Almost every summer my family joins another family to go camping in the interior of a provincial park. That means we leave civilization and portage in a few lakes where there is no cell service, no shower or toilets, and certainly no medical help if you accidentally dislocate your shoulder. Don’t ask me why I know this. The point is, we are way the hell and gone in the woods. For those who prefer turn-down service in a hotel, this sounds like a hellish vacation. For me, it’s heaven.
I love getting so far off the grid no one could find me without sending a rescue plane. That’s how urgent I want the issue to be: If I am in the woods, and someone dies – they will send a ranger by plane to find me – or they will simply wait until my holiday is over and meet me at the access point where my car is parked to bring me the bad news.
This winter I wanted to get THAT far away from it all again, but I am not talented enough to go winter camping. I wanted a stay-cation but with the same cut-off balanced feeling I get when I go camping in the summer. I was determined to live tech free. I was NOT going to check email, Facebook or Twitter for two whole weeks.
I told my assistant of my plan and encouraged her to do the same. Business is closed till Jan 5th! Not even 24 hours into the regime she tested me: a request for a media interview.
“This is a big one – I thought I should forward it to you to decide. Do you want to do it?”
I simply replied “Nope. I'm on holiday.” She texted back, saying “Wow – you really mean it! This is gonna be awesome.” And that was the last we corresponded.
Normally, I would have broken up my holidays if a big opportunity came my way. But isn’t that the exact mentality that messes up all our ability to set boundaries and live out our purpose? If I was in Algonquin Park, I would have no way of know this request came in. I would not be beating myself up about passing up an opportunity, since I would be unaware of it.
The truth is, there is always one more email, Facebook or Instagram post. If we don’t put up boundaries, our tech slowly and insidiously invades our lives.
So here are my questions to you:
- When was the last time you were “tech free”?
- Do you have FOMO (fear of missing out) or can you let some things go?
- Can you relax not knowing everything?
- Can you enjoy the moment enough just with the people you are actually sharing it with? Is it enough without the Instagram photo or the Facebook post to let others knows how much fun you are having? Do others HAVE to know, RIGHT NOW? Or can they wait? Can they get one digest catch up and it will suffice?
Think about it! It’s important to know ourselves and to test our own limits. Wishing you a stress- and tech-free holiday this year!
About the Author:
Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine. Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”. She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com