Step Away from the Keyboard


I’ve talked about it a little bit before, but I wanted to bring it up again. Sometimes you have to step away from the computer, the smart phones and those handy-dandy tablets get engrossed in real life. I know, I know…I’m taking a real leap here, but let me tell you why.

As awesome as social media is, and fulfilling it is as to have followers and friends and people in circles hanging on your every word, there are real live people that we can see and touch and love waiting for us in the real world. People you have legal and moral obligations to see, often living in the same building and desperate for your attention.

Some of them are people that like to remind you that they married you for better or worse, not Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes they are very small people that want to snuggle against you and tell you stories about what happened as school even though you have no idea what they’re talking about after about 30 seconds. Some of them are not in fact people, but small furry creatures that always look happy to see you when you look up from your screen. All of them very real and much more important than your Klout score.

So over the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the US I unplugged and spent time with my people. Alright I didn’t completely unplug – I had to check email and do a little Christmas ordering – but I did stay off of social media. Why? Because the people I needed to socialize with most the last few days live just down the hall, not around the world.

Electronic communication is a wonderful thing. It’s changed the way we live our lives. We just need to remember to go out and live those lives. Go fight the crowds at the mall at least once this holiday season. Take a walk with someone special. Help little hands hang ornaments or light a candle. Step away from your keyboard and reconnect with the flesh-and-blood people around you. You’ll be glad you did.

Filling the Quiet Moments


It occurred to me the other day that I was filling all my quiet moments. I listened to podcasts on my way to and from work. There were books and movies and television and the internet during my off times. Most every waking moment was filled with information and “input”. I was even listening to music or relaxing sounds as I drifted off to sleep.

I wasn’t giving myself any quiet moments. There wasn’t time to let my mind wander or relax. All the messages coming in weren’t giving me opportunity to connect with my own thoughts. While I thought I was spurring my creativity I was actually stifling it because I was giving my mind time to process and use it.

How many of us are guilty of filling our days with information and sound? Input is important, but we need the quiet time to let our minds relax.

Take a Little Time to Recharge


I was on vacation last week. It was the first time I had gone away with the family for something other than a family function/holiday in over two years. It was heaven.

Sunny morning at the beach

Sun, sand and the Atlantic Ocean.

Yes, April at the beach can leave something to be desired (it was rainy and cold for a large part of our trip). True, someone did break into our car (our early 2000s Ford Focus with standard stereo? Didn’t they see the nicer vehicles with dash mounted GPS a little further down? For their effort they got a resort parking pass and an outdated digital photo album with pictures of my kids as babies and one of my Dad – good luck pawning that 5-year-old-and-outdated-technology you don’t have the special cable for buddy!). And OK, about 10 minutes from home the car broke down…But we got to spend time together and recharge our batteries.

That’s something that’s important for equipment and people. Sometimes we get so focused on our daily existence we don’t take time to relax, unwind and give our creative juices a chance to start flowing again. I, for one, have a hard time remembering that a change of location and a few moments to myself can work wonders for one’s outlook (and sanity).

So I charge you with taking time to recharge your batteries today. Maybe you can’t run off to the beach for a few days, but maybe you can find time to take a walk outside, or sit in a silent room and let your mind drift, or put on your favorite guilty pleasure song to dance and sing along to. Take a few moments to relax and reconnect with yourself and you may find that the world is a better place!