So what keeps me busy when I'm not checking the on-line world every twelve minutes?
Life. It's been delicious.
Let's start with time with my kids. Quality time. Uninterrupted, un-distracted time. Yeah, that.
That computer. It was/is a bugger for me. While my friends and my mom will attest to the fact that I rarely – if ever – answer my phone, I was always making a to-do list in my head of work I could attend to at any moment, if I could just "hop on the computer for a quick second." And when I sat down at my desk there were other distractions popping up and hooking me in. I'm not doing that now. At least I'm trying not to.
And so time with my kids is different than before.
I'm not feeling bored when we play together. Really, not at all. (This is new.) Also both children are more engaged in the work that we're doing together (like cooking, cleaning, or other chores). It's almost as though I'm more present with what they want from me, so they are more present with what I want from them.
Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but that's how it feels anyway. And they are more mellow now when I move away from the togetherness for a break. As in: I can sit down and drink a cup of tea without someone climbing on me.
Coincidences? I doubt it.
As always, we were busy in the kitchen today. But instead of researching ten crazy new recipes and making one, we're just making stuff. Constantly. And I get around to the cleaning-up part faster than I did before, with nowhere to wander off to for distraction.
Today's experiments included homemade cheese (this recipe), and a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants lemon mead (in the crock above). In the jar is another shooting-from-the-hip (rhubarb) mead, now in its second fermentation. (Both were inspired by fruit t'je from Wild Fermentation.) Lupine also talked me into making our grain-free flat bread so that we could have sandwiches for lunch.
We ate lunch outside and stayed out until dinner time.
The afternoon had us drifting between biking, painting, gardening, fence building, fire-making, and laying in the grass (depending on who you were watching). Aaaaah. So good. Thank you, May, for finally bringing some late spring weather and wonder our way.
And yes, Lupine is lighting matches. (You might recall she's also been cutting with a sharp knife since age two.) She burned her way through most of the box of matches today – one by one – before we went in for the night.
Why let a five-year old light matches? Because she's learning. About the elements. About friction. About safety. About what will – and what will not – burn. To allow her to trust herself. And show her that I trust her too. To empower. I could go on and on.
I'm also not the "Be careful!" sort of parent. Getting hurt is often an important lesson too. No, that doesn't mean I'll let my child play in traffic. But a small risk like her playing with fire while I work nearby is in line with how we live and learn.
At one point I actually heard myself say to her, "I know you want to climb on the roof with Sagie. Why don't you keep playing with matches until he comes down?" Yup. That's how we roll over here. (For the record, it was the playhouse roof he was climbing. Because he can only climb on the house roof with a grown-up. Ahem.)
But I digress.
I also finally planted my garden today. Tomatoes, beans, kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, and zucchini. For the first time in my life the task was bitter sweet. You see, I didn't think I'd garden here this year. Because we were moving. Remember?
It felt good just the same to get my hands in the earth and set out a few rows of veggies. I suspect I'll still be here to harvest them come August, but then again, you never know. Maybe I'll leave this place with beans on the vine. I'd be okay with that.
All-in-all, logging off has been good for us. So good.
That being said, one bit of balance I'm striving for is allowing myself some time on-line. Guilt-free. Because I don't think it's wrong or evil or somehow bad to veg out now and then. Really. I get it.
But as you may have noticed, I tend to be an all-or-nothing girl. I do it or I don't. But I'm slowly learning moderation. A little internet is fine for me. As long as I indulge mindfully. As long as I am awake to the trade-offs.
So that's where I'm at. 15 minutes on Pinterest, fine. 15 minutes, five times a day, not fine. Moderation. Perspective. Priorities.
Because real-life is still far more delicious than on-line. No matter how seductive that screen may be.
I'm seeing that clearly now.
How's it working for you? Are you feeling more conscious about your screen time, or more connected during your days? Tell me what you know.