Then I Hit Delete

Cas and I at Omaio Beach after teaching dance classes. Apart from the hoodies, who would think this was winter?

Cas and I at Omaio Beach after teaching dance classes. Apart from the hoodies, who would think this was winter?

I thought about it, then I hit delete. For almost a week I haven’t had the Facebook or Messenger app on my phone, and it’s been the best decision ever. Sure, it makes it inconvenient when you need to check messages on the go, but apart from that I haven’t really missed it.

I’ve come to realise just how much noise is in my life - just mindlessly scrolling, not really taking in anything. Making a conscious decision to switch off from social media and spending time away from a computer screen (which is ironic since I’m using one to write this) has made me less anxious and frankly, freed up more time to myself.

That’s just after a week.

Like today, I taught dance classes in Omaio. If you’ve never been there, it’s about an hour and a half hours drive from Whakatane as you head along the East Coast. A stunning part of New Zealand, with a black sands beach and friendly locals.

Before heading home we spent some time at the beach, just admiring nature. Apart from the cold water and the hoodies we were wearing, you wouldn’t think it was winter. It just felt awesome to be there - I was surrounded by the sound of the waves and laughing kids. I chose that today, so I guess I have to ask myself why I don’t do it more often? Not so much the beach in winter thing, I mean choosing to do what makes me happy.

So if I don’t reply to your message right away, just be happy for me because it means I’m not near a computer. Hopefully I’m at the beach with my dog, or catching up with a friend over coffee. Doing stuff I love.

I’m also gonna let that guilt thing go. You know, that voice we have in our heads when we disappoint ourselves with our own unrealistic expectations. Sometimes you just have to see it for what it is, give it some love, and try again tomorrow. Delete, delete, delete.

Maybe I was a fish in my past life because this is the third time in a week I’ve found myself at the water’s edge. I took JC to the beach about thirty minutes after sunset, which in summer would be no problem. In winter, it’s twilight. The beach itself was slowly engulfed in a blanket of night, yet in the horizon there was still the afterglow of the setting sun.

I think this place has always been beautiful - maybe it just took clearing out some headspace to be able to truly appreciate it. That’s what I mean by noise, the clutter of thoughts, the busyness of being busy. Goodness in our lives is always there, we just need to give it space to be appreciated.

So if I don’t reply to your message right away, just be happy for me because it means I’m not near a computer. Hopefully I’m at the beach with my dog, or catching up with a friend over coffee. Doing stuff I love.

My sister says that decluttering is addictive and I think she’s right. I have a lot of stuff so it will take me awhile to wean myself off the noise. It all starts with the choice...

Ronna Grace Funtelar

A thirtyish storyteller, hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.