The joy of simply sitting

Coffee


Surprise! I’m back (a little early!). I just can’t stay away. We had a great time in Niagara-on-the-Lake with my husband’s parents and enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls cloaked in a cool, gray mist. The weather was beautiful over the weekend, but we actually got snow outside Buffalo on Tuesday.

No matter. We toured around, ate too much, shared Easter candy and enjoyed hanging out. Like all vacations, it was over too quickly — but there’s something comforting, even joyful, about returning to routines.

My current routine? Reading! I finished Katharine Grant’s Sedition (bawdy, titillating and fun) and have made great strides with Frances Mayes’ Under Magnolia. I’ve really hit my groove again and can credit long waits at the airport for some of that, of course; it’s easy to get absorbed in a book with an hour or more to do nothing but sit and read (or people-watch, but that’s another story).

Speaking of sitting, I’ve gotten much better at it. Not in a lazy sense, exactly . . . although, well, that’s some of it, I suppose. I mean the whole be-here-now, live-in-the-moment stuff at which I was once so horrible. Case in point? I worried about disconnecting for two days while we were in Canada without the pricey international phone plan, but you know what I felt as I flipped my iPhone off for 48 hours?

Relief.

Sweet, sweet relief.

Since January, I’ve really gotten used to checking technology less and enjoying life more. When I’m out to eat or visiting with friends, my phone stays in my purse. I don’t look at it; I don’t check it. Unless I’m snapping a picture or something, I try not to touch it at all.

As we got breakfast before our Saturday flight, I looked over at a family of five — with three kids under age 12, I’d say — all glued to a device. Parents on iPads, kids on phones or other gadgets. No one was speaking; no one was engaged at all, unless it was with a screen. I don’t like to be judgmental, but it rubbed me wrong.

Turning my phone off — and then turning it back on once we’d crossed the border Monday — was actually . . . exciting. Novel. Fun. I’d handed out emergency numbers for our hotel to my family before we left, so I knew I wasn’t completely off the grid should, you know, a crisis erupt. But for all intents and purposes, I was roaming. Roaming free.

It stung a bit not to Instagram all our meals, as I’m wont to do, but I got over it. And hey! I can still share them . . . even if it’s not in “real time.”

Real time was spent with Spence and our family — at high tea, in tiny shops, over homemade Reuben casserole, along the shores of Lake Ontario.

Who could complain?


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19 thoughts on “The joy of simply sitting

  1. Sounds like a perfect break, Meg – welcome back 🙂 I’ve been curious about how high tea differs from our afternoon tea since you told me you were planning to go during your trip – what do you have as part of a high tea?

    • Thanks, Cat! Our high tea consisted of a cheese plate, our own pots of tea (so good), and the traditional — or what I think of as traditional, I guess! — three-tiered tray with finger sandwiches, scones, cookies and cupcakes. Lots of delicious treats! I’m going to do a full post on our afternoon at the Prince of Wales Hotel next week . . . stay tuned! 🙂

  2. Getting away like that is so fun! When we go out to eat, everyone has to stack their phone in the middle of the table. If anyone touches theirs, they have to treat everyone else to dinner. It works like a charm!

    • I’ll freely admit that I probably wouldn’t turn my phone off unless I had no choice (like traveling!), but it really is nice to simply “be” without worrying about Instagramming a moment. And this from an obsessed iPhoner! 🙂

  3. I’m glad you’ve made a positive move toward your phone connection! People are so attached to their phone that they use it while driving! That scares me. I’m glad you discovered that there is more to life than your cell phone. This country has such beauty that we miss because of our busy schedule. We need to slow down and enjoy the view. I loved the Falls also. It is so beautiful!

    • Absolutely more to life than what’s on a screen, Pam — and though I could make great strides to truly disconnect at times, I’m proud of my progress. And Niagara is the best! So stunning.

  4. I completely agree with you about electronics. It’s so important to take time to turn them off and to focus on the actual people in front of you. So glad you had a good trip!

    • Thanks, Kirsten! It’s funny: as technology has changed and become so omnipresent, I think we all can detect a gradual shift in attitude. Many people I know have gone from wanting to post every little movement on Facebook to not being on Facebook at all, for example, and I find myself wanting to retreat inward more and appreciate what’s actually around me. Like, in the real world.

  5. I’m glad to hear you had a good trip! Can’t wait to see pictures. And it’s actually really nice to put your phone away. One of my favorite vacations was a trip in the mountains when we had no cell service. The best!

    • As long as I had a land line, Natalie, I’d be okay with no cell service! The idea of being completely disconnected makes me nervous . . . only because I’m such an epic worrywart. But time to hang in the mountains sounds heavenly! I’m such a mountain girl. Much more than a beach girl.

  6. I’m one of the few people without a smartphone so being without cell service doesn’t bother me at all. I never felt the need to upgrade but now my old RAZR is dying and I need a new phone… and there are few choices other than smartphones. I don’t want to be one of those people constantly pecking at their phones but the temptation will be there. I like Kathy’s suggestion about dinner and no phones. Great idea.

  7. Dear Meg. Do this as much as you possibly can before you have kiddos. Not necessarily the unplugging thing but the sitting still thing. I could totally add that to my list of things I took for granted (included are long hot showers with no one to bother me and hot cups of coffee). 🙂

    I love Niagara-on-the-Lake. Such a charming little city. I’m glad you had a wonderful time.

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