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month of thankfulnessthoughts

Not a bar of signal [Day 7 of Thankfulness]

currently: listening to 'You Are' by Ruth.

Day 7: Not a bar of signal
It's a blessing and a curse to have a job where you work online. In some ways it's great to work from anywhere - but then again, it's the worst thing in the world because you can work ANYWHERE. Literally anywhere that cellphone signal can reach.

This is probably why I was really excited to tell people I was heading off to the Coromandel over the New Year break. It was both a courtesy message and a slight brag when I told people 'hey, I'm going to be in an area where I can't get cellphone reception, so you may not be able to reach me for anything urgent.' Aka, I've checked out.

It's a rare ability to disconnect. As first-world millennials where we're driven to act faster, post sooner, and do this all to get as many viral like and share responses; it's become natural for us to be on our phones all the time. In fact, if you don't have a phone on you - how are you able to function in a "normal" 21st century society?

Other than the 1 hour in the Coromandel that we needed to go find a cellphone signal (we had to send a SOS for the waterproof layer of our tent), I had some of the best chats and hangs that I hadn't been involved in for a good while. The only phone that was turned on was a phone to play music to my little portable speaker. Other than that, I turned off my phone and let myself enjoy what was happening in front of me.

Not being able to disconnect is one of the stupidly challenging things of our generation and time. I can think of countless times I'll go out for dinner with friends and all our phones will be out open on the table so we could snapchat or message other people quickly. Sometimes it's fine when you're trying to organise things or need to send urgent messages out - but how often are we giving 100% of our time to the person in front of us when we've got the rest of the world on our screen?

Don't think I'm not exempt from this behaviour either. Boyfriend likes to do this thing where, if I'm on my phone, he'd lean over and start trying to tap things on my screen or push buttons. I always get a bit annoyed when he does it, but I know he does it so I can get off my phone sooner. I'm meant to be focusing on him and what we're doing. Last thing he wants is a girlfriend who's physically present, but not actually there.

So this year I've challenged myself to put my phone out of sight I'm spending time with others. Reduce the distractions to dedicate my attention to what's happening in front of my face, and not what's on my Facebook. I'm thankful for the time I can get away from online, because it's a simple pleasure to live in the moment.

(photo courtesy of Boyfriend who proves how often I have been on my phone during our dates.)

For the month of January 2016, I'm writing 31 personal stories about things in my life I'm thankful for. See all my posts during my month of thankfulness here.

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