I am taking a break from social media for June and July. June has been quite an eventful month. We spent the first two weeks in Italy. Being in Italy and not using social media was enlightening. I have been addicted for more years than I care to admit. I also noticed that being completely present makes a magical place even more so.
We have been to Italy three times now. Last night I spent the evening with girlfriends and when I left I realized I said the word Italy too many times. I’m obsessed. I want to spend entire summers there. Mike says I sound like a brat. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound like a brat. We do not travel extravagantly, using backpacks and staying at inexpensive hotels. The only thing that may make the trip more expensive than a moderate American vacation is the flight. I don't like that I feel the need to apologize for visiting a place we love. I am super lucky to have married the best planner in the world. He is so great at managing things and creating space in our budget to travel. Both of us LOVE LOVE LOVE Italian culture. I’m sure if we lived there I would find things I didn’t like but I don’t really want to live there, I would much rather continue this love affair totally blind to any faults.
The places we have seen in our combined trips are Umbria, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Venice, Rome, and Positano. If you want to hear all the details I am more than happy to share. I HIGHLY recommend you go and I would love to tell you about my favorites. However, I’ll try to shut up about Italy now.
As our plane was touching down I began my “to do” list. We had to be out of our house by today, July 1. The relaxation and romance that Italy was filled with was replaced with tension and stress as we moved. Yelling at each other over dirty laundry and heavy boxes jolted us right back into the reality of our lives. Balance.
Yesterday I sat on the porch, missing my swing, taking in the view I have spent countless hours looking at for 4 years. Tears flowed. Why so emotional? I don’t get attached to houses. Then insight came. When we bought that house she was a broken down mess. We loved her back to her original beauty and purpose. When we moved in I was a broken down mess. She loved me too. So as I said goodbye to this inanimate object like it was my best friend, tears flowing, the healing and love that transpired within my spirit, mind, and body over the time spent on the porch swing and around the coffee table came rushing to mind. I said a prayer of gratitude because although I don’t get attached to houses I am confident that God used the mess we found and transformed to draw me toward my own transformation.
With all of the excitement I am so happy that I chose this summer as a time to detox from the world of social media. Being present and truly tuned in to what is happening has been so good for my soul. Feeling and acknowledging all the feelings, good and bad, has been a beautiful thing. I tended to pick up my phone when a feeling arose that I didn't enjoy, sometimes simple boredom. I really am getting comfortable with discomfort. I am also reading lots of books.
I will spend July focused on being connected with my family. We are now living in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city, walking distance to fun things. Our lives will look very different. Eventually we will begin a new construction project and start the whole process over again.
I would love to hear what you are doing this summer. If you are thinking of a digital detox and would like some information that has helped me, let me know. I can send you some resources. Maybe you aren’t addicted like I was. Either way, my hope for you is that you spend the rest of this summer paying a bit more attention to the people that you share space with, including yourself. That you soak up the slow rhythms of summer and tune into what your heart is longing for. Breathe in the love, joy, peace, grace, and beauty that are yours if you choose. Happy summer friends! You are loved.