Project Unplug has become bigger to me than just cutting out a part of my life that I don’t love. It’s become a chance to add things into my life that I do love.
The initial idea of this journey expanded in my mind and heart during the last 2 weeks of preparation. As I contemplated the absence of that which has hindered my healing, I began to imagine what healing will look and feel like. As I contemplated turning my eyes from that which distracted me, I began to imagine what I will focus on instead. As I contemplated the laziness that quick communication fostered in me, I began to imagine what blessing could come from effort and intentionality.
I realize that as I attempt to undo one habit, I must seek to create a new habit in its place.
It feels like my mind and heart are entering a form of “detox”. I discovered the proof of my addiction this morning as I opened up my internet browser and automatically typed “Facebook” into the search bar before even thinking a single thought. I only realized where I was going when I saw the Facebook sign-in page appear. “Oops!” I closed the page right away, laughing a little at my all-too-telling autopilot response.
It takes mental and physical effort to walk away from a habit–to engage in life-change.
I believe that everything in our lives is connected. Each thing we do affects each other thing we do. It is impossible to live our lives in compartments–many times we try, but we try in vain. All this to say that as I seek to change my interaction with the internet, it’s changing my interactions with the rest of my world as well.
My effort to be physically present took me beyond stepping away from facebook today–it took me out of the car.
I think I found new habit no. 1: Stepping Outside.
Let me describe. My parents were watching Hosea this morning, while I ran out to get an iced coffee from Starbucks. A two-fold blessing–coffee AND a little time alone. I was doing what I usually do lately when given time away–rushing. “Oh, I’ll just run through the drive through really quick.” After all, as is custom to my fledgling motherhood, I had not showered or put on make up and was wearing what I slept in.
As I approached the Starbucks, the drive-through line wrapped around the building. Normally, I would feel my anxiety and impatience rising while thinking something like, “I don’t have time for this!”. But this time, something inside me said, “Why don’t you slow down, park, step outside of the car, enter the world…….and enjoy it.”
And I did.
I parked, and finished listening to a word from Ed Taylor while I fixed myself up just a little. I grabbed my purse, went inside, and found myself noticing and enjoying all the different design elements of the cafe. I talked face-to-face with my barista. I breathed in the fresh smell of coffee and felt invigorated by the buzz and bustle of steaming espresso machines and people’s conversations. I enjoyed the human mosaic–each person living out the unique destiny of his day. I felt alive.
The funny thing is. I actually got my coffee faster than the car in front of me in that long drive-through line. And I walked away with more than my purchase. My day was enriched–expanded.
As I drove home, I wondered why I don’t get out of the car more often. Even if it had taken me a few minutes longer. Wouldn’t it be worth it?
I think it would.
I think I will.
Take the time to Step Outside.