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Being more present in your life.

Mon, Apr 12, 2010

Parenthood, Personal Development

rsz_1yoga-1

Recently this is less who I am & more whom I aspire to be.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day where she relayed this (paraphrased) tidbit of wisdom:

My child just celebrated XYZ birthday. I know had I not worked hard to be present with him when he was growing up this fact would make me sad. Since I was present and enjoyed those years Im not sad as he enters an older phase of his life.

As a mom to a youngster this comment stuck with me.

I cant say it resonated with me (at all. right now I cant envision NOT missing the PrincessMoments which are age four no matter how hard I try & absorb them into my brain) but it did get me thinking, once again, about the importance of BEING PRESENT.

Ala this.

As a result Ive decided to implement three 100% technology-free nights per week.

**Cue collective GASP.  Mainly from my lovely Renaissance Man of a husband**

No TV.

No Twitter.

No computer in any form (yes, love of my life, that does include an attempt to fake me out and pretend to ‘need’ to check the weather for the ‘morrow).

No itouch.

No ipod/iphone/cliq.

No wii.

Wii (rimshot?) will start this before the husband comes home (pretty easy for the Tornado & me) but the crucial piece will be carrying it through from when Ren Man gets home till the morning.

We’ve fallen into an exhausted by our days habit of chatting briefly then settling in for 30 minutes of trashy comedy (yes Community, Old Christine, & Big Bang Theory that’s a shoutout to you).

We’ve stumbled back into checking our email/twitter account before bed.

We’ve added some itouch watching at night (and People I must give you the three letters Id always hoped to avoid here on this one: WTF? When did this happen?!) in our television-less bedroom.

(There was a reason for the televisionlessnessment there. we need to remind ourselves of that with these tech-free nights. a recent study showed couples without TVs in bedrooms have sex twice as often. Id imagine that this bears true with itouches, too.)

As a result, even before I spring this on my poor unknowing husband tonight we launch this tonight as a family, I KNOW it’s going to make a tremendous difference in our domicile.

And yes.

I realize that technology-free nights will be a challenge at first which is why Im setting us up for success and only starting with three.

For me much of my constant pluggedinessment is merely habit.

I reflexively check my email before bed when, if forced to admit, Im utterly aware there isnt anything there which could not wait until morning.

What’s that they say? Twenty one days of solid repetition builds a habit?

Please to check back in with me on May 5th.

Ill let you know how we are faring.

And you?

What do you think?

Are you in? Wanna drag yer family unwillingly down the path I shall begin to carve out with the Ren Man tonight?

Are you willing to start small, perhaps, with implementing Technology-FREE Tuesday evenings?

Do you think Im a nutball (that’s the technical term) given my passion for all things social media & am destined to fail miserably at my own little blog’periment?

Please to hit us all up in the comments.

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86 Responses to “Being more present in your life.”

  1. Bea says:

    Oh Miz. THis post gave me a lot to think about and not how you would imagine :)
    I always read your posts before bed (around midnight my time) and when I came last night nothing was up.

    I have no idea why it didnt post—but got a flurry of WAIT ARE YOU POSTING LESS?! emails when I woke up :)

    I was totally bummed out and thought you had switched to posting less.

    I think I get your blogger malaise post now because I would miss you wirting 5 days a week.

    We need to get you paid.

  2. Dr. Rus Jeffrey says:

    Hey Carla!

    This is a great post and very wise too! We have filled our lives with what we think is important, while forgetting what’s really important. As all three of our boys are now older - two out of the house and the third close to moving out - I’m realizing more and more how important it is to be “in the moment” with family when the time arises. Unplugging from technology may seem hard at first, but in the end, we really won’t miss it.

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Dr. Rus

  3. Bea says:

    Oh and I just don’t have a blackberry or anything like that.
    Makes it really easy to unplug!

  4. BK says:

    I’ve started unplugging on weekends so that I can spend more time with my fam. It doesn’t always work but I’m up for the challenge to try it. At least once a week.

