I’m a little over a week into my 30-day #breakthephonehabit challenge (you can read how it all started here), and while I’m still very much feeling my way through and trying to figure out what parts of the challenge make sense, what rules need to be more stringent, and what rules need to go in the garbage can (or at least offer a little more flexibility), I can sense that even in its imperfect incarnation, this challenge has the potential to be a powerful transformation tool . The point of the exercise is not a complete internet shut down or moratorium on social media, but rather an attempt to acknowledge and correct the paradigm in which my phone has evolved from being a useful, time-saving tool to an addictive, time-sucking crutch.
Within 48 hours of putting my phone down, my husband looked at me like a goofy school boy and told me I was different. When I asked him to expound on that sentiment he said simply, “I don’t know. It’s just like something has shifted.” Although I gave him my typical annoyed look and told him to “stop acting like a dork”, deep down, I sensed he was right. There was calm and attention and interest where just a few days before anxiety and distraction and boredom held court.
That calm and attention and interest led to the following:
I built sandcastles with my youngest.
I acted like a kid.
I watched the reflection of the sunlight dance across the surface of Lake Michigan.
I played lots of SORRY, and Crazy Eights, and Hearts, and checkers, and chess with my boys.
I did something that scared me (the first picture is me plastered to the wall, trying to breathe, while on the balcony at the top of the lighthouse).
I read a book (and discovered my inner theology geek and a burning interest in interreligious studies).
I sat in silence and contemplated the vastness of creation.
After all that, I’m pretty sure I am starting to hear some gentle rumbling within, because I am finally using my time to listen and LIVE. However, I don’t want to jump the gun and spill the beans too soon, in case all of this is just a false alarm. Because it’s pretty easy to do anything for a week, and as I’ve rolled into week two, I’ve found myself sneaking back into old habits, a few minutes on Facebook in the car here, a quick check of my email on the phone there. But I don’t want this to be a sprint. I want to run this race with endurance, and with patience. So I’m going to keep holding myself accountable, and I hope you will do the same!
It’s not too late to join me! If you want to participate in my 30-day #breakthephonehabit challenge, leave a comment below and let me know how best I can support you. If you are already participating, please leave a comment and let me know how your first week went!