Early this morning my Calm alert popped up stating to, “Look up and notice what’s around you once in a while”. It took me directly to a state of meditation, upon thinking of two things in particular. 1) My telephone and app, which gave me this sound advice. 2) My childhood.
Childhood: The image that transpired was of me laying on our hot cement (not black top in those days folks) driveway underneath my brother’s basketball hoop. I was probably 6 years old, and I loved the heat of the cement penetrating through my clothes onto my body (probably others have too, which resulted in the invention of the hot stone massage, lol). My favorite pastime was laying on the hot cement and gazing up into the clouds. I would lose myself in the clouds. In the same way John Travolta lost himself with the sway of the trees in the movie, “Phenomenon” (If you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it). The next image that popped into my head and startled me from my meditative state (in the same way it did when I was a youngster) of the loud sound of my Mother’s yell booming from the kitchen window, which overlooked the driveway. “Susan Marie, get up off that cement! You’re going to get kidney disease!” I wouldn’t move. “Susan! Did you hear me? You’re going to get ran over by a car, GET UP!” I have to admit this one would usually get me moving. I would lay there until the bloody images of me getting smashed under car tires overtook the passing of the clouds. I was always quite a visual person. Lol. What was the deal with Mother’s in the 60’s-70’s thinking if we lay on cement we’ll get a kidney disease anyway? I’ll have to research this. Hmm… maybe you can answer this for me in the comments?
My Phone: For those of you who know me, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. I have zilched most of my social media. It was a long time coming, and it took becoming ill to push me over the social media edge, but I haven’t regretted my decision. I have my blog, and my blog and I have become quite good friends, lol. There is this though… my blog automatically post on all my social media accounts (that I still have active). Pretty awesome, huh? Hahahaha, I know… it’s so yesterday, but it works for me. I haven’t deleted FB because I enjoy checking it monthly for events, and when I’m looking for something in particular… I also like to get on Marketplace and see if anyone is selling. So, no. I haven’t deactivated my account, but I have deleted it from my phones desktop. If I get on FB, I need to actually go to my settings and open it from there. I have cut FB 98% out of my life. But my close friends and family members have my phone number and know they can still contact me through Messenger.
How do I feel about this? I love it! I have to say that I rarely go on Instagram anymore either! But I have been thinking about adding to that more often. I have also quit twitter, because my blog and Instagram automatically go to that too. And Snapchat has long been gone for me. All and all, I’m living a pretty non-existent social media life! For some of you, this would be the end of the world. For others? You’re wanting to do the same thing.
I miss the days when people actually lived a life, instead of trying to prove to people that they indeed have one. In my era when we wanted to see one another, we would get together for family picnics, cocktail parties, holiday parties, and the like. Seasons were a special event each year, enjoying the new scenery in the persons back yard. Whether it was snowmen and hot chocolate, cookouts and sparklers, first of spring BBQ’s, swimming at the lake, carving pumpkins over newspaper in the grass while sipping on hot cider.
I miss the fact that everyone played outside with the neighbor kids and begged to stay out later once the street lamps came on. Kids nowadays (and a lot of adults) play full-time on their tablets. I miss the days, when girls enjoyed being in the kitchen cooking with their Momma and Grandma. They learned how to sew, knit, crochet (and I am in no way putting a gender on this… I’m all for little boys learning these things if he is inclined to; and vice versa on male hobbies). I have so many wonderful childhood memories with my family.
What is family nowadays? It scares me. So many millennials today don’t understand the importance of this. They are intelligent, strong, and beyond their time. But sometimes I worry they haven’t learned the importance of interaction and social skills with humans. They communicate through texting, not talking. For the first time ever, I have a glimpse of what it feels like to rely on technology vs talking. This is thanks to my CNS and my blog. Lupus affects my CNS (central nervous system), and I can now write better than I can speak.
