Unplugging and Getting Outside.







Sometimes it is easy for me to get caught up in what-calls-loudest-to-be-attended-to. Many times it is cooking or tidying up, mothering or homeschooling, but so often it is this darned computer. Does yours call to you as loudly as mine? As I reflect on the simplicity of my own existence the computer is one example of a complication I have welcomed into my world. While it often serves me – providing a way to run my business from home, a way to communicate efficiently with friends and customers and readers, and a way to quickly find information – often it distracts me and robs me of the simple presence in each moment.

It is hard to unplug.

But I've made a promise to myself. I am stepping back, just enough to reclaim what matters most. Presence in the moment – in my life. Yes, I will still check what needs checking each day, perhaps twice, but I will resist the temptation to check each time I pass through the office. I am keeping a notebook handy for things I want to look up – an old farm for sale on a country drive, a knitting technique, a question about a magazine article I am writing. And those tasks will be done all at once in the evening.

This is my challenge to myself: Live my best life. Focus on what matters.

And so today we are going outside. Because being with my kids, outside in springtime really matters. Today it is cloudy. And it might rain. But who cares. It is real and delicious and our world so we're headed to a favorite park out in the country to get outside and drink in this early spring. I'll even leave my phone behind.

At the park there is a creek splashing cold water on the banks, calling for water wheels and stick boats and muck boots to come. There are nettles peeking their deep green heads up from the leaves, calling for a careful harvest into a nourishing soup and to be dried for tea next season. There are hills to run down. Trees to hug. Trails to explore. There are ramps awakening on the hillside welcoming harvest as well, for pesto, soups, and sauteeing – the very taste of spring. And hidden in the woods is a creek choked with watercress, peppery and cold, easily pulled by the handful for spring soups.

Today we are going outside.

We will play.

We will picnic.

We will hike and forage and explore.

Today we are going outside to greet the awakening earth.

To be alive in this moment is far more enticing than a screen. The screen will wait. The kids – and the spring – will not.

13 thoughts on “Unplugging and Getting Outside.

  1. Lori says:

    Wonderful Rachel. Thank-you for, yet more inspiration. We will also be making paper mache eggs this weekend. Enlighten me about nettles when you can.

  2. Pamela R says:

    I found this to be a HUGE problem for me! Our computer is tucked away from the main area of the house, which helps, but still….

    I found that using a count-down timer that I keep by the computer to limit my time…when my time is up, it’s up helped at first. Now, I check-in sometime in the morning (most days) and sometime in the evening. All those things that I want to look up, well, the list gets shorter and I end up skipping some of them.

    Plus, our days ROCK without my being distracted.

    p.s. I really need to figure out what a ramp is! 🙂

  3. Angela says:

    The computer-a blessing and a curse. It allows me to do and connect so much but is also the source of much distraction and mental clutter. It is so necessary to unplug, yet difficult. I am definitely limiting my computer time to certain times during the day otherwise . . . .

  4. Denise says:

    Yeah! Oh, and I think I passed by you on your way home! Hope it was fun. . .we were just out there this weekend. . .how I have MISSED this place! And I love your idea of keeping a “To Google” notebook. Perfect.

  5. Marlo says:

    Ugh, the computer kills me. Why is it so addictive? Why, when I want to look up one thing, do I spend time looking up 10 things. I love the list idea. I used to do that, but somehow got away from it. I will start implementing it again tomorrow!

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    I would love to have my computer tucked away and out of sight. But today I pulled it off. I scheduled this moment with dinner in the oven and papa on duty to clean up emails. I was away from this box all day! Feels so right.

    love you,

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    I did it today – I gave myself 15 minutes in the early afternoon to see if any business messages needed addressing. What I found was that 9 minutes in I needed to be done. And so now I am clearing up the days emails and plan to unplug again for my evening. It was hard but it feels fantastic! So worth the addiction-type struggle.


  8. Walter Tully says:

    Sometimes, all you need to unwind is a walk in the park. I make it a point to walk everyday in our neighborhood park, just to relieve the stress that I feel from work. Nothing beats breathing in the fresh air and absorbing the nice surroundings to relieve stress.

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