Wednesday, August 21, 2013


by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

I didn't think I could do it - go three days without internet access. No facebook, email, twitter, pinterest, Cozy Chicks, none of 'youse' guys to hang with. The very thought made my forehead sweat with anxiety. How could I go to the campground bathrooms without the security of my phone, let alone wander off into the woods where reception would be virtually non-existent? I resolved to at least try.

So there I was in a Wisconsin state park with a tent, a cot, and a family who knew what they were doing. And did I work! Initially, hauling everything out to my car and driving there. Then setting up, with meals to cook and dishes to wash, and everything took way longer than loading a dishwasher. When I wasn't working my buns off, or hiking in a really awesome prairie, I faced long stretches with nothing to do. On an average day, I'd be hovering over my laptop, checking out my online friends' activities. But this wasn't average, because I had left my 'stuff' at home. Good thing I brought books along (and no, not on a device. Real ones).

At the end of the weekend, I had to pack it all up, drive home, and haul it all back into my house.

But ya know what? I returned feeling incredibly healthy - both mentally and physically - and excited about getting back to work. No aches and pains bothered me as they usual do. No chatter had been going on in my head about nothing even remotely important (I have a lot of that). I hadn't worried at all about my future or regretted events from my past.

Then I realized that for those three beautiful days, I had been living totally in the here and now, focusing on what was going on around me rather than what was happening inside. I was looking out, and it felt great. I can't wait to do it again. Unplug, tune out, leave 'stuff' behind. least leave certain 'stuff' behind. Because now I have a whole lot of new 'stuff' to deal with. But that's okay. Those are essentials.

Try it on for size. Unplug for an hour or a day or a few days, and see where the experience takes you. You won't regret it.