If you were to meet me for the first time (without knowing me in the past), you would think my IQ was nothing to be desired. You would understand this immediately upon trying to carry on a conversation with me. And you would probably walk away thinking I’m quite a dummy. Here’s what it looks like in my head. I’m conversing with someone, their story is very interesting, and I want to ask them a question, or respond in some way. I know exactly what I want to say. I open up my mouth and it doesn’t come out correctly. The word I’m about to say is all of a sudden void from my dictionary. A word I wasn’t even planning on saying, comes spurting out my mouth… and wow, I’m missaying it. I try again, and my sentence sounds like a 1st graders. Or maybe my brain isn’t on the same wavelength with someone else’s at the moment. So, I’m reiterating on something that doesn’t even make sense. After I say it, I realize how completely stupid it sounded. Here’s another thing… I many times don’t remember things or events correctly. And, I’m not just talking about the typical “Old Age” here. I’m talking, “this is seriously a central nervous system issue” … and worse comes to worse, I end up with Alzheimer’s. Trust me, I’ve already had to sit through a 6-8-hour test with my Neuropsychologist to make sure I don’t already have the beginning stages, and so far, so good. Thank you, Lord!
So, how are the millennials going to turn it around? Many people are saying that they won’t. They’re saying that millennials don’t know how to do ANYTHING. Speak to others, answer to authority figures, clean their house, date, be married, compromise, budget their finances, make real friends, and some don’t even drive. But here’s what I believe. Not only do I believe that Millennials are paving the way for the future… I also believe that they are going to learn to zone into what really matters. For example, my youngest is a millennial and he doesn’t believe in texting and driving. He gets beyond irritated when he sees someone doing this. I admire him so much for this quality. Other millennials are paving the way with organics. They are realizing how important food is to our bodies, and just how detrimental processed food is to our systems. Josh was at my house a while back, and said, “Mom, you still have to have your diet coke, don’t you?” And I thought about that after he left. Holy crap, yes… I was still drinking about 1-2 glasses of my DC a day! How terrible is that for my poor body? Now I don’t. The other day, Hubs surprised me with pizza for dinner, and I had a diet coke with it. Here’s a shocker, it tasted like crapola. Like a sweet syrup going down my throat. Wow. I learned another valuable lesson from my son. He is always teaching me good lessons, without hounding me. I love that trait about him.
Are my boys perfect? No. Do they still have a lot to learn? Heck Yes! But we ALL do. I don’t think it’s always good to group people because of the era they’re living in, unless it’s to learn from one another. We need to pass down the torch. I find that my grandchildren love learning my hobbies even more than my boys did. So, what is their era going to evolve? I’m excited to find out.
I’m blessed to have a daughter-n-law that is a stay-at-home momma. Who doesn’t let her children play on tablets all day. Who walks them to the corner store or to their other Grandma’s. Who has them play outside and delivers them a popsicle when it gets hot outside. Who takes them to the park. Who talks to them while she’s cooking, and let’s them clean while she’s cleaning. She is teaching them very valuable life skills. These are things our children need today. They desperately need this.
Although I have long sense retired my retro telephone and use only my iPhone. I’m pretty proud that my apps have decreased 10-fold, 90% of my notifications have been disabled, emails are checked twice a day. And I don’t ever use my phone during family time. Unless it’s because one of my zillion alarms are going off to remind me to take my meds, go to an appointment, schedule something, etc. My calendar and alarms have now become my brain since my memory no longer works well. Life is a learning process isn’t it?
I wanted to put tips on here from BuzzFeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/cell-phone-detox?utm_term=.le1nlWMb9A#.qdK0gw9Lea
1) Use the app Checky to find out just how many times a day you are using your phone. BTW: How many times do you think you check your phone? Why don’t you at least check this app out? Do you have a husband/wife addicted to their phone? Ask him/her to download this app, maybe it will be their wake-up call.
2) Once you know how many times you check your phone, set reasonable limits to decrease that amount. Buzzfeeds example is: “I vow not to use my phone for more than 90 minutes a day, or longer than 15 minutes at a time. You can decrease it further as you go, if you so desire.