  5. Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story says:

    Wow. This gives me so much to think about. Unfortunately, I could never, ever, get my husband to agree. We work different shirts most of the time so we see each other rarely. We occasionally (very rarely) have unplugged date nights, that’s about as much as a commitment as I can get from him on that. Although it does sound wonderful to me.

  6. Helen says:

    LOL @ Bea as I thought the same thing too.

    Have you considered writing a book? I do think your readers would purchase it and that could be a revenue stream for you?

    I also have wondered, since your post last week, how can you have malaise when you have so many readers?

    I can not unplug much these days.
    It’s my lifeline….

  7. @FitInMyHeart says:

    I feel like Fred on Sanford and Son!!!! Oh Elizabeth…THIS IS THE BIG ONE!!!!! LOL!! OK, Here is my pledge (says the girl with 2 Blackberries, HD TVs in every room with Wifi and 2 laptops…did I mention Wii and PS3) I will start with 1 night a week. As I head out to do my cardio, I’m going to decide which night will cause the LEAST AMOUNT OF PAIN!!! NOT Tuesday cuz this is BIGGEST LOSER NIGHT where I workout VIRTUALLY during the show with @ShrinkingJeans….(Yes, Perhaps I DO need an INTERVENTION!!!) LOL!!
    Thank You, Carla for making me THINK and GROW!!!
    Love you Lots,
    Dr. Mo

  8. Leah says:

    I am in too.

    Starting slowing with what I can control (ME! My husband would never join in. He is attached to his iphone all day and night. :( ) and joining you starting tonight.

  9. Erica says:

    What a great idea….To be honest, I’m pretty much technology attached from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to bed. I think I will start small and give up the computer the minute my husband walks in the door one night a week and go from there. Thank you for the inspiration :) And your sweet sweet comments on my blog :) I always thinking about trying something new/different with my hair…but I usually end up doing the same old same old :)

  10. Fitarella says:

    YOU ARE IN MY HEAD this morning!!!! Just got back from a run all of which led to “I need to write a better story” for not just my life, but our life - my family’s life. And not write as in write but as in DO.

    I will be joining you.

    LOVE ya Mizzy.

  11. Tuuli says:

    Thanks for the reminder - I’m definitely going to try some sort of technology curfew in the evenings. I don’t have a TV so that’s easy, but the internet…living alone it sometimes feels very hard to let go of that somewhat imaginary feeling of ‘connectedness’.

  12. Gemfit says:

    I would love nothing more than technology free evenings. To put the laptops, iPhones, iPad etc away.

    Somehow I doubt the Boy would ever agree. So I do what I can and hope that one day he’ll catch up and catch on.

    Good move Miz.

  13. Nancy says:

    I know if I am completely honest with myself it all stems from a fear of being forgotten if I am not present.

    (Not the television :) the internet)

    I realize that is kind of pathetic.

  14. Yum Yucky says:

    You’re gonna start a revolution, woman. I hear you. And I need in.

  15. Kat says:

    I’m a student so I’m often home studying in the afternoon and have implemented a no-tv-or-facebook-during-the-day rule this week. Got so much done I shocked myself :-)

  16. Karena says:

    I’ve been contemplating something like this for quite some time. Too many evenings pass with me at the computer, my husband attached to the game console, and my oldest glued to the screen, memorizing his every move. Honestly? I’m not sure I can get my husband to go along with this. But I’ll try to get him on board. As for me, I’ll be unplugged Wednesday evenings.

  17. Karen says:

    I adore you and feel the need to remind you that you are amazing.

    You can turn the world on with your smile :) & start a revolution with a single blog post.

  18. MizFit says:

    so many thoughts…but mainly I shall let you know how things progress around here.
    Ren Man doesnt read MizFit (insert babyrant here) which can be good as he didnt find all this out via a post ;)

    He also ordered an ipad this weekend.

    Uh Oh….

  19. Marc says:

    Great post and great reminders.

