Switching off to switch on

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One of my 12 for 2012 resolutions was to really spend more time with my children. I've written about this a couple of times already this year. My 10 minute slots of real time, which is completely devoted to being in the moment with them is working well. It's still taking some practice from me but the children are just loving it, so it's encouraging me to do it more and more. It makes us all happy.

But the big thing I struggle with during the day is my phone. It is a wonderful thing to have a little computer in your pocket and be able to connect to so many people around the world all the time on Twitter, to check your emails every 5 minutes and even to use text messages for those people that just will not use Twitter! It really is amazing. I've met some wonderful friends through Twitter who I now know in real-life. I have a great support network for both my photography and being a mum. I also have wonderful creative inspiration through designers and other creatives I follow. All this wonderful stuff constantly flows in.

However, there are three little people in my life that are far more important than any of that. They inspire me every day. They make me smile, they make me feel creative and alive. Yes, they can also be really hard work but you know what often makes them seem like hard work? When I am on my phone, connected to a huge worldwide network but completely disconnected from what is right in front of me and what is more important to me than my online world. They want my attention and they can't get it. I know that when they are completely absorbed in something and I can't get their attention just how annoying it is. I know how annoying it is for me when my husband is completely absorbed in his laptop. So, I owe it to my lovely children to switch off from the online world and switch on to them properly and fully.

Yes, I will miss stuff as all the information, tweets, etc. flow by but most of it will all still be there when I switch my phone back on. And, I know that I'm missing something far more important right here.

So, I am setting myself a challenge to put my phone away and out of reach for an hour each morning after the school drop-off and for three hours in the afternoon after school. I might allow myself to still use it to take photographs but only if I put it straight back. But I think while I'm trainging myself I may just use my actual camera instead.

Here goes...