Do you have multiple cell phones? Take your ipad to the beach on vacation? Ever find it hard to get through a conversation without posting an update to Facebook? Is your computer always on?
We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our iPhones and BlackBerry’s, chronicling our every move through Facebook and Twitter and shielding ourselves from the outside world with the bubble of “silence” that our earphones create.
If you recognize that in yourself – or your friends, families or colleagues— join us for the National Day of Unplugging, sign the Unplug pledge and start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.
The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sunset to sunset – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.
When I don’t have the time or energy or ideas to type here, I often put up an image or a video. Forget about a two-minute distraction. How about an hour-long concert of my favorite one-man band from Toronto in Paris?
Enjoy the relentless beauty, creative precision, and fusion of classic instrument and modern technology of Owen Pallett.
I don’t pretend to be all high and mighty and shun the television. We have basic cable and I enjoy my fair share of crappy so-called reality train wrecks and the culturally-acceptable Downton Abbey. I usually wind down in front of the screen and disengage with the world. It’s like a mind clutch.
After dinner I was relaxing on the couch with a lump of dog on my chest. After exhausting my phone’s social (media) validation, I was about to use the remote and see what was on. For whatever reason, a tiny “no” rang in my head. No. No, I won’t feel better after watching mindless tv. No, I won’t sleep better. No, I won’t feel more rested by “relaxing” on the couch.
So, I’m going to step away from this tiny screen and stick my nose into a book. It’s like a bicycle for your brain—no helmet required.
So another day and another missed posting. I realize I’m only trying to show myself that I can type into a box once every twenty-four hours (which is a different goal than writing). All of yesterday felt off.
It started with a four a.m. dog walk for a suddenly not well puppy. (I’ve deleted the details.) She slept through last night very well, but the day was full of worry, out-of-character personality, and enough bodily fluids to consider whether taking her to the ER was wiser than waiting until today. (We opted for today. She does not appear to be in any discomfort.) I know I am abnormally attached to my dogs, but I understand life is finite and unexpected things can happen. This seems like a passing thing, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
The second not typical thing about yesterday was my working from home and a work field trip to Stitches West. I was showing a knitting newbie the overwhelming-ness of a trade show cum massive yarny pop-up in Santