7 Days… Are You High?!
You may or may not know that I’m a Freelance Photographer. So many people have this chalked up in their minds as “the easy option” or even “the cushy life”. I have decided to lift the lid on the tougher side of my lifestyle in business, as an entrepreneur, and, ultimately, why I have decided to go hardcore on a digital detox for the next week.
So yes, that’s right folks, I’m going to take a full scale seven days digital detox. It’s something that has been on my mind for a few weeks and I thought to make my challenge a little bit more accountable, I’d share about it in this blog. I detail the terms of this detox that I have set for myself and I wanted to share with you the reasons why I have decided to take this drastic action.
Ok. So Let’s Level
I like to think that I’m a pretty practical chicka. It certainly helps as a Freelance Photographer! So whilst pondering on this challenge for myself I have come up against some instant rebuttals with myself about the actual practicalities of HOW I’m going to pull this off. I’ve been taking some mental notes of precisely what I use my phone for. Unsurprisingly enough emails, and day to day work have quickly fallen to the very bottom of my priorities practicality list. You will find out some more on that later on.
The last time I wore a watch or timepiece I had a part time job in a cinema when I was studying photography. It was a lame ass sesame street watch and I wore it as a tiny little F.U. to the man. What can I say? They hated anything that wasn’t corporate colours.
I’ve always wanted the exact vintage watch that Grace Kelly wears in Rear Window, so unless anyone reads this and decides to mail it to me, then I’m taking a trip to Argos to tell time when I’m not in my home near a clock.
Netflix n Chill Tho?
Sticky wicket this one! Do screens include telly or IMAX or Cinema screens? Lets publicly note that I get a LOT of inspo form a LOT of weird and wonderful movies. I have decided that if I’m totally flipping out around day 3 or 4 I may reintroduce the telly…. but for only high-brow films.
The main obstacle we have in my home right now though is we lost our remote control in our recent house move. We operate our telly through our phones. So I’ve ordered a universal remote online to avoid the dreaded phone switch on, which will break this challenge.
So similar to the film side. I listen to music all the time. I’m forever taking dance breaks when I cook, clean, and during work hours. Tune into my insta-stories to see more. But so much of the music I consume has changed significantly with my phone and You Tube.
Gary Vee persuaded me to sell on my IPod last year in his 2017 de-clutter and hustle thang, so Its going to be strictly vinyl for me for the next week.
My Shopping List
For the last 6months to a year I run my household groceries almost exclusively through pinterest and shared lists.
My sister lives in NYC and has a super healthy lifestyle. She is always shooting me paleo recipes on pinterest.
Mammy P has gotten me addicted to crock pot meals and is forever sending me recipes on pinterest in this vein. It’s like a weekly international summit on who is eating what in my family. It always has been.
From the recipes selection process, I then copy and paste all ingredients needed onto a shared note in my phone and then within my household we know exactly what needs buying and what has already been bought on a weekly rotation.
Without a phone my regular pattern is seriously affected.
To get around this mini-obstacle, I’m planning on doing a handwritten list and kicking things vintage style this weekend. I have the phone back-up where needed and then come shut off I should be ready to go.
So What’s The Big Why Laura?
In short I’m burnt out. In detail, read on…
Usually at Christmas time I take an intensive 2-3 week break. Instead, this year we moved house. I had completely unaccounted for just how important and crucial that usual break was. Instead this year we were decorating every single day and embracing the new home adventures. By January I felt unusually frayed around the edges, it took me a while to figure out why.
“Girl, Your Throat Chakra Is Screwed!”
Only in Cali would someone say this to you right?
On recent trip to San Diego for one of the business and networking highlights of my year I got ill. It fully sucked balls.
Two days before leaving I felt a lil “throaty”. By day 2 I was hoarse, Day 3 I was at a doctors office because the pharmacy would sell me any serious throat meds. The rest of the trip I was powering through but had chills, cried in my bed, and didn’t understand why such bad timing had come to curse me.
Western Medicine speaking I had tonsillitis, plus a chaser of laryngitis.
Eastern & Ancient Medicine speaking my throat had decided to shut itself down. Why? Why then? So…. I started reading.
The metaphysical reasoning behind throat issues and strife has a bunch to do with anger and truth (did you know that?). Over my daily meditations I had to really look hard and deep about why I was this angry and what it was I felt I wasn’t speaking honestly about. I felt it was no coincidence that this is a regular ailment of mine when I hit burnout. My throat takes leave first. I seriously felt like this was an epiphany.
Truth Bullets Hurt
With this epiphany I loaded up my pistol and just started firing (in-between lots of naps and more antibiotics). If someone was taking the Michael, I told ‘em. If I was bored by someone’s ideas, I told ‘em. If I felt like crying for a bit when a song came on, I cried. I severed some ties that were feeling painful. I cancelled some plans that I felt were more obligations.
This level of brutal truth is certainly liberating, and it did actually clear my throat chakra out a treat (along with those anti-biotics). But once you are all done with the firing, what is next? Really?
Pulling a Greta
Now I’m spent on my truth bullets or bombs, I basically want to retreat and do a Greta.
“I want to be alone”
I simply want to find a fabulous over the top vintage dressing gown. A nice crystal decanter of something strong and saunter off with a cigarette holder to a giant bath tub.
I don’t want my truth bullet annihilation to spread onto social media. I find content creators who troll on other people’s positive content, and trash it, is just a bit pants. It stinks of a huge lack of creativity. Let’s call that jenga-hodgepodge. I never want to make Jenga-hodgepodge, and neither should you.
Ding Ding! Its Burnout Number 3!
This is scary to write.
This recent blast of illness marks my third burnout as an entrepreneur.
I’ve been in business now for 6 years.
My first official burnout (2014) was marked by a 2 week enforced stay in hospital with sudden onset asthma. I now have this and medicate it every day.
My second official burnout shortly followed about a year later (2015) when I developed a rare brain condition. Ironically, if left untreated it makes you go blind. A blind photographer I ask you? As if! Again, medicated every day now, and I’m regularly tested by specialists too.
So now on the recovery track of burnout 3 (lets timestamp this – 2018), I can’t help but take a long hard look at what can only be described as a canny-shite track record of self-care.
Hitting the pause button properly and till it does that little click back (remember that on tape decks?) is totally what is needed.
Dates N Terms
Start & End
This digital detox will start at the stroke of midnight on Sunday 15th April 2018 and it will end at 6am on Monday 23rd April 2018.
And To Re-Cap
I’m shutting off my phone, shutting off my mac, and only thinking about telly operated by a remote from day 4 onwards (if I’m flipping out). Or, I’ll just go to the cinema, and use my wristwatch to see times when I get there.
To Stay Tuned…
I have some pre-scheduled posts going out. If you want to reach me for reals, you need to get something booked in that is not on tech (like a coffee or a beer face to face) and we have to actually meet at that time and place like in 1993. Or I guess, just mail me a postcard.
I wrote a follow-up blog post on my findings. You can go see it here:
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By all means please do get in touch with your thoughts and feelings on this subject. To re-cap I’m a Freelance Photographer, and in no way an expert on this subject. I simply wanted to share my lil journey with this challenge.