My husband attends many conferences each year and this week he attended one in Palos Verdes, CA, which is driving distance from our home. I decided to go with him and enjoy the beautiful grounds that the Terranea Resort has to offer. We arrived early and our room wasn’t ready, so I ended up wandering around the amazing grounds alone as he shuffled off to his meetings. It was still quite early and the morning was a little misty with the marine layer. It was just me and a bottle of water on a hunt for nothing!
No cell phone! I left it in the car. And I ended up on this breathtaking path along the bluffs on the Pacific Coast. (Sorry, no picture! Seriously, there were no electronic devices with me!) What a fantastic walk. I was lost in the moment, listening to the waves crashing against the rocky shoreline and birds singing their morning song, while I walked along the path. I could hear each step that I took as my feet struck the sandy walkway. Aimlessly meandering, I ended up at the end of the path that led to a beach with tide pools and continued my adventure. All you could hear was nature. The ocean was a little rough and the waves crashed along all of the beautiful rocks. The seaweed bobbed up and down with tiny fish popping out to catch the smell of the morning air. Seagulls rested alongside the beach and surfed the waves looking for their early morning snack. What a wonderful way to start out my day; no plans needed. This was nature’s way of saying Good Morning and I was taking it all in. No distractions from ANYTHING or ANYONE. How fortunate am I?, I thought?
I wandered back towards the resort and found myself at the Spa, and with luck, there was an ocean-side spin class that was about to begin. Why not?, I asked myself! And so I ended up spinning for 60 minutes sea-side. Even with the misty morning, there was a great view of the ocean and Catalina Island. The class was one of the most difficult classes I’ve ever taken. The instructor was personable and challenging. I was thankful to have stumbled across the class.
With such an active morning, I needed a quick snack and ended up at the on-site coffeehouse. There I found myself sitting next to a man and his two small children – Lexie and Belle. Lexie was a baby and was only interested in her morning nap and a bottle. She stayed tucked up in Dad’s arms. Now Belle on the other hand…Belle was interested in so many other things. She was two and was chatty and inquisitive. Such a doll. She and I ended up singing Itsy Bitsy Spider together while we finished our breakfast. She then told me about her trip down and how she was visiting her grandparents. Adorable, to say the least. One of the best conversations I had all week!
Why am I sharing this story with you? Because I know I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences if I’d had my phone with me. Think I’m crazy? Think again! I know my head would have been down not paying attention to what was around me. Earbuds in, not listening to nature, just music. Cruising the internet, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram just because I can, not because there’s really something on there I just cannot live without! Does this sound familiar?? I’m sure I’m not alone here. We are so quick to take our phones with us everywhere we go – even the restroom. I recently read something that said, “Anybody have plans to stare at their phones somewhere exciting this weekend?” Makes you stop and wonder how much you’re missing out on because your head is down? Are we missing out on the little things that life has to offer? So precious. So simple. And yet, we continue to keep our heads down and see life through our phones. Taking pictures instead of being in the moment. Texting instead of taking in the scenery. Earbuds in listening to music, instead of listening to the surroundings and what nature has to offer.
Am I asking you to put down your phone? YES, I sure am! Think about the last time you went an hour without your cell? Without your iPad? Without your laptop? Without the TV? Can you remember it? Think about it? When was it? And when you had to step away from your phone or other electronic device, how quick were you to turn it back on when you had the chance? Was it immediate? I bet it was. Was anything that important that it couldn’t wait? Aside from running a country, I don’t think any of us really have to be on-line all the time. NOTHING is that urgent.
When I moved in with my now husband seven years ago, he didn’t have a TV in the bedroom. I don’t even think he had cable TV at the time. I was wrecked. It was almost a deal breaker for me! How would I survive without watching TV in bed? It was my favorite pastime. I fell asleep to TV and loved laying in bed on a lazy Sunday and watching reruns of 90210. (Don’t judge, it’s my guilty pleasure!) What am I going to do? How will I fall asleep? But with time, I didn’t miss it. I had meaningful conversation and time with my husband and ended the day quietly. I fell asleep just fine and in fact, slept better. I got my lazy self up on Sunday and went for a walk or made us brunch instead. My husband was onto something then, and we all need to shift ourselves to be onto something now. UNPLUG!
Life is precious and short and if we continue to be on our mobile devices instead of living in the moment we will miss out. This is just a fact. We lived without them before. Just a short 20 years ago we didn’t have all this technology and the world continued to spin just fine. I had more meaningful relationships with family and friends and I miss those days of actual voice-to-voice conversations.
What’s my HEALTHFUL message? Get off your phone and be PRESENT. There is so much life around you that you’re missing out on while you’re checking emails, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Leave your phone off! Unplug your lap top. Take the time to enjoy what’s important to you! You’ll thank me, I promise!
(I did take my phone to the pool…I’m a work in progress too!!)