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On Intentionality

I had some of our closest friends over for dinner last week. We all turned off our phones before we sat down and we drank wine and laughed until 11pm. It’s something that rarely happens these days. When I find myself in social settings at least half of us have our noses buried in our phones, or watching Youtube videos or zoning out to a movie. It’s easy. It’s typical.

So how does it change for me as a host? (Because I absolutely adore hosting and having others in our home. I get that from my mom.) I think it’s when I become intentional.

It’s when I re-wash the wine glasses so they sparkle.

It’s when I take time out of my work schedule to make chicken parm on zuccini noodles.

It’s when I actually set the table.

Honestly? I’m tired of sitting at my computer for 12 hours. I’m hitting a creative wall. I want to be more intentional in my work. How?

It’s when I set hours.

It’s when I stop wasting time on social media (note: that doesn’t mean¬†stop using social media).

It’s when I start using pencil and paper more often than not.

It’s when I take time to take care of myself, my business and my loved ones so I’m not running on fumes.

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28 Comments

  • Reply cammie | polka dotted peony

    I resonate with this so much right now. Thank you for these beautoful words.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:50 AM
    • Reply Allison

      I’m glad I’m not alone in my thinking! Thanks for the comment, Cammie!

      December 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM
  • Reply Jen Serafini

    I love this post! I wrote about something similar last week, about unplugging. It helps put a schedule back in your day when you can be intentional about how you plan your time. I also love the fact that you all turned off your cell phones – I hate when people are busy looking at them at the dinner table!

    December 5, 2012 at 7:56 AM
    • Reply Allison

      I do too, Jen. Although I am sometimes guilty of it myself. I’ve realized that I feel so ignored when other people are doing it so why do I? I’ll check out your post now!

      December 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM
  • Reply Jess

    In love with this. Your table, your words, and the spirit behind it. Entertaining is one of the only ways I stay sane, so I’m so glad you got to experience intentionality and the enjoyment of friends :)

    Also, I hope to someday take amazing pictures like you do.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM
    • Reply Allison

      Thank you lady!! I must admit, I don’t love the lighting in that photo but it was the one and only I was able to snap before we began eating. And I also love entertaining. My mom always was hosting and it makes me feel nostalgic.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM
      • Reply Rebekah

        “I don’t love the lighting in that photo” … I was actually thinking that was a great picture! This from someone that is *just* learning her camera. But, just know that some of the rest of us think it looks great! :)

        December 8, 2012 at 7:23 AM
  • Reply Tara

    So important. My husband and I were just saying how we need to set hours for ourselves so we have time for each other!

    December 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    • Reply Allison

      It’s SO important. We do this often and keep reevaluating. It prevents us from feeling stale.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM
  • Reply Leslie Lee

    This really resonated with me as well. Thanks so much for being honest, and sharing the concrete ways that your working towards changing things intentionally for the better. Working a full time creative job plus trying to start a photography business has lately turned into me spending all day and all evening on the computer. Feeling so very swamped with finishing up Christmas card sessions on a tight deadline, meeting work deadlines, all the (usually fun!) trappings of Christmas, and getting my heart focused on Advent.

    December 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM
    • Reply Allison

      I’m glad to hear others feel like I do! I can completely relate to your schedule. It can really add a lot of pressure and stress (two things I’d like to avoid). Obviously I know I need to work hard but it doesn’t need to span every hour of every day.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM
  • Reply Andrea

    It fills me with the crazy when I see people check their phones during a social gathering. If it’s something planned where you’re supposed to tweet or instagram, fine. But when you’re with friends, you shouldn’t be checking your phone. At. All.

    I’m not sure if this is because I didn’t grow up during the internet movement and cell phone movement or what. But the fact that people just don’t have conversations anymore and just chat kills me.

    I’m all for living in the moment and making sure to take time for self-care. It’s so very important!

    December 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    • Reply Allison

      There are times I use it as a crutch (like if I’m shy or bored) but when I’m with my good friends, it also drives me crazy. Now that Christmas is coming up, I want to avoid using it when we’re with family. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 16 and so my whole life we ate at the dinner table together without any tv or even hats/caps :)

      December 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM
      • Reply Andrea

        Yes! We ate all meals at the table and we couldn’t even bring a book or newspaper to the table. Cell phones and such didn’t exist (or were ridiculously expensive) at the time but no way would my mom and dad have allowed that.

        December 5, 2012 at 2:33 PM
        • Reply Allison

          My mom would even shut the blinds so I couldn’t watch my friends play outside. HAHAHA.

          December 5, 2012 at 11:30 PM
  • Reply Jess

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately too. It actually really bugs me when people play on their phone when I’m talking to them (though I know I can sometimes be bad about this too, I’m trying to be more conscious of it). And I’ve even thought of asking friends to put away their phones, but I don’t feel like most of them would take it very well. I just feel like we only half-live if we’re trying to do too much simultaneously. That goes for trying to juggle too much at work, outside of work, and beyond. Sometimes it’s great just to be “in” the situation, whether it’s cooking or spending time with family or friends or going for a walk.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:25 PM
    • Reply Allison

      It bugs me too, Jess. Kind of like when people interrupt me. I just want to stop talking to them. I know it sounds lame but it’s true!

      I definitely know what you mean. I feel like if I seriously tell people to put their phones away it will make me look like a party pooper.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:38 AM
  • Reply Amanda

    I tried this one time, we had a bunch of people over for brinner (breakfast for dinner!) I had a bowl that was the cell phone bowl that people we’re suppose to put their phones in, but it was so hard for people to let go. Kind of sad that it’s that hard for people to let go of their phones for one evening.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:36 PM
    • Reply Allison

      I love brinner!!! But yes it is sad how attached we’ve become to these phones. I’m not perfect at the disconnecting thing but I’m definitely trying.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:39 AM
  • Reply Liz

    I love this. I wanna come over for dinner! ;)

    December 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM
    • Reply Allison

      I’ll save you a spot!!! :)

      December 6, 2012 at 12:39 AM
  • Reply Katie

    Such a great post, Allie! I’m finding the need for more intentionality, as well, and it’s something I’m really trying to focus on this season. I really love your idea of a dinner party where everyone turns off their phones, too. We become so addicted to checking them! It’s like a little “world” we disappear into. (And that meal sounds DELICIOUS!) :-)

    December 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM
    • Reply Allison

      I totally agree, Katie. It’s an addiction and I’m guilty too! Obviously I know that parents need to have access to their phones or people have work emergencies but we don’t need them in our hands at all times. That’s why they RING! :)

      December 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • Reply Kate

    THIS. I’m kinda running on fumes myself these days… it’s time to step back a little! Just after I finish this crazy crunch mode that’s happening over the next few days.

    December 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    • Reply Allison

      Me too, Kate. I’m replying to this on a Saturday afternoon but I’m in bed with my laptop. Feels good to just relax.

      December 8, 2012 at 2:05 PM
  • Reply Margaret

    Feeling this way about a lot of things lately… you are not alone! Thanks for stepping out and sharing this! :)

    December 6, 2012 at 10:26 PM
    • Reply Allison

      Glad I’m not alone :) Thanks for commenting, lady!

      December 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM
  • Reply Day 260-Jen | twelvemonthsofgratitude

    […] For this, which really resonated with me today: http://blog.allisonlehman.com/2012/12/on-intentionality/ […]

    February 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM
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