Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Snapchat, Internet scrolling etc… The digital age is indeed a blessing. We have information readily available. We have immediate access to current events and up to date information of family and friends afar. Creative inspiration is at our fingertips. However, with every blessing can come pitfalls. Those very digital sites holding information and hope, can capture our attentions for far too long. We can move in a matter of seconds from seeking creative inspiration to spiraling into a depression feeling inadequate, less fortunate etc… As easily as we can access others and their information, we too can be accessed, often leading to increased obligations, some not really meant to be, yet in that digital nano second we say “yes”.
The week before Thanksgiving found me in a state of mess. Fortunately I live by my own mantra – keep lots of white space. As a result emergencies or unexpected events don’t cause as much havoc in my life as they used to – when I lived full throttle, filling every moment of every day. The white space in my life and on my calendar affords me room to deal with the unexpected. However, sometimes life throws us more curve balls than we could ever imagine. Not only that, but sometimes the things we are involved with present to us all sorts of appealing opportunities. I was in the midst of both – the unexpected and the allure of many good things.
I have found the longer I practice Sabbath living, a more simplified lifestyle, the more my spirit and body react to the “mess”. The tension mounts in my neck. My eating habits change and my stomach doesn’t act the same. I lose focus. What can be my best traits begin to compound and become my worse traits.
Have you been there? Are you there now? Do you feel yourself slipping into the abyss? Don’t let it go any farther. I have found the best solution, really the only solution is for me to unplug, go off the grid. I don’t quit taking care of business, but I give myself permission to quit answering email, stay off social network sites, limit phone calls. I change my voice message on my phone, I set up a vacation notice on my email… That is what I did the week of Thanksgiving. It was fabulous. Not only that, but the world did not come to an end. No one called me angry. No one called claiming an emergency. It was o.k.
The week afforded me the opportunity to breathe, to let go, to focus. I still had a lot to do, but I was able to get back to that which mattered most, my “best yes” tasks (as Lysa Terkeurst would say). I was able to pull back from a difficult situation and in prayer and reflection see it for what it was. A set-back, not a disaster. A matter out of my control and not my responsibility. I was able to fill some of the white space with the tasks that bring me energy, fill my spirit: coffee with my girls, brunch with my best friend, a good book by the fire, decorating and setting the Thanksgiving table, and baking. When I engage in those things that bring me joy, nurture my spirit I find I can more easily recognize my “best yes” tasks. I can more readily see the good in life. I hear the still small voice of my Savior telling me, “this is the way.”
Sometimes the plan is there. The plan isn’t wrong, we have just lost site of the plan. Stepping back, going off the grid creates the quiet in which we can think, be reminded, enjoy.