I am writing this post from my cabin in the mountains, the most peaceful place on earth. The only sounds come from a babbling brook and my rocking chair. The closest people are a half a mile down the road. There is no Wi-Fi and only splotchy cell phone coverage. My family and I are unplugged. And it’s wonderful.
When I was a kid, we went on vacation every summer. It didn’t matter if we were road tripping to Cape Cod or Myrtle Beach. All that mattered was that once a year, the four of us hopped in the car and headed somewhere that wasn’t home, somewhere that didn’t involve work schedules or math homework or swim team practice. It was a time for relaxing and bonding. Although back then words like Internet and iPhone and Facebook would have sounded like a foreign language, those family vacations held their own definition of unplugging. They were a way of disappearing, of forgetting that the rest of the world existed, of getting back to our origins and reminding ourselves that ultimately, WE are all that matter in our universe.
Wow, that sounds really selfish doesn’t it? Well, sometimes we need to be selfish. As military families, we spend a large chunk of our time being selfless. Our servicemembers selflessly go off to war. Our children selflessly relinquish time with 50 percent of their parents. We MilSpouses selflessly do what needs to be done on the home front to support our spouses' calls to service. After all that selflessness, we need to take any and every opportunity to focus on ourselves, on our families, and unplug from the rest of the world.
Unplugging doesn’t require a cabin in the mountains or a road trip to some beach resort. It doesn’t require blocks of leave or even an entire uninterrupted weekend. Unplugging is actually so simple we sometimes forget it’s possible.
Turn off your cell phones. Log-off of Facebook. Leave that Google search for another day. Then go for a scenic drive. Stop for a picnic. Have conversations. Even if it’s only possible on that one Saturday your spouse is home and your kids won’t be missed at the swim meet. Take advantage of it. Be selfish. Relax. Bond. Disappear. Unplug. You and your family deserve it.
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Editor's note: While she wrote this post from her cabin, Heather obviously uploaded it after she came back to civilization. No intention of irony here!