This week’s #DigitalDetox challenge was to meditate for 30 minutes. I tried… I honestly tried, but every time I thought about getting in the meditation challenge, there would be another distraction.
First, it would be the cat, who I swear had been given an energy pill and let loose on a sleeping household. Then it was the hubby, quickly followed by the son being evicted from his bedroom by the hubby working from home. And come the afternoon, it was the daughter and her online dance classes.
Yeah, it turns out that online dance classes (conducted over Zoom) are a thing. And there’s only so much concentration that one can get while listening to fast jazz music while the teacher is shouting out the names of dance moves in French. (I so hope that none of that actually went into the client’s manuscript I was editing at the time.)
When I tried to piece it all together, there just wasn’t a nice window of opportunity. But I suppose that was this week’s lesson.
I’m at the end of the third week of my #DigitalDetox challenge adventure… and talk about adventures. Things got totally derailed in ways that were expected, just not this soon. And it made doing the little challenges within my little #DigitalDetox coloring book all the more important. Because it gave me time to breathe!
So… This week, not only was I attempting to finish last week’s challenge of writing someone a letter, but I had this week’s challenge of spend 30 minutes looking at the clouds. AND my home country of New Zealand decided to go into Level 4 Lockdown in the middle of all of this, thrusting two teenagers into home learning situations again.
Yeah… Life is always filled with unexpected turns.
So… Here’s how the week went.
So… It turns out that not only am I obsessed with minimizing the influence that social media and the internet have on my daily life, but I’m also incredibly busy that I forget to take just a few short minutes to do the simple things.
This week’s #DigitalDetox challenge was to write someone a letter. You would think that for a writer, this one would be simple. But the truth was a bitter pill to take.
I had colored in the picture for the challenge, and… Yeah… Um… That is sort of where it ended. I had allowed my busy schedule and my interactions with others to take over, and when it came time to recharge… Well… I binge watched Friends on Netflix.
So, there were a few lessons to learn from this week’s experience.
I’ll admit it: I’m a little obsessed with my over usage of social media and the internet in general. It goes beyond a need to understand everything regarding security on the internet. It’s mainly because I know how much of a time suck that social media can be.
And my obsession isn’t just because of myself alone. I see within my husband and children how technology (namely the games and Netflix) are designed to be additive. And when I see my family struggling to get enough sleep because of the addictive nature of devices, I’m going to take active steps to try to do something out it.
I have tried multiple times to put the family on Device-Free days, only for the idea to fail abysmally. And in all my attempts, there is one thing that I have learned: I can’t control the actions of the other adults (and even though my youngest is 16 years old, she’s effectively an adult). BUT, I can make other adults feel guilty when they see the results of the minimal device usage life.
For that to have the impact I want it to have, I need to get my own dependance on devices and the internet under control.
To that end, I have started a #DigitalDetox challenge.
For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to understand who I am and what I’m good at. And I’ve always tried to learn more about the things that interest me so I can be good at those things. My pursuit of knowledge was just one of the things that made me me. So much so that my mother called me her professional student when I had enrolled for a PhD.
The word overachiever is no doubt blinking in spiritual neon lights above my head. And I was obsessed with getting straight A. Totally obsessed. I was the kid who wasn’t allowed to do homework when I got home from school. Nope, I had to go out and play first. And come a certain time at night, those school books were taken away from me. I wasn’t allowed to study anymore.
My husband is constantly reminding me of how I would totally freak out before a university exam, stressing about this formula or that, only to walk out of the exam with top marks. (We were in the same graduating class for engineering. That was how we met.)
But my obsession with learning and striving for the best I can achieve is not something that I like doing by myself. I prefer it when I’m able to encourage others to join me on my journey—and sometimes, I drag people along kicking and screaming.
But I have another talent that I have exploited my adult life in every job that I’ve ever had. I have this innate ability to explain complex ideas in a way that everyone can understand. It’s something that comes from my days in university, when my mother would be the sounding board I needed to wrap my head around some of the more complex physics concepts. If I could explain it to her, then I understood it. And when I was stuck, she would often say something completely bizarre that would unlock the thing that was confusing me.
I say this all jokingly because I know exactly who I am. I know my little quirks and my family love me for them. So, when I decided to take a CliftonStrengths® test, I laughed at when I saw what my top five strengths were:
But perhaps I should take a step back and explain what all of that means.
Within my writing circles, discussions about pen names have come up frequently of late. I guess it’s because many of my writing buddies are turning their attention to self-publishing, and many of them have one reason or another to not want to use their real name.
In fact, if I think about it—I mean really think about it—none of my writing buddies publish under their real names. For one writer, it’s because she wants to separate her publishing from her real life (so her students can’t find her online). Another wants to protect her children from what could become negative backlash if other parents work out the connection between the two names. For another, it’s because she wants to separate her fiction from her nonfiction. And for another, it’s because their day job would be at risk if their employer ever worked out the truth about the nature of their fictional writing.
Regardless of the reason, it’s always interesting to see how others come to the conclusion about what name they want to publish under.
And for me… I laughed at myself when I discovered that I had made the decision about my pen name back when I was just starting high school.