Leave the phone at home

I know, I know! It’s the craziest idea ever. Read on.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a Facebook Live about the power of being disconnected from your phone, and connected with life’s magically mundane moments instead!

It’d been a day of errands, deadlines, texts and schedules. Timeouts, cleaning up, loading the dryer and homework.

You know. The usual.

Emptying the dishwasher. Taking pictures of the kids. Texting a friend about a schedule conflict. Checking my email for those documents we’d been waiting on.

It was totally non-stop, in all the usual ways.

And the entire day, in my hand or pocket, was my phone. I’d been on it constantly as I tackled all the tasks of the day.

By 4pm, my eyes were sore. I don’t even know if that’s the right word for it, but you know when you can tell you’ve been looking at a screen for too long? Yep, that feeling.

I just wanted to relax my eyes and look at real life. Not a glowing white screen.

“Finishing up early. Want to go out to dinner as a family?” my husband texted from the office.

I hadn’t thawed anything or even thought about dinner yet.

“Yep!”

As I tied my daughter’s shoes, my heart paused on the anticipation of an evening of family time, away from the house.

I knew it’d be just the reset we needed. Lately, I’ve noticed that when we are out together, somehow it seems easier to connect. Maybe it’s because we’re all in the car together, or sitting at a table. Sadly, we’ve gotten away from eating together as a family at home.

As my husband loaded the other kids into the car, I picked up my daughter grabbed my phone off the counter. I was about to drop it in my purse.

And then I stopped.

‘Is there anything on this I can’t live without for the next 2 hours?’

The truth was, I wanted a break from the vibrating. I wanted a break from the distraction. I wanted a break from the red notifications.

‘There’s no reason I need to have my phone right now.’

And so, I left it at home (as I’ve done before).

The night was magical. In all the wonderfully normal ways.

On the way to the restaurant, my daughter squealed when she saw Christmas lights, dotting the night sky above the city park. And instead of saying ‘yeah uh huh’ as I squinted at a text from the front seat, my eyes rolled over the lights too. And I pondered how small we are in such a majestically vast universe.

At the restaurant, my boys darted to a Christmas tree that was set up next to the hostess stand. And instead of yelling at them to come back, I entered their world and scurried over too, kneeling at their eye level to take in the magnitude of this great tree and all its different colored lights. And suddenly, I was my 5-year-old self sitting on the frayed, gray carpeting of my family’s living room, dreaming of what Santa would bring me this year.

When we sat at the table, I looked into my children’s eyes as they told stories about their day, a precious glimpse into their little kid world. And as my eyes scanned their faces, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this life we get to live together.

My daughter climbed on my lap.

Without thinking, my hand searched the table for my phone to take a selfie.

It wasn’t there.

But I was more ‘there’ than I’d been in a long time.

Stop being so busy you’re missing the good.

I dare you to try it. Leave the phone at home when you can. You’ll be amazed at the magic that follows.

Have you ever tried this, or do you think you could? Share your experiences in the comments on the Facebook page, or on Instagram. And don’t forget to sign up for the email list so you don’t miss a post!

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