I recently read a terrific blog post from my friend Amber (you can find it here), that really lit a fire inside me. Many of the small goals she has made for this next year really resonated with me. One of them in particular brought about a change we are making in our family, her screen-free Sunday. Since starting my little art business this year, I’ve grown increasingly dependent on my phone and computer- claiming that all the time spent was to market my art when really I was scrolling through my Facebook or IG feed. There are so many things I’ve wanted to do, books I’ve wanted to read, art I’ve wanted to make, but often I found myself too busy looking through a friend from second grade’s recent wedding album among other things on Facebook until late in the day. So we decided, mostly for me, to have screen-free Sundays. There’s really nothing that is so important that it cannot wait until Monday.
So, Sunday morning we all lazily woke up, tickling and giggling and playing until Odin decided it was time for breakfast. Zak made us eggs from our Chickens (thank you chicks!) and Odin and I sat at our table to eat. Normally I’ve already checked Instagram about four times by this point, but this time I was with Odin and Zak, I mean really there. I grabbed the nearest magazine which was Issue 3 of Taproot magazine, given to us by the lovely Alana from Tafari Organics. I opened up to a random page and it happened to be a fantastic article I seem to have missed the first time called, “Dear Facebook.” Reading it brought me to tears. What better day to read this article than today, I thought. The author, Leslie Gilman, had summed up every thought I had about screen-free time in the most wonderful way.
“So, if I show them that when we take a hike in the woods and see something lovely, we can’t just look at it and breathe it in and marvel at it together – but that it instantly needs to be captured and shared with people other than the ones right in front of me, it’s sort of saying that they are not enough. That moment was not enough. It needed to be highly regarded by others for it to really count.” I’m in tears writing this. Leslie worded it so well, I don’t want to be that person. I want Odin to know that the moment itself is enough and that we together are enough. I want to squeeze his hand instead of my phone when we see something breathtaking. I love documenting our life, but I’m planning to cut back a bit. Next Sunday, instead of photographing Z and Odin playing together, I’m going to dive right between the two and play alongside them. I want to remember those moments not by the visual proof that it happened, but by the fulfilling memory of me being there too. It isn’t just the memories made with Odin that made yesterday so special, it was the free time I suddenly realized that I had. As soon as Odin was ready for his nap, I read “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins out loud to him while we nursed. I’ve been struggling to finish that book for months and just now realized that if I were to dedicate that time to reading every day, I’d be done before the week was over and could start on another book. When Odin unlatched and cuddled up into his pillow, instead of hanging around for a half hour browsing Facebook I got up to go work on some art. I inked an entire portrait and watercolored another all within his nap time. My time could be so much better spent if I paid attention, and I plan to start doing so.
Remaining screen-free on Sundays will help me moderate myself the rest of the week, I think. There were so many beautiful moments that happened yesterday and I’ve realized that there are so many moments like those that I’ve missed because I was too busy editing a photo on VSCO. Odin’s sleeping beside me now, but when he wakes up I’m going to hop up with him. We’re going to learn about colors because he’s recently shown a huge interest in naming every color he sees, pointing and looking to us for guidance. His favorite to say is yellow, but his favorite color seems to be blue. I didn’t really realize this before yesterday. I’m excited to see what else we will learn together. Here’s to more time with my family. <3