December 26th, 2018 – My families holiday cheer hit a dreadful halt. My sweet Teta Malake’s health took a turn to the worst possible outcome. Although she has always struggled with her health for as long as I can remember, she was always invincible in my eyes. No matter what obstacle was thrown her way, she always over came it. I truly never thought this day would come and selfishly never wanted it to. I will talk more about her in another post I’m planning on doing dedicated to her.
In the midst of my grieving, I found myself constantly scrolling through my phone in attempts to distract myself from thinking about it and missing her. Then it hit me, life is so short and precious.
Every. Single. Moment. is a treasure and a blessing.
As wonderful as technology and social media are–providing us with an endless amount of information, business opportunities, and a vast amount of outlets to connect with people all over the world right at our finger tips. It can very well just as easily take a toxic turn by making us lose sight of being present and embracing the moments that are actually in front of us.
In honor of my Teta, I decided to do a 40 day digital detox cleanse—I deleted all social media apps off my phone and made it a point to just live and make memories without feeling the need to share them virtually. No more swiping, no more posting. Zilch. Nada. Kicking it old school. Like my Teta when she was wearing her “red dress” the first time my Jido laid his eyes on her at a park in Lebanon. There was no iPhone in their pocket readily available to capture a photo or Instagram post sharing this mushy moment with everyone. She shared it through the way she told the story in detail, the exact same way every time. Giving you the perfect visual of the moment as if you were there with them. I get chills thinking of how her eyes lit up each time she told it.
Why 40 days? It’s been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember to “mourn” losing a loved individual for “40 days”—In the old school train of thought, this means to wear back in their honor, fasting (no meat), no partying, no drinking etc. It’s extremely old fashioned and something I personally do not believe in. I am not by any means knocking those who do. I just personally don’t believe that taking part in any of these actions have any true significant meaning to me. I also don’t think you can put a time frame on how long you’re grieving someone’s loss. We all cope differently. I prefer to celebrate their life by sharing cute stories, embracing in the good times we had when they were here, and finding peace that they are truly in a better place now. But, I know my Teta believed in it, she even surpassed the 40 days most of the time and did it for an entire year. Out of my respect and love for her, I decided to partake in this “40 day” tradition but put my own twist on it–which came from the heart. 40 always seemed like such a random number to me, so I did some research as to why it’s 40 and found that it’s due to the number 40 occurring many times in the Bible, indicating it was a significant number that carried special meaning. Most notably it appears in the story of Noah and the Flood in the book of Genesis. Where it mentioned, “it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.”
The first few days of being social media free brought me an incredible realization. I took notice to how many times I would mindlessly pick up my phone throughout the day navigating to Instagram, just to find it was no longer there. It was like I couldn’t be alone with my thoughts for a single moment.
After the first week, I shook that instinct and urge. I no longer needed my phone by me at all times (kinda caused me to misplace a little more often than usual—big thanks to the hubs for always being ten steps ahead of where it was lol).
Although I was digitally disconnected from thousands, I was more engaged and connected with the people around me. I found myself to have more energy and think more clearly. My work creativity increased, as well as my productivity around the house. I no longer felt the need to take pics of the yummy dinner I made or make Mila do every cute thing she did all over again so I can take a proper picture of it (guilty haha). I just enjoyed the moment and took a mental note— making genuine memories. I still very much love social media and feel it has more pro’s than con’s. I love having a voice through it— using it as a tool to inspire and share what moves me. But, I learned a lot throughout this little break and I highly recommend taking a step back every now and then.
Disconnect to Reconnect. Please feel free to share your experiences 🙂Xo M