No Cell Phone Journal: Deprogramming My Mind
Day 1 - Oct 7th, 2017. Woke up and almost immediately grabbed my phone to check social media. I forgot for a moment I’d turned off my cell service but as my senses awakened everything came into focus. A feeling of relief rolled over me as I realized there's now a healthy distance between me and the Internet/Social Media/Apps. My brothers and Dad are in town visiting for a few days and we decided to go into town today to grab a late lunch at The Lariat. After being seated, I immediately noticed how pretty much everyone in the restaurant was on their phone. Remember when there used to be long pauses in conversations? These long pauses have been replaced by looking at an electronic device designed to provide instant entertainment to the user. The ability to communicate effectively in person is being hijacked by our smartphone addictions.
Day 2 - Oct 8th, 2017. Started my day with some hand pressed coffee while taking in the morning view of an aspen grove with yellow and red leaves, love fall colors in the high country! I didn't feel the urge to check my phone for "likes" on social media until about 10am...that's about 2.5 hours of mental quiet time I was able to take advantage of until my "conditioning" over the past 10 years of being attached to my phone kicked in. I think it will take about a week to 10 days in order to completely rid myself of the urges to check my phone. As those urges go away, I notice my mind being less cluttered with random thoughts. Mental clarity, focus, and reduced stress is the end goal of this exercise and I can already feel the change of mindset taking place.
Day 3 - Oct 9th, 2017. Urges to check my phone are non-existent this morning, it's AWESOME to start the day without distractions from a smartphone. Helps me to focus on the now and be present in life instead of having my thoughts consumed by a conversation on social media or by reading a bait click article. It's snowing like crazy here at the cabin along Chalk Creek! My Dad, brothers Adam and Paul, and nephews Cody and Ty are here for vacation and we're having a great time. I'm glad they get to see the mountains covered in snow, we have about 5 inches so far this morning with much more snow on the way today. Our plan is to hang out all day and enjoy each other's company. It's been a long time since my brothers have been able to come visit in Colorado, I really love hanging out with them. I'm glad we can all get together and have a good time, family is important to me.
Day 4 - Oct 10th, 2017. Had a great time with my family, always nice to spend time with them. Spent the day cleaning out my truck listening to an incredible Joe Rogan w/ Russell Brand podcast. The subject matter was along the lines of following your heart and doing something meaningful with your life instead of just resigning yourself to “The Grind”…the message really hit home as I feel my life has taken on a similar trajectory. Russell Brand said something profound..."A political system that reduces you to a component of an economic machine is never going to fulfill you." This is so true and many people resign themselves to a life of mediocrity because that's what THE SYSTEM would like you to believe is necessary in order to be successful.
Day 5 - Oct 11th, 2017. Slept kinda funky last night, I think I may have a mild allergy to peanut butter…God’s cruel joke! I LOVE peanut butter but lately I’ve been feeling like crap every time I eat it so I should probably just go without. I’ll need to figure out a sandwich substitute I can put in my pack that won’t spoil since PBJ’s have been my go to sack lunch for the day hikes since forever.
The “deprogramming” process has begun much quicker this time compared to when I first canceled my cell service for a 10 months starting in Oct 2016. I remember my previous exercise in mental minimalism took about a full month for me to stop having urges to check my phone throughout the day. Now I would say by Day 5 of this exercise I have zero urges to check my phone, the mental peace is NICE! There are so many positive benefits to taking a break from your cell phone. You know what I love best about not having cell service? I can just drive and enjoy the scenery while singing along with the radio as loud as I want with zero distractions. If you’ve not experienced a road trip without a cell phone, I highly recommend you do it soon. Make a mixed CD (I know, so old school) and jam to your favorite tunes while enjoying the open road.
Looking ahead at the next few days - planning to help Mike B repair a creek flow diversion at his ranch north of town tomorrow, Friday I have no plans, Saturday will be spent working on the Grace Church grounds, and then Sunday will be a relaxation day. Should be a pretty mellow weekend!
Day 6th, Oct12th, 2017. Man, I’m whupped! Spent today from 10am-4pm working at Mike’s ranch. There was a diversion in Morris Creek which he owns the senior water rights to so I went up to about 10,700ft with Rich (the other ranch hand) and we dug a ditch to get the water flow back into Morris Creek. The flow started out as a trickle but ended up having a pretty good amount of volume by the time we got the ditch all dialed in. I used the military grade E Tool shovel/pick and it worked incredibly well. What a great find, I’m so glad I stumbled upon it at the flea market in Saguache. The 4x4 up to the creek was a good time, had to floor it in a few areas due to snow and ice.
Winter isn’t too far away and will be here soon. Spent the latter half of the evening with my new friend, Barron. He’s from Kansas City and has been traveling full time for a while now with his girlfriend, Elsa, in a 13ft Scamper. We hung out in his camper last night and I have to admit it was awesome being indoors while the cold wind blew last night. Barron is a cool guy and we share a lot of the same viewpoints when it comes to consumerism, materialism, minimalism, and the simple life.
I ate too much peanut butter (again) and I’m sure I’ll be paying for it in the morning. I can’t resist organic crunchy peanut butter!
Day 7, Oct 13th, 2017. Yep, I had another allergic reaction to my peanut butter consumption from last night, didn’t sleep well at all. Decided to spend the day at the hot springs and enjoyed just floating in the water with zero thoughts running through my mind. I have to admit, there are some drawbacks to not having cell service but overall it’s nice to have a few months of mental minimalism before being plugged back into “The Matrix”. I’ve noticed my stress levels have been reduced dramatically in the past 7 days and my mental clarity is exceptional. I have a tendency to take on all the world’s problems I see online causing an unhealthy level of stress and discontent so having a healthy buffer between me and the Internet is a good thing, it helps me be a better person.