The day of the twins third birthday party as the hot food was cooking in the oven and thirty minutes before the party was due to start our electricity went. It was a Saturday afternoon, slightly rainy but warm( welcome to Irish summers!) and we expected the power to come back moments later. But it didn’t, in fact there turned out to be a major fault in the area and we ended up without power for 5 hours! So there we were, sans power, with an oven full of half cooked food, a fridge groaning with food left to be cooked, and packed with freshly baked cakes and no TV for those who really didn’t want to play pass the parcel. Panic set in as we scrambled to get phones to play some music, go to the shop to buy disposable barbeques and rescue the party. All phones have little to no power left in them so music was limited, disposable barbeques don’t cook bbq spare ribs fast enough and no lights on a dull day threatened to dampen the mood.
Then the mini Jenga that sat on a table untouched was opened, the photo-booth kit was played with (momentarily) and the chat resumed. Panic over! Some of the burgers were a little charred around the edges but the food was hoovered up after desserts and cake were served first to stave off the hunger pangs. We had a great day and when the lights (and oven) came back on all those hours later I realised they weren’t even missed. We probably all chatted and the kids played together more than what we would have had if we had had the TV and the charged phones to scroll through, party or no party, because let’s be honest these day electronics are never out of sight for long.
This statement is ironic (as I type on my laptop) but without electronics to distract the day of the party or this week, in the evenings at the seaside as my Dad watches those shite true movies (sorry Dad!) I have been so much more productive. I am writing more, I even started my second novel this week, and I am doing workouts every night once I get the twins to bed, it is strangely motivating.
Distractions are just that distractions. Alot of the time distractions are intentional and welcome, but we all see it now, the over reliance on devices, the incorrect use of the infinite information we have available through our fingers. I watched my Dad do a crossword today and asked him how long it took him to do one, it depends was the reply. Each days’ puzzle is different, varying in difficulty and takes time, they aren’t instant. Everything is instant these days. When was the last time you didn’t reach for your phone to “Google” that guy that was in that movie that you and a friend don’t agree on the name? We are getting mind lazy I think and I am guilty of this myself.
The routine of life is distracting. And there is nothing more distracting, as much as I love it,that is being a working mother, a wife and me. The perfect balance doesn’t exist, or if it does I have not figured it out as of yet. But I am willing now to not feel guilty to give myself more time to achieve a better balance. I feel I am through the hazy early parenting years and can now let that breath out a little and work with distraction, use it to focus me and drive me.
I am sure laziness will kick in and I will crave sitting mindlessly in front of the T.V whilst scrolling on my fully charged phone but I am making a promise to myself that at least twice a week that I completely unplug every evening after the kids bedtime and continue what I have started. My 40th is fast looming therefore my deadline is too and I’d like to know I have given it my best shot.
*image from Pixabay