3) If focusing on the numbers doesn’t work for you, they suggest focusing on the times you’re using it the most. (think about the most disruptive times, or lame times)
4) Make a to-do list of real things you want to do during the day. And make a pact with yourself that you won’t check your phone until you are completely done with them. What have you been wanting to do, or what have you been putting off?
5) Kill the notifications… kill them NOW.
6) Take the social media vow of silence for the same time of day, every day.
7) Do what I did and delete the social media apps off your phone altogether.
8) Get a hobby. Gardening, woodworking, cooking, knitting, building engines, etc. (you get the point).
9) Start unsubscribing from all email newsletters you no longer want.
10) Carry a book and/or magazine with you!
11) Put your phone on silent before every meal.
12) Don’t take your phone to the bathroom with you. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
13) And definitely keep it out of your bedroom. But a retro alarm and use it.
14) In fact, put it away at least an hour before bed (turn the sound off).
15) Along those line, don’t text, call, use social media within a few hours of going to sleep either.
16) If you’re worried about being accessible at night, put it on the DND mode.
17) Don’t take your phone to meetings, or class.
18) Stash your phone in your desk drawer at work.
19) DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE
20) If you have to use your GPS, turn off all your notifications for messages, social media, and phone calls.
21) If you’ve set up your Bluetooth for music in your car, make sure your playlist is ready to go and your speakers are connected BEFORE driving and then put your phone on airplane mode.
22) If you still have a hard time with this, download apps that keep you from texting and driving. AT&T Drive Mode, Sprint Drive Fast, Cellcontrol… these all work to help you NOT receive text messages while you’re driving. I use my iPhones built in app.
23) Be aware you may suffer symptoms of withdrawal. Seriously.
24) Tell people you’re cutting back.
I want to end my blogpost with a little treat. I promised you tips, and I’m going to try very hard to make it a habit. This tip involves your health, and it’s a very easy habit to form.
Treat for Today: Dry-Brushing.
I learned to dry brush back when Marilu Henner came out with her Total Body Makeover… or was it from her Healthy Life Kitchen? (I need to find these books again, I hope I still have them). Anyway, she taught me via her book how to dry-brush. And it is so valuable nowadays that I’ve even noticed high-end salons adding it to their repertoire’. This was once a regular habit of mine, that I sorely stopped doing when I became too ill. It was hard enough for me to take a bath, let alone dry-brush. But now that my pain is more controllable, I’m making it a part of my life again.
The health benefits of dry brushing are:
- It stimulates your lymphatic system. This is the system that eliminates waste and toxins from your body. And if it’s not working correctly they build up and can make you sick.
- Helps reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- It exfoliates your skin.
- It boosts your circulation.
- It offers stress relief to a taxed body.
- Decreases body odor.
- And, it invigorates you.
“It’s too good not to do.”
Before beginning this healthy habit make sure you have a natural bristle brush, and you’re not using a synthetic one. Also use “gentle” motions toward your heart. Don’t feel you need to press too hard. You’re not wanting to damage your skin, you’re wanting to stimulate it.
1) I suggest doing this in your bathroom. Standing in your shower or sitting on the edge of your bath. And remember to always move toward your heart.
2) Begin with feet working your way upwards in small strokes (always toward the heart).
3) Take a little extra time over fatty or dimply areas.
4) Repeat on the other side of your feet, ankles, legs, and buttocks.
5) Next, begin at your fingers, front and back of hand, moving to the palm, arm, forearm, bicep, triceps, shoulder.
6) Repeat on your other arm.
7) Move to your belly, start at your lower abs, and work your way up. Stroke across your abdomen in a clockwise motion toward your heart.
8) End at your chest in an upward motion, avoiding any delicate areas.
9) Go to the back of your neck, stroking softly downward, until you end up at the front of your neck… swipe gently downwards.
10) When you’re at your chest, stroke sideways back and forth.
11) Rinse off and shower/bathe.
I really think it helps to get in the habit of doing this before each bath session, and it really doesn’t take long once you get the hang of it. I hope you enjoy it!
God bless each and every one of you! I hope you have a beautiful Thursday!