A few weeks ago, I was in a bad place. My mood was totally foul, my patience thin, and everyone was in my way. At the time, I knew that there were several culprits to blame for my negativity.
I was feeling pulled in all direction on how to go about marketing my book while writing my new one.
I only wanted to be writing. Period.
I was having mixed emotions about some work stuff.
It was probably that time of the month.
I was restless.
At the brunt of my irritability was my husband, who (bless him) was completely patient and kind with me as I went through being a complete pain in the ass. The kids got it too, don’t get me wrong. But I definitely inflicted most of my grumpiness to him. And because I was in such a horrible state, I made an even more horrible decision.
I went on a marriage hiatus.
Okay, so I didn’t actually stray from the marriage (nor would I ever!). But I did totally tune out. My biggest accomplice to this was my iPhone, the nifty little pocket-sized computer that allowed me to check up on Facebook for hours on end, check how many sales I wasn’t getting, read the millions of Tweets on my Twitter feed, play a bit of Bejeweled….escape from where I was and ignore everyone around me.
I knew it was a problem. I knew I was only making it worse. All the things I was stressing about weren’t getting done because I was so wrapped up in social media and dumb internet distractions. And I was totally blocking everyone around me from getting close to me….and me from getting close to them.
Fast forward, and my daughter and I spent a week at camp (annual camp post coming soon, I promise!). There is no internet at camp, and only enough phone reception for a strategically placed text. A week away from my phone, and my head started getting clearer. I was able to talk to people without my words fumbling around in my mouth. I felt…smart.
You guys, my smart phone had actually been making me dumb!
I got back home, and everything was different. It could have been the time apart that made that next week one of the best weeks of our marriage (wink wink). But I truly believe it’s because I had relearned to put the phone down and have a conversation (among other things) with him again.
One more week, and we were camping – sans iPhones again. We not only stayed connected, but my head has remained clear for weeks. There’s no throbbing blockage in there, no loss for words, no wall that’s keeping me from my creativity. And Mr. W and I? We’re like newlyweds all over again. 😉
I’ve been contemplating giving up the iPhone altogether. Right now, that still seems like such a scary thought. I mean, I do everything from that phone! But it’s also holding me back – a lot. However, it’s something to think about until my contract expires. When that happens, maybe I’ll go for a dumb phone, and just choose to BE smart instead.
Anyone out there NOT using a smart phone?
P.S. Exciting book news to share with you, and it has to do with this blog! The first in a series of eBooks based on the posts in this blog are being published THIS SATURDAY! This first book will focus on the earlier days of my single parenting adventure, and includes that first year of my relationship with Mr. W – way before I knew I’d be Mrs. W (yeah, who am I kidding? I think I always knew. 😉 ) Check out the details HERE.
I’ve never had a smart phone and the cell phone I do have is ancient. I only have it for emergencies as I hate the idea of being permanently connected. I think it does take over people’s lives. I’m of an age where we used to live without all this instant communication and, mostly, we managed quite well. It’s rather sad to see people walking down the street together but, instead of talking to each other, they are using their phones (my pet peeve is people with children either talking or texting on their phones rather than paying attention to their kids – kids need personal interaction to learn and grow into sociable adults). Even without a smart phone, I still find myself tempted to spend too much time on social media – as an indie author we are told that’s where we need to focus our attention to get sales, but recently I’m beginning to consider whether the costs (non-monetary) outweigh the benefits.
Love this. I find myself in phone world sometimes too and when I’m there I have no idea what’s going on around me and that I am even missing it. If I leave the phone at home and try-try-try to put out of my mind the things I think I’m missing online I realize that being involved in the “real world” makes me alive and awake and revitalizes creativity and my soul! Good words. Thanks for the post!
Love your post…
I gave up my smart phone two years ago and it was the best thing I did. I took one year off phones completely and now I have a ten year old flip phone that I pay $30 bucks a month for to receive calls at my office. The phone is off on evenings and weekends and I never answer it while I’m with someone.
Next thing I’m giving up~ Facebook.