So here's my story. About the one thing I did to be happier.
Last week, as he normally does, Baby Will grabbed my iPhone and brought it over to me with a concerned look in his little brown eyes. I know what it meant because, well, I'm his Mama and I know these things. It's my God-given gift.
I obliged and turned on Pandora for him so that the phone would play joyful French tunes for him. He smiled, shot me a quick glance that could only mean ‘Thanks Mama, you're the very best in the entire world!' and then waddled off with my phone in hand.
He then did what he always does when he's listening to music on my phone, which is struggle up to the top of the couch ottoman (his ‘perch' as we call it) and wiggled back and forth to the beat.
I went about my chores, scraping egg yolk from the kitchen table and wiping boogers off the cabinets. Ya know. Fun stuff like that.
A few hours later, when I ran across my phone while vacuuming the living room, I noted that it was severely slobbered and gunky this go round. He must've really been enjoying himself some iPhone. When I clicked it on to see what damage was done, I noted two important icons missing from the menu:
Gmail. Facebook. Gone.
I chuckled, tried to redownload the apps, only to have my super smart phone tell me that I didn't have enough storage to download anything else and that my phone was cursed and would never allow me to do anything on it ever again because I'm storing a zillion pictures on it and I let my children abuse it and nice try, Shaye.
This was two weeks ago.
And can I just tell you – can I just explain – can I just PREACH about how life changing this little accident has been for my personal well being. Y'all. Where do I even begin?! How could I be so thick? To not realize how every single *BEEP* coming through interrupted me from stillness? How could I not have been aware that all those emails showing up, that I never had time to deal with until work-hours anyway, were pulling away my mental peace? The Facebook messages. The notifications. The brainless scrolling. All of it was slowly chipping away at my emotions, my contentment, my happiness, my peace of mind, my emotional well being. And in return was a stagnant breeding ground for my anxiety, constant feeling of insufficiency and discontentment.
In the first few days, I noticed myself mindlessly reaching for my phone while waiting in an office or sitting in a parking lot. Or maybe even just while the onions were sautéing. All these teeny tiny moments that I hadn't even realized were being filled with ‘technology' until I became aware of my actions.
… each day, my brain felt healthier.
… each day, my heart felt happier.
I ran into a friend and was able to actually have a conversation that never once included the term ‘Oh ya! I saw on Facebook that….‘. Lawd have mercy.
Turns out, the one thing I did to be happier my one year old did for me.
Two weeks into it all and I'm more focused and content than I can remember being in years. Seriously. And this is even with a farm move and pregnancy in the wings! Instead of checking emails or messages as they come in, I simply spend a few minutes each night cleaning out the inbox and responding to urgent requests. And instead of being on Facebook mindlessly throughout the day, I've checked in an average of 10 minutes a week to maintain my pages and business groups.
I'm disconnected. And you know what? It's friggin' BEAUTIFUL.
Instead, I'm completely clicked into my little ones and what's going on in the home. I'm filling up my inspiration cup with books, magazines, and planning for the new house. I'm spending hours scratching my pigs, with the only sound being a ‘Hey yo, sweet pigs!' holler from the porch. I'm listening to my favorite music. And breathing.
I know it may not sound like a lot, but breathing is important for this Mama. I'm eliminating the excess. Trimming the fat. And falling in love with the moment.
I love writing on these digital pages – sharing our struggles, triumphs, and dreams with you inspire me and fill my cup. My cookbooks. My photography. In many ways, it all serves as a battery charger. Turns out, for me though, having the world in my back pocket every moment drained the living snot out of me.
And since there's not that much living snot left in this cookbook releasing, homeschooling, blog writing, farm moving, pregnant, Mama of 4… well, every bit of snot still in me is important.
Onward and upward, my friends! There's a farm to move!
(P.S.) Want to know more about our homestead and technology? I wrote this other post about Screen Time and Farm Kids that you should check out, too!