I’ve had a pretty epic start to the holidays… actually, take that back, I’ve had a life-changing year all around. I’ve experienced every high and low I think you can over the past 12 months… the hope and excitement that come with a new job; the intense pain of personal loss; the euphoria of a new marriage and most recently, the opportunity to reflect, without distraction, and to let it all go.
Last week I returned from our nearly month long honeymoon in the Maldives, where I made the conscious decision to not connect to wifi, no matter what, during our trip. My internet-free journey started in the car on the way to JFK and didn’t end until we had landed back in the city. My hope was that in disconnecting from the internet (and I mean all of it – Instagram, email, text messages, Kindle books via Amazon, everything), was that I’d focus on my new husband, my future, reflect on my past, and give myself a good, hard look in the mirror.
And guess what? It was wonderful. I’m sure the calming Maldivian waters, endless schools of fish I’d only seen on the Discovery channel, swinging loungers, and countless tropical cocktails helped… but there’s something about shutting down the internet that also stops time. Which forces you to really think, to analyze, to breathe in and out and remember that just doing that — just breathing — is OK. You’re alive. And the world is ticking along even though you’re not posting to Instagram, texting 4 people and scheduling a conference call at the same time.
It was liberating; and effective.
Not only was I excited to come back to my new life in the city after my internet hiatus; but I was inspired personally and professionally. I’m ready for a new year. And I’ve also learned, it’s OK to shut down, in fact, it’s necessary.
So while I may not be in a tropical paradise anymore, I will be actively disconnecting from the internet, from the extra chatter and incessant information. I’m going to focus more on me, and those around me, to hopefully be a little bit better in the long run.