As most of you know, I have just come back from a one week computer hiatus. I was inspired by Lisa of LifeUnity who conducted her own media fast a few weeks ago. I liked the idea of truly stepping away, something I hadn’t done since starting Bliss Habits last year but I wasn’t really sure I could do it under normal circumstances. You see, I compulsively check my Facebook page, Twitter account and Blog stats. Has someone “liked” something? Did anyone tweet about that? Have more folks signed up for my (as of yet non existent) newsletter?
Frankly it is exhausting but I have been unable to stop myself.
Enter my family vacation, to Disney World! Ha! I would be so busy I wouldn’t have the chance to miss anything. Or so I thought.
Somewhere on the second of two flights to get to Orlando, my five year old started complaining that her nose felt funny and she had a head ache. I let her chew gum, which I hoped would clear her sinuses and we had her drink lots of water and apple juice for the supposed dehydration induced headache but by the time we arrived at our resort, it was clear our girl was sick.
Of all the weeks to get sick!
At first she didn’t appear very sick, and since her super recuperative powers rarely allowed her to be down and out for very long we were hopeful that a good night’s sleep would get her on the road to be well. Our and her enthusiasm fooled us and twice we set out in the morning to enjoy things but found our selves back in the afternoon watching a poor feverish girl nap.
In advance of this trip, I promised my family that I would be taking this trip completely computer free. I wanted to take a complete break, I wouldn’t even check Facebook updates on my phone. I liked the idea of this complete technology hiatus but to be honest I didn’t imagine I would be spending hours sitting around in the hotel room twiddling my thumbs as my daughter napped. In a very short time I was annoyed that I had made this promise to myself and my family. I thought about using the tablet we brought along for something other then entertainment for a five year old but I decided that I wouldn’t.
In the forced quiet of our hotel room I realized the planned frenetic pace all around Disney World wasn’t really an unplugging from my computer addiction. It was a replacement.
I had chosen the crazy a frenetic Disney World as the place to practice my computer free idea because it was comfortable and easy. If I was super busy I wouldn’t even miss my obsessive computer habits but the forced calm of sitting in our hotel room put me directly in the hot seat of addiction. I was way outside of my comfort zone and it was uncomfortable!
Not reaching for the distraction of a glittering screen was difficult and precisely where the magic lives. Rob and I sitting in concerned silence, and eventually in soft whispers on the patio as our daughter slept, didn’t have the frantic pace of everyday life or the vacation plans to keep us from actually being together.
I hadn’t realized how little time Rob and I really have had to be with each other and these stolen moments were truly a gift. It wasn’t the vacation we had planned, but in some ways it was even better. We were together and with Sweets sleeping so much we actually had time to talk. Magic. Pure magic.
By the fourth day Sweets was mostly herself and we were able to get back to full vacation mode and our girl was about to test her own comfort zone boundaries.
A daredevil since the moment she could run, we were completely taken off guard when our girl repeatedly told us she was afraid of some of the attractions. Snow White was scary, the Space ride was too fast, “I don’t like Monsters Inc.” At every turn she wasn’t interested in trying something new.
Initially we honored her requests to avoid these places but in time we felt extremely limited and we were not really interested in riding Dumbo and It’s a Small World over and over for the next two days so we hatched a plan. She would have to try everything ONCE. If after that try she really didn’t like it we wouldn’t make her do it again.
She agreed although she still continued to resist. “I really don’t think I’ll like it.” “Can we PLEASE do Small World instead?” The barrage of discontent was disheartening. Maybe we made a mistake. It is supposed to be the happiest spot on the planet and we felt like we were torturing her. Finally, after a torturous 20 minutes in the Snow White line we boarded the ride.
I hadn’t been on it in years… it was scarier then I remembered. Kiddie ride or not, I think I may have been wrong to push her. I talk and laugh through the ride. “Look, the dwarfs are going to save her! Yay! The Prince kissed her and she is going to the castle!” I begin exiting the ride with a conflicted heart but before I can even ask, “How was that for you?” my girl enthusiastically and happily shouts, “That was great. Let’s do it again!!”
We were right. She just needed to be pushed outside her perceived comfort zone! In the end, all but one ride, Goofy’s Barnstorming roller coaster, were given enthusiastic thumbs up from my daughter and even though she didn’t like the Goofy ride she was very proud to have tried it and declared that it was “the best day ever!”
Both of us had to be pushed to go outside of our comfort zones to find the magic. It is so easy to become certain about how things will be that we never even to try to push the boundaries. The people riding behind us on the Snow White ride were witness to my girl’s anxiety and transformation said, “That was quite a turnaround!” and in that moment I became committed to fostering as many turnarounds as possible in our lives.
The magic is out there, out side of our comfort zones. Will you join us?
Will you also join us Friday when we kick off the