    I don’t watch tv, I do watch movies and kid shows with my kids.. Night time is for cooking music and reading…

    I do at times lack the “knowledge” to participate in the water cooler talks. ;-)

    Marc

  20. Joanna Sutter says:

    BRAVO!!!!

    I’ve been implementing a no-technology rule in the evenings and a light technology rule on the weekends. I’ve fallen back in love with reading…what a concept!!!

  21. Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink! says:

    This is a great idea!!!

    It’s hard for me to be tech free because I run an online business, and I have to process orders after my kids go to bed.
    BUT…
    I always shut down at least an hour before bed, so I can spend time with the hubby. And my kids have me from 8AM until bedtime (I do check in during naps, natch).
    It is so very important to UNPLUG on a regular basis. Enjoy the time!

  22. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    Kudos to you. I hope the family is on board. I feel like I’m constantly plugged in, too. Maybe an easy way for someone to start is to unplug on the weekends. That’s what I’ve done and while I do feel some guilt for not blogging, being on Twitter, writing e-mails, ect, I love just being present instead of always tethered to some gadget. Just a tip in case someone thinks that’s a more manageable way to start!

  23. Marisa (Loser for Life) says:

    Yes!!!! I love this! We have 4 computers in this house, blackberry and way too much TV going on. Although, we do snuggle up and watch together, it’s just not the same as really engaging with each other.

    Hmmmm…you’ve definitely got me thinking of instituting this tech-free night in our house. There may be a MUTINY! ;)

  24. Sam says:

    YES YES YES… Not that I think we are the most amazing parents, but the one thing we have done with my 3 year old son is eliminate 99.9 percent of all TV and computer use. Sometimes it is difficult to be engaged all times, but we truly feel that that is better than having hours of freedom but at the cost of the connection with him.

    Again, I say this not saying my way is better/worse, but just what we have done to keep that interference out. Now as he gets older I am sure things will change slightly, but we are giving it our best shot!

  25. dragonmamma says:

    No problem, unless you count having background music.

    I have no idea what itouch is; never heard of it. Sounds like a marital aid.

  26. Anon. says:

    I am removing the TV today from the bedroom.

    I will letcha know what, errrr, transpires (-:

  27. Donna Bush says:

    I’ll be totally honest: I can’t give up my TV at night if there’s a ball game on, which I pay for. (I would, if I had a DVR & could watch my game another time.) But we do watch together to cheer on our home team. And no TV in the bedroom, ever. All my friends who have one complain about the lack of …. yep. I have, however, started shutting down my laptop earlier and earlier. I’d read that constant exposure to ‘screens’ messes up your sleep and God knows I don’t need that, so I try to keep it to a minimum at night. Good luck - we’ve given up all electronics at night during Lent and although it can be a challenge, it’s also very peaceful and rewarding.

  28. Ryan Sullivan says:

    I actually had a thought yesterday of “How come I can’t find many people who I consider to be very successful on Twitter?” “How would they be using their time if they weren’t tweeting?”

    I enjoy Twitter and think it can do some good but I know that I don’t have the ability to focus on other things very well while I’m actively using. This includes conversations with the wife. Not good.

    I’m all for being present.

  29. GenaMazzeo says:

    I too, am a ‘no TV in the bedroom’ kinda girl (can’t speak to the married couples w/o have more sex detail though!). And I tell you, since moving the TV out of my bedroom, I sleep better and longer. My bedroom is my cave and is used for sleeping, even if that’s a sick day…it’s just not used for entertainment at all. But I’ve never considered the two (yes, TWO) phones that sit a foot from my head all night. They’re the first thing and the last thing I touch EVERY DAY.

    So I’m in…for a night. One. I simply don’t have your willpower (nor a Tornado or Ren Man to entertain me). One night a week, I’ll leave both phones out of the bedroom, clearing my cave of electronic toys, so I can be present with myself.

