“The decisions you make are a choice of values that reflect your life in every way.”
— Alice Waters
On Tuesday night around 8PM I checked the mail for the last time. I wanted to chill and have “Back to the Future”-day free to just hang and have fun.
This meant no mail, no Facebook, no Twitter, no nothing. I automated a few things the day before and of course I glanced at a few Facebook posts & Tweets during bathroom breaks. I mean, c’mon.
I did however not check my mail because I knew the likelihood of getting hooked was too great. “Just hang on, I’ve got to reply to this… And this… Ooh, and THIS!”
We had a blast! Watched the 2 first “Back to the Future” movies and had the obligatory discussions about the past, present and future.
So when I woke up and checked to see my mailbox it contained +100 mails. Granted, most of it didn’t require any special attention, things I could get to later.
There were however a few interesting things there. Now, had it been the day before it perhaps would’ve been fine. But there were things from Tuesday evening & night that felt a little too late to handle.
I still replied to them and felt bad for not remembering to enable an auto-reply.
Lesson learned for next time.
Then I got to thinking about the fact that had this been just a couple of years ago I would’ve been terribly, terribly disappointed in myself. Feeling like I’ve missed several fun opportunities.
Both of myself and the fact that I don’t have the time to do everything I’d like to do. Mainly because of how I choose to prioritize my life.
Sure, I could’ve chosen to keep an eye on my mail and social media while trying to have a semi-free day.
However, both would’ve suffered. I wouldn’t have been so immersed in hanging out nor would I have done much good giving stressed, forced and half-assed replies.
Some people find ways of juggling these things. For me, if I want to really be with the people I love I need to check out completely. Same goes for work. I have to put my phone on vibrate or completely turn it off if I don’t want to be distracted.
Hell, I can’t even listen to music with lyrics while I’m working without getting distracted.
To be perfectly honest? Yes, I did look at my phone a couple of times while writing this. But it was on purpose, I was expecting a message.
Also, it was a conscious choice.
That’s the secret I think. To be willing to make a choice and live with the consequences.
I might’ve missed some opportunities but I would’ve missed something far more immediate and important if I hadn’t checked out. Being fully present with people I love.
Have you been able to find a good balance for yourself? Do you feel more comfortable being available and “on” all the time? Have you agreed on that policy with people close to you? Please share your experiences, I’d love to know!
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!