I was recently on holiday with my family and, while I’m absolutely attached to my phone because of what I do, it’s the ONE week every year where I go completely radio silent. I don’t log in to Facebook, I don’t check emails, I don’t go anywhere near a computer. And, it’s freakin’ glorious. My phone explodes and overheats the moment I turn it on after the week, but hey…it’s so worth it.
This year was no different. As my friend drove us to the airport, I sat in the back with my kiddos and I had my son push the little airplane button on my phone and just like that, I disconnected. Well, not exactly. I had to turn it back on and do it again so my daughter could also push the button. They love that part. It’s the moment they know I’m going to be with them, really with them, for the entire week. They actually cheer. And then I feel like a jerk because I know how much I’m attached to my phone because of work and random scrolling and I know it affects them.
Why do I even bring my phone on this week-long zero-connectivity holiday? Simple. I like the camera. Seriously. It’s a really good camera.
I get asked all the time if I sneak off during the holidays to go online and “quickly” check on things. The honest and sharp answer is “NO”. No freakin’ way. There is no “quickly” check on things when you own a company as there will ALWAYS be something urgent going on. Always.
I have zero desire to go online when I’m on this holiday. It’s my one week every year where I get to just forget it all. I’m just Lindsay, Mom and wife. Nothing else. And those roles, those are the most important roles I have. Don’t get me wrong, being the OHM is amazing, being a friend to many is humbling, being a daughter is the best…but being me, Mom and Wife? Yeah…that’s where I really shine.
We had a fabulous holiday this year. Really fabulous. But, the point of this article isn’t about how amazing the nachos, drinks, pools and ocean were. No, this is about what happened when we returned.
We got home, I turned my phone on in the airport and…it exploded for about 10 minutes loading everything. And, since then, I’ve been connected and working like a fiend since. It’s like our holiday never happened. And, that is where I need to make a change.
I was watching a movie with my son the other night, and by watching a movie, I mean that he was watching and I was randomly scrolling through Facebook. Not even “working” just randomly scrolling, checking on my franchise owners’ pages and groups, liking posts, commenting when I could, etc. My son turned to me and said “Mom, it’s like you’re not even here”.
Shoot. Dangit. Frig. DAMMIT.
He was right. Just sitting next to him isn’t being present. Just being there with him isn’t enough. This isn’t an incredible A-HA moment for most of you and it wasn’t really for me…what was the A-HA moment was looking into his eyes and seeing how honest and sincere…and lonely he was. And I was right there. But, I wasn’t. I wasn’t present.
So, I decided to do something about it. Now, I own a fairly large company and it’s getting busier every day. So, disconnecting for weeks at a time is impossible. I even tried cutting off electronics for certain times of the day. BUT…again, I work in a very consumer-driven company and I’m a startup, so right now, I just can’t do that.
What can I do? I’ve decided I can do mini-disconnects. I can commit to one weekend per month of complete disconnect. Yes, I’m going to have to schedule it. Yes, I’m going to have to plan it and organize with my team. But, it can happen. My son and daughter will get to pick the weekend and they’ll get to push the airplane on my phone on Friday night at 4pm and I’ll push it again on Monday morning at 5am to reconnect.
That’s my plan. The best part? My son is BEYOND excited. When I asked him what he thought of my idea the biggest and most beautiful smile fell on his face. And, although for a lot of you reading this, this doesn’t seem like much, disconnecting for one weekend every month, for me…it’s a biggie. And, I’m committing to it. This is going to happen and I cannot wait to share with you how our monthly disconnects go.
Hopefully I’ll see a whole lot of this smile…
Will you join me in disconnecting? It’s going to be great. I just know it.