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Less than zero. That’s how much I know about electronics. My skills pretty much lie in knowing how to turn things on and turn them off when I’m through. At least I can handle a task that experts say is good for conserving energy. They say we should unplug appliances when they aren’t in use.
I can do that.
I thought about this today when I made myself like one of these appliances and unplugged myself. I was at the computer in my home office, working like a mad woman, when I took a look around. Remnants of a long weekend were everywhere. One husband and a houseful of young people had left a house looking like it’d hosted a long party. Which it pretty much had. A three day party.
Anyway, I decided to get up – trading online for offline – for an hour. About 30 minutes later, it struck me: Unplugging is something most of us don’t do nearly often enough. By unplugging, of course, I mean getting up from the computer and not taking any part of it with you (Twitter, Facebook, e-mail notifications, etc.).
When we unplug, we put ourselves into a whole other world for a while. A peaceful place that has no problem with being still or quiet. The internet, social media, information overload – these things are wonderful and certainly have a billion benefits. However, they haven’t an inkling of what it means to be peaceful and are less “still” and less “quiet” than a hyperactive two year old. When we stay plugged into the online world, we aren’t still or quiet either. We’re constantly looking for updates – forever on duty, afraid that we’re sure to miss something.
We don’t realize it, at the time, of course. In fact, sometimes this process can be relaxing in itself.
However, there’s a lot to be said for unplugging (completely unplugging) and basking in the state of complete quiet and stillness. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing and most of us keep it at arms length far too often. I have no doubt that being constantly switched ON is as bad for us as it is the appliances and technology we rely on.
When my hour was up, and the timer let me know that it was time to get back to work, I turned the timer off and we struck a deal: I’d take 30 more minutes and enjoy an Agatha Christie mystery and neither of us would feel the least bit guilty about it. I sat on the sofa in a house that was so quiet I could almost hear my cat sleep, and read and relaxed for about 2o minutes. I spent the last 1o minutes visiting with and petting my outside cats – something we all enjoyed.
When I plugged myself back in and picked up where I left off, I realized something kind of unexpected: I worked faster and more efficiently with zero distractions. It’s as though I recharged myself just in time!
I strongly recommend unplugging yourself each day – completely. Don’t cheat! Leave the online world and the social circle completely behind and enjoy yourself and the world around you. It’s great for the mind and the spirit – you’ll find yourself so relaxed and recharged that you’ll look forward to the same experience the next day. And the next, and the next…
If you have kids, it’d be a great idea to make them unplug each day as well.
By the way, bath time, suppertime, and bedtime don’t count! You have to unplug yourself at other times as well. That’s the whole idea, you see – unplug and do nothing but enjoy the peace and quiet. So many people don’t even recognize peace and quiet anymore.
Some ways to make the world stand still while you’re unplugged:
- Read a book
- Photograph flowers, trees, and other wonders in nature
- Work a crossword puzzle
- Spend time with your pet
- Take a slow walk around the yard
- Play solitaire
- Try a new recipe
- Sit and do absolutely nothing but soak in the quiet
I’d love to see more people realize just how relaxing, enjoyable, and healing absolute stillness and quiet are. Try it, you’ll be singing its praises with me!
Make each still moment count double!