Unplugged and Recharged

For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed – and usually for one of two (or both) reasons. First, becoming debt-free (and writing about it) has opened a number of new doors, none of which I ever expected. Second, with each of these new opportunities comes what feels like a hundred new ideas. My mind is constantly racing – so much that I’ve filled almost an entire notebook with random thoughts and to-do lists. But add all of that on top of the fact that I’ve only spent four of the last 19 nights in my own bed and you can see why I’ve been going a little nuts.

I’ve also noticed that when you work online, socialize online, read blogs, write blogs, email non-stop, etc., your mind has even more to sift through. Digital noise, let’s call it. I scroll through Facebook and Twitter and like or favourite anything I want to go back and read whenever I can find the time (which is almost never). I see beautiful images on Instagram and think about projects I’d like to tackle or things I want to research (but never do). And I bookmark blog posts, great stories and advice, with the intention of re-reading it and using it… but then I forget about it, until I find the bookmark a month later.

For a while there, I think I was so plugged in that I was just lost in it all. I was writing growing lists of things I wanted to do but I couldn’t make any decisions or come up with actionable steps to make anything happen. What I needed was to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Cue my trip to Toronto.

On Day 6 of my 10-day trip, my co-workers and I drove three hours outside of the city to a little town called Bath. There, we spent three nights at a cottage on Lake Ontario. Our offsite started off with a number of presentations and breakout sessions, but we also made an effort to relax and enjoy our time together.

Retreat

There were bus rides, boat rides and winery tours. There was a live guitarist and hilarious sing-along’s around the fire. We were treated to a delicious, catered meal one night, then prepared all of our other meals together in pairs. And there were so many (maybe too many) s’mores.

Good Food

We worked together to make sure we all had the best three days possible… and other than posting a few pictures on Instagram, I stayed offline for almost all of it.

A lot of what I took away from that trip I’ll keep to myself for now, but what I can say is this: Life is too short to simply make lists of things you want to do. If you know what at least one of your major goals is, you need to start acting on it. Today. Not tomorrow. Not when someone can help. You need to act on it today.

Reading articles, blogs, columns, etc. can only take you so far. Yes, there is great information out there, but what I needed to realize is that most of it is there to inspire me. I don’t often read something because I want to take the experiences or advice and use it myself. I want it to inspire me to do something different.

I have big dreams. I mean really big dreams. I fantasize about them, and write down ideas and to-do lists, but the fear of failing always stops me from moving forward. Well, nuts to that. I’m picking one and I’m going to at least try to make it happen. And if people think I’m crazy, then I’m ready to sound crazy.

EdgeWalk 2013

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did do the EdgeWalk! On Saturday morning at 8am EST, right before packing my bags and flying back to Vancouver. It was AWESOME.

When was the last time you unplugged from the digital world for a couple days?

  • Glad you enjoyed Toronto! Your pics are fabulous. February was the last time I unplugged for 2 weeks. I turned my phone off and only turned my computer on to do blog posts – 1 per week. It was so relaxing not to have to pay attention to my phone.

  • I’m so glad you unplugged and had fun in Toronto. Your pictures look like you had a blast!

    I think the last time I intentionally unplugged for more than a couple of days (phone included) was the week I spent in Hawaii. It was incredibly refreshing! The internet has a strange way of sucking you in and eating up your time, much like a TV does. I’ve had to become more cognizant of this fact just so that I could get more actual stuff done!

    Its also the reason why I cut back to 3 posts a week, don’t set a hard and fast time to post, don’t respond to every post I read, and don’t actively chase paying gigs. Blogging is a hobby for me, and I need to make sure it doesn’t consume my life (which it can). I have too many other things going on in my offline life :)

    • Love everything about this comment. Now hurry up and get to Vancouver!

      I’ll write my blog posts ahead of time, so there are no distractions. ;)

  • Closson Chase! You were in my stomping grounds for your retreat! Too cool :)

    I find that, given how much time I spend plugged-in for work, I like to go off grid on weekends (and usually it happens without me even trying). The last time I really unplugged though was the Victoria Day long weekend. My friends and I rented a cottage and there was no cell reception there let alone wifi. It was perfect!

    • Ahhh, do you live close to there!? I wish I’d known that!

      I think my goal going forward is to take Saturday’s offline. I always blog on Sunday, and that works for me… but Saturday could easily be an offline day.

  • omg I could never do the edgewalk, I would be hysterical.

    Glad you had a great trip and are feeling inspire <3 can't wait to see what you do next! You've always been one of the most interesting bloggers to follow.

  • Looks like you had an awesome trip! All those food photos make me hungry. :) I totally understand having lots of ideas and ambition but failing to move forward out of fear. I have a to-do list building in the back of my mind and I could use a similar kick in the butt to get something — ANYTHING — going. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • You’re welcome! I’m slowly realizing that you have to do small things as soon as you think of them and it all works up to helping you with the bigger things. If that makes sense.

  • I’ve just embarked on my own journey of dragging myself out of debt.

    I created a blog quite some time ago, but started it up again so I could be further accountable to myself and my debt issues.

    Finding your blog is a much needed boost.

    Your weekend in Bath is pretty much a 20 minute drive from my home. It is gorgeous countryside and a wonderful place to recharge your mind and spirit.

    • How cool that you live so close to where I was! We also drove into Kingston a couple times; the buildings in that city are gorgeous.

      Happy to hear you restarted your blog to help you :)

    • Oh, you should definitely visit. And Ontario is beautiful and all… but I’d suggest coming to BC first. ;)

  • Good trip. Just what we need sometimes to take a break from all of these noise. And I’ve got to commend the food because they look really good. SkyWalk looks awesome and fun. I wanna try that also.

  • I miss my family property in Ontario; no cell reception, no phones. Just quiet.

    I just finished a week-long hiatus from Facebook. I didn’t really miss it that much…

    So glad you had such a great time, and kudos on the EdgeWalk!

    • Thanks, Debbie! A week off Facebook often = missing absolutely nothing. I deactivated my account for 8 months once, when I was finishing up school… best decision ever. I stayed so focused!

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