Around this time of year, many of our friends and family come from away to take in the beauty and excitement our little town has to offer. They are home for a limited time, so the pressure is on to see everyone and spend quality time with them. I dare say, the rush is on. Our community festival has come and gone and for seven straight days there was never a dull moment. But festival or not, this time of year is when our Tuesday nights are just as exciting as a Saturday, when Keith's Light are our main source of hydration and when there's no such thing as dinner for two. This is when our only time spent at home is when we're scrambling to prepare for company, scrambling to get out the door again, or falling into bed after a long night out.
It's all good, right? I can't complain, or at least I shouldn't. I love meeting my friends on the beach and having reasons to dress up and get out of the house. After all, it was a long cold winter here on Cape Breton and I can recall crying for days when the sun would shine and we'd have lots to do, and two or three episodes of Big Brother waiting for a rainy day.

Well, that time has finally come and I have to admit it's hard to keep up. Between juggling places to be and people to see, late nights and early mornings, I neglect some things that are really important. I neglect myself, I skimp on sleep, I choose wine over water and eat more junk food than real, wholesome food. I mean, if I eat another hamburger, hotdog or sausage I may turn into one. Too many times I've silenced the little voice inside my head that begged me to stay in, and I've gone out only to yawn in everyone's face and watch the clock for a good time to leave. I wake up tired with no energy to tackle the day or to put my best food forward at work, because yes, of course I still have to work. And finally, we come home to mow the lawn, pull weeds, water flowers and tidy the the deck furniture but fail to sit down and enjoy the view...
On Sunday, after a whirlwind of a week, we drew the curtains and blocked out the sun. We were worn out, sunburnt and dehydrated. We binged-watched Netflix in bed and took a break only to make homemade pancakes and go for a swim. I napped twice throughout the afternoon, and by 7:30pm I was out for the night. I realized at this rate, summer will be over and I'll be struggling to remember what we had done. How many meaningful conversations did I have without a thumping bass in the background? How many moments did I sink into my lawn chair and cherish my surroundings? How many books did I read? How often did I enjoy some alone time to write? So from now on, I have to slow down and re-evaluate what is important to me this summer. I  have a bucket list to tackle, and time is running out...

Rachel Emmilee


"This media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers it's our doors we shut..."

This video was such an eye opener for me. I am so bad for clutching onto my phone for fear of missing a message or a notification. I scroll through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram more times a day than I can count. I have full conversations with friends through texts, when, with just a little effort I could be spending time with them and physically laughing out loud. I am always so anxious to share my pictures online rather than absorb the moment that I'm in. I put conversations on hold as I'm filtering, sharing and checking back for 'likes' as if it really matters that people know what I'm doing or where I am at. As if it really matters if they approve. My phone has found a place on my counter as I cook, near the table as we eat, and on my nightstand as I sleep.

I'm going to challenge myself to be less present in the social media world and more present in the real world. I have way too many books to read, too many places to be, too many things to see, and so many people in my life who deserve my undivided attention.
Yesterday I took a step in the right direction by putting my phone where I couldn't see or hear it as soon as I walked in the door. I was home with my husband and didn't need to be a part of the group texts or watch the snap chats that were blowing up my phone. I wasn't expecting it to be so extremely difficult to cut myself off from the friends who were trying to connect with me; for just those few hours between coming home from work and going to bed, I felt as though I was missing something. Maybe I'll just look at my phone real quick... I wonder what the girls are doing... What if something is wrong? This feeling only confirmed that I am way too dependant on that little device and I desperately need to get a grip, because surely, if there was anything wrong I wouldn't be informed by a snap chat.

I took it a step further today. I deleted the social media apps from my iPhone because I don't need to check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram a hundred times throughout my work day, while I'm driving in the car with G, or when I'm meeting friends to hang out. I even asked G to do the same so I couldn't so easily get my fix using his phone, and I have yet to reply to the thirty-seven text messages I received last night. Thirty-seven messages and get this, not one of them was urgent or pertinent to my well-being.

I can't deny that I truly love how social media is a window into my life and the lives of friends and family near and far. It's connected me with people I'd never connect with otherwise, and it allows me to keep family and friends in the know. I can't deny that I truly love the random text messages I get from my husband throughout the day or the fact that just a few texts amongst friends can plan a date in less than five minutes. And yes, I'll admit to getting a certain thrill out of sharing a photo of an impressive meal I've created... But there needs to be balance, everything in moderation, right?

Going forward, taking baby steps, I'll keep my apps installed on my tablet only. This is limiting me to only having access in the evenings when I'm home in my WiFi zone. Hopefully, even then I won't feel the need to check in so often. As for my Blog, being that it's never consumed my time or energy to the point of neglecting anyone else, and being that it's my escape from routine, a therapeutic outlet to express myself and a tool that's helped me grow as a person, I don't feel it's something I need to part with. However, like everything else, I will sign in when I'm not taking time away from something or someone important. I'll find a place to set my phone when I'm home to relax, and I'll find other ways to cure boredom when I'm sitting in a waiting room or trying to fall asleep. I'll keep my phone in my purse on outings, and although I will still snap a few pictures, the new me won't make sharing those photos an immediate priority.

Ultimately, I don't want to be a dumb person using a smart phone. I want to learn, explore and grow as a person from experience. I want to connect with people and be present, and I want the same for my future children. I don't want them to miss out on opportunities to meet new people, experience something new or witness something special. I don't want to read the fifty ways to achieve happiness when I can figure it out myself.

All I have to do is look up.
Rachel Emmilee

Celebrating 2 Years Married With...

sunshine * a trip to the city * day drinking * quality time with friends * waterfront hot dogs * late night ice cream * an afternoon spent picnicking on citadel hill * strolling along spring garden road * chocolate covered coffee beans * poutine * bbq * a relaxing massage * a king sized bed * patio drinks * coffee and word puzzles in bed * our first swim in the ocean this summer * a day spent on the beach * lots of love