The Day I Took A Technology Break

I remember the day well, Tuesday, January 26th. The day I logged off all social media sites. Why did I decide to log off? I was exhausted. 

I was smack in the middle (day 5 of 10) of my fourth round of antibiotics in four months. To say I was exhausted doesn’t actually convey the extent of my illness. I mean, this was beyond the typical levels of exhausted brought about by a life that involves too much coffee, not enough sleep and chasing small children. This was more than racing to meet deadlines, draft programs and get the holiday cheer wrapped and under the tree. This was a bona fide sick, and no matter what I did, I wasn’t getting any better. 

Yes, I know that might sound overly dramatic. Still, as I sat watching my child’s dance class I contemplated every angle of planning necessary for a childfree weekend on a secluded beach. 

The lynchpin of my fantasy: the elusive lack of any and all cell phone service. 

The notion of being ‘unreachable’ filled me with a blissful and giddy glee. Just meditation, barefoot walks on warm sand, uninterrupted, leisurely time with the love of my life and perhaps an exotic cocktail or two. Quickly (and sadly) I realized the beach weekend was a bust. However,  I also realized what I was truly longing for: the coveted ‘unreachable’ status. That was something I could do.  Yes, it was something I would do.

I was instantly at peace with the decision to unplug. I moved quickly and decisively – choosing a day with an already light schedule. Just a month before I had published my one word manifesto of 2016: Me! In the last days of 2015 I embraced the search for the word I would claim as a beacon for the New Year.  Me with a deliberately capitalized M – the Me of my higher, enlightened Self. I had pledged to practice radical self-care, to heal my body and spirit, exiting the antibiotic roller coaster once and for all. 

What could be more in line with beacon of Me? Unplugging Me was the first expression of radical self-care of 2016 and it went without a hitch. In a dark hour of illness I unplugged leaving this note on my social media pages: 

“They say everything will work better if you unplug it for a while. I’m unplugging Me for the next 24 hours. All sessions will commence as planned. Please call with any questions or to book an appointment.” 

On January 26th I embraced my first act of radical, unapologetic self-care. In the process I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee while it was still hot. Seems my coffee grew cold while I was scrolling through feeds and re-tweeting the profound wisdom of fellow coaches. No one complained, no clients balked, and I came back refreshed, invigorated and engaged.  

The lack of excess static was refreshing, so refreshing this unplugged day has become my monthly retreat and gift of self care to myself.


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

Turning a Lopsided Loss into a Win-Win

 There was a recent youth sports story from Parker County in Texas that hit the news.  The story was about the mother of a high school football player who filed bullying charges against the coaching staff of the opposing team.  The mom made this claim because her son’s team lost  91-0.    The complaint suggests the coaches should have told the players to take it easy on the competition.  The irony to the complaint is she goes on to say the players from (Aledo High School) showed respect to her son and thanked them for the good sportsmanship.  So why even file the complaint in the first place?  She states she didn’t know what to say to my son on the ride home.  The issue with the filing of this complaint is that bullying is a problem in our school systems right now; it is a real epidemic with how freely kids can be targeted through social media and taunting at school.  Lives are being lost due to bullying and this complaint minimizes the legitimacy and severity of bullying.

 It’s the reality of sports that one team wins and one team losses.  It is certainly more difficult to be on the losing team, especially if it’s as lopsided as 91-0, but does this constitute bullying?  If the players played their best, displayed good sportsmanship, didn’t intentionally run up the score, how is this bullying?

 This game can be used to teach some life lessons, for both teams.  The winning team can foster discussions around; how do you continue to show respect for an opponent when it’s clear they are over-matched?  Is stopping at the goal line instead of scoring respectful or not?  What would they want the other team to do if they were on the other side?  If they were in another game like this, what would they do differently and still be respectful of the other team?  What did you learn from this experience and how can you use this lesson later on in life?

The discussions that can be had with the losing team could be; what did you learn about yourself by continuing to play hard even though you weren’t going to win?  What would you have wanted the other team do differently?  What would you have done if you had been the other team? How will being in a game like this help you later on in life?

When you play sports, the basic concept is one team wins and one team loses.  It is very unfortunate the Fort Worth’s Western Hills football team lost 91-0.  It is certainly not the way anyone ever wants a game to go, but it does happen and it appears the Aledo players did their best to limit the damage.   But I think it can be agreed that a lopsided score does not qualify as bullying.  Everyday we’re faced with obstacles, how we take on these challenges is what shapes who we are.  What we learn from these experiences helps us in how we will show up the next an issue arises.  Ultimately, it leads us to form what actions we will take.  There are opportunities in everything that happens to us, we just need to be able to have an open mind to take these win – loss experiences and shift them into a win-win.

 Mandy Roczniak

Mandy Roczniak

 Mandy Roczniak has more than 23 years of experience in the field of coaching; 20 years as a collegiate softball coach (nine as a DI Head Coach) and three years as a certified life coach. She has mentored and coached high-level athletes throughout her career to help them reach their full potential and attain their athletic, academic, career,  and life goals.   To learn more about how Mandy can help you reach your full potential, visit www.coachmandy.com