Re-Focussing On Being Present In 2020

Just before Christmas I decided it was time to reduce the time I spent on Social Media. Specifically Facebook and Twitter. During the December 2019 election run-up it became strikingly apparent that having these Apps on my phone was becoming addictive. I’m sure you know a little about how Facebook works – its clever algorithms ensure you’re ensnared by topics you feel passionate about, and finds ways to motivate you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. Or is that just me?? Certainly it’s not Barry in any shape of form. He manages perfectly well to avoid Facebook, and has no idea or interest in what Twitter is …

I’d had enough of discovering I’d ‘wasted’ an hour or two scrolling through my FB home page ‘news’ feed, and checking Twitter notifications and ‘news’, so decided to take the plunge and delete both Apps from my mobile phone. The greatest gift I chose to give myself for the festive period was the present, with presence. To ‘be’ with myself, Barry, and my family rather than engaging daily with people I rarely see. That doesn’t mean I don’t find both outlets fascinating, or useful to keep in touch. I still have them on my iPad and Laptop. Of course I relish contact with family and friends I only see occasionally too.

In just a few weeks the difference in my ability to be ‘in the moment’ has been profound. I doubt anyone else has noticed, or cares. Which is absolutely fine.

I still ‘want’ the positives of Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch, and of course for marketing purposes for ‘Still Trading … As The Home Brew Boat’, Barry’s Photography and Greeting Cards, and this website.

Being ‘Smart’

But like the author of this Tiny Budha article, and others like We’ve spent the decade letting out tech define us. It’s out of control’, I find myself fondly remembering what life was like BEFORE Smart Phones.

What this decade’s critiques miss is that over the past 10 years, our tech has grown from some devices and platforms we use to an entire environment in which we function. We don’t “go online” by turning on a computer and dialing up through a modem; we live online 24/7, creating data as we move through our lives, accessible to everyone and everything. Our smartphones are not devices that sit in our pockets; they create new worlds with new rules about our availability, intimacies, appearance and privacy”

In late 2009 I had a Motorola mobile phone. It wasn’t ‘smart’. It texted and called. When we were in UK for our first six months of narrowbboating, I watched in astonishment people spending more and more of their precious time ‘swiping’ on these devices, and swore they weren’t for me. Ten years later and I was appalled how much of my week was being spent on a phone screen. My average daily screen time for the week of 9-16th December was almost four hours. Last week this was halved, with the most amount of time spent on ‘WhattsApp’ – keeping in touch with family and a few close friends.

I didn’t just delete Facebook and Twitter, but also an App for my job with I’d generally check that at least once a day, for all my client accounts. Totally unnecessarily. That’s gone too. I’ll check on those in scheduled ‘work time’. And be just as if not more efficient and effective.

My Amazon Prime First Read choice for my Kindle this month is a book called:

The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World *this is an affiliate link

I’ll let you know if there are any pearls of wisdom to share. I know with certainty there’s so much more to life than living ‘virtually’ …

Our Travel Plans for 2020

Continuing our adventures on and off NB Areandare, we’ve got a number of exciting journeys to look forward to in 2020:

  • January we’re flying to Grenoble for five days and nights, in the French Alps, to see French friends I stayed with in Cabourg in May.
  • February we hope to cruise to Liverpool Docks for a week. It’s also the month Barry gets his citizenship certificate from a local dignitary in Chester. Wow! What a journey that’s been …
  • March I’m off to Barbados for a week’s all-inclusive heavenly retreat with three of my school friends, to jointly celebrate reaching our 60th birthdays. A dear friend of ours only made it to her 40th, so we’re acutely very aware of how fortunate we are.
  • April Barry and I are heading up to Scotland with my younger sister and brother-in-law, for an extensive and spectacular driving tour.
  • May we’ve got an apartment booked in Anglesey to stay with my eldest daughter, son-in-law and grandsons.
  • August – we’re heading to New Zealand for a while in time for Barry’s son’s 30th birthday.

Wow! I thought we’d packed in a lot in 2019. It’s possible there’ll be even more adventures to come that we don’t even know about yet 😉

We’re not sure as yet how long we’ll be staying in New Zealand catching up with family and friends there, or what we’ll be doing with NB Areandare while we’re away. We’ve got a few thoughts on possibilities, but nothing concrete as yet.

Heading back to a different type of waterway …

Living In Changing Times …

Barry will be 65 years young on 6th December 2020 – and so will start to draw his pension. It’s therefore highly likely we’ll be considering selling ‘The Home Brew Boat’ business before we leave in August, including its good name, fantastic website (most of the business is now on-line sales), and stock.

It obviously won’t include any of Barry’s Greeting Card range, as he’ll continue selling his photography on this site and elsewhere.

If you’ve got any thoughts on what we can do with our precious home while we’re in the southern hemisphere for a while, or if anyone’s looking to buy a boat business, get in touch in the comments below or by emailing us through our contact us page. We haven’t worked out the finer details of how this could be taken forward yet, but Barry’s happy to chat further to anyone who may be interested.

We’re also changing our ‘Primary Domain Name’ to rather than, to reflect the fact that so many of our adventures recently and in future take place on land. I guess the changing nature of our lives and the fact that we won’t be trading for much longer reflect this too. Both domains will still work though …

There’s so many exciting times to relish being present ahead. Being always aware that one never knows what’s around the next corner is a prime reason to live fully NOW …

I’d love to hear your views 😉

9 thoughts on “Re-Focussing On Being Present In 2020

  1. Pingback: Day Five Re-Tracing Our Steps Just In Case | Barry & Sandra's Adventures On and Off NBAreandAre

        • Oh wow! We read the post now. What a small world. Especially in New Zealand! Barry remembers Nigel well from his Derby Street ‘party-animal’ days 😂. I’ve heard the stories more often than I need to, but it was a big part of Barry’s youth. I believe I let Nigel and his wife Julie at Gisborne airport when we were last there in 2017.

          Enjoy your travels! Maybe we’ll meet up there somewhere later this year when we’re travelling around hopefully in a small camper van 😍

  2. One thing you can always rely on, is change! 🙂 … looks like a wonderful, and eventful year ahead opf you both. 😀
    … I only use my desktop computer to connect with the internet in any form. (soon to be a bit more mobile once we live full-time in our travel-trailer (caravan) this year, but still the only device I will use then)
    I use my phone primarily as an alarm clock and to send/receive texts, along with the occasional phone call … and not many of them these days. 🙂 and a bluetooth connector for my hearing aids.
    I have a tablet which I occasionally use as an ereader and map … and that’s about as far as me and ‘devices’ goes. I’ve trained the family and although they are convinced I’m some sort of digital Philistine, they don’t seem to be suffering! 🙂

    • Another of your comments retrieved from the spam folder! I’ve no idea why occasional ones sink into it …
      Yes indeed, another exciting year ahead! Making the most of feeling happy and healthy while we can. We know too many people who have been cut short.
      I’m not sure I could let go of internet connection on my phone, ‘WhattsApp’ is one of my main forms of communication with family. And I have a number of ‘Apps’ that I use regularly, like ‘StoCards’ where all my store cards are stored! But I do understand where you’re coming from.
      The Kindle book I mention I’m just reading, and it’s fascinating to consider the effects of the internet and social media on youngsters. Such a different world they’re growing up in. Both frightening and full of promise it seems. Time will tell …

    • We do our very best with what we’ve built together. Thank you! I fully intend to continue writing and loving life 🤩

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