One day, late in the afternoon, I made my way into the grocery store. Dingy walls, low light, stale coffee. People streamed by. No one made eye contact. A few of them kept their eyes glued to their phones while they somehow navigated the store. My kids tugged on my hands, begging for their iPads because somehow in the last minute they got bored.
The day was beautiful, as is typical for Southern California, but no one seemed to see it because they’re used to it–that, and they’re usually plugged in. I’m a victim of it myself. I feel lost without my phone. I use my iPad at night to research random things. I’m ALWAYS on a computer.
Something had to change.
So, I made a promise to my kids and a promise to myself. If nothing else, we will try new things this summer and we will stop being lifeless drones dependent on electronic entertainment. I started with a list. It was a long list. I counted the days we had left of summer and the number of things on that list and started to fill in a calendar. Not all of it is fun–I had to include well-checks and dentist appointments and car servicing and even a few days of household chores, but overall it was an impressive list. I loosened my self-imposed writing deadlines and other goals. I was spending 5+ hours on the computer everyday and getting pretty unsocial and grouchy while doing it.
Yesterday, we went rollerskating. I haven’t gone rollerskating since I was thirteen. and the place hasn’t changed in all those years! My kids loved it. They fell and got back up and then fell some more. The day before that, we went rock climbing. Of course, doing things like this gets really expensive really quick so we’re going to have to sprinkle in some beach days and days at grandma’s pool, but in the last week my kids and myself have been excited to get out there and just do it. And the iPads haven’t been touched once!