#advice, Personal Growth, Uncategorized

Have You Checked Out Lately?

Talk about a pretty good trail!

How many days have you gone without checking out? How many days have you checked out?

What Is Checking Out?

In order to answer questions one and two, you must first define what it means to check out. If you Google the terms check out or checking out, you find that it means many things. It means to settle one’s hotel bill for leaving, paying for goods at the super market or another store, looking at someone’s whole body to see how attractive they are, and finally, to die. However this article is about mentally disconnecting from the fast pace in which most of us, as Americans, live our lives.

When To Do It

Whenever you damn well feel like it! It has been roughly two months since I created a blog post. It was mentally needed and it felt pretty good. Now, so many people would say that I need to be consistent in posting, and that it is unwise to take such time away at the start of a new adventure. For a minute I almost believed it, but then I followed my gut, and decided to do a check out from social platforms, including blogging. Sure I could have BS’ed my way through typing something, just to stay on task with people say I should do, but I want to make sure that what I give is valuable content. Not words for the sake of words. To be honest, how who really listens to all the things we should do, anyway? Truth. It was pretty damn nice to checkout for the remainder of summer and the beginning of fall! I mean really. When was the last time you enjoyed summer without the worry of everything else? It’s been a while, huh? That is exactly my point. I will not be a prisoner to old school rules. There has been a bit too much of that lately.

Why You Do It

Checking out has gotten a bad rap. Many times we consider checking out to be when a person fails to engage in the important parts of their life. A student mentally checks out of school and does not engage in learning, class participation and peer engagement. A father may checks out of family life by continuous nights out with the guys, ignoring the children and spouse when they seek his attention. A mother may checks out by not engaging in her children’s activities, she may spend more time out with her friends, she may no longer take care of the cleanliness of the home. Whatever it may be, checking out has gotten a bad wrap.

The truth is that mindful and specific checkouts can be beneficial for your life, happiness, and creativity. Like many other people, I check out of specific things when I begin to feel overwhelmed. Most times feeling overwhelmed is due to too much mental stimulation. Mental stimulation comes in many forms for most of us. Social media, news media, TV, movies, text messages, school assignments, people-to-people interactions, work tasks, driving, working out, fitness classes, helping kids with homework, taking kids to doctors, dating someone new, working out a fight with a friend or partner, blah, blah, blah. It all gets so overwhelming, and the worst part is that we feel we must engage in all of it. The concept of quiet, stillness and a lack of involvement is a difficult lesson to learn for many in the United States. Are you considering checking out, yet?

Losing Your Shit During The Check Out

Checking out is something that I feel every person should do on occasion. Call it a mindful reset, if you will. Unless there are broken bones, the house is on fire, or someone is going to die, it’s okay to not deal with all the things, all the time. That includes the social media that helps to move your business forward. Outside of standard posts that do give the interaction or update. I have not been plugged in and man does it feel fucking amazing! Not only that, I have actually been able to better connect with my family, friends and clients. I have actually begun sending out cards for important moments in other’s lives!

When checking out, you may find it to be quite stressful at first. The nagging need in the back your mind that there are things that should get done. Key word, should. Whatever it is that we think needs to get done is most of the time a concept or idea that we have gotten from people around us. Maybe your thinking about all things that are not getting done, like the laundry, dishes, walking the dog, vacuuming, typing your paper, responding to the sixth text message from your friend that you know is no more than petty complaining, or maybe it’s writing your blog post or going live for you subscribers.

The point is, checking out may not be so simple. Once you have began to feel the anxiety decrease from not doing all the things, there then becomes a feeling of boredom. Maybe not boredom, maybe it’s that you really don’t know what you truly enjoy anymore. Sometimes we get so stuck in doing and achieving that we forget that we are not our accomplishments and that life has so much more for us to experience. So what will you do when you check out then?

What To Do When You Check Out

Do whatever you damn well, please! Seriously, take a little bit of time and think back to when you were the happiest as a kid. With every fiber of my being I know that there is still magic in the world, and I know this because of children. Little kids have the beauty and magic to like what they like, dislike what they don’t, and to explore and see all the things without fear and hesitation. This is only lost when we as parents gasp at the fall, warn them that they will get hurt and so on. As kids we are our most authentic selves, and find what truly makes our hearts happy. So think back to what made you excited, happy, felt like fun, and what you couldn’t wait to do every morning that you woke up. For me, it was riding my bike to all my of friends houses to go play in the woods. We all worked so hard to learn to ride bikes, because they were the vehicles that took us everywhere! To go from the little three wheeler, to the big kid bike with training wheels, to no training wheels, and then to pedaling your friends on the handle bars.

From there we went to the woods and battled dragons, got “lost” in the woods and learned to “survive”, to making wooden teepees as Native Americans and having a secret password to enter. In remembering all of this, and taking back my time and mind space, I found a new love for the outdoors and the feeling of the asphalt beneath my tires as my pedals propelling me forward. Not backward, forward. In the exact direction in which I view my life. When I checked out, I took numerous hiking trips around Michigan, rode all the slow back roads near my town, and felt in some small way like a kid again. What will you come to find that you have missed from childhood?

Lesson Learned

There are so many things to learn upon a check out. For myself, I found that it really is okay to not be engaged at all times, and to enjoy the small piece of the universe right in my back yard. While I know that I am bogged down again this fall with being back in classes, running my business full-time, coaching a dedicated group of women, and spilling all the T with you, I know that I can unplug when needed without the feeling of guilt, which is for another time. So, when will you take a conscious check out, and what will you do with it?

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