    Let’s see how this goes…perhaps being present with myself will push me toward meeting someone worth testing that married couple stat! ;)

  30. workout mommy says:

    i could never get the hubby on board with this as his laptop and phone are permanently attached to his body! It’s also the only time I get kid free computer time.

    how about this? I promise no tweeting/emailing from bed? :)

  31. MizFit says:

    D*MN you have all given me a ton to thing about and respond to but Im off.

    To the playground.

    Nary a PLAYout involved just some sandbox time with an excited four year old

  32. Fab Kate says:

    My kids are a lot older than yours, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be present. Media is part of what we share as a family. We have what I call “mommy boot camp” with media. That means things like watching old movies and discussing the political/social/technological environment in which the movie is made. It means that when we use our phones, text, and FB, something like 90% of the time we’re in contact with EACH OTHER.

    My commitment has been to have less hours per day to media so that I’m out and about more… not a day (or selection of days) totally media free.

    I agree that media can be overwhelming, and it’s too easy sometimes to sit in front of the screen (no matter what size it is) and ignore life around you. I also think that, properly used, media can enhance life. Proper use doesn’t include tweeting all day long, unless (maybe) you’re home sick and bedridden and dying of loneliness.

  33. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    YOU ARE BRAVE but I think I felt the need for this thru your more recent posts. I don’t have a lot of the stuff you have like blackberry, Twitter & all that but still a slave to what I have.

    My TV at night is my escape/rest so don’t think I will give it up.. laughter in the form of the great comedies we watch, including Community, I need! I pretty much stay away from the computer after 6:30 or so since I head to bed early anyway.

    I am really eager to see how this works for you & whatever is working in your mind right now. To me, it feels like you need a change or just something else right now…. maybe this down time will help.

    Good luck & lots of love!

  34. charlotte says:

    “We’ve fallen into an exhausted by our days habit of chatting briefly then settling in for 30 minutes of trashy comedy” Change “trashy comedies” to “blogging/computer games” and this is totally us. I love your idea of tech-free tuesday nights. I will be joining you as I unofficially decided that Tuesdays are one of the days I don’t blog now! Great idea - I look forward to hearing how it goes!

  35. Jules - Big Girl Bombshell says:

    Good luck with this Carla! As I read it, all I could think of was healthy lifestyle…As in any other change, whether it is food, exercise, etc. There has to be a reason, a reward, something inside us that motivates us to do something we think we cannot do.
    ANYTHING we do to excess can take us away from being present. It is moving forward and finding the “right portion” of all the things in our lives that will truly bring about the healthy lifestyle we all seem to be searching for.

  36. Tom says:

    You had me at sex ;)

  37. Shelley B says:

    Have I mentioned my dream is to get a cute little netbook so I can blog from bed? I think now that our kids are gone it’s different for us, although we don’t have the fancy phones - yet (one day, iPhone, you WILL be mine!) and if my husband or I were constantly checking our email, etc., that would probably drive me crazy after a while.

    Good luck tonight - cannot wait to hear how RenMan deals with this!

  38. Laurie says:

    Hey Miz!

    We’ve been technology free on weeknights for the past 6 months - and what a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference it has made in our lives.

    Admittedly, the 4yr old has no desire to watch TV after our sometimes TOO LONG work days, so unplugging was more about ME unplugging. When we get home from work/daycare, I put the phone away and focus on spending those 2 precious hours before bath and bedtime solely focused on the 4yr old.

    I WISH I would’ve done that more when Mr. Poj was alive… not so much TV.

    I don’t miss TV at all - though I do find myself becoming somewhat socially awkward at the coffee station at work when people are discussing the latest TV shows… “who’s lost? did they find him/her?” ;)

    Lately I have to work after the 4yr old is asleep because of a big project at work - but it won’t be forever.

    I don’t think you’re nuts - I think you’re going to LOVE it.

    Good luck and let us all know how it goes!!

  39. Rose says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, I can’t implement it right now with my school schedule (and finishing up my degree - which is constant technology at the moment), but once summer hits… I’m down with this. All outside, all the time.

