Tuesday, January 10, 2012
January is inevitably a time of reflection and looking ahead to the year in front of us. I love that clean slate feeling of the new year. Lofty resolutions are easy to form in the early weeks of January. It's easy to make a list of all you will set out to do in the new year, but harder to remember the goals you've set for yourself when March and April come around.
2012 will be a new chapter for us. Our family is expanding, Charlie's career is unfolding, and my new role as a mother is quickly approaching. I look forward to the year ahead, the new moments we will experience and the challenges we will face. I loved the list above so I thought I would share it with you. I will be keeping them in mind and reflecting on each one throughout the year.
Number three is an especially big one for me this year. I don't know about you, but in the last year I have felt overwhelmed by the barrage of technology and the constant feeling of being plugged in. I find myself struggling to unplug at the end of the day or on weekends. There always seems to be something to check or update, whether it be email, Facebook, Google Reader, blogs, and a stack of television shows on the DVR. And as much as I love technology and staying connected with people near and far, one of my biggest goals this year is to find a better balance and to unplug everyday. Charlie and I often have evenings after work where we are both on our laptops. The television is on, our phones are buzzing. We chat, but all of these devices are still turned on. I reached a breaking point a couple weeks ago when we were both sitting on the couch next to each other, casually exchanging plays on Words With Friends. Finally I said, "This has got to stop. Why don't we just pull out the Scrabble board? I can't look at a screen for another minute!"
Since then we've been making an effort to keep devices off in the evening. No phones, no iPad, computers, or television. We've been cooking dinner and lingering at the table long after we finish eating. Later we head to bed early with stacks of books and read or watch an old movie. I love this time. And I need more of it. I think the arrival of our little girl will help us unplug from the world and help us focus on the most important things.
Do you also experience the back and forth battle of staying connected and unplugging? I recently met up with a friend for coffee and she told me that she kicked off the new year by getting rid of cable television/DVR and removing herself from Facebook. What lengths will you go to simplify? How do you maintain balance? I'd love to hear your thoughts!