My Adventure Going Unplugged

I like to think of myself as a fairly balanced person.  I take good care of my body, mind & spirit.  I prioritize well and am efficient and effective with my time.   I work hard (and smart!), play hard and definitely live life to the fullest.

All that being said, somehow when a group of friends proposed a multi-family camping trip for the weekend of my birthday (this past weekend), I found myself in a slight panic as to whether I could actually pull off a weekend away from business!   Do you know that feeling?  You know the one….that feeling that you can’t possibly take a break or everything you’ve worked so hard for will be for naught ~ momentum will be lost, you will miss the most important call or the weight of the added to-do’s will be insurmountable.

I have a feeling that there are many of you out there who can relate, in fact I KNOW many of you can!   The number of people I’ve met in this social media community who have an incredible work ethic has amazed me.  I know I am not alone when I say that I have an incredibly full-plate!  I’m a mom and wife, running 2 businesses, in an intensive year long program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and sometimes don’t know if I’m coming or going!

As I sat there contemplating the trip, I came to the realization that I have not taken one single whole day off work since November, aside from Christmas.  I knew in that moment that this trip was not just a great idea, but a necessity! :-)

So this past weekend, as my good friend Kary Rogney calls it, I went Unplugged.  Now don’t get me wrong, I planned well for it.  I spent the past couple weeks putting in even more time and energy each day so that I could truly unplug and relax for the entire weekend.

Saturday morning, I wrapped up a few last minute messages and calls, and then turned off the laptop and the phones, closed the textbooks and did my best to quiet the mind chatter that was reminding me of all the many projects I am passionately working on.

We drove off with our 2 ½ year old Kyan and 7 year old dog Avery, our car packed full of our well-used camping gear (that had been collecting dust since parenthood began!), and we were all excited and ready for our big adventure.

We picked a location just 30 minutes from our home, Anthony Chabot Regional Park.  Luckily we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so there is certainly no shortage of beautiful places!  Considering we had 7 families with 9 children under 5, most of whom were on their first family camping trip, there was a degree of comfort in knowing that if things went really awry we could always hop in the car and drive home!

So we parked our cars and hiked in to our sites, nestled into a shady eucalyptus grove overlooking a beautiful lake.  It was a little slice of heaven, let me tell you!  Kyan showed us a newfound independent and adventurous side, and enjoyed running around from site to site socializing.  We played instruments, sang songs, roasted marshmallows, got dirty and laughed until our bellies hurt!

Kyan loved snuggling in the tent with Mommy, Daddy & Avery, and I loved waking up before he did, watching him sleep in all his sweetness.  He stopped sleeping in our bed at home at 6 months, so this moment was absolutely priceless. :-)

No matter how busy I get in my journey toward my goals of ultimate freedom and fulfillment, this weekend reminded me that we never get these moments back.  Spending this time connecting with my son, in nature, seeing his eyes light up with wonder at every little thing….it just doesn’t get much better than this.

As we drove home, I began to wonder how I’d let so much time pass.  Season ski passes to Heavenly in Tahoe, regular camping trips and many travelling adventures defined my 20’s, and the tone has definitely changed since I hit my 30’s.

Motherhood has without question been the most defining shift in my life.  Suddenly, it’s not about me anymore.  I have never felt even close to this intensity of joy, peace, hope, happiness and love.  And while I’d heard it said, it really is so true that I would do absolutely ANYTHING for him.

Sure I worked hard in my 20’s, but I’m also keenly aware that where I was once satisfied with my income AND just as satisfied spending it on fun J, now I want SO much more.   As a network marketer of 13 years, I’ve always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, but suddenly, I find myself not just wanting to make a difference but a HUGE difference for as many other families as humanly possible.  Now it’s about leaving a legacy that I can be proud of, and that my children will be proud of.

Having grown up in a successful networking family, I know first-hand the difference in quality of life a child experiences with parents working out of the house all day versus at home, engaged and available.  So considering that I absolutely love my work, I’m actually perfectly content with working 7 days a week, from home, most of the time.  As long as I plan in time for me and time for my family each day, it really doesn’t feel like work at all!

My mom has often said to me that “sometimes you have to let your life get out of balance to get it into balance.”  Well if I continue to work both hard and smart, my plan is to be semi-retired by the time I turn 40.  I don’t say retired, because as I said, my work is incredibly fulfilling, and I will always be engaged as a leader and an agent of change.

I definitely see my 40’s as another decade of travel and adventure, and in the meantime, I will be sure to unplug more often for weekend getaways.   I returned home and resisted the urge to turn on my computer until morning.  So I made it ~ 48 hours completely unplugged.  Aaaaah!  I feel refreshed, recharged and unstoppable, so watch out world! 8-)

So what about you?  What have you done to recharge lately?  Leave me a message in the comments, I’d love to hear about your adventures!

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47 Responses to “My Adventure Going Unplugged”

  1. What a fabulous post sharing your life with us. I feel the same way sometimes. I always believe that to be successful, we MUST put our family first. After all, isn’t that what we are working so hard for?
    Thanks for sharing your life with us. The Pics are awesome!