    Ok, maybe not all the time. But you know what I mean :)

  40. BeckStein says:

    Wow, congrats, that’s a great endeavor, I wish you the best. I find myself tech free lots of nights, but not by choice, just do to my career choices keeping me busy and away from the electronic devices of today. Infact I’ve fought not to have an IPhone or any internet, web surfing device that could suck me in when I’m not at my desk. It’s been a great relief to tell people they just have to wait until I get to a computer, or God forbid they should pick up a telephone and call :) I’m a very talky person…so important to me.

    I think you’ll find that life is so much fuller without all the stuff in it ;)

    xo,
    Bex

  41. Lance says:

    Hey Nutball,
    (I say that only lovingly!!!!)

    Ummm….we don’t have a tv in our bedroom….

  42. Miz says:

    laurie you have totally given me an ahha! moment.

    Its unplugging from technology but far more than that its being present.

    No mags. No books (lordy do I love me some night time reading). FACE TIME as we are not promised a tomorrow.

    Thank you for being in my life

  43. Sagan says:

    Love this idea, it’s WONDERFUL and it’s something which we should ALL do.

    I never watch TV anyways, so when I move into my condo, I’m going to keep my TV in storage. I watch a movie with the boyfriend at my place maybe once a month, so I’ll just haul it out when we want to watch a movie. Otherwise, I don’t feel the need to own a TV.

    I also like the notion of just turning off ALL technology a few evenings each week. I’m sure it wouldn’t kill me to not check my email after 5pm. I always feel so liberated when I decide to “take an evening off” from technology… so yes. I will definitely start doing this several evenings each week.

    And YES to the face time and just BEING there and BEING with people. THAT is what I want my life to be about.

  44. Meg says:

    Right now, for me, this really isn’t an option. I live in a teeny-tiny apartment in the middle of an overcrowded city. There is no TV in my bedroom, true, but every other one of the 3 rooms (including my roommates bedroom) have either a computer or tv in them. Plugging in, in some form, is an escape from the tiny box we live in. Without it, I do believe we may turn on each other.

    Later, when I live somewhere that I can stretch out on a couch with a good book without impeding on someone else’s ability to use the living room/kitchen, I do believe that this would be an excellent idea.

  45. tj says:

    I applaud you on this! I am kid-less but I think having some one on one together time WITHOUT the technology that we have all grown to depend on is important.

    I think it is easier when the weather is nicer for me…we like to get out and go to a park to play bocce (then I whip out my iPhone to take pictures of us! LOL FAIL! Oh well I try!

    Love that you also have a TV free bedroom. I MIGHT give in once we move into a REAL house. But there will be RULES! lol :)

  46. 'Drea says:

    I think that if you want to succeed you will. I love the clarity that comes with being unplugged.

    I sometimes think about getting a Wii but I am already all over the place exercise-wise. Do I need one? Same thing for a cell phone — they are very convenient but do I really need one?

    Good luck with the unplugged thing.

  47. Nikki says:

    Welcome to the club…do you think you are a nut ball? For spending “time” with the ones you love. “Time” is our most valuable gift!

    I’m a mom with an “all of a sudden” 14 year old?? Time goes faster and faster it seems as we clutter our life with our (too-full) agenda’s. I’m in panic mode at this stage of the game and he’s getting more independant! Yikes, this really sneaks up on you! Last week, we had to make decisions on course selection so he’s prepared for his future…gulp!

    Hoorah for un-plugging!! I’m with you! My son once said to me, “mom, when you’re on the internet or when we’re watching t.v or when dad is playing solatair on the computer, it’s like we have no time to talk…” Gulp again!

    He’ll be gone in 3 years and I’ll still have my t.v, and internet, etc and hopefully, I’ll be satisfied at the “time” we spent together!

    Sorry for the rant…your topic is timely and very important!

    Thanks for sharing!

