It was a lush green open road in Eastern Canada, with the mountains on my left and the sparkling blue ocean on my right. My husband, Denis, is ex-military and had lived a good portion of his career on the east coast of Canada, so when we discussed where we might go on vacation this particular summer, we chose Nova Scotia so that I could finally see Peggy’s Cove. I’d never been there and besides, I joked, it was named after me!
So finally, we were here, and Denis was driving. And as much as the view was breathtaking, what was I doing? I was sitting in the passenger seat with my head down, my nose in my iPhone as I attempted to return the gazillion emails that had been pouring in as usual while I was on my vacation.
Vacation? Yeah right! I don’t think I knew what a vacation was. My husband Denis had to plead with me to get me to look out of the window!
A year before we took this east coast trip, we had enjoyed a vacation at a beautiful five-star resort in Kona, Hawaii. Prior to that trip, Denis asked me, “Honey, are you planning to take your laptop and iPhone with you?” He knew they were part of my anatomy and just like my arm or leg, they go everywhere with me. So while he wasn’t crazy about my taking them along, he accepted it. I decided to set some boundaries on my technology use, figuring I probably shouldn’t go on another vacation with my eyes glued to an electronic screen instead of locked into my husbands’! I would not check email on either my laptop or my iPhone during our hours together when we were both awake. Because Denis sleeps more than I do, I would check email in the early morning hours after I got up when he was still sleeping. It worked out well, and I realized that having to contain my technology use wasn’t a problem and in fact, made it easier for me to be fully present when he and I were together.
But despite my best efforts to rein in my technology habits in Peggy’s Cove, I let them get the better of me. At last, I had an epiphany. Technology is for me to use to accomplish my goals—it’s not there for it to use me! I needed to disconnect from it and reconnect to my husband, myself… to life!
It’s especially challenging for me to unplug from my devices and plug into family, friends, and myself because of the nature of my work. As an author-preneur and internet marketer, I get to enjoy the blessings of running my own business. My friend Sandy Gallagher says, “Technology gives us freedom,” and I completely agree. I have lots of control over my own time. It’s no wonder that several of my clients have become good friends. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with authors and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to bringing light and love into the world.
If I want to spend an entire day with my two-year-old grandson James because I’m hungry for a “James Day,” I can do it—as long as my son, Michel, and my daughter-in-law, Kayla, are okay with it. I have freedom, independence, and choice. I’m extremely fortunate, and every day I write in my journal about what I’m grateful for. But the truth is that like everyone, I have to be aware of how easy it is to get sucked in by technology devices, email, social media, and text and phone calls from other people that aren’t necessarily my priority. I’ve had to learn to contain my use of communication technology, and life is better because of it. How about you?
Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author of 8 books. Her books have been translated into 33 languages and sold in more than 82 countries. She can help you write your book, make it an International Best Seller and make money doing what you love. Her new book writing program begins soon. Get registered now while spots are still available!