The Importance of an Unplugged Day

Look at this two blogs in one week! – hopefully, I can increase that number and begin to write at least three or four posts a week – hopefully being the key word there.

Anyways…let’s get into today’s post the importance of an unplugged day- How many times a day do we check our phones, Facebook, e-mails, calls, text messages, Twitters, Instagrams; how many times a day do we look down and mumbler “uh huh,” instead of looking at the person we are speaking to? How many times a day does a face to face conversation get sidelined by a virtual one? If you are like me and the majority of the population – the answer to this is far too many, and it seems that being a LEO wife increases these distractions – because someone is always on call, working, or needs something from Charger. Both personal and professional Charger has such a difficult time putting his phone down – it is probably by biggest pet peeve. I’ve started this new thing where if I am mid-sentence and he picks up his phone, I just stop talking and (sometimes) walk away; I have recently made the choice not to compete with electronics any longer.

I do understand the importance of having a phone and being available -schedules change, officers on duty have questions, but the importance of putting down the phone is far greater than we all realize. I am constantly on a computer at work -hence being an online teacher- so when I need time away I search for ideas that do not involve a computer or phone. I will purposely plan vacations where we go out of the country or into the woods where cell reception is limited. Yesterday, although in cell phone range all day, both Charger and I made the conscious decision to focus on a day that did not involve the phone. 

I had not taken a personal/vacation day since back in March – and have some vacation hours to use at work, and upon seeing that Charger had off Thursday night and Friday (until midnight) I decided to take the day off on Friday. I did not touch my phone or my computer all day. It is a huge deal for me not to at least log into my work account and check messages- but I held off until this morning (HUGE accomplishment for me!). I would be lying if I didn’t say Charger checked his phone a few times- but never in a distracting way – and only once did he respond to anyone (and only because it dealt with a schedule change for that evening)

So what did we do on our unplugged day?

-We spend quality time together

-We talked

-We went out to breakfast and neither of us looked down at phone during our conversation

-We held hands

-We laughed

-We talked

-We smiled

-We shopped

-We payed attention to the world around us

-We talked

-We laughed some more

-We shared a drink and a lobster roll – without feeling the need to share it with the world

We spent the day together and we both felt validated (notice the word talk on there multiple times). We didn’t have to fight for each others time or attention -we stayed focused on each, on the world around us, on life. What does everyone always want more of? Time, and not time on phone, or Facebook, time with those with love, time enjoy our life (not searching through a newsfeed of someone else’s life).

Here is what our day looked like – if you live in the Pittsburgh area and are looking for a nice afternoon, I highly recommend the Strip District….

We had breakfast at Joe’s Rusty Nail – which is an adorable place located in Bellevue that has all homemade food. You just have to make sure that you take cash when you go — as they do not accept credit cards. Then we headed down to the Strip District and did some shopping. Just about everything we bought was food related, minus the new pirate shirts we both were in need of, and we had a great time picking out different things together. We tried various cheeses at Penn Mac, bought fresh fish and mussels at Wholey’s fish market, bought a whole bunch of sausage and meats at Parma, and of course biscotti at Enrico Biscotti; we even stopped at Roland’s for a mid-day beverage and a lobster roll (Charger had never had a lobster roll – so I had to make sure he experienced that). It was all amazing (and delicious!). The Strip District is one of my absolute favorite places – I look forward to trying all the foods, and taking in all the sights. We do not get to go often as many places close early afternoon – so taking the day off to go was well worth it.

A day unplugged is a day that you will remember – you will see the world around you – talk to strangers, focus on your surroundings, and the most rewarding part is how happy you will be. I think in the hustle of every day life we have to remember to do this. There are studies that show that we actually remember our experiences more when we are not trying to document them. Who cares that we do not have a picture of everything we bought, or selfies of us after it starting to pour down rain on our walk to the car – we have the experience to remember instead. We can smile and say that we truly spent the day together.

So, tell me what is your favorite way to spend a day uhplugged? And what are your tricks to putting and keeping your phone in your pocket/purse and out of your hand?

Today, I am off to enjoy the beautiful Saturday! I had a wonderful surprise from Charger this morning that he off until midnight, he usually works 3-11 Saturdays, – so after he takes a much needed nap after his overnight I am looking forward to having some more unplugged time with him! (Although, he does work a short shift double – but hey a few hours on a Saturday afternoon/evening is unheard of in our house- so I will certainly take it!- and we have some mussels to make – I will be sure to let you know how that turns out, as I have never attempted mussels).

I hope you and your families have a wonderful and safe weekend -I will say an extra prayer for those out on duty-

Ms. Officer Charger

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