Partially Unplugged

Me, Ari, Marc, Isabelle, and Hallie in the Hub

We drove to Happy Valley to spend the weekend with our cousin, Hallie, who is a senior at Penn State. (Notice how I said “our cousin.” That’s a fib. She’s my husband’s second cousin. However, I’ve adored her since I met her when she waaaaay back in 2005 when she was Isabelle’s age. Therefore, I consider her my cousin too!) We’ve been visiting Hallie a couple of times each school year ever since she started at Penn State. This past weekend was filled with many of the same things we’ve done during our other visits to Penn State.

    We tried new restaurants.
    We visited the Creamery.
    We stayed at a The Nittany Lion Inn (and ate too many apples from the basket in the lobby).
    We walked around campus.
    We got too little sleep (Thanks, dear children!), but left with our hearts full after spending time with Hallie.
  • My only complaint about the weekend — if you don’t count the lack of sleep — was that I didn’t get the chance to attend a sporting event since I stayed back at the Inn while Ari napped.
  • But do you know what truly made it a fabulous weekend?

    1) Marc and I left our laptops at home.

    2) I put a vacation message on both of my email accounts, which meant I didn’t have to respond to anyone’s email until today!

    I know a weekend away from email probably doesn’t sound like luxurious, but for me it was! I rarely stay away from email unless it’s a major Jewish holiday. In fact, I often check my email while my kids are sleeping on vacations.

    Do you know what I did when Ari was napping this past weekend? I read a book (The Alice Network… in case you’re wondering.) and snoozed a bit myself. It. Was. Wonderful. It was the respite I needed from all of the work I’ve been doing the past few months.

    The unplugging made me realize I should get away from email more often. It won’t be an every weekend thing. (After all, I work on most Sundays while my husband does things with our kids.) But, honestly, I don’t think it should take a Jewish holiday or an out-of-town trip for me to take a respite from email.

    20 thoughts on “Partially Unplugged

    1. Unplugging is a good thing I am realizing. I try to stay a little later and then leave that dreaded teacher bag behind, come home and spend the evening just being part of my family. Wish I had realized that when my kids were young.

    2. I unplug from social media during Lent…but I’ve never really thought about unplugging from email for more than a few hours. I have instituted a “no screens after 8pm” rule for myself, which has resulted in much better bedtime routines and sleep!

    3. I believe your post and these comments remind me and us all that we need to take a break from work once in a while. It helps us to refocus and clarify our priorities. While I try to “turn off” my devices I rarely succeed but you have convinced me I need to come up with a plan. My OLW this year is purpose so I need to ask myself – what is the purpose of being connected 24/7?

      1. I think people have come to expect quick responses. Sometimes, it’s okay to make people wait (e.g., during the night and on weekends).
        Good luck with you unplugging endeavor, Christine!

    4. I unplugged a little over Winter break and it was glorious. I don’t think we realize how important it is to be alone with ourselves, in quiet. P.S.I loved The Alice Network.

    5. I think we all need to unplug at times. Believe it or not, the world does continue when we are not hooked into it. Unplugging give us a chance to recharge our own batteries.

    6. How wonderful that you had such a rich weekend. I have noticed that unplugging seems to stretch time and space. It certainly allows to stay in the moment more fully.

    7. You need to be in the moment. I am so thankful smartphones were not around when I was parenting young kids. I never felt the pull. My husband and I (each week) choose at least one weeknight and a full weekend day to unplug (unless we have a work commitment) Change it up! Make unplugged the norm and plugged once in a while.

    8. Mmm… this sounds so good that I may have to try it (I say as I comment at 8:21 on a weeknight). I bet the away message would help me stick to it, too. So glad you found some peace and quiet. May it happen again soon (well, soon-ish).

    9. I read your title and connected to the idea of being unplugged….I spent the weekend with my toddler grandsons…I did NOT know how to work their TVs and did not know where their IPads were…their parents were at the hospital with a tiny newborn….and so we were unplugged….and I read to them again, and again. and yet again….until they knew the stories by heart and it was a wonderful weekend…not because we were unplugged but because we had to be unplugged….

    10. Stacey,
      I’m glad you got to unplug and connect in other ways non-electronic. There is something to be said for downtime. In a 24/7 world, some time away can be very refreshing. From your post, it sounds like it’s something you might commit to more often. Here’s to disconnecting! Cheers!

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