On Simplicity

May 8, 2008

The Pleasures of Unplugging

Filed under: Productivity,Simple Living — Serendipity @ 5:00 am

Take a moment and imagine a relaxing getaway. No phones, no stress–just sunsets, days of breathing deeply, plenty of good food and drink, and great company. Have you ever wished you had a vacation house where you could just relax and unwind like this? Well, you do–you just need to unplug a few things to get there.

A lot of us are guilty of not letting ourselves truly relax on our time off. There’s always something to be done or checked up on, after all. Or is there? For a brief period before my husband and I merged households and switched states, we had just such a vacation house. Well… it wasn’t so much a vacation house as his house with all the utilities but water and power turned off and most of the “stuff” already shipped off. We stayed the week at my place in the city to cut down on commuting and would spend the weekends at the “vacation house” an hour away.

There was no phone and incredibly limited cell reception. No TV. No Internet. It. Was. Awesome. We cooked wonderful meals, watched movies together on the one couch left, stayed up late playing games and slept in equally late in the mornings. With no news or communication with the outside world, we were able to truly leave our stress behind and enjoy our time together. Plus, friends and family soon learned that those problems that used to be so urgent they’d require five phone calls a day, could be handled later or not at all. We were own happy island for two days and two nights a week and it’s still one of the most enjoyable memories we have.

Why not turn your home into a vacation house for one weekend (or more!) a month? It’s easy: unplug your computer, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode, only check your cell once a day, and keep your TV on DVD-playing mode to prevent the urge to “just check on” MSNBC or ESPN (or, oh hell, Lifetime).

How will you fill the quiet? Try pulling out a deck of cards, just listening to the radio, or simply enjoying a long, lingering conversation over a bottle of wine. Do some gardening, or just sit on the porch or balcony and watch the world go by. Enjoy small splurges to the max, like a long bath or a warm cup of coffee (our indulgence was getting White Mochas in the morning–drool…). Even if you don’t “accomplish” anything, consider it a mental health break. The laundry will get done later, and the toilets can be cleaned tomorrow. When you’re unplugged, you’ve got no choice but to enjoy the moment and just breathe.

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1 Comment »

  1. What a great idea!!

    Comment by MouthyGirl — May 8, 2008 @ 5:28 pm


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