Disconnecting and Connecting

We’ve explained to a few people that we are taking this weekend off.

Off of what?

We are attempting to step out of the craziness and business of the world and just take a moment.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a “Sabbath”. It is generally seen as a day of rest or a time of worship…..but in doing a little reading on it…..and mind you, it was very little reading, so I’m not claiming any sort of real adherence to a true Sabbath….the idea of time away, time apart, a time of rest and disconnecting with the world and reconnecting with family and friends sounded amazing to me.

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We have tried this before, always with good intentions and typically called it an “electronic free” weekend. We have taken away ipods and phones, turned off computers and TV’s and even turned off lights and once night we just used candles for light.

I’ve had hopes of planning food so that making big meals wouldn’t be necessary and we could spend as little time “working” and as much time “resting” and “connecting with each other.”

This weekend we are taking a Sabbath, and me being on my computer is technically against our rules, but the 3 bigger kids are at Youth Group and Jon is out for beers with a friend and the two littles are sleeping. I wanted to record my thoughts and feelings about tonight because it moved me so.

I wandered around the house after the little boys fell asleep and started to light the candles that I had put in place earlier in the week. (We tried candle light one night earlier this week to see if we had enough candles to make it comfortable to “be” together and not so dark that we couldn’t play a game or talk.) It felt so calming, like I was mentally and emotionally and physically slowing down and “settling”. I lit some candles and turned out some lights. Picked up a few stray toys that were lying around. Lit a few more candles and turned out a few more lights….

It was a strange and yet wonderful sensation. Now I am sitting on the couch, the room glowing a soft yellow and the blue from my screen a harsh light almost screaming at me to turn it off and just “be.”

We are so “on the go” and I’m really looking forward to stepping out of “everything” and just being. I have our meals planned for Saturday and Sunday. Including things like Crockpot Porridge and Chicken Soup and a Chicken and Rice Casserole…..other things too that are easy and quick to throw together, like sandwiches or just meat and cheese and pickles and crackers.

The kids have had a week or so to process and the intital “FREAK OUT” about no electronics has turned into ideas of things we can do as a family. The intense emotional connection to the internet and social media has been replaced by this calm acceptance and a remembrance of the fun times of playing cards by candle light, from the last time we did this.

Even my own thoughts of being away from my phone and from social media have died down and I realize that nothing is going to change if I don’t look at my phone for two days. I’m not going to miss any thing major. I’m not really needed “on the web”….and yet, here I am blogging. HA!!!

I’m so excited to take this time out. To disconnect from the world and reconnect with my family. To unplug the electronics and plug-in with my family. I’m looking forward to just “being” with my family as opposed to trying to “be in a million places at once.”

We tried to do this once a month before and did about 3 half assed months before we stopped making it a priority. I do hope we can really make this a priority and for longer.

I’m not in a fantasy dream world where we are going to sit around playing board games and drinking hot tea and cocoa all day while having a sing along around the fire place after dinner….

I have 5 kids. 5 LOUD, CRAZY, ADHD, ANXIETY, AUTISTIC, PMSing, AMAZING, CREATIVE, FABULOUS, LOVING, EXUBERANT, MESSY and NOT AS HELPFUL AS I’D LIKE KIDS. It’s pretty much guaranteed that someone is going to meltdown (every hour) and yet….for us parents to not have to be fighting against the ipods and internet and TV and Minecraft…….it will be “different”.

You know, once they start to detox from their electronic addiction.

We actually bought a small safe to put the electronics in….so that way no one is tempted to sneak theirs out…..ha ha ha! Actually as goofy as that sounds, it totally helps Jeremy because he has a crazy attachment to his iPod and knowing exactly where it is, puts his mind at rest. He’s not wondering where we hid it, and how can he find it, and where should he look so he can “sneak” it back…it’s just in the safe and when the time is right, he gets it back. I wish we had thought of that sooner. Would have saved us a whole lot of grief and fighting.

Oh well, I’m going to sign off now. See you on Monday.

I hope your weekend is full of rest and peace and joy.

Shalom

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

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