I was fortunate enough recently to go on a holiday to Wales with JJ, supporting our friend Jimmy, who is Deafblind. I never expected the holiday to be much other than work. It was so much more.
We had a wonderful time and made new friends who I hope will be in our lives forever. The views were breathtaking, the air clean and rich with smells of the country (yes – all of them). I fell head over heels in love with every hill and valley and with the family that welcomed us into their home. I can’t wait to go back.
The most surprising thing we discovered when we arrived in this little patch of paradise was that there was no phone signal in the house. I didn’t know such places still existed! Our hosts generously offered to hook us up to the wifi but in what can only be described as a temporary lapse in sanity, a fleeting moment of wreckless abandon, I said “No thank you” and went off grid.
What happened next was magic. I was present, truely present in the moments, in the room and in my head. I was no longer half listening with one eye on my social media. I was learning interesting things about the interesting people around me, I was spending time outdoors and playing wholeheartedly with the children…
I WAS BOTTLE FEEDING BABY GOATS!
All of the crap that life seems to constantly bombard us with dispersed and as the week went by the urge to check on what I was missing out on ebbed away too.
According to an offcom study, the average British Adult checks their phone every 12 minutes and is online for 24 hours a week! I’m one of them. Phones are fab for keeping in touch but when I think about everything else I’ve been letting in with it…Brexit, War , Crime, Global Warming, Donald Trump, plus the constant media portrayal of perfect bodies, perfect lives, perfect lies… it’s no wonder I’m so overwhelmed half the time.
I realised during that week that my fear of missing out on what the world is doing can be the cause of me missing out on my own life. So I’m putting down the phone, even if it’s only for an hour a day. I’m getting out there, for a walk, or taking time to sit and write or read a book. I’ll spend more time catching up with loved ones. I will do something to bring myself more into the world and enjoy these moments while I can.
Thank you so much Mark, Sarah, Joe, Erin and Elliott (and a special mention to my best goat Wicket) for bringing me a bit of peace and a bit of perspective. I can’t wait to see you all again soon.