I Had To Digitally Disconnect

Life’s conveniences can make things so complicated.

The opposite can also be said. Things that seem so inconvenient can help you recognize true simplicity.

For example, Internet in the rural mountains of Costa Rica is very rare. If an Internet provider is located, the speed is not as fast as the metro (or even beach) areas.

The highest we were able to get was 10 mbps. And with it being satellite, bad weather conditions always tripped us up.

Yet, I remember when we first arrived at our new home. Our only telecommunication device was a landline phone. In order to get any “work” done requiring Internet, we would go to restaurants with wireless capability.

Entertainment was a downloaded movie. (That had to be downloaded in another location.)

I can’t recall which came first, but we eventually subscribed to satellite television and wired Internet. Somehow, we managed to get a router to go wireless.

Then, things began to get conveniently complicated.

Instead of planning ahead to be somewhere, we were connected with the rest of the attention-span-challenged world. Many things were done at the last minute. At the same time, we were able to handle business activities at a minute’s notice.

I was able to be a virtual assistant, an English teacher, and a music professor. All from the comfort of my own home.

One day, at the verge of complete exhaustion, I decided to find a way to increase my productivity.

What I discovered was that I was not disconnecting. I wasn’t taking the time to refresh myself. There was no self-nurture involved in my life.

The conveniences of life were about to leave me fried.

And I was teaching the concepts of constant connection to my kids. Honestly, I recall one day we were all enjoying a different Netflix movie on 3 separate mobile devices. No family movie night. No family meetings.

It seriously took an online productivity course to remind me to disconnect and refresh…

…while living in a remote tropical paradise!

It’s not a simple concept, though. Most humans have an innate desire to connect with another human. A virtual connection is quick and usually requires less commitment. Add social media and live streaming. We lead most of our lives attached to some type of digital device.

Fast forward to ten years. We have high-speed Internet. At least, as good as we can get via satellite. But, the service was down for a few days while the company switches to fiber optics and higher megabytes.

I find myself planning ahead a little more. Knowing that I may not be able to pay bills (or workers) in the middle of the night or early morning.

I’m unable to quickly look up a last minute recipe. So, I need to make sure meal planning is done for a week.

I am planning our homeschool and housekeeping and grocery shopping using pencil and paper instead of digitally creating schedules and lists.

Our most recent product reviews were digital downloads. I am grateful for that. They could still be accessed whenever an Internet issue arose.

Although I was not looking forward to the number of messages I eventually received, I enjoyed being forced to disconnect after a harried February.

I got the opportunity to enjoy my kids, their grandparents, their aunt, and some new friends.

Disconnecting from the convenience of the Internet helped remind me of the human connections I have.

When you feel run down and exhausted, how do you refresh yourself? Do you need to digitally disconnect?

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