This past weekend Joel and I were able to get away with some friends up to the beautiful Granby, Colorado area. One of our friends’ has a cabin up there, so we shoved all our crap into one backpacking pack and one regular backpack and headed out Friday afternoon.
We arrived at about 6 pm to find that the road to the cabin was blocked by snow drifts so we had to strap on the snowshoes and hike about a mile and half in. Thus began a weekend filled with good food, snowshoeing, napping, reading, games, and lots of thought-provoking talk. Our group was comprised of a dietician, an outdoorsy mechanical engineer (our very own Bear Grylls), a cop, a fitness enthusiast (I think she runs a marathon every other week or so), a musician, and myself.
Let’s just say, we make up a pretty varied and opinionated group. It was so much fun and I thought I’d share with you a few things I took away from the weekend….
Take Away #1:
If for no other reason, make exercise a regular part of your life so that you’re able to do awesome things like snowshoeing through snow-covered aspen fields with breath-taking views and herds of elk.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a group where someone is telling me about how they just hate to exercise and someone else will jump in with, “well you look great, so you really don’t need to!” Our culture is so looks-driven that it’s too easy to get caught up in that as the one and only goal of exercise. For a long time, I was guilty of this myself.
Don’t get me wrong, if your goal right now is fat loss that’s great. After all, being overweight is not good for you and it makes regular activity of any kind much more difficult so it’s a perfectly legitimate goal to have. But I find it sad that so many of us go our whole lives exercising and dieting in order to fit our bodies into some ideal body type we have in our head and we forget about all of the other benefits of fitness. Regular exercise also allows you to play with your kids, get down & up off the ground, play sports, explore the great outdoors, ski, hike, bike, swim, and walk without feeling like you want to die. It improves your balance and memory, keeps your joints lubricated, and your muscles, bones, and heart strong.
I’ll digress now, but the point is you never know when you might get the opportunity to do something amazing. Don’t wait until that time to realize that you’re not physically capable. The ultimate goal isn’t just to look fit; it’s to BE fit.
Take Away #2:
Unplug from time to time.
This cabin we stayed at was pretty awesome. It had 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a full kitchen, a killer view, heat, electricity, and no internet….that’s right, absolutely none. What better way to connect with loved ones than to not even have the option of connecting with the internet?! 🙂
Most of us live in a constant state of connectedness. While this is awesome when you have family or friends that don’t live nearby, but it also means you’re always connected to everyone. Family, friends, acquaintances, work, news, media. How are you supposed to get to know people or spend quality time with loved ones or take a break from work when you are constantly available to everyone?
It also puts us in a constant state of distraction. All day long we are bombarded by advertisements, articles, news tickers, tweets, posts, and pics of all the fun and amazing lives others are living. We think we’re just gonna hop on facebook for a few minutes, but then there’s an article to read, which has a bunch of hyperlinks you have to click on and next thing you know, it’s been half an hour and you still have 30 tabs up of articles, blog posts, and videos you just. can’t. miss.
That constant state of distraction is costly. Mostly it’s costing us the ability to focus on a singular thing for any significant amount of time, like reading a book or having a conversation. I know that might sound crazy, but now that you’re aware of it I’ll bet you’ll notice how hard it is to get through an article on the internet without clicking on a hyperlink or getting distracted by an ad along the side (or smack dab in the middle of the dang article! I hate that!).
The weirdest thing is the way it becomes an addiction without us ever noticing. We start thinking if we don’t check our email for a day, we’ll lose a client or miss a sale. We think if we don’t check facebook or answer every call, we’ll miss out on something. Before you know it, you feel like you’re in a constant state of anxiety.
Good relationships take devoted time, energy, and attention. Mental health and sanity takes time alone, letting your body and your thoughts unwind and just breathe. Those things are hard to come by in this tech-savvy age, but they can be done. The cool thing is you don’t have to leave town to unplug. Here’s a few suggestions on how to unplug:
- turn off the notifications for email and social media on your phone
- pick one or two times a day in which you will check your email or facebook
- pick a time each day to get away, go outside, or go on a walk; go by yourself or with your dog or husband, but no phones or headphones
- set aside 15 minutes to read each day
- pick a time in the evening in which you put your phone away for the rest of the night
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Take Away #3:
Good friends are a rarity. When you find them, do everything you can to keep them and surround yourself with them. Good friends are those that:
- love and encourage the things you have in common and the things that make you different
- are not afraid to go deep, to make you think, to disagree and discuss
- love you enough to call you out when necessary
- are willing to be open and honest about their own faults and struggles and you know you can do the same with them
- stick around through the good, the bad, and the ugly
I’d rather have a few good friends than a hundred fair-weather ones. I’m so thankful for the ones God has put in my life.
*If you’re interested in learning how to disconnect more, I would strongly recommend this quick read: The Low Information Diet. You won’t regret it!
“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. “
~Herbert Simon, Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics and the A.M. Turing Award, the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science”