Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mental Overload

Not plugging in to technology is an appealing life choice...if only I could get the universe to agree!

On a recent trip to my mother's I spent two weeks trying to find a computer so I could print off my boarding pass.  There were a number of options available but none of them in the two bedroom, two bath condo at the 55 and older complex where my mother lives.  Mom does have a television and a DVD player she has never used and a CD player she only turns on to listen to the radio.  Most of my visit was spent in the lost art of conversation with my uncle and my mother.  I actually learned from the experience a bit more about my family history, the physical limitations of octogenarians and the problems with living in paradise.  I had an opportunity to read some books, take some walks and generally live life at a snail's pace.  We studied the birds and admired the flowers and all without the assistance of pinterest, twitter, Skype, e-mail, the worldwide web and even only limited TV (Mom likes FRAN and MASH reruns so none of the current shows.)  We did spend a bit too much time reviewing weather up north, especially since cold and snow happen in the winter once you are above the Mason/Dixon line.

At a work function one of my bosses encouraged all of the employees to connect into twitter in order to keep up with community events.  Immediately I was excited by the idea and as a good team member felt a camaraderie with my toiling co-workers.  Then I remembered that I do not have a smart phone, my computer is shared with my ex-husband, and we have been instructed not to mess up the mojo on our server at work with 'personal' items which I assume includes private twitter accounts. 

I am not going to lie, I felt inadequate. 

And yet, I also felt liberated from the technology ties that bind.  I miss the fine art of letter writing even though postage is now $.48 a stamp.  I miss the face to face conversation and notice that even when I do try to engage in even a frivolous conversation many of my friends and family whip out their smart phones, which just makes me feel dumb.  I actually used to enjoy the occasional home movie or video viewed with family members and not streamed to the universe via U-Tube.  What good is an inside joke if everyone else has been let in on the punch line? 

Yesterday I was supposed to go to a presentation on selling writing through various social media outlets.  Well I showed up at the wrong library and even though I could have hopped in the car and headed to the next town, instead I gingerly maneuvered down icy sidewalks.  I did a little shopping. I tried on too tight clothes and too loose shoes.  I smiled at the people on the street and joked as they shoveled their walks.  I bought a bunch of daffodils for $1.49 and brought them home to brighten my little cottage.

I made a decision to simply live in the day rather than learning about uploading images that are not true reflections of my daily struggles.  It is OK not to have it all and not to be it all.  There are days when I come home from my job and simply unplug.  My mind seeks solitude and a sense of quiet instead of being bombarded with noise and images that are sometimes unrelenting.  It is in those moments that throwing a ball to my neighbors (ex's) dogs is the best mind wipe I can imagine.  Thing is, they always bring the ball back to me and I do not have to wait for the phone to ring or the bird to tweet or the computer to bling.

Next time I travel I may just throw caution to the wind and get my boarding pass at the airport...

P.S.  I will be catching up the old fashion way with the Sunday newspaper later today.  Again to my Ukrainian reader, please stay safe and know there are many praying for democracy...


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