Fruits of Disconnection

I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need to disconnect. To unplug. To step away.  Emails, texts, phone calls, voice mails, faxes, Mail, deliveries, neighbors and friends; you name it, sometimes it’s just too much.

As connected as we are (you’re reading my words via the internet and an electronic device, right?)  there are days when I just pull the plug.  Sometimes, as much as I enjoy taking it all in, I take in too much, and others’ problems and energies overwhelm mine.

I’ve cultivated a few strategies and these include:

  • Take a trip  … to nowhere-ville.  Shut the door, close the blinds, turn off the

    Frankie hangs out in nowhere-ville, too

    TV, radio, stereo and phones.  I cozy up in my favorite spot, burrow under a soft throw, and stay still.  I don’t speak, I don’t watch, I don’t engage.  I just enjoy my little slice of nowhere.  It takes practice because I’m a multi-tasker and always have a to-do list rolling through my head, but practice brings ability.

  • Hide.  This one I save for company trips; after a day of meetings and ideas and business dinners, when others head for the bar, I head for my room.  I bolt the door, draw a bath, pull back the sheets and luxuriate in all that space …just for me.  I enjoy my book and a snack brought from home. I slip my tired, clean self into the middle of that big ole bed and dream the dreams of the rested.  I get up refreshed and ready for the next day’s meetings or travel.  And I smile tenderly into the bleary eyes of the over-served.
  • Assess relationship ROI(return on investment).  Sometimes you’ve got to divest yourself of relationships that wear you out or just don’t return the investment you’ve made.  You might need a hand scraper and you might need

    so effective, so satisfying

    some Lysol, because my experience has taught me the toxic ones will try and to pull you with them when they leave.  You might encounter tempers and hurtful words but you can do it; you must do it, for your own well-being.

  • Be careful who you fill your friendship cupboard with.  When you’ve made room in there, take a little time to think about who has the right to occupy it.  You might be tempted to reach out and fill the void right away.  Don’t. Be choosier this time.  Pay attention to signals you might have missed in the past.  The friend who seemed just a little too eagerto be mine. The super competitive/ultra ambitious friend who’s made me

    No need to fill your friendship cupboard right away; image andorra.ok.uk

    think “what ever do they see in me?” The friend who only called when they needed something but have never asked if I do.  Pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention.

  • Reflect – and say out loud – what’s good in your life?  What’s working? What makes your heart sing?  What makes you smile?  For me, it’s the little things and here’s just an example: I am quite sure I look a bit crazy driving down the beltway smiling and singing but having a great sound system with good music thumping makes me happy to be driving.  Every time.

Every time I make a point to stop – to step away, get still and clear the clutter –  I discover just what I’m thankful for. And always, I find there’s more than I realized.

Do you make it a point to disconnect?  And what do you find when you do?

Categories: Growth, Life, News, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Fruits of Disconnection

  1. Pingback: The Frustration of Blogging…Epilogue | Wordsmith's Desk

  2. I love this post, MJ. I try to do similar things. For me nowhere-ville is in my bed, snuggled down with a book–lost in story-ville.

    You are wise, my friend. Very wise!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

  3. Great post. Thanks for reminding us that it’s a choice we are making, and we do have control over how busy our lives are.

    • Absolutely – we all have a choice. I find that disconnecting is one of the kindest things I can do for myself.
      Thanks for stoppin’ by 🙂
      MJ

  4. Thought provoking and wise! Needed words for this mom of three little girls 🙂

    • I’m sure there are times when you might think that the time is impossible to find .. but I’ve learned it’s not. While I don’t have little ones at home anymore, I still have a teenager who needs my attention and that’s fine. So I let the calls go to voice mail and look through the bills later … Cheers! MJ

  5. Probably the single most difficult thing for me to do is disconnect … from anything, from everything. My mind is like a ticker-tape, constantly churning. Very good post, and yet another thing for me to ponder! 🙂

    • It can be hard to turn off the “habit” but I’ve learned that practice makes it do-able. Sometimes we just get so used to always being on the go or available that, in the quiet, we’re not sure what to do. And that’s the point: do nothing .. even if just for a little while, MJ

  6. Disconnecting is wonderful. And yes, it takes practice. I’m finding my computer time is lessening on the weekends. At first, it made me uncomfortable, but lately – lately, I enjoy the thought of saving the blog reading for Sunday night or on a quiet Monday morning.

    My boss uses the term ‘rocks in backpacks’. “You don’t have to put that rock in your backpack. That’s not your rock. Don’t carry it.” It reminds me of your cupboard of friends.

