Just finished an almost 2 week break - some of it in TO visiting family and a nice chunk in Havana. It was a great experience and Havana was way less 'communist' and stuck in a past time than I had expected. There are some good stories about our adventure for another time, .....
What I hadn't realized, as I came back from a 10 day break from connectivity, was how much my checking the news, emails and texts, playing games had eaten up my time and captured my energy. The doom and gloom of oil prices, the Canadian dollar and ISIS was (is) unrelenting. Each click into my phone news apps (and it was happening every time I walked by my phone) brought more dire predictions. Waves of emails got me caught up in the trap of 'I'll just quickly clear these away.' And well of course! I need to answer my kids texts. Subtly my attention was condensed into a 5'' x 2.75" micro computer I couldn't be without. It was like a life line to the minute by minute happenings of the world. I became caught up in needing to know!
It was a funny feeling - turning off my phone at the airport. What if the kids need to get ahold of us? What about Neil's mom? What if there is something regarding work? Cuba has intermittent WIFI and it's quite expensive to use it. So we made the decision not to buy a package. It was to be a vacation after all. Initially I caught myself picking up my phone frequently, flipping through my apps, simply out of habit. We contemplated hooking up to a WIFI site - and decided no. It took an number of days for all this to pass.
In the meantime the sights and sounds of a fabulous city took hold. We paid attention to what was in front of us and navigated our days by what we wanted to do in that moment. Without being fuelled by world events, no catastrophizing, postulating, theorizing infiltrated our conversations. There was a flow and an ease to our days. How lovely.
As with all things a vacation only lasts so long. In the airport at Varadero, WIFI was again available. Out came the devices. Down went the heads. Holiday banter stopped. Wanting to hold onto the feeling of ease, I held out for awhile longer. Back home I am liking not feeling ramped up by the world as it happens. It's back to some limits on how much news, checking of emails and playing games I will do. My vacation experience is supported by Dr. Christine Carter, author of 'The Sweet Spot', who quotes 2 studies that found reducing the number of times you check your phone and email in a day reduces stress and increases happiness. Now who doesn't want more of that!?