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    bethallen Reply:

    I agree Donna….enjoying quality time in life is definitely what success is all about ~ and for me, that is family first! :) Glad you enjoyed the pics!

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  2. Hey Beth,

    I am so enjoying our new friendship. You are one of those amazing people that just gets “life”. Work hard, play hard, family first. I thoroughly enjoyed this post because it hits home with me. At times we are in balance at others we are out of balance. The cool thing is with practice we begin to spend more and more of our time in balance. I am sure the past weekend will be a memory for your entire family that you will carry in your hearts. Thank you for letting me look closer into your world.

    Scott

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you for your kind words, Scott. Yes, I too have been thoroughly enjoying our new friendship! I think we were cut from the same mold! :)

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  3. Great story, thank you for sharing :)

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by Robert! :)

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  4. Beth,
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time camping. We’ve camped for years with the kids and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it! The closeness of working together and counting on each other was priceless.

    People connections are always more fulfilling than anything else. glad you were able to re-connect and enjoy your weekend.
    Val :)
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Clarify the Right Relationship with Yourself =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    It was a really wonderful time Val, thanks! Yes, the teamwork of camping is awesome family bonding!

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  5. Well there it is. I knew you’s find a blog post from your camping trip. Although I was thinking it would be much more comical with tales of all pranks and ghost stories and such. :-) Oh well.

    Taking time for yourself and family and totally unplugging is so important. I’ve touched on this on my blog. It gives us new energy. It’s a time of recreation and re creation. Many times inspiration strikes when we are relaxed and not thinking about all we’re working on.

    Sadly for me, no more camping trips in our future as I sold my tent and gear last year. Terri’s idea of “roughing it” is a hotel without room service. So, if we do hit the camp grounds again it will have to be in a camper or motor home.

    Glad you enjoyed your weekend and your birthday. Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    C’mon, he’s 2…pranks and ghost stories will come….hopefully not for a few more years! ;) I definitely have a newfound energy from this time away ~ and I love that, recreation and re-creation, indeed! And I totally get Terri’s roughin it ~ that is my mom to a tee! I didn’t go on my first camping trip until I was 17, and have been hooked since!

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  6. Beth,
    I had two similar experiences this weekend. I didn’t go camping but I did unplug Saturday morning, I left my cell phone and home and took my little boy for a nice long walk to the farmer’s market and around our downtown. We stopped at antique stores and even a cool fiber arts store. We ate tamales and ice cream. It was so nice to leave everything behind and just be. That night I let my almost two year old sleep with me (which he also has not done since he was 6 months old) and he had his little hands crossed on his tummy sleeping so soundly I could not help but kiss him in his sweet sleepiness. I totally connected with you when you shared that about your son. Rejuvenation is such an important part of motherhood and entrepreneurship. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Rebecca
    .-= Rebecca Johnson´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    That sounds absolutely fantastic, Rebecca! We definitely seem to have a lot in common, I look forward to getting to know you better and better! Thank you for sharing this sweet story. :)

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  7. Beth, Camping is the best way to “Unplug” Wife and I go every chance we get. Even at 73 the wonders of the outdoors still invigorates me

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    bethallen Reply:

    That’s awesome Nelson ~ your adeventurous spirit is a great inspiration!

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  8. I just stumbled across this site and love. I am going to do the same thing soon with a trip to Chicago. We are going childless, yeah, so I hope to be reconnected with hubby while being unplugged.
    .-= Karla Bond´s last blog ..Green Clothing =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I’m so glad you found you way here and are enjoying it, Karla! :) I grew up in a suburb of Chicago ~ it is a beautiful place in the summer time! Enjoy the trip ~ we haven’t had a childless adventure yet, but our son is only 2. I’m sure that will be amazing! Have fun!

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  9. Incredibly great post. Honestly.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you, Vivian!

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  10. A very timely reminder for me to take some time to be ‘unplugged’. I, too get into workaholic mode and have even turned down opportunities to unplug (even for just an hour to play outside with the kids).

    We do become empowered and we can truly become present when we take those moments.

    Thanks again!
    .-= Paul Klaszus´s last blog ..The Number One Phrase I Use to Push Through Anything to Accomplish Everything =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    You, a workaholic Paul? With your syndication who would have guessed? ;) I hope my reminder has you out enjoying time with your kids this holiday weekend!

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  11. Beth,
    Love the story of your unplugged get-away. We all definitely do need to step away from work once in a while to get some “me” and “us” time.
    We unwind with small family trips, golf games and even just our weekend bar-b-que suppers.
    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com
    .-= Pat and Lorna Shanks´s last blog ..Top 5 Reasons to Organize Your Social Media Relationships =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed it, thanks Pat & Lorna! :)

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  12. This is something I have a hard time doing but it is much needed. I also love what I do and I tend to work way too much. Thanks for sharing your story. It looks like you had a great time.

    Melodie
    .-= Melodie Kantner´s last blog ..Developing the Network Marketing Leader’s Mindset =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I too have a hard time doing it ~ but whenever I do, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. It is so invigorating and really enhances my results moving forward! Thanks for stopping by, Melodie!

