As a work from home mom, I have the television on pretty much all day. The only time it goes off is when the baby is napping and I rush to my computer to get some work done. The ironic thing is that I’m not a huge TV watcher. I have a couple of shows that I enjoy, but my vice is more iPad or internet related. Before Lyla, I hardly ever had it on. If I wanted background noise, I was much more likely to gear up Pandora and have music playing. Things changed when I had a newborn and was nursing, pumping, holding the baby, repeat, pretty much 24 hours a day. HGTV became my mindless company as I wearily navigated these weeks in zombie mode. Fast forward 10 months, and the routine has changed, but my cable companion has managed to stay intact.
Two weeks ago I went to stay with my aunt for a long weekend getaway. Three nights in, my mom and aunt got hit with what we think was food poisoning and were down for the count for about 24 hours. Mom was laid up in the den downstairs and my aunt in her bedroom: where both of the televisions are in the house. Since we weren’t sure if it was food or illness related, my job was to keep Lyla away from any potential germs. We were quarantined to the kitchen and dining room area. We went about our normal routine: playing, breakfast, more playing, bottle, nap. About lunch time I realized that the day just seemed to be dragging on. We had even gotten out of the house for a ginger-ale run in an attempt to be useful but also entertain ourselves. Every time I would glance at the clock that feeling of “I can’t believe it’s only blank o’clock” would hit. The last time I had experienced this was when I was working a secretary job that I detested. The difference this time was that it wasn’t a feeling of “this is awful, get me out of here”. It was actually refreshing to not have the day fly by as it typically would.
It’s not the tv’s fault, or the internet, or our jobs, or plans with friends, or errands, but whether at work or at play it seems that too many of us are just rushing through our days. If we have a free minute, we don’t relax and take in the small chance for a breather, we grab the remote or our phones for some distraction and stimulation. I hear so often when talking about young children “time please slow down” and “they just grow so fast”. There is no doubt that kids change quickly and in a blur they’re already a year old, starting school, etc. We can’t control this, but we have more power than we realize. I can remember being home on summer break during elementary school and how slow the days would seem. Boredom was a frequent occurrence. When was the last time you said the words “I’m bored”? Doesn’t it sound so appealing? As an adult, you would almost feel guilty to mutter such a phrase.
Everyone needs their occasional mindless binge watching session. And I’m not saying I want to move off the grid and stationary bicycle my own electricity, but I could definitely do with a little tech detox. I’ve realized that slowing my days down is possible. It’s little changes like sitting down as a family for dinner, putting our phones away on the weekends, getting outside, living in the moment, and eliminating random distractions that can make a huge difference in the pace of the day.
Any tips on setting a slower pace?