Happy 2017 everyone!
So I am back with my first post of the new year. I took a break not only from posting, but stepped away from my computer in general.
While gaming is the “tech fix” that my kids have, social networking is mine, especially with the computer time that I use for writing and my courses. With this holiday and the break from school and work, we took the opportunity to reconnect as a family again.
Technology in general is a weird and wonderful thing. On one hand, it has made our lives easier. On the other hand, the more “connected” we get, the more “disconnected” we get.
I found this old post that I had written but never used. It talks about how a change in plans can provide a great opportunity to focus on what really matters. This Christmas was another reminder of the importance of taking the time to reconnect with those you love.
August 2016 –
My family and I went away on vacation to a resort and while I planned on making a post, we ran into a bit of a problem….no internet.
You never realize just how dependent you are on your technology until you don’t have it. What is even harder is admitting that, as a parent, you have developed bad habits that you have passed on to your kids.
We are like most families. Laptops, handheld devices, Netflix and lately, Pokemon Go.
While we did go out on a few day trips, we expected to have “rest days” (or thanks to Mother Nature, a lot of extremely rainy days) when we never left our apartment.
That’s when it really hit me on just how disconnected my family had become. We honestly did not know what to do together.
So, on one of these particular days, we just sat in front of the television. Now, I have to clarify something. All four of us RARELY sit down together to watch something. With competition like YouTube and online games, my husband and I usually lose out when we try to get the boys to agree on a movie or show.
So what miraculous event brought us together?
An episode of Chopped Canada. Yep, a cooking show.
Over the rest of the week, we found that we all enjoyed the Food Network. Cutthroat Kitchen, Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food, all of them. I couldn’t get over how we would sit down at night and talk about a favourite contestant or whether we should try a particular dish at home (I actually did do a Jamie Oliver twist on a toasted cheese sandwich that was very well received).
From there, we went and bought some board games at a gaming store in a neighboring town. Again, we do board games at home, but usually with another couple because the boys can’t agree on what to play. We picked out two games to buy and became hooked, spending hours playing (hours that we always promised to spend at home but never found the time to).
Our boys also spent more time together. We had all brought our laptops (my husband and I had work to do on ours so we gave the boys permission to bring theirs). Normally we would find them in the same room gaming with different online friends and not even speaking to each other. Instead, they did some games, like Minecraft, offline, and would discuss various building ideas.
You would think that spending more time together would cause our boys (who argue frequently, as teenaged siblings will do) to argue more, but it was just the opposite. They discussed things instead, whether it was about a video game, one of the board games, or a cooking show.
We all really enjoyed our vacation, even if things didn’t go as planned. While we have fallen back into many of our tech-dependent habits, we now find it easier to disconnect from our individual pastimes and do something together. Have we found the perfect balance between personal time and family time? No, but that’s okay. It will always be these little things, like watching a show or playing a game, that will matter to us as time goes by….
…and that is how this Christmas went as well. We didn’t need a loss of the internet or a power outage to take the time to just hang out together. We realize that once school and work returns, that we will once again be busy doing our own thing.
Until then, we will chill, we will chat and we will connect.
Text © Written In Geek blog (2016) All rights reserved
Pictures © Written In Geek blog, used with subject’s permission or under public domain (2016)- images from Pixabay