Off The Grid – Castaway Vacation

That mid-week relaxed look

I’m so not ready for….vacation.

 

WHAT?!

Come on now…

Oh yes. You heard that right. I’m not ready for a vacation.

Here I am on the eve of our “Castaway” trip – our annual anniversary trip. Will and I spend a week off the grid. No phones. No computers. Minimal outside contact. Bliss!

Not so fast! Unplugging and powering down can be tricky business! Let me explain my struggle – and it may sound familiar…

Have you ever been on a roll and just wanted to stay in the flow?

That’s where I am and it feels SO good! It’s been a busy year. Things have been great and moving very, very fast. I usually look forward to this trip, but it is much harder for me to unplug than in years past.

2016 picked up so much steam so fast that I have been working non-stop. It has been great! I added private coaching clients, started writing a new book (YAY!!), actively public speaking, and rejoined Rotary.

I’m pretty sure I have book-nesia (like amnesia for the book writing process). In the years since Beyond Rainmaking, I must have forgotten how much goes into writing a book. It is coming along well, and I am SO excited about it – more on that later…

But it hasn’t been ALL work…I also exhibited my photos in several local venues, put in a garden, and took up yoga (in a real way).

Last week I presented material from my upcoming book to The Crozier Group in New Orleans. It was great! As usual, I met a lot of wonderful people and made some great contacts. I LOVE to network!

I’m scared to go off the grid

So here I am on the eve of our castaway trip, and I am just not ready. I’m packed. I have a book. I have a GIANT sketch book. I have a bag with almost every possible color of Sharpie.

But I am not ready to power down my computer and stash my phone.

The thought of disconnecting for a WHOLE WEEK scares me!

But I’m doing it anyway.

Why? Because it’s healthy.

My eyes get to rest!

Despite my best efforts, I spend an obnoxious amount of time looking at a screen. It seems like I am always looking at either my computer or my phone. My sweet little eyeballs deserve some R&R. They have more than earned it.

Do your eyes deserve some downtime? Think about it!

Will and I get to reconnect.

And I’m not just talking about kicking his booty at backgammon – that’s just a bonus ;-). We hang out and relax together, brainstorm, share stories, plan, joke, and bond. We read, journal, create, and ponder. It is such a wonderful time!

(I fully expect a comment from Will about the backgammon thing!)

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Winning! 🙂

My soul and brain need it.

Even if you try to avoid it, the world is constantly bombarding you with other people’s stuff, media, advertising, and chatter that clutters up your mind. Unplugging is the only way I have found to truly tune into ME and my purpose.

I regularly journal and meditate, and it keeps me centered. This trip, however, is the longest stretch of pure me and Will time I get during the year. This time lets me do some major spring cleaning on my brain. So in many ways, it is a much-needed, mid-year brain reboot.

At the end of the trip I always feel so calm, clear headed, confident, purposeful, and rejuvenated.

BUT that feeling is at the end of the trip

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Mac = siren!

Monday and Tuesday will feel like some sort of tech drug withdrawal. I’ll be instinctively reaching for my phone every other minute. My trusty Mac will call to me like a siren from the top of the closet (where I hide it from myself!). 

By Wednesday I’ll be slowing down a bit and truly unwinding. By Friday I’ll be looking at beach real estate. On Saturday you will have to pry me off the beach with a giant spatula.

But getting there is hard.

Shutting down is difficult.

Slowing down feels weird at first.

Tonight, that week off the grid seems like an eternity. At the end of next week, it will seem like a blink in time – not nearly long enough.

And as we walk down the pier to say goodbye to the beach, we’ll be vowing to make it a longer trip next year. We’ll make plans to have more off grid days. Will we do it? Maybe. Hopefully.

Make the time! You are worth it!

The thing is…sometimes you have to make the time.

Carve it out. Make it happen. Sometimes even make yourself take that rejuvenation time. Trust me, it is worth it.

How about you? Do you ever go off the grid? I’d love to know how you wind down and unplug. Please share your story!

Still can’t seem to step away from your electronics? 

Start small. Try powering down for 30 minutes to an hour a day. If you can do that, try taking one day a week off – no phone, no computer, no TV.

Pay attention to how you feel before and after. Once you feel the difference and experience the clarity and calm that comes after a “connectivity fast” you will be hooked!