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The Surprising Benefits of Being Unreachable

It was a few months ago. I was out and about running some errands on a lovely early summer afternoon, when my phone died. I had already committed myself to walking the 45 minutes home, and was less than thrilled about not having any music/podcasts/email to distract me on the way.

So I started the journey anyway, refusing to let one of first nice days of the year go unenjoyed. About 10 minutes in, it occurred to me.

I was unreachable for the first time in a long time.

I mean, a really long time. Maybe since those 5 days I spent at a diving resort off the course of Borneo when I was 23? Or maybe the last time I went to see a movie in an actual theatre (which was when again)? I had no one with me whose phone I could use if I panicked, or no computer in my bag that I could connect to wifi in a pinch.

It was just me.

What if a client needs to email me? What if my fiancé has been hit by a bus and the hospital’s trying to call me right now? What if there’s a REALLY funny gif on Insta I need to see? Yeah, all these thoughts went through my mind.

But soon, my anxiety transformed into a surprising and very welcomed calm. I felt like I did before smart phones, LTE, and wifi, when you could just be by yourself, without the pull of everyday responsibilities right there in your pocket. True solitude. Even if just for less than an hour, my only job was to be in the moment and be present in my surroundings.

I had forgotten what that felt like. And it was really nice.

I felt calmer, joyous, and more like myself than I had it a long time. It was a feeling of independence that I didn’t know I was missing.

Since that day, I’ve tried to be unreachable a bit more often. I left my phone at home for. . .wait for it. . .a whole weekend when I went to Prince Edward County. And will sometimes leave it at home if I’m meeting friends for dinner. Is there a mild ensuing panic? Yes. But it’s not as bad as you think. And it goes away pretty quickly.

Be unreachable. Even if it’s just for a couple hours each week. I guarantee you’ll like it.

 

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