  48. POD says:

    I use these weird things to distract me from reality but I don’t have but a computer and a TV though both are enough of a distraction. I more recently stopped the computer all evening long and stopped using FB as much as I was at one time. Because I am alone, I have numerous occasions to be techless so I won’t join your fray though if I had a family, I would definitely consider. This is a good idea and I have noticed you online less and less. So much of it is a bad habit and I think we all use these things to avoid reality and avoid each moment. As long as people don’t unplug and then get drunk, it will work.

  49. Geosomin says:

    YES.
    You know what? You won’t miss it after a while.

    We did this a while back and I’m glad. Now we don’t miss shows we don’t watch, and we still get more done and especially now that I”m extra busy with school, we still get time together. The odd night we will veg and watch a movie, but we spend more time together…the no TV/laptop in the bedroom was a huge thing.

    I am so glad you chose this decision to take your life back from technology. (how can you tell I feel rather strongly about this!)

  50. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    Hunni and I have fallen into this exhaustive habit. I want to talk with him about scaling back what we watch on TV and if there isn’t anything we really want to watch doing some thing else.

  51. Quix says:

    Can I be really and truly contrary here? If it works for everyone else - great. I love having adventure days on the weekend where we are completely unplugged. I love having some nights where we just sit out on the back patio and talk and listen to music and dance around and be silly.

    But Zliten and I really bond OVER technology. Most nights of the week, we both want nothing more after long hard days and workouts to come home, unplug our brains a little, turn on some bad TV (currently, Buffy the Vampire Slayer from season 1 on since neither of us have seen it), and dork on the internet and pass sily links back and forth/play games together on the laptop, etc. I don’t have the mental capacity to be engaged in conversation all night every night (we talk - just in spurts). I need time to mull over what happened in my day and just generally… relax. I’m a geek, technology helps me relax and communicate. :)

    I’m sure this will change GREATLY if I decide to have children. Or if we had different work situations (aka if one of us stayed home). But for right now it works for us and we’re happy. I also don’t sleep well without TV, so you can’t pry my 32 inch flatscreen out of my cold, sleep deprived…hands?

    If it’s a priority for you, this is awesome though! Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  52. Kat says:

    Awesome reminder. I have a bad habit of looking forward and not being present and enjoying the now. Working on it! Tech free, oooo, will talk to hubby tonight, I am thinking a weekend day, that would be a challenge, we shall see! Or maybe I’ll man up and do tech free Tuesday..but BL, OK I could DVR…

  53. Miz says:

    I do love me some Quix ;) and entirely agree with her comment as well.

    Its all unique to the individual and all unique to specific times of day/week for the MizFitFam as well.

    We get a babysitter every Sunday for 3 hrs.
    Id say 99% of the time we hit a matinee and don’t talk much at all except for a few before/after the movie.
    What we do, as Quix pointed out, is bond over that being plugged in.

    The lines. The themes. All end up as part of our secret language of coupledom.

    What isn’t working for us (ok me. I’ll know more about him tonight ;) ) is the plugggggged in some nites until bedtime.
    Whether that plugged in is literal (the itouch movies) or not (my paper books).

  54. 266 says:

    I think this is a great concept and I wish I was ready to take the plunge with you. Unfortunately, I am actually at a point where technology is potentially becoming even more important to me than it has been (which - in this journey where I post an average of twice a day - is already considerable). On the less complicated side, my tech needs are almost 100% computer centered. I barely watch television, don’t own a cell phone, an ITouch, an IPhone, etc., and never go near the video game systems. My husband on the other hand… :)

  55. Diana says:

    I would love to try this, but this could not happen until after my dissertation is accepted :( Once we reproduce (maybe, if that happens, after the dissertating), this will definitely be something we’ll do. But, as for now I’m trying to cut back on online games, blogging (quite my no-so-fitness blog and only responding to posts that really move me:), etc. One day…

  56. Skyler Meine says:

    I was just listening to Gary Vaynerchuk talk about marketing online and talking about making sure if you are going to market online you better be passionate about what you are doing.

    The problem is I am passionate about my family and wanting to spend quality time with them. Sadly all of the excuses that I am working on building my online business and I need to be plugged in all the time just isn’t true. I know I need to unplug and start spending more focused quality time with the family. The weather is getting better as well. So it is time to get outside.

