A Day Offline

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I decided to spend last Saturday (Earth Day) entirely off my personal technology. No phone, no laptop… and I don’t have an Apple watch, but if I did, I would’ve ditched that too.

As it happened, I picked up an extra shift that day, so staying busy at the restaurant all afternoon made this process both easier and more pointless. Easier, because I don’t have my phone around me for working hours anyway. Pointless, because as a maitre d’ I do half my work on an iPad anyway.

So, was I truly screen-free for the day? No. To do so would've required me to skip work. But I didn’t go on the internet, I didn’t text anyone, and I didn’t access my camera or music account.

Here’s what happened:

  • The night I turned my phone off, there were several distressing noises outside my apartment. Typically this is the time I would consult the Citizen app on my phone, which helps quell my anxiety that whatever’s going on is being acknowledge and/or handled by the community. Without that coping mechanism, I have to admit I had a really restless few hours of sleep. I found that kind of ironic, considering my phone is usually what I blame for keeping me awake.
  • I arrived at work early (!!) because I had to guesstimate when my train would arrive, and in true Rachel fashion, I erred on the side of caution. This felt great. What did not feel so great was at the end of my double shift when I couldn’t consult my subway status app and had to transfer four times due to train outages I didn’t see coming. Longest trip home of my life. 
  • I READ. I actually finished the book I had started only a day before because I reverted back to this form of entertainment for both my lunch break and my commute both ways. I’m remembering now how I used to be such an avid reader.
  • I missed catching up with friends. Not being able to text people whenever I felt like it was something I didn’t realize I would miss in the span of 24-hours — but I did! It reminded me how grateful I am for texting because so many of my loved ones live across the country, and I scarcely have a chance to swap stories with them otherwise.
  • I found myself wanting to linger in the silence a little longer. At days end, when I permitted myself to some post-midnight scrolling, I found myself overwhelmed with the idea of reconnecting. I ended up finishing my book on the couch instead, and the next morning was spent fairly quietly as well. The social media posts I had planned for this week also fell by the wayside, and I can’t say I’m feeling much momentum to get back to them.

If you’ve never tried a digital detox or “offline day,” I highly recommend trying it! It’s astounding what you can learn about yourself and your relationship to technology, even just in the span of 24 hours.


July Vacation Capsule + A Wardrobe Palette Tip

Have you struggled to create a consistent palette for your wardrobe?

Whether you’re pursuing a minimal wardrobe or not, having a color palette in mind really helps for ensuring the mixability of your garments. But curating this is easier said than done.

I should know — as someone who loves many different combos of color, it’s something I struggled with for years!

What I’m learning is, I had it backwards: Rather than letting my closet colors form organically, I tried to shoehorn clothing into a pre-set palette.

Only when I let my wardrobe get a little messy did a palette start to take form. First I let myself purchase a few new, seasonal additions based purely on instinct. As I mixed these pieces with what I already owned, I took note of color patterns in those new & old favorites. Then, when I went back to fill in any gaps, I chose additional pieces which I knew would match my new instinct-buys and my old faves.

It was through this process that I found my way to the dusty pastels which characterize so much of my summer wardrobe, including the July favorites you see here. Without letting myself experiment, I would never have guessed this palette was even within my wheelhouse.

If you tend to be a planner like me, take this as your invitation to drop the plan and make way for your instinct. You never know what you might discover if you let your guard down from time to time and just wing it!


Little Miss Bossy

What if it’s not “bossy”; what if it’s “especially good at expressing your own needs”? 

For many years of my life I dreaded being called bossy. It’s something certain family members called me as something of a term of endearment, but in the real world it felt anything but.

Where being “a boss,” suggests a kind of know-how and professional prowess, being “bossy” — particularly a bossy *woman* — connotes difficulty in personality; sassiness, a lack of humor, or even selfishness. 

If I simply felt uncomfortable with being called “bossy” as a kid and then eventually grew out of that discomfort, I wouldn’t be so hung up on the matter today. But in fact, I’ve never really crawled out from under the shame of the term. This reality has never been more evident than in moments of my adulthood wherein opportunities for greater leadership presented themselves, and I shied away from them for fear of reinforcing that childhood stereotype. God forbid I become someone’s boss; What if they found me “bossy”?? 

You can see the irony. 

Today while washing dishes, I had the thought that I’ve always been quite aware of my personal boundaries, needs, and, yes, *occasionally selfish* desires. I’ve been that way ever since I was a kid. And I’m proud of that. It’s something many folks are saddled with learning much later on, maybe only with the help of therapy. 

I suspect it’s this very quality that makes me such a bossy Boss. Reframing this idea for myself brought a level of contentment — and I hope, if you’ve ever felt likewise squeamish at the term “bossy” yourself, that it does for you too.