Hello friends, and thanks for stopping by for our weekly coffee chat. I apologize for being late but since I have been off of work my sleep schedule has been completely disrupted. I find myself going to bed around midnight or later and waking up angry because I have lost hours of the day to sleeping in.
It’s funny that the older I get the more I understand why my grandparents insisted that getting up earlier was always better. You really do get more out of your day that way.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that our New Year’s celebration was a quiet one this year. We spent it at home, just the two of us, doing our favorite things: Eating, drinking, snuggling up on the couch, and binge watching tv shows on Netflix.
For us, New Year’s is a special time. Just after midnight on our first New Years together, 13 long years ago, was the first time we said the words “I love you”. Ever since then we start every year off the same way, with a kiss and a reminder that we love each other just as much, if not more, than we did all those years ago, and a promise to continue to do so for another year to come.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that New Year’s day was a tough one. It was the first day of the 30-day minimalism challenge I am doing and the assignment was to stay offline. I did it, mostly, and it turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
One thing I did realize is it is hard to define what is “online” and what isn’t. Obviously scrolling Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr were out of the question, but what about just checking notifications? What about playing games? What about streaming music? What about watching Netflix or Hulu on the TV?
I decided that using my phone for anything more than texts or phone calls was out of the question and spent most of the day reading with my phone and iPad in another room to avoid temptations. The TV was fine though since my girlfriend wasn’t participating in the challenge and I didn’t want to have to sit in another room by myself all day. I also made allowances for educational things I do daily like Duolingo and Codecademy.
The exercise taught me a few things. For one, no I will not die if I do not check my phone every five minutes. There is no notification that can’t wait. I also learned that not being online for a day kind of sucks when you have to catch up on emails and comments the next day. I learned that I do not see the value of staying offline for an entire day but I do see the value of taking some time to step away from the internet more often.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am really dreading going back to work this week. Working for a school district and having all this time off sounds nice, but it’s so hard to get back on schedule afterward. I mean, after doing what you want all day for almost 2 weeks, it’s really hard to get up early, go out into the cold, to go back to a place that you don’t like all that much, to do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to do. Ugh!
Actually, it isn’t all that bad, but my vacation brain is trying to convince me that I don’t actually need a job at all.
Luckily this year I have learned to prepare for these feelings and I have been taking an extra day off the Friday after a break. I figure this way I can ease back into a 5-day work week and not get too upset or overwhelmed by the real world’s expectations. That means I get a 3-day weekend this week, woot woot!
If we were having coffee I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying this chat I had better get going. Since waking up late I am behind on the housework and I am visiting with family later on this afternoon so I’ll need to start getting ready for that.
I hope you all had a nice New Year’s celebration and you’re having a great 2016 so far. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments please, I’d love to hear from you :)
Featured image via Nishanth Jois