Jul-IRL… Or July-“In Real Life”

regram from @simplifiedjackie

regram from @simplifiedjackie

I have a confession. Since I hit “publish” on my last post exalting the importance of tech-free time and self-care, I have not been following my own suggestions. In fact, I basically dove head first into the advice I suggested not following: skipping or shortening meditation; texting and driving; and over-planning and double-booking. It’s led to more stress, less sleep and an (ironic) feeling of disconnection.

I was struck by a friend’s Instagram post a few days ago, where she shared a simple shot of a small plant growing through the crack in a sidewalk with the beautiful caption: “when there’s space, there’s room to grow.” [Re-gram credit to @simplifiedjackie.] It made me see how much I crowd myself with updating, checking and connecting, which isn’t helping me to get any closer to a fulfilling city life. Perhaps it’s even distracting me from gazing into the haze of thoughts, feelings and fears that are settling over me as I return to routine. I’m cluttering myself and the moment.

Which is why I’m trying an experiment that I’ve noticed many of my friends have undertaken in the past few months. I’m calling mine Jul-IRL (or July-“In Real Life”), a little tech sabbatical (maybe for a week, maybe for the month) to re-root myself into the moment and into the serendipity of this city.

With that, I’ve taken the liberty of deleting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder and all of those amazing distracters from my iPhone. It feels overwhelming, but really, what am I anxious about? What am I afraid of missing? Or maybe, what am I afraid of seeing? My aim is to blog once a week and to reduce my email checking to times when I can really sit down and dedicate myself to read and write. Not just to click and gaze. And maybe, if I’m feeling really brave, I’ll even put my phone on airplane mode, or leave it at home once in a while.

With that, I invite you to join me off-line and in the city. Make up your own rules. Let’s see what grows when we create space!

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