These are the times to create the memories for our kids. While they are still young and want to hang out with us, and think that we’re the smartest, the strongest, the biggest, the prettiest, really just the best ever. We choose the kind of memories to create for them, but we don’t choose what they remember. If we are always in front of a screen, be it a television, computer, or phone, and usually too busy, distracted or irritated to talk with or listen to them, we are creating memories for them. Will they remember that you were always really busy and trying to do things to further your own well-being or that of your family, or will they remember that you were usually unavailable to them?
If we power down the electronics, turn away from the screens and turn toward the warm cuddles, the insane ramblings and innocent sharing offerings, will they remember that you always had time for them, that they came first and were cherished by you or will they remember that you were a lazy fucker who didn’t work hard enough to make more money, and give them more ‘stuff’ to do while you were trying to check just one more thing online?
I know which type of memories I want my kids to take into their adult lives and I’m willing to risk them thinking that it was laziness rather than love that caused me to share that extra cuddle on the couch, play that game of Wonder Pets, or read that one more chapter at bedtime. I’m choosing to step out from behind my screen – be it my laptop, iPad or phone – and give more of myself, time and attention to my kids and helping them to have the kind of parents they deserve to have.
Oh, I’ll still blog, check email, read frivolous TMZ stories, check Facebook and my money-saving apps, but I’ll limit the number of times I do it in a day and the amount of time that I give it. If I really need to spend time on the computer, blogging, planning, budgeting or editing photographs, I’ll save it for the evenings, after my smalls are tucked away in their beds, dreaming of filling happiness buckets, demolishing shit, doing burn outs and all things Hello Kitty, Barbie, singing and dancing. Once they are deeply into their dream worlds, only then will I turn the screens back on and finish what I need to finish.
Our internet connection has been spotty this past week. We’ve figured out the problem starts and ends with our router. Which is no big deal, except there are about eleventy bazillion wireless routers on the market right now and figuring out the best/right/budget friendliest unit is proving to be a bastardly and drink-inducing task. I share this grievance (read: whine) only because the unexpected and rather pleasantly painless side effects of this forced internet hiatus have been plentiful. With intermittent internet access:
- I have gotten so much more ‘done’ around the house;
- I have spent so much more time just being with my smalls;
- I have been forced to take the time to think about my life and what it is that I want and how I’m going to get there;
- I have realized that checking certain sites more than once a day is a complete energy and time suck that I do not need to promote;
- I feel more positive, motivated and healthier when I spend less time online.
- I have ‘found’ the time to dip my toes back into other interests I never seem to have the time to pursue.
BUT, I do love me some (read: a lot of) internet, and it’s been a very long-term relationship (online @ home since 1996’ish?) so I’m not going to be hamster-shit crazy and cut my connection off completely. I need this virtual link to the outside world, I need to blog, read, research everything under the sun and check the Weather Network often (apparently I am reaching at OCD levels of dedication to the latter). And before you scoff allow me this: When I use the word NEED in this paragraph, I am acutely aware that if (when/tomorrow/whenever) the zombies storm Keswick and screw with the crazy voodoo that makes the internet rise every morning like the sun, that I will be just fine without my virtual connection to the world (I don’t get the greatest wireless signal while hiding under my bed anyway), but until that day, I frickin’ NEED it. Stop judging me.
So, my next task is to figure out how much time I NEED on the internet every day, how much time I SPEND on the internet every day, and finally how much internet time I can CUT and still get done what I need to do. And that is what I will be doing this month. I have a lot that I want to accomplish this year and in the coming years. I do not want to waste a moment of time doing things that a) have no value, either spiritual, emotional or monetary b) bring no joy to me or those around me c) break shit that I need to replace or d) cause me to miss out on the opportunities that present themselves every day to have adventures, big and small, alone and with people I love to share my time and space with.
So, I’m asking. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time? How do you get things done that you want to get done, things that you need to get done and things that just have to get done in order to keep body and soul together? And most importantly, does YOUR wi-fi work when you’re hiding under your bed?
P.S. I have so many blessings in my life that I could never fully do justice to them with my clumsy words peppered by highly inappropriate language I offer here, but I will tell you that having a tripod (Christmas present from Mr. K.B.) for my Rebel DSLR has increased my love of photography ten-fold (and I already loved it A LOT), and is helping me to conquer my fear of being photographed and for that I am happy, grateful and thankful. This is another positive step forward toward a more positive and optimistic existence. And I’m all for positivity. Just as long as I can still have a potty mouth, that is.