Last Thursday, a tree fell on the road near our home, depriving nine hundred residents of internet, cable and phone for two nights and three days. During this involuntary fast from technology, the kids discovered they had loads more time to do their homework, to shower up, to play board games, read stories and even get to bed on time. Two days of smooth scheduling, full nights of sleep, and unrushed evenings — and I regretted getting the text message from our internet provider, “Service has been restored.”
I felt “family had been restored” during the restoration. Kids, being kids, immediately pounced on their kindles, DS’s, computers and Wii games. They had to make up for lost time.
But I noticed, they put them down after a time, and found each other, and played a game of dinosaur tag, with the youngest boy wearing his Halloween mask and stomping around the house after them.
I’d been working on a piece about Sunday needing to be a Slow Day, about willingly putting aside technology and letting ourselves discover how to spend time together, rather than merely sharing the same room and being engaged only in parallel play. The Wall Street Journal had a piece about the epidemic of loneliness, born of being both more connected and isolated at the same time. The Small Success of this week was discovering time without internet, cable, and phone meant time with each other and lots more of it.
I’m coming to the conclusion that families and society in general need to be deliberately kind, deliberately present, deliberately willing to be inefficient with our time with each other. The Small Success of this week was rediscovering not only is it possible, it’s healthy and necessary if we’re to really be present to each other.
Going without (albeit by an act of God), made it easier. Now that we’ve experienced it, I’ll let you know how the tech free Sunday goes. Happy Small Success Thursday.
What small successes are you celebrating this week?
Copyright 2018 Sherry Antonetti