Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Great Internet Disconnect

How long could YOU go without screen time?  Could you unplug yourself from your phone and your computer and your tablet?  I have been asking myself these questions lately, and the answers were making me squirm.  I have many OCD issues, but I would have to say the thing that I am most compulsive about is checking my cell phone.  I check the time (and yet, for some strange reason, the time never registers in my brain so I have to check it again), I check email, I check texts, I check my blog, and I check Facebook.  I truly am obsessive AND compulsive about my technology.

This morning, Dylan and I were up early, getting ready to go to Sand Hollow before the sun scorched the desert and sent the temperatures over 100 degrees.  Getting Bridger going early in the morning is an exercise in patience, but we managed.  We were in Dylan's pickup by 7:30.

Just before we left, I had a spontaneous thought.  One of my goals is to loosen the grip some of my obsessive-compulsive tendencies have on me.  I had watched a video last week that had touched me.  It had inspired me to "disconnect to reconnect."  I knew it was something I needed to do more often, especially when my husband and children are present.

Disconnect to Connect YouTube video  You can click this link to watch the 90 second video.

At the last minute, I texted my husband and posted to Facebook,  "Good morning!!! Going fishing with my boys. I'm declaring the day NO TECHNOLOGY DAY...well, at least until we come back to civilization. Wish me well. Checking my Facebook is my biggest OCD behavior of all. A little nervous I am."  I powered off my phone and left it on the kitchen counter.  And just like that, I walked away from my beloved phone.

Sand Hollow is northeast of Saint George near Hurricane.  The reservoir is crystal clear and is a good place for bass fishing, if you like to fish, which I don't.  I hate to fish. I hate the smell of worms and Power Bait and fish.  The only fun thing about fishing is casting and I was chastised for the incessant casting and reeling I did a long time ago when I tried to have a little fun.  I haven't fished since. So I have to find other ways to enjoy myself when I accompany the men in my family who enjoy "drowning a worm" now and again.

In my CamelBak hydration backpack I put my camera, journal, book, snacks, cooling cloths, and sunscreen...but not my Droid Razr cell phone.  While the boys hiked up and down the red rock surrounding the water, trying to find the perfect fishing hole, I tagged along behind them, taking pictures as we walked.  There were beautiful white flowers in bloom in the hot, red desert sand.  I loved catching pictures of my boys casting their fishing poles, taking sips of water, talking together, standing in silence alone on the rocks. 

As the sun made its way across the sky and I got hotter by the minute, I looked longingly at the lake.  The clear water teased me, lapping against the red sandstone shoreline.  I pulled out my neckerchief filled with beads that plump up with water to facilitate cooling on occasions such as this.  I was so tempted to take off my shoes and socks and get my feet wet.  The hotter it got, the more I entertained the thought of immersing my whole body in the lake.  But today Dylan had told me about the probability of getting swimmer's itch.

Swimmer's itch is an awful skin rash resulting in pus-filled blisters, and is caused by a bacteria that is in certain bodies of water.  Sand Hollow contains that bacteria.  The rash is itchy and miserable.  Considering the consequences, I busied myself with soaking my Coolcore cloth, dripping water from my Camelbak onto the cloth and snapping it to activate its cooling feature.  It was my salvation as sweat trickled down my torso.  

I envied the water skiers.  The skiers were young and not scared off by threats of a rash. They were laughing and enjoying themselves immensely.  I, on the other hand, was drinking copious amounts of water and getting hotter by the minute.  My life is all about comfort.  I was taking comfort in the fact that I was avoiding the dreaded bacteria hiding in the lake, and doing everything I could to stay cool without diving in head first.  Yes, I am plagued by the mindset of the "mature."

Case in point:  I looked like a dork on the rocks, but I was cooler because of my dorky attire....not cooler culturally, mind you, but cooler physically.  We laughed about my attempts to avoid the heat.  "Nerd alert!"  Dylan teased.  He recorded me in all of my glory.  I was smiling at the camera. "Shrink, don't smile in every picture.  Write in your journal.  Look like you just had a great idea!"

After jotting notes in my notebook, and taking pictures of the boys and the beautiful scenery, I decided to find a shadier spot and read.  I'd just started The Pilgrimage by Paolo Coelho, and took advantage of the boys' quiet fishing time to get a little farther in my book. Eventually, all of the water I'd been drinking caught up with me.  It was time to traipse back to the restrooms.  That settled it; the boys had only pulled one tiny bass to shore, and they decided they had had enough sun, too.

We drove around the sand dunes, and some of the newer housing developments in the area.  Dylan spotted a pair of sunglasses on the side of the road, and he asked Bridge to go get them.  When he put the purple plaid Burberry glasses on, he asked, "Do these sunglasses make me look as sexy as I feel?"  That boy...  He had never heard of Burberry, but I recognized it as a high end name in the fashion industry.  If only I had my phone, I could prove to him he had found a treasure by showing him what a pair of those glasses were worth.  That was the first time I really missed my cell phone.

I will admit that by not being glued to a screen, I had more opportunities to be an active participant with the boys this morning.  It is something I will do again.  It was worth it to leave the technology behind.  

When we arrived at the house, it was 11:57.  The boys made me wait three more minutes.  "Wait for it..."  Five hours techonology-free, and I had survived!  When I checked in on Facebook, I had 15 notifications.  Friends had teased me about my "break."  They know I'm addicted.  They know it wasn't easy.  It was probably good for them to have a break from me, too!  

The first thing I Googled was Burberry sunglasses.  They retail for over $200.  What a nice find they turned out to be!  Oh, I do love my internet connection and all of the information and communication it allows me.  But I will ALWAYS love my family more than ANYTHING...even Facebook!  

Who wouldn't be happy to be spending time with these boys?
The younger learns from the elder.

Fishing is serious business.

If Dylan is wearing his Kauai hat, it's
going to be a fishing day, Jamie says.

It's a thneaky thnake.  Just a blow snake,
thank goodness.  We got "up close and

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