  57. Jill says:

    Wow Miz, this too gave me a lot to think about. I use technology far too much…but then again my fiance and I do watch tv shows, etc together so…I would like to at least try and be in with you on this!

  58. Ann says:

    I love this idea. My partner and I both have jobs that never allow for true time off (probably like you and RM). It drives me crazy that on the weekends, he’ll be on his computer working or reading news online for hours on end. If I want to do something fun, it’s like I have to drag him out into the sun. Maybe explaining it like this will help me communicate my needs to him! (though of course I understand that reading online news is relaxing downtime for him)

  59. Jill says:

    Another thing, I just recently reconnected with 3 college friends via Myspace so being connected is SUPER important to me right now! I confess, I can’t do it haha! :)

  60. Mary (A Merry Life) says:

    I’ve been thinking about this alot. With Kepa being in NZ and me being here I CAN’T do it now. But I think I want to cut out a lot of computer time once I move. So I’ll be joining you in September. :)

  61. Sandra says:

    I am absolutely in line with this concept. I rarely even watch TV because I don’t find anything really worth while on it.
    I would have no problem getting rid of all electronic devices for 3 nights - including itouch, computer, etc.

    Good luck tonight.

  62. cammy@tippytoediet says:

    Wow, THREE nights? You be brave. :)

    I’m working on devoting one day to freedom from technology, which probably won’t be that hard. Besides that, I take little breaks here and there, as I need them. Since it’s just me (vs. 2-1/2 folks), I can decide on the fly that this night or that day will be spent unplugged. Although I do argue with myself about it sometimes, so I suppose it’s the same thing after all. :)

  63. messymimi says:

    I gave up tv totally years ago, and have not missed it at all.

    I think you are brilliant and correct.

    In my house, there would be mass rebellion — I’ve waited until they are too old (19, 17, 14, & 12).

    Good luck.

  64. moonduster (Becky) says:

    I completely agree. I have been struggling with ths myself. I have been paring down the time I spend on-line for the past month now, and, with my work being on-line, this has not been easy.

    But I have some wonderful kids and they need me to be fully present with them and fully appreciating every moment. The Internet is like one great big object to aid in procastinating from LIFE.

  65. Jen Gordon says:

    Learning this idea of being present too. I definitely carry the iphone around with me EVERYWHERE. Thanks for the reminder that I can put it down. :)

  66. Pubsgal says:

    I can totally understand this. When my kids complain about feeling “lonely” in a house that is less than 1,000 square feet, I know it’s time to unplug from my phone or whatever book I’ve stuffed my face into. What I need to get better about is doing so enough so that they don’t have that complaint. Sometimes it’s challenging to meet their “presence” needs during the week, when Thing 1 has lots of homework that needs supervision, Mr. H&H is having his downtime online (he manages the house and kid-wrangles all day, so he deserves it), and Thing 2 is clamoring for attention.

    I can also see Quix’s point. We bond over hockey, and our team is in the playoffs, so the next couple of months will be a little more media-centric.

  67. Dani @ WRW says:

    I am desperately trying to be more present.

    I’m more unplugged now than I’ve ever been, especially now that my oldest got into some trouble at school. I think we all get in our routines and some things fall through the cracks now and again.

    My newest love is gardening/yard work and we’re tending a huge family garden. I’m so proud of it! Hopefully it will encourage them to appreciate and enjoy some more veg! And keeping up on the yard work has become VERY relaxing for me.

    Being outdoors … away from the comp and tele … it’s great FOR ME. But if I hear them complain of being “bored” one more time (even at a playground)!!?!! What happened to pretending? Kids don’t PLAY anymore!

