Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: digital sabbatical

August Break 2013

I could not be more excited for this year’s August Break, originally created by Susannah Conway. I’ve participated in my own way for two years now. 2011’s post is here and 2012’s is here.

I haven’t put a ton of thought into what this “break” means but I’ve felt very excited for it, the way one is giddy before vacation and can’t wait for the socially-acceptable reason to stay the heck off the grid. Luckily, the start of this break overlaps my trip back East.

Perfect timing.

I’m planning to post at least a photo every day, in the true sense of August Break – but include stories as I’d like. July was the first full month I followed an editorial calendar for this little space, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t want to lose that momentum, and I’m continuously thinking about what stories I want to capture and how I want to capture them.


If you’d like to join, you can add your name to the blog-roll here.

Nourishing & Creative

I did a bunch of thinking today about my digital sabbatical / detox.  My whole day felt like a practice run and even though I logged onto FB for work, checked personal email 1x, work email during work and scrolled through Instagram after dinner, it felt like a success.

Because I’m paying attention.

I chose to drive a gorgeous street without any music or podcasts. The same quiet accompanied me on my evening walk with the dog. Both were awesome.

While waiting for a doctor’s appt I scanned a magazine and enjoyed the “Annie” movie on in the waiting room. I was the only patient not on their cell-phone. Trying to read a full article was difficult – I kept scanning around and eventually, just gave up and looked at the pictures.

After work, I chose to do 20min of yoga, read Susannah Conway’s book and journal instead of collapsing in front of the TV or dicking around on the computer.

And here I am blogging for myself, turning the blaring Olympics (aka endless commercials) off early, taking a quick shower and getting into bed before 11pm.

All are helping me focus and allowing my brain space to quiet down.

Today I wrote:

The detox feels like a pull-focus. It’s not deprivation. It’s an excuse, a call, a directive to do what I actually want with my time…so many not so much a detox as much as a creative wish list…a sabbatical in the sense that it’s a set time to focus on something.

So I don’t know how much I’ll be off-line as much as I’ll be working to use my time on-line as productively and quickly as possible. To make sure that I’m not using it to just procrastinate, to beat myself up, to stay bored or to avoid doing something creative.

And I saw that Jen Louden commented on my previous post, which is insane b/c she’s a legit person out there in the world blogging, writing, helping people, and I don’t even share this blog with anyone but… her comment…

I am working toward finding a way that is nourishing and creative and informative not addictive and pointless. Have a wonderful break, may it bear much fruit. ~Jen Louden

What perfect rails to ride during this time. When it comes to my online time, if it doesn’t feel nourishing, creative or informative, I’m changing the behavior. Perfect.

Stay tuned. xo

Thinking About: A Digital Sabbatical

Sort of out of nowhere, the idea of a digital sabbatical popped into my head. I’m not sure if it’s mercury retrograde, being back to “normal” life, being away while on vacation or just a fluke idea. I don’t even have that much time to figure things out, as I’d like to start on Wednesday August 1st.

Oh irony, as I’ve spent a bunch of time this evening “researching” a digital sabbatical online. Susannah Conway did a digital detox, which seems more in line with my emotional goals for this time. Others work digital sabbaticals into each weekend. Some took 4 days, others, a month.

Here’s a list I read through that you can enjoy too:

For me, I know that it needs to be at least a week. It coincides with recalibrating my work routines and the feeling that August is here for me to reboot my life. The urge to go through things, sorting out what I want to let go and keeping what serves me… this is my jumping off point – my motivation.

Why am I doing this?

I just took 20+ days away from work for my wedding and honeymoon. It was glorious, but I found all the boredom / stress / anxiety entering into my actions via social media and Instagram. During vacation, I stayed off email and “off the grid” for work, but I mindlessly checked my phone. I logged onto Facebook, seeking comments and support, complain a bit on Twitter, and showed how awesome my life was via Instagram.

It’s addicting. And kind of pointless.

I want to feel present – with my husband in this new phase of our relationship, with my dog in his new rhythms, with my body, my work schedule and my own thoughts and emotions.

I want to reevaluate – how I spend my time, where I put my energy, how I use (and enjoy) my creativity.

I want more creativity – in my journaling, my writing, my photography, my art

I want a few more systems in place – things I can’t step back and think about or set-up unless I have some time

I want more quiet in my mind’s eye – computer screen at work, TV screen at home, Kindle screen for reading, iPhone screen for my phone… etc. Turn ’em off!

I want more human interaction with friends and family that’s deep – phone calls, letters, and hang-outs

The General Plan

I can not take full time off from email / the internet for work (just got back from a 20day vacation!), but I can build in some tight boundaries.

  • Actively cleaning up Facebook, Twitter, Email subscriptions, Inboxes, and LinkedIn – I’ll need some type of plan and schedule for this. Unsubscribe and delete!!
  • Take a full hiatus from Facebook & Twitter (personal) and check 1x per day for work
  • Tighten up my Flickr and Instagram accounts
  • Log onto Instagram 0 – 1x per day. Process photos but do not post to feed. (Airplane mode on phone)
  • No reading internet posts / blogs – deleting (mindless) web surfing for the full duration
  • Checking email 2x per day for work – 1x per day for personal (use ‘out of office’ replies and phone to connect)
  • Clean up hard-drives, desktops and back-up all files
  • Put e-books on Kindle and iPad
  • I am unsure if I want to post on my blog during this time

August 1st sounds like a great starting date. August 15th is 2 weeks, and August 19th feels good too come back.