My little neighbor was trying to save up some money for a new toy. She didn’t have much to work with but when you are five years old you don’t need much. She put a sign on her front porch that said, “Rest Stand: Open.” Anyone was welcome (for a small fee) to come sit on her porch and rest. We had so much fun taking turns on the porch swing, talking and laughing that we forgot to pay her and she forgot we were supposed to.
In The Crossroads of Should and Must, Ella Luna writes, “Will choosing MUST make me rich? Yes. The wealthiest people I know have days and nights filled with life’s most priceless items: watching the sunrise, smelling rain, kissing, having belly laughs with a friend, taking a pointless bike ride, walking the long way home.”
Before I started this journey, I would attempt to capture these priceless moments with my phone and post them to catalog them for myself and share those moments with my loved ones. When I made the choice to prioritize rest, realized the extent of my exhaustion and started to see what we really needed each day, social media didn’t make the cut.
And my life became my life again. It was that big of a deal.
Again, I wish I had a professional to quote about this, but in my experience-taking the picture, writing something about it, and sharing it had become second nature, I think I forgot to receive it first. It would look wonderful but it wasn’t really wonderful for me. What I know now is that that whole process took me out of the moment I was in and my moments became something to show someone else.
One of the distinguishing features of a Montessori teacher is that when a child comes to show the teacher his or her accomplishment, instead of saying, “Good job!” or “I am so proud of you!” The teacher asks them if they are proud of themselves or if they had fun or learned something new while they were doing the work. The purpose of this method is to help the child find satisfaction and reward in the work itself instead of the teacher’s response to their work.
Of course, it is natural and beneficial to praise a child, but the Montessori method is highlighting that once a child becomes attached to a teacher’s response they leave the deep process of learning and mastering the lessons for the quick fix of the teacher’s approval.
That is me and social media. It is embarrassingly easy for me to leave the deep, priceless work of my own life and get caught up in checking who said what about things that have nothing to do with me.
It was a thoughtful choice to re-engage in social for these 30 Days of Rest. It has been fun. But I have also been distracted, pre-occupied, and connected elsewhere which is reminiscent of my old life. It’s not a good long term plan for me.
Consider re-evaluating your own use of technology. So many tools and resources that absolutely bring good things to our life also take good things away, or more accurately, taking us away from good things. Pay attention to the trade offs you are making and ask yourself if it is worth the cost.
In the meantime, spend a few minutes or a few hours at your nearest Rest Stand and enjoy what it feels like to be one of the wealthiest people in the world.