40 Days With-out Social Media-Day 30
There will be one day that is your last
Living life and loving every moment
By: Michelle Thompson – #UnpluggedCNY
Day 30-: HAPPY Thursday! It is freezing cold and snowing-ish, the sky is gray; typical winter day in Syracuse, NY and it is a GREAT day to be alive! I can say this with more enthusiasm than most, on a day like today, because I had a scare earlier this week. It really gave me a fresh perspective on the beauty of being alive.
On Monday morning at 11:30 AM, I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment. There I was, sitting at a red light, like a “normal person”, and then BAMMM…… I heard the loud slam before I realized that it was me that had been hit…… Apparently the guy behind me “didn’t see me”…. or the 3 cars that were also stopped in front of me, or the red light, for that matter….Great way to start the week right? Nothing like getting the wind knocked out of you, involuntary shaking and crying and a trip to the ER …… (I’m totally fine now- just a little scare and a big wake-up call), plus a smashed in rear bumper and all that accident paperwork and insurance jazz.
My wake-up call: As cliché as this may be, I don’t care, I’m saying it anyway:
Make sure the people you care about actually know it!
The morning that I got hit- I left the house without saying goodbye to my loving boyfriend and without telling him I loved him, because I was mad that he broke the butter dish and didn’t apologize but instead, he yelled about the clutter in the kitchen…… we hadn’t talked at all that morning or up until I was in the ER getting x-rays….. Then there’s my pride and joy, my 2 beautiful angels (my daughters), I dropped them off at school, scolding them the whole way for “not listening to me”. They left me that day annoyed, sad, upset…..
…………… (Insert heavy sigh)…………… (Insert long pause)…………………
Certainly, that is not the way I would want to be remembered.
I know what some of you may be thinking, it was just a fender bender, you big drama queen…. and to an extent, you’re right. I was lucky, it could have been a lot worse. (Although, tell that to my brand new traverse, I’ve only had for a month and a half)…… (Deep breathe in, deep breathe out) …..
Anyway, I was shaken up- really shaken up. It made me think…..
I wouldn’t say that I take life for granted. I definitely purposefully go for walks just to take in the beauty of nature and the fresh air. I ask my loved ones everyday what the best part of their day was and try my best to make them feel happy and loved.
But Monday morning, No, I was not appreciative of my life. I was just going through the motions of day to day, being negative to everyone I encountered, my loved ones…… (Not ok).
What does this have to do with being unplugged?
I have looked at being without social media and my phone addiction just as negatively as I was being on Monday morning. With my new appreciation for life, I want to approach my journey of being unplugged in a different light this week. A brighter and positive light!
Let me tell you about the good things that have happened since I have given up social media……
I have rekindled old friendships.
Before, I was “too busy” or “too tired” to meet up with friends or make a phone call. There’s a saying out there, “Nobody is ever too busy, if they care, they’ll make time”.
I wouldn’t say that I don’t care or was purposely not making time for my friends/family; I was just distracted, pulled in, addicted? To my phone/Netflix/etc…..
It’s craaaaaazzzzyyy how much time passes when you are scrolling on social media. I know there were times I would log on intending to just see what was going on- “real quick”- and then poof- a freaking hour has passed…. (Totally serious, this has happened more times than I’d like to admit.) In that hour, I definitely could have made a phone call that probably would have made someone’s day or even made my own day.
Anyway, I have visited my brother and his family, more times than I have seen him in the past 5 years, met for dinner/drinks with multiple friends on various occasions. I have spent face to face time with people that I care about; my friends. It is so much more heart-filling to see them and hug them than just sending a text to see how they’re doing and having intentions to get together, that always fell through.
Also, now that I have spent time with them, our friendships are thriving- we are making more time to spend together and having more fun and making more memories. Logging off social media may have ignited me to see that I was bored with certain aspects of my life but now I am seeing potential to spend my time differently. Rather than turning on technology and tuning out of reality, reaching out and making time for the people I care about- giving them “my time of day” and actually being together (in the same location- connecting without being connected, to a device…..)