    • I love that term about the rocks – makes me think of Stephen Covey’s,
      “The 7 habits of highly effective people,” a class I took about 20 years ago…. He also has a saying about “sharpening your saw” – meaning if you don’t do what you need to re-charge yourself, do you really think someone else is going to do it for you … i.e. sharpen your saw for you? Great stuff.

      That cupboard has been rather decimated of late. I’m resisting the urge to refill it straight away.

      Cheers LD!
      MJ

  7. All terrific images, and timely ones. I need to step back. Just as soon as I post my latest …

  8. Dropped by from LeRoy’s link. Good things to consider…

  9. This is really one of my goals for this year — to keep my time “on the grid” compartmentalized such that I’m not ALWAYS available and ALWAYS looking for input.

    I think it’s very healthy to turn off and disappear for a little while. Read, walk, play music.

    I also agree that we should all be better about shedding relationships that drag us down. The Beloved calls them “crazy-making people” and we don’t need them in our lives.

    • Yes, yes and yes. I love my books and music and sometimes I even just love to linger in the stillness.

      Lysoling the relationship cupboard is scary b/c sometimes we find there’s not much left in there … just dust and cobwebs. You’re beloved sounds pretty smart to me 🙂

      MJ

  10. I certainly agree about steering clear of the bars. Neither Motor Man nor I drink, so this is an easy one for us!

    • Understand; I will have a drink at the dinner, if I feel like it. But I don’t generally do anything more at a business setting, that’s for sure. I’ve heard of too many hair-curling stories that were fodder for office gossip later. Not. Happening.

      Thought of you today, Dianna…
      MJ

      • Thanks, MJ,
        The surgery went well, and she was actually doing very well afterward. Long, rough road ahead though. I do appreciate your thoughts SO much!

      • Really thankful it went well and that she was holding up ok afterwards; you’re in my thoughts. Thank you for the update, Dianna, MJ

  11. I can relate to the second bullet. Going on a business trip is “me” time after the workday away from the carousing. I like how you phrased it…so matter of factly and sensibly. My hotel bed is usually lovely, and I get a good night’s sleep…nice to wake up refreshed.

    • … Unless there’s something wrong with the room, generally speaking it’s my little respite away from the company-speak etc. It’s so nice to wake up feeling good and head into meetings looking like it, too!!
      MJ

  12. Wonderful! It’s so very hard, sometimes, to simply step back and say, “Enough.” I especially like your last method…LOVE thumping music :D…though I find what works best for me is one of two things: a walk in the woods by myself with God or praising Him in the quiet of the early morning when the house is still. Bless you for sharing MJ.

    • I hear you on that, Guy. Quiet times in the morning, before my guys are up milling around, are when I feel closest to Him. And then I turn on my Elvis Gospel music and dance around 🙂
      Thanks for visiting,
      MJ

  13. I read “pray attention” and it certainly fit. I’m definitely with you on some disconnecting. Lately its so I can do more reading and get back to the easel. peace to you MJ!

    • Yes – making room, clearing out the clutter, lets us get back to what’s really meaningful. Thank you for visiting and have fun with the easel! 🙂 MJ

  14. I don’t know if I ever do disconnect, unless sleeping counts. I crave being connected and am really not good at doing nothing. I can see there are benefits though. You’ve got some great ideas on how to recharge your batteries.

    • Sleeping definitely counts … and not all of us require the same amount of stepping away. I tend to find connections; the problem is that sometimes I need to untangle myself, even if just for a litle while, so that I don’t let them start telling me what the priorities are instead of the other way around.

      Cheers for your day!
      MJ

  15. Pearls of Wisdom…being still and quiet is an absolute necessaity in life! Now I just need to schedule that on my calendar and make it happen.

  16. Too much mental stimulation often steers me toward a ‘down’ day. I like to just putter around the house with as little noise as possible, watering the plants, dusting the shelves, ironing. It’s an absolute must after an extended vacation or being around ‘intense’ or ‘toxic’ people. Need to weed a few of those completely out I suppose. Enjoy your coffee – a favorite of mine as well.

    • That sounds like really good and cheap therapy, Renee. Just doing something mundane can help distance ourselves from all those angst-driven thoughts. I know there are some who will have to remain but I’ve learned to lessen how much I engage in their antics.

      Enjoying my coffee right now! 🙂 MJ

  17. Great post! I do alot of those things, especially the business trip one and it does wonders for ME. 🙂

    • Love the business trip “escape!” I don’t travel much for work but when I do, I enjoy having the room all to myself.

      Thanks for poppin’ in,
      MJ

  18. This is so true! I rarely watch TV anymore because I spend so much time writing, reading blogs, working, etc. But I love my weekend evenings because I just tune out and watch an old movie or stuff on the DVR. I feel refreshed afterwards.

  19. Pingback: The story continues | Emjayandthem's Blog

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