAC computers and PC computers.  I tried converting the files and I’ve even spent time talking with professionals. You name it– I’ve tried it.  And, the outcome was always the same.  You could only listen to the audio.

Today I had a thought. I wonder if my wedding DVD’s will work now that I have iDVD on my computer. 

So, I popped in the DVD’s and sure enough there was picture!  I was finally able to watch my wedding!  And do you know what clip popped up first?

My father’s speech.

“The unexamined marriage is not worth living.”
“Live your lives together and try to transform yourself, but the one thing you don’t want to do… is try to change each other.”
“Transform yourself, never try to change your best friend.”  

These words come at such important timing in my life. Mainly because, my husband and I are working on transforming ourselves. Sometimes, it’s not easy.  Actually, it’s never easy.  And as you work on becoming a better person, the marriage is something that needs to be examined. The transformation of a marriage never comes from changing someone else, but changing yourself.

Most of the time in marriages, partnerships, and relationships in general–individuals can always pinpoint and point fingers at what the other is doing “wrong.”  But, true and honest growth comes from within each of us.  To be able to take responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, and behaviors.  To forgive. To acknowledge. To apologize. And, to become.

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The First Snow

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McKinley enjoyed Ohio’s first snowfall of the season.
*Made her first snow angel,
*Threw snow in the air,
*Made footprints everywhere,
*Tasted friendly snowflakes,
*Rolled around in the snow, and
*Threw snowballs!

I enjoyed the first snowfall as well.

The first snow,
Always gorgeous.
Smooth and dusted.
White, Like Heaven.
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Snow angels!
Snowmen, snowball fights
And sledding!
Tasting snowflakes.
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Winter’s Coming.
Again the Cold.
Lights in trees, and
Candles too.
Hot Cocoa.
Chocolates.
Then, weight gain.
But, holiday meals are
My favorite and naps,
Under cozy blankets,
With a fire burning.
Darkness comes early.
And then,
Quiet still nights settle in.
Glistening white,
The first snow.

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Quick Thanks

I wanted to thank all of my dedicated readers and followers, and those of you who just stop by occasionally to read. You guys keep me going and are the reason I’m blogging! I also, wanted to thank those bloggers that I follow and adore! You guys inspire me to no end!

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Quick Lists: Activities & Places for toddlers & kids

I’m always looking for new things to do and places to visit to keep McKinley entertained and her imagination flourishing.  We get stuck in our routines, so I thought I would post  a list of activities and places to go with toddlers & kids!

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Activities For Toddlers:
Alphabet cards
Numbers
Words with magnet letters
Counting coins
Color matching
Play doh
Painting
Coloring/Drawing
Crafts in general
Playing with water (fill bin add toys and put a towel underneath)
Sorting activities
Matching games
Puzzles
Pretend Play
Dress up
Fort Building
Reading
Outside
Sand box
Stickers
Bubble Baths
Cars
Playing Guitar and singing (if you can do that)
Chalk on the driveway
Helping with chores
Playing the car (pretend driving)
Hide and Seek
Chasing

Places to go:

Libraries for story time/play dates
Zoo/aquariums
Nature preserves
Outdoor Parks
Walks
Swimming
Shopping
Indoor parks
Indoor bouncy places
Out to eat
Ponds
Museums (art, science)
Farms for hay rides
Picnics
Bike rides
Zip lining
Cooking class for kids
Play theatres
Friends Houses
Grandparents houses
Car wash

For Columbus
COSI
Franklin Park Conservatory
Firefly
Bicentennial Park
Circle S Farms
Skyzone
Kingdom of Bounce (the one’s on the westside are better)
Zoo for Safari Rides
Lynds Fruit Farm
Hocking Hills
Creekside
North Market
Short North
Polaris indoor play area
Art Museum

If you have any more ideas or places to visit please please comment below and we can add them to the list! Thanks

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