As someone whose job and income depends on social media activity, it’s pretty hard for me to switch off. Sure, I might watch Netflix in bed late in the evening but my phone never leaves my side, so it’s usually constantly buzzing with emails, notifications and messages that require my full attention. And this is the case no matter where I am or who I’m with. Friends and family members get distracted by my constantly-lit phone screen and yet for me, it’s the norm. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a comfort, but it’s just something that I’ve come to accept, like the fact that my washing machine sings when it’s finished a cycle or that I might have to suffer a scalded tongue if I want to enjoy an extra-hot coffee (which is always, by the way). I’m not saying this is particularly healthy or at times convenient, but it’s the way it is.
And I’m both aware and careful; I’ll turn my phone face down at the dinner table if I think it’s appropriate or I’ll put it in my bag so that it’s out of sight completely (the less favourable option). But I am very conscious that there are times and places where it’s necessary to switch off, when it feels good not to be aware that my ‘to do’ list gets longer by the hour.
This weekend was one of those times. Having had a productive Friday morning; getting up to go to the gym early, answering emails and running errands, I packed (threw a few toiletries and a spare top in a carrier bag) and drove to Cirencester to stay with my Auntie and Uncle for a little mini-break. I usually stay for a long weekend but due to the combination of a busy week and it being Father’s Day today, I stayed only for 24 hours – enough time for 3 lovely meals out (one of which I sat next to Ella Woodward from Deliciously Ella and managed not to fangirl too hard – though it was an internal struggle) a business/accounting pep talk from my Uncle and a review of their beautiful wedding photos (see the post here). It was brief but it was lovely – as always. And not only did I find myself wanting to enjoy their company rather than be scrolling through different social feeds, I soon realised that it’s not possible to keep even one eye trained on notifications when you’re being subject to a life inquisition …
That’s what extended family is for, right?
The photos above (not outstanding photography I know, just some iPhone snaps to illustrate the post) were taken this morning over a gorgeous Father’s Day breakfast at Côte and delicious chai lattes in Harris + Hoole. Although I’ve been a little more active online throughout today, I’ve still been less engaged than usual. And that’s okay.
So a little bit of advice: don’t forget to switch off on occasion, take some time out – whether it’s for yourself or for the sake of friends and family. And if you don’t have a 9-5, even more so. Don’t allow yourself to work too hard or too late, give yourself the leisure time you very much deserve. You can worry about your overcrowded inbox later.
Love, Beth xo.