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What 31 days of LifeUnplugged taught me: Part 1

 

Dear www,

 

It has been a little while.  Maybe even a whole 2 months.  My fingers are TWITCHING with delight to share the Official Utah Sessions.  It was a glorious summer!  Those sessions are coming up soon, but first….

I made the BIG decision.  The decision to escape Facebook, Netflix, my text messages, and on occasion, my Gmail account. I had to be realistic, friends.   So, Little M and I packed our bags for Utah, swimsuits in tow (Yes, I live in Arizona, and YES it is too hot to swim right now and YES that is possible), and we started LifeUnplugged.

I had a few simple rules:

Rule #1:  No Facebook.  Zero. Nadda. (Ok, I touched base with ONE fabulous client through facebook…confession)

Rule #2: No phone time or texting if someone else was in the room with me.

and finally….

Rule #3:  Gmail could be checked once per day, for 20 minutes, and once that time ended, ALL emails had to wait until tomorrow.

 

(Yeah….that’s how I felt about it at first, too.)  (P.S.  no clue who this guy is…)

31 Days of those rules….changed me.  With those 3 simple steps, I learned 4 simple things.   Since I hope to drag you along for my ah-ha-Oprah-moment it’s all about Part 1 today, you get the :)  And yes, it is sort of like Oprah, because I like giving things away.  Keep reading, friends. Now, back to wisdom…

#1:  Most things can wait, and Most THINGS can wait.  

As urgent or important as I may think some things are in my life, they simply aren’t as daunting as I let them be.

As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all. — Dallin H. Oaks

I found myselfconsumed – in a spectacular way! – with things that were ‘Best’ and most nourishing for my soul.  

The choice of:

Taking Macy to the park (good)

vs.

Bringing one of Macy’s friends along (better)

vs. Getting off my duff and playing with her at the park (BEST!)

was so clear!  

Even better, I wasn’t having my usual slew of ‘Just a minute, Macy’ moments in my day.  Instead, I was engaged, present, and fulfilled .  Chuck full of good ol’ fashioned joy.  

 I found total JOY in spending my 31 days doing the Best things.   Like This:  

 

(Little Miss M helping me enjoy the BEST in life.  Sweet little Chick-a-dee!)

If you feel like you are chuckling inside saying, ‘Wow, Sarah Grace, congrats on finally figuring out that JOY comes from being present in the best things.  Good for you…” then let me speak to your money money money side.  

During LifeUplugged, I spent less.  Like, LESS MONEY.  Like, less money per month than I spent the previous 12 months.  There is something profound about ‘out of sight, out of mind.’  I wasn’t waking up to 30+ Groupon/Target/PlumDistrict/Etc.. emails taunting me with the next ‘Must-Haves’.  I wasn’t surfing amazon.com on the iPad making my wishlist reach 77 (you think I’m kidding….).  I was spending less because I was seeing less THINGS.  I was spending less because I was present in living a full life.  

If I lost you there over the past 2 sentences, here’s the  moral of this story:  More $$ staying in your wallet? Yes, please!  LifeUnplugged.  So there you have it.  

#1:  Most things can wait, and Most THINGS can wait.  

Part 2, coming Monday.  

 

 

 

So, let’s chat.  What would be your first RULE if you went LifeUnplugged?  

Share.Your Rule HERE on Facebook  and cross your fingers to win a special prize.  (Gift….cough..cough….Card….cough…Amazon…cough)

 

 

 

 

 

  • September 7, 2012 - 4:26 pm

    Emily Shill - LOVE your pic of Macy… the lighting is so good! And your life unplugged idea is wonderful! I have been bothered so many times by the reality that the age of technology is taking over our lives and being connected ironically seems to disconnect us from the people closest to us. I totally agree that the more disconnected we are the more engaged we are… So your post inspired me to re-evaluate again! Thanks! On a seperate note, I have been amazed at how getting rid of our cell phones has actually seemed more like a blessing than an inconvenience in a lot of ways… you are an inspiriation!! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • September 13, 2012 - 11:05 pm

      Sarah Grace - Love your thoughts, Em. You’re a priceless friend, because you always encourage me to be better. HUGE high-fives on getting rid of the cell phones. You’re going to be the one with all the perspective soon!ReplyCancel

  • September 8, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Nikki - Love the post! I totally agree– life kind get seriously filled with good things, but there are better and BEST things that we could be doing. I’m a big Pinterest girl, and I could surf that site for DAYS if I wanted. My Life Unplugged rule is that I only get to look at Pinterest ONCE a day– and only when the boys are napping. That way it doesn’t interfere with my time with them, and I can just implement the gems I find WITH them later! Love your work, love your Oprah moments, and sure love you!!ReplyCancel

  • September 8, 2012 - 3:09 am

    Sarah Grace - Nikki!

