My phone is constantly buzzing, ringing, and making noise. I love this. I love knowing that an email just came across, or that someone sent a text because they were thinking about me. While I have established pretty good boundaries around social media and not being on Facebook or Instagram all day, I still pick up my phone every few minutes to respond.
I didn't see any problem with this until Willow came home. Then I realized that I was letting other people dictate my day more than myself. If she was crying and a notification pinged, I felt guilty for not responding right away. If she was in a good mood and a text came across, I would interrupt our playtime to answer.
The thing is, nobody expects me to do this. In a world where so many complain about "instant responses" and constant interruptions, I've realized that 90% of these expectations are put on by ourselves. Of course there are exceptions to this, but there was no reason I needed to rush over to my phone - even if Willow was fast asleep in the other room. It's not good for my work ethic, my attention span, and probably my long-term health.
Once I realized this, I made a simple but incredibly dramatic change. I put my phone on do not disturb all day long.
Does the thought of doing that terrify you? It scared me at first. What if I miss something important? What if an inquiry comes across and I don't answer right away? What if a family member sends me a text and doesn't hear back for over an hour?
Yet the time spent without constant interruptions have been so beautiful. ALL of the above have happened, but none of it is bad. The fear I had of disappointing people by not replying with immediacy was completely made up and caused me to have anxiety when I should have peace and joy throughout the day. I interrupted conversations with my husband to talk to someone else - imagine if I did that in person! None of it was needed, and my life has not changed negatively in one single way since silencing my phone.
This may sound dramatic, but it has been the single best change I've made since Willow has come home - and really, the best change since I first brought my iPhone home from the store. Living a quiet, peaceful life seems impossible, but I encourage you to take control - even if it's just one day a week - and see what a change it makes in your life. And please, if you do, tell me about it - I'd love to hear your stories!
Here's to a day and a life uninterrupted. It's possible, friends. I promise.