Like many people, I consider my phone to be my third hand.
How else am I going to know what’s going on at all moments? How many people liked my last post? What if someone texts me and I don’t respond within 10 seconds?!
It’s been something that I realized, but wore like a badge of honor. If I’m always glued to my phone, that must mean I’m doing something important. It means that I’m in high demand. It means I’m working hard. It means I’m busy.
A couple weeks ago, Blake said something that got my mind racing. “You come home from work, and then, you are back on the phone still working.”
My first reaction? Um, I think you can all guess that. I was angry. I was appalled that he would think that I would be choosing someone else over him. I was emotional because here I am trying to work two full time jobs so we can have a little bit more money to put on a house.
In a flurry of hand waving and tears, I retreated to our room, trying to figure out what went wrong.
And then it hit me. Even though I was physically sitting right by him, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t present in the present. I was present in the white, blue and grey colors on my phone.
So, #40DaysPresent came to be.
Why 40 days? According to many religious, spiritual and yogic practices, 40 days is how long it takes to break negative habits, and embody new experiences.
Yesterday was my first day. I put a phone usage tracker on my phone, and was shocked that I spent 5.5 hours of my day on my phone. SHOCKED.
AND that was with me consciously trying to put it down and putting my phone on Do Not Disturb after 7:30PM.
What am I challenging myself to do for 40 days?
- Meditate every morning for 10 minutse
- Track my phone usage, and to be more cognizant of when and WHY I pick up my phone (using RealizD – free app, no they did not reach out to me. I found them on the app store)
- Turn my phone to Do Not Disturb at 7:30PM.
One of the biggest things I noticed yesterday, is that opening up Instagram & Facebook have just become a habit. So, going forward, I want to make sure I have a reason to open it – what am I hoping to accomplish/feel/find out by opening the app in that moment? Will it add to my present time experience, or will it take away from the present?
Being present in the present. That’s the ultimate goal. Every day is filled with 24 hours, and we don’t get those 24 hours back. We don’t get a moment to press “rewind”, and we definitley don’t get a “do-over”. For me, I want to savor every moment of my life – the good, bad and the ugly, and I don’t want to miss those beautiful moments because I’m tied to a back-lit screen.
You can follow along (or join me), by checking the hashtag #40DaysPresent, or my IG story (which will be LESS populated than it has been, but I will be on there)!