A small rebellion popped up in my inbox the other day and made me smile because of the wisdom in its simplicity. I had left a voicemail for a fellow speaker friend of ours, Michele Payn-Knoper, and a while later received this short email back from her…
“Sorry I missed your call. I left my phone in my office when my daughter got home from school.”
What an often overlooked way to fight Adultitis — simply leaving the phone in the other room, choosing to stay out of touch with others so that you can focus your attention on the person at hand (in this case, her daughter.)
All it took was a mindfulness of priorities. You rock, Michele!
Another speaker friend recently shared that he worked from home when his daughter was in grade school. He was there when she got home and enjoyed hearing all of the teeny tiny details of her day, which she shared generously. Eventually, he got an office outside of the home and returned home at 5pm. It didn’t take long for him to sadly realize that his daughter didn’t have as much to share at 5pm as she did at 3pm. In fact, she didn’t want to talk about her day at all. School was just “fine.” By 5pm, the details of school were a distant memory. He sured missed the stories and connectedness he felt with her during those after-school chats.
It didn’t take long for him to move his office back into the home, where he reclaimed the role of his daughter’s afterschool BFF.
Sometimes in life, the secret to connecting with those we love is just the simple small rebellion of being completely. utterly. undividedly. present.
And leaving your cell phone in the other room.
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What small rebellion have you witnessed or initiated recently?
I did the same thing with my phone on New Year’s weekend with my in-laws … left the phone in the bedroom, so it wouldn’t interrupt family time. And yes, I did miss some texts and emails, but none of them was urgent. A great exercise!
I need this reminder. As a self-proclaimed iPhone addict, I can’t imagine going 2 hours without checking my phone, let alone a whole evening! Sad, right?
I’ll exercise some restraint and maybe “forget” my phone at home the next time I go out!
I leave my phone in my car. That way, I have it if I leave the house, but otherwise I am not tempted to spend time on the phone instead of with my family.
Sarah VanTipper says
To my dismay, I was “given” a crackberry at my new job. I am not a doctor. The world does not stop if I am disconnected. Still, within 2 months, I was checking email at stoplights on the way to work, during meetings, and before bed…all things I scornfully snort at in others! Since the start of the new year, I have found that turning my blackberry OFF at night and on the weekends is the easiest way to keep the bad berry habit away!
I really don’t need another blog to love, but just found you, and subscribed!!!
I’ll be hanging out here for a bit! xo
The Wall Street Journal recently had an article (“Your Blackberry or Your Wife” on Jan. 11) about families shutting off techno gadgets (“a technology cleanse” or some have termed it a “fast”) and how hard it was for some of them to find things to say to each other…at first. I clipped it. You know, I don’t even have a cell phone right now! And I don’t mind a bit. (Although according to hubbie that is going to change asap!) I barely get phone calls on my landline either (what’s that?), but I’d rather be talking to my son and husband anyway! The only other time eater I find is facebook or email and tv (all touched on in the article). I don’t know if the article can be accessed on line without a sub (I read it in the actual paper version!) If you want a copy, let me know!
A working Mom says
At least once a month I proclaime a day with my family a “media free day”. This is a day completely unplugged. No TV, no phones, no computers, no iPods, etc. at first I am met with a lot of grumbling and resistance but after the first hour of withdrawal everyone is talking and enjoying each others company. It’s amazing!