House Beautiful

Lake Life Lessons

Hammock | Lake Life Lessons | Covet Living

Happy Monday friends! Right now I’m a good 48 hours into being back from a week in Michigan, at the in-laws’ lake house which is situated on the glorious and aptly named Magician Lake…

Magician Lake | Lake Life Lessons | Covet Living

Each year we go there to blissfully marinate and lie in hammocks after reading the review of hammocks with stands and buying the best ones in market and read, backflip off pontoon boats, listen to James Taylor on repeat, and spend time with la familia.

This time, I did something totally new: For seven days I turned off my phone, unplugged from social media, world news, and society as a whole. Which means I turned off the constant stimulation I’m accustomed to.  I was able to just be. It sounds so cliche, I know, but it was absolutely wonderful.  And it’s amazing what the silence around you will create in your mind. I came across this yesterday in a magazine article and loved it:

Lake Life Lessons | Covet Living

It was no easy feat, disengaging from everything, but it allowed me to take in things slowly, and fully; usually my brain is in overdrive and 10 steps ahead, thinking of all the things I have to do, thinking a million things a minute.  But not this past week. And now I’ve got about 2 hours until I’m back at the office, and I’m trying to keep my relaxed mind intact for as long as humanly possible.  And before I’m swept up by work again and noise and news and life, I thought I’d jot down some mini (or not so mini?) epiphanies that came to mind this past week…

1) I am addicted to my phone.  In 1980 John Lennon sang the lyric “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” It’s 2015 and I can’t help but think, “Life is what happens when you’re too busy looking at your phone.” It’s not until I hid it away in my suitcase did I feel a sort of pathetic withdrawal from it; my hand twitched when I couldn’t just feel it, when I couldn’t check to see if anyone had texted me or emailed me. It’s real, this addiction, it’s there, and I don’t help by feeding that addiction each night by keeping it beside my bed.

2) My brain is overly stimulated. Understatement of the century, folks. It’s baaad. And guess what? So is yours. All of ours are. We can’t help it; we’ve got so many pretty, fascinating, compelling things to see and read – gorgeous pix on Insta, tweets, new TV shows, status updates, all of it. To turn all that off for a few days was incredible. I am willing myself to do this more often.

3) It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a letter. Omg, I used to love the excitement of getting a letter from a friend, from my beloved grandma, whoever. Yesterday I sat down and wrote up about 5 cards to people, and it not only made me feel happy, but to imagine my friends and family having a non-bill awaiting them when they reached into the mail put a smile on my face.

4) never call people anymore. Ask yourself: When’s the last time you called someone, maybe an old friend, and had a really nice, long conversation with them? Somehow my “catching up” with friends and relatives has devolved into text messages, getting the latest updates on life thru 35-word text messages. How impersonal, and sad when you think about it.  Do I really wanna rely on my phone to connect with the people I love?  So one day last week, in a span of a three hour drive from my in-laws’ to my parents’, I called 4-5 friends and caught a couple whose voices I hadn’t heard in some time… and I loved it. I’ll be doing that wayyyy more often, I promise.

5) I love to read. It is magical. I read three books in one week, which is hilar since I usually read about 10 pages before bed and then crash. It reawakened in me a feverish love of books I’ve had since being a lil’ kid. Instead of Pinning on a Sunday afternoon, I wanna lie on the patio and lose myself in a good read more often…

Bonus: Shark Week is awesome. No, seriously, did you guys watch this at all last week? Because I watched about 186 hours of it. And oh yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m never going to get into the ocean ever again, k, cool.

Fireworks | Lake Life Lessons | Covet Living

Soooo that’s it for now, just some Monday musings from yours truly.  Time to put my big girl pants on and re-enter society, I suppose. But for all of you reading this and feeling like you’re going 1,000 mph and are unable to slow down, do yourselves a favor.  Set down the phone.  Hide it, in fact. For hours. Except, of course, if you need it to call someone you love. Have a lovely summer day, everyone!


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11 Responses to “Lake Life Lessons”

  • I mean. This just couldn’t be more on point. Thank you for being honest enough to admit that you’re addicted to your phone, because (whoops) I’m addicted to mine – afraid I’ll miss something – but I feel like I’m missing more by being on it all the time than I could possibly realize. What you said this weekend too about how it made your mind quiet and then you started thinking about your family, etc, also resonates big time. This is maybe my fave post of 2015. Can’t wait to see you this weekend!!! xoxoxo

    • Yaysh, Wabbit, yaysh… The key is to keep this going… Not to get sucked back into the noise (which is hard to do, but I’m really fighting it). See you soon!

  • You turned off your phone? I’m so proud of you!!!
    And you’re correct…it’s so much nicer to actually talk to someone rather than text. A phone call or a letter always brings a smile to your face!!!
    Love you!!

  • There was recently a great article about this – an exec who for 7 days a year completely unplugs, despite demanding clients and employees. After doing it once, he realized how helpful it was for his brain AND his career. It gave him clarity. Perspective. Now his “people” can plan ahead, he has warned them when it’s coming, and when it gets there, he gets the heck out of Dodge and goes fishing or snorkeling or sits on a beach somewhere for an entire week. And the world doesn’t blow up.

    • Ok I *think* I remember reading this at some point and thinking, “Huh. That’s really really smart…” and now I’m gonna go find the article to re-read. And you’re so right. The world… doesn’t… blow… up. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.

  • What three books?!?!? This post is amazing.

    • The three books were: Bolt From the Blue, My Sunshine Away (our book club book) and The History of Love. Hope you’re having fun in Maui!!!

  • I absolutely loved this post. We really are caught in a web of info overload and, yes, made to feel like we’re missing out if not connected 24/7. I often go off the FB grid and friends send out a search party because I missed the extreme closeup of the casserole. I’m a big believer in having a conversation, writing a birthday card, sticking your head out the window and talk to the sparrow on the wire. Your job must keep you ultra-in touch, so this sounded like a wonderful vacay for your frontal lobe. Brava!

    • JB from Jersey, you’re such a gem. You had me and Steph rolling at the “Up close of a casserole” line! xoxo

      • I live to make you gals giggle. BTW I did not mean to suggest all food photos are eye rollers as I love CL’s occasional step-by step & how-to-make photos of yummy alternatives to my chicken-tuna-turkey rotation. My FB friends are constantly posting dinner plate shots like they’re new grandbabies.

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