Eight precious days with minimal technology. A "staycation" with no computing, email checking, or social media use. I even taped a piece of paper over the blinking message light on my landline. It was my great experiment. It is over, and here are some observations.
Sobering News Brings Perspective
The day before my official staycation, I received sad, tragic news. A cousin, planting flowers in her garden, was killed when a speeding vehicle lost control, and landed in her yard.
Mid-week, I learned that a friend’s 19-year-old son had died. End of week…I decorated family graves. On the way to the cemeteries, on a six lane highway, cars right in front of me were suddenly, alarmingly, veering to the right to avoid something. I looked ahead and two car lengths away, a speeding white pick-up truck was in the wrong lane and headed, quite deliberately (suicide wish?), toward my car. I screamed out loud. If there had not been space to veer sideways, it would have been a horrible head-on crash. I was left gasping for breath and covered my pounding heart with my hand.
These experiences were sad and frightening, but I chose to consider them a gift. They made life more precious, and made me more determined to make my days off very meaningful.
1. I learned to "space out" again. Call it a brain break. While sipping a drink at a sidewalk cafe, I became bored and automatically reached for my smart phone. STOP! I put it back and learned the art of staring at city birds on cement
2. I started noticing people again…their expressions, smiles, frowns.
3. The first two days were the hardest. At first I threw myself into house projects. Then I remembered I was supposed to be on staycation, and backed off a bit.
4. I wanted “throughout the house” music. Couldn’t do it without firing up ITunes. I honestly hadn’t used my stereo in years.
5. I ran out of a number of supplements that cannot be purchased anywhere locally. I HAD to go online to order them.
6. When the computer is on….I shop. When it is off, I don’t. Hmmm...turn off technology, save money?
8. I learned to garden…something I have never done.
9. My hobbies are all computer based. I couldn’t indulge in them.
10. When I needed a phone number, or directions, I was forced to use my iPhone. I don’t even think I know how to use a phone book anymore.
11. I didn’t eat over my desk. The art of enjoying, truly tasting food, made a comeback.
12. 12. Best of all, I spent quality time on the front porch giving delicate head rubs to my pet parrot Snicker and gecko Larry.
As I write this, eyes on the glare of the screen, fingers re-learning the keyboard, I have a sense of longing for the simple. I gaze through the window. A gloriously green world and light rain beckon. Yet here I sit, robbing myself of nature's calm.
Back to work.
Back to work.