I have met and made new friends: Courtney, Andrea, and Lens are some of the most incredible people I have ever met! They all have such great minds and are so talented, in their own ways. I have to thank Jon Clark, a mutual friend, for bringing us all together. Jon is amazing, like no other! I also introduced Nick to the group, bringing in another brilliant mind and it has been so much fun to spend time with this crew and put our minds together or just hang out. We are the group that came together to build #UnpluggedCNY. Being unplugged with these people and spending time with them has been the most rewarding times I have had in a long time. It shows me that no matter how old or young you are; if you engage with your friends, you can make new friends. In “REAL LIFE”! It means so much more than a friend request on fb….. To make a new friend in reality and sit face to face with them and build a real relationship with them, this is irreplaceable. Not even the iPhone X can beat this! Meeting others that share your passions and quirkiness and laugh with them until you cry, or share with them the difficulties you have or are going through and just having them there to lean on… These face to face interactions are something that can only happen when you unplug and truly engage in the moment. When you reach out with more than just a text or intentions but with true motivation to make time to actually be in reality together- not “cyberality” (Yes, I made that word up….thanks spellcheck.)
I’m going to the gym way more frequently.
If you don’t believe me, ask my best-friend Jennifer Cain. ☺ (She goes with me most of the time.) HAHA….. Seriously though, there’s something about getting sucked into Netflix or games or scrolling in your phone that you lose all motivation to actually live your life, much less go to the gym…..I’m not going to be negative here so I will just focus on the positive that I am actually living life, going out and seeing people and even finding motivation to work out- which, I’m not going to lie, that first mile on the tread mill sucks EVERY SINGLE TIME! But I feel great after… ANNNND I’ve lost 6 pounds in the last 30 days!!! (Insert bow.)
I’ve done things I’ve never done before
Never, have I ever (before these 30 days):
Gone on a candle-light, winter hike, deep in the woods, late at night
Explored a new nature center in the area and walked the trails with a kerosene lamp.
Painted on a canvas as an adult (It turned out amazing!)
Went to a benefit for someone with cancer.
Spent 2 hours at Lush sampling their various bath bombs and face masks.
(And no one on FB knows about any of it!!!!) LOL!
In conclusion, I highly recommend forcing yourself to put down and shut down whatever electronic device has you hooked and get up and get out into the world!!
I know my 4 examples don’t really seem like a lot but you can’t put to pen to paper and explain the best things in life- you just feel them, you experience them.
I promise you, the things you feel in real life will be much better than the good feeling you might get from winning the next level of candy crush….
Make plans and go see your friends and family. I think once a week everyone should reconnect with a friend or family member. You DO have time- at least one hour each week- get a coffee, walk the mall or inner harbor trail. (Stephanie Zumbuhl!) Invite them to come over and play cards or cook together!
Get off your rumpus and move! You don’t need to join a gym or anything but just get up and move. I am definitely not into science, ask any of my former science teachers, but I do believe in Newton’s First Law, “Objects at rest remain at rest and objects in motion remain in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force” (Your phone, just kidding, but really- ignore your phone and live your life). Once you start moving, you will have more energy to go and engage with others – especially your loved ones…. Has a child in your life ever asked you to play a game and you turned them down to watch another show on Netflix or do whatever on your laptop? This is for you….. Turn it off and play with that kid!
Talk to strangers (I don’t care what your Mom and Dad told you – talk to a damn stranger! In this day and age, people need to be talked to!). The #1 reason people take their own life is depression. If you were to smile and strike up a conversation with someone who may be hiding their depression, you could be saving their life. Did you ever hear the story about the man who jumped off a bridge and they later found a note, that he wrote, saying that he wouldn’t jump if at least one person said hello to him on his way to the bridge…….he jumped….. (I don’t know if this is a true story but it made me think.)
Please, PLEASE smile and be friendly and say hello to people throughout your day – do this, if nothing else! And remember, there will be one day that is your last– (LIVE IT! Don’t post it.)
-Disconnect to reconnect→to your loved ones and to reality.