I’m the kind of person who carries my iPhone with me everywhere…yes, everywhere. On the rare occasion that I drive off leaving my device on the kitchen table, I feel an overwhelming anxiety, and I ask myself, “How did we live without our cell phones?’ Then I chastise myself for drinking the Kool-Aid of technology.
We recently spent a week in Maui. #bucketlist I pledged that I would spend the week enjoying time with my husband, Rich, and the beauty of Hawaii and leave all else behind. Not easy to do when I am connected to technology via my computer, phone, and iPad all day every day. And in the middle of writing my WIP, Love’s Courage.
My first step in detaching was to leave my laptop behind. This was a major decision. Okay, yes, I did bring my iPad just in case Boris, my muse, started whispering plot points as I relaxed by the pool. I didn’t actually bring my laptop to the pool, but it was just an elevator ride away, back in our condo.
On the first day, my trusty cell phone was in my pocket as we walked Ka’anapali Beach. I took pictures of the beautiful views, but I couldn’t risk getting my iPhone wet by wading too deeply into the waves. When we went to the pool later, I worried about the phone being left in my beach bag as I was swimming. The phone was becoming much heavier than its 4.55 ounces.
The next day, we were heading to Lahaina, so I brought my purse…and my iPhone. That made sense since we were touring some cultural places and shopping. Again, I took photos and notes about places like the Baldwin House and the Banyan Tree.
The next morning as we headed out the door for our morning beach walk, I said, “I’m leaving my phone here. I want to be unencumbered.” Something shifted within me. I finally “got it.” Without a look back, I abandoned my iPhone to the empty condo and frolicked without a care in the luscious waves of Ka’anapali Beach.
From that moment on, I was unencumbered by my phone or technology of any kind. Boris was most gracious and never whispered to me all week. I didn’t think about plot points, or character arc, or hero’s journey for even a minute. Instead, I watched whales, ate pork and coconut treats at a luau, and relaxed with my beloved, Rich.
Being unencumbered for the week we were in Maui was a gift. But I don’t need to travel to Hawaii to give myself this gift. I can unplug right here at home. It will take more effort since I am so immersed in my routine. But God’s gift of beautiful sunsets, natural beauty—be it palm trees or pine trees–and long walks holding hands with Rich are available every day.
As for my iPad, it never left my suitcase.