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  13. Good for you Beth! It looks like a great trip. Thanks for sharing the photos. I am sure it was a much, much needed break. Good choice!
    .-= Bruce Backman´s last blog ..Training Video 1 =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Oh Bruce, you know it! Thanks….

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  14. Beth,

    I’m so happy for you that you took the time off. It is very important that we build memories in our lives. I attended a funeral today and the 7 Grandkids stood and talked about their grandfather. It wasn’t about Money, Work or anything like that. It was all about the special memories they had of a Moment of staying over night or going somewhere with him.

    Bill
    .-= Bill Hartman´s last blog ..Will the IPad Help You With Social Media =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Bill! And yes, that is exactly the kind of legacy I want to leave ~ I always think that reflecting on what you would want said about you at your funeral is a great way to assess whether what you’re currently putting your energy on is worth it or not. Thanks for sharing that.

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  15. Aloha Beth,

    Your son is so fortunate to have a Mom like you! Yes, that’s the beauty of working at home! Family is always First!!

    Glad you took the time for your family. Trust me, children grow up too quickly and you’ll never have those moments again. It’s worth everything.

    Aloha,
    Kellie :)
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..What Is “Spiritual Awakening” & How Does It Relate To My Business? – pt. 4 =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Kellie, I appreciate that! At only 2 1/2, I already get that they grow up WAY too fast, so I do my best to enjoy every moment with him!

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  16. Congrats on going unplugged – I just can’t wrap my head around this concept – although I think this trend is assume and I am going to have to breakdown and go for it soon.
    .-= Tim Somers´s last blog ..A Follow Up System To Use After A Networking Event =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Oh Tim, give a try ~ you will suddenly be able to wrap your head around it. ;) Let us know how it goes, and enjoy!

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  17. You have done it once more. Incredible writing!

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks so much, Anton!

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  18. Kevin M.
    Twitter: KevinMartineau
    31. May, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Taking time to recharge is a not only a good idea but it is a necessity! I try to schedule in some breaks about every 3 months in my life. This has been incredibly beneficial for me!
    .-= Kevin M.´s last blog ..Don’t ignore slow leaks! =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Good for you, Kevin! That’s awesome. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  19. Taking time away and recharging seems to be the theme of 90% of the blogs I’ve read in the last several days. Ya think someone’s trying to tell me something? <<>>

    Seriously…it is absolutely vital that we set aside quiet time, even if it’s 5 minutes each day, maybe a 1/2 hour to sit on our patio or deck early in the morning with nothing but a cup of coffee and the sound of the birds waking up, putting us back in touch with nature and our true selves.

    Unless we take time for ourselves, we cannot be any good to anyone else.

    Thanks for a great post! I miss my camping days! :-)

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Well Steve, I hope you’ve let the message sink in! ;) And yes, taking time to unplug for a weekend or daily for 30 min. is so essential! You are right, unless we take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of others.

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  20. Wow, such an timely message for me. I have been so busy setting up my blog and getting it “just the way I want it” that I feel a real imbalance right about now. Maybe this weekend I’ll turn off the computer and help my wife get some yard work done, teach my daughter to ride her bike (that I’m fixing currently…), and read a good book. You’ve inspired me Beth!
    .-= Gabe´s last blog ..Perspective Is Everything =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Gabe, so glad I could inspire such great family time ~ enjoy!

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  21. Hi Beth,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us about the adventures of your family. You are an amazing writer and I felt myself right there along side you. It is always a please to stop by and read what you have to share. I agree with your mom that sometimes to get into balance you have to be out of balance for a while. Like yourself, I plan and schedule in time to spend with my wife and daughter every day and share those plans with them so they see what I am doing. I am looking forward to a time to unplug this summer and enjoy some of the great gifts of creation around me.

    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,
    -ed
    .-= Edward´s last blog ..The DREAM Project Begins =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Edward, I’m glad you enjoyed my story! You’re daughter and wife are lucky to have such a stand-up guy like you loving and supporting them! Enjoy your time unplugged this summer….you deserve it!

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  22. This message is so important because one can get ridiculously caught up in the day to day “rat race” that we can tend to forget what is important. Really Important!

    Thanks for the great reminder and beautiful story. I am glad you are back as you are always needed out here but I am also glad you got some well deserved R&R.

    Take care
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..My Secret Weapon for Credit Repair (At Least One of Them) =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, taking time for what is truly most important somehow has to stay front and center. So glad you enjoyed it, Jose!

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  23. Going unplugged must have been worth every second. I like your photos and what a cute little boy. He looks so adorable especially when sleeping. Spending time with my family whether on trips or just going out is something I always look forward to.

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  24. How do you become a network marketer do you go to college or something I just recently discovered network marketing and i am curious on how i would make this a profession how do i get started in network marketing?
    jamal@cellulean´s last blog post ..How Exercising Can Help Reduce Your Cellulite

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  25. Sounds like a great adventure! Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah@ATV Quad Swap´s last blog post ..2003 Custom Yamaha Blaster

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