    You are stellar at Pinterest because you actually ACT upon your Pinterest finds. :) I think your RULE idea is fabulous. That nap time can be so precious – but why not fill it with some sweet Pinterest finds! Cheering you on, woman! :)ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2012 - 8:40 pm

    Leah Remillet - Sarah Grace… I LOVE this post. Love, love love it!! I am planning to do the exact same thing next year. Taking the kids back to Hawaii, where two of them were born.

    It’s really funny how people can become offended when we allow ourselves to become unaccessible. Since Friday, I never touched my cell phone, iPad, laptop any of it…

    It was wonderful. I was 100% there to just enjoy all of my family, for a weekend on the beach celebrating my little sister (and best friend) getting married).

    I only just jumped into make sure tomorrow’s post was scheduled and saw your comment and it was the PERFECT comment and post to read to confirm how powerful what we are doing is.

    I love that you quoted the good, better, best talk… I have gone back to that one OVER AND OVER AND OVER. It’s my constant reminder to look for the best!

    I want to read part 2… Will you email me when it goes live so I don’t forget?ReplyCancel

    • September 13, 2012 - 11:10 pm

      Sarah Grace - Leah…Lee-Uh…LEE-UH Remillet! That is me choking over your name, because I am gushing that you posted on my blog. I’ve been an adoring fan for a long long time. :) I have a teeny tiny bit of envy that you got to go wireless for a weekend, and how fun to just chill at a wedding! (Wait, your best friend married your best friend? OR your sister IS your best friend? I snuck onto your recent THRIVE replay and honey, we are soul sisters for loving that good, better, best talk. It is my bible. You are simply inspiring, and thank you for reaching out. I’m doing the happy dance to see your name on my blog. :) Love you to bits!ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2012 - 8:57 am

    What 31 days of LifeUnplugged Taught me: Part 2 of 4 » Sarah Grace Photography - […] Nor sure what’s going on?  Read Part 1 of my 31 day days of LifeUnplugged here.   […]ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Gemma D - When my daughter was born ( 2 years ago) I made a promise to myself that I wanted to be fully present with her as much as I could. This for me has meant no internet use, tv, or texting when she is with me. What I have found is we engage more and I am more free to notice and follow her interests and leads.
    My husband has not followed me on this journey and boy do I get frustrated with him, I don’t know what DD thinks. I find he does not listen as much and DD has to fight for his attention. I hope he will see what is happening before she stops bothering to interact with him.ReplyCancel

    • September 13, 2012 - 11:23 pm

      Sarah Grace - Gemma,
      That is one lucky girl. What a beautiful promise to make to her. To be Present. I applaud you for keeping your rules to be with her! It can be a struggle if we feel like others aren’t as on board with our hopes, but it is remarkable that you are holding strong – knowing it is important! You can do it, Gemma!!ReplyCancel

  • September 12, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    Amanda G - My first rule would be no book related websites (library, goodreads, amazon, etc.) I get caught up in the books and start to neglect most of my responsibilities. I spend more time on these than I do on me email, pinterest, or facebook put together… I know, I’m weird.ReplyCancel

    • September 13, 2012 - 11:25 pm

      Sarah Grace - Amazing that we all have such different temptations. ::Fist Pumps:: to you for finding a way being less plugged in.ReplyCancel

  • September 13, 2012 - 6:48 am

    What 31 days of LifeUnplugged Taught Me: Part 3 of 4 » Sarah Grace Photography - […] is Part 1 and Part 2?  Part 1 is HERE.  Part 2 is […]ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2012 - 8:11 am
  • September 17, 2012 - 7:46 pm

    Michelle - My first rule would be to check my gmail once and facebook never. Facebook, like blogs, wraps things up nicely and people (myself included) tend to only post the best pictures and news. It is unrealistic and I get caught up. With three boys, it gives me more time for them and more time for me.ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2012 - 12:46 am

    Susan - I took special interest in your rule which states: “No phone time or texting if someone else was in the room with me.” This wise, self-imposed rule is key to understanding how a small hand-held innocent-looking gadget can cause a person to be rude, self-absorbed, annoying and inconsiderate. We’ve all seen it in restaurants, at ball games, in doctor’s offices and concerts. You see a couple out on a Friday night date, for example. How sad it is to see the wife sitting quietly, and sadly, while her husband is staring at his “electronic device.” While his wife is starved for his attention, he is a) checking the New York stock report b) checking in on the score of a Jazz game, or c) searching the weather report to see what the current temperature is in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Who knows why?
    We can do better! Let’s turn that device off, stuff it in a drawer somewhere, and talk to each other!ReplyCancel

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