  68. Shannon says:

    So smart! I totally agree that this is so important. In Utah many people have what is called a family night. It is part of a religion. Even though I am not active in the religion we do still have family nights. (our version) We come together to play games visit or whatever else we need to do to reconnect as a family.
    This has become a very fun time in our household.
    Another thing that I strongly believe in is to sit down together at the table for dinner as a family. Even though we are busy we always come together at dinner time and visit. I highly recommend that.
    I am on board with you Miz! We will do 3 nights free. Will talk to the family tonight and let you know how it goes!
    Thanks for the idea and inspiration!
    XO

  69. Jenavave says:

    Perhaps this was a long time coming? It’s rather enlightening to disconnect with others and reconnect with yourself. The only way to do this (I believe) is to completely unplug, and then focus on those connections disappearing. I’ve been doing this over the past few months and felt a shift in my own perspective - it’s very similar to putting your mind into the muscle when you workout, only you’re putting your mind into the quiet and the natural, the present moment.

    Good luck!!

  70. Nancy says:

    I like it. I will propose it to DH when he gets home from his business trip…he will like it, too. Our computers have become to addictive.

  71. love2eatinpa says:

    thanks so much for sharing this with us. i agree with you and i know i need to be more present with my kids, as they are only kids once.
    i don’t want them to think of me as always sitting at my laptop in the kitchen. (i work out of my home, so while yes, i do a lot of blogging (my therapy!!) i’m also doing my job.)
    it is so hard to walk away though. i feel like if i don’t look at it/do it now, then more will be piled on tomorrow and then i’ll be totally overwhelmed with what i need/want to do.
    this is so hard!

  72. Renee says:

    It sounds great but ah, I can’t sign on. I usually do a mostly tech free Saturday but not really. I am so plugged in. Hmm, I wonder if I should experiment and pull back just a few hours at a time.

  73. FatFighterTV says:

    I might try with one night to start. :) But I think this is a fantastic idea! I deliberately do not have my emails go to my iPhone for this reason, although I was just looking into doing that tonight. After reading this, maybe I will wait…

  74. Michelle@Eatingjourney says:

    I think this is really important to highlight..cause I can tell you that I check my iphone throughout my lectures, I am on the computer ALL the time. It’ like my little hit of validation. My escape. (unplugging) cause damn it..I want to be an amazing nurse. I want to run. I want to be more than EJ. Although they’re part of who I am..they’re not all who I am. ALthough, I think that many times they feel like they are the only ways that I identify with others and myself

    Thanks for this.

  75. Nikki says:

    This is such a great idea. I think we will try for one night a week at first. It’s just me and my hubby, but most nights we spend with the TV on in the background and our laptops on our laps. That would be a great habit to break. And I’m sure the dogs would love some extra play time in the evening! Thanks Mizfit!

  76. Thea @ I'm a Drama Mama says:

    I’m trying to cut more computer out of my day, too. You don’t realize how much of a blackhole it is until you step away for a day or two!

  77. Alicia says:

    Great post! I highly support your idea. I really want to do this too.

  78. forex robot says:

    What a great resource!

  79. Shannon says:

    i REALLY need to try and do this. it’s like i feel guilty for not catching up with everyone, commenting when i want, but really? i should not feel guilty! yes, i love everyone i’ve “met”, but it shouldn’t keep me up at night to have too much to read in my google reader ;) just click “mark all as read” and actually do my PT like a good girl… or go for a walk outside… ~sigh~

  80. Dawn says:

    We did this every Wednesday for 2 full school years. We totally fell off the wagon this year. My son said to his granny last week he wished we’d have game night again (thats what we called it because we would play all kinds of board games). Anyway, I think we will get back to this starting next week. Might pick Monday though. Thanks for the idea.

  81. maria bailey says:

    Can you please let me know which nights are off limits so I can schedule my tweet appropriately?

    It’s also important to remember that there are many offline times you should be present with your children- dinner table, when you are washing the dishes but they need to tell you the most important story in the world or when they are acting out to get your attention.

  82. Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42 says:

    Good for you! I unplugged for almost 2 weeks now. It’s been nice.

    The only iTouch in the bedroom should be: I touch, you touch.

    Hope it’s going well for you! :)

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