Unplugged Holiday

In our fast-paced, always connected world, it is refreshing to engage in an old-fashioned experience every once in a while.

For our family that experience comes every Fourth of July. We are blessed to live in a neighborhood that has celebrated Independence Day for nearly 50 years in the very same antiquated way. We start with a neighborhood 5K that is more of a badge of honor than an intensely competitive race. It is followed by a parade led by the volunteer fire truck and complete with decorated kids, bikes, dogs, Power Wheels, golf carts and classic cars. At the end of the parade the ladder goes up, and the spray comes down for the kids to frolic under the firehose.

Next, the neighborhood moves onto the pool for raft races, t-shirt relays and diving board contests—biggest splash, best trick and of course, the belly flop. Lunch is catered, desserts are left in the clubhouse for neighbors to share. All in all, the day is a step back in time, and it is AWESOME!

We have lived here for nine years. We haven’t missed a Fourth of July and frankly, our teenagers would not allow it. Travel for the holiday or celebrate Coachman’s Trail style? It’s a no-brainer for our family—and honestly, for most of our neighborhood. It is fun to see kids who grew up in the neighborhood bring their own kids back. In fact, my husband lost the biggest splash contest to a guy close to our age who was “home” to celebrate the holiday with his Mom and relive the neighborhood traditions. Pretty cool.

I think the lesson here is that in our technology laden world, it is ok, maybe even necessary to take a step back to a simple, old-fashioned experience now and again. And I think the lesson extends into our professional lives as well. We don’t always need a fancy Prezi, or the latest app to communicate with our stakeholders. Sometimes, an old-fashioned cup of coffee will do the trick. Sometimes, just looking across the table and sharing a heart-felt experience with passion is enough.

Don’t get me wrong, technology and innovation are critical, but simple has its place too. I am thankful to live in a neighborhood that reminds me of that every July 4th—like good, old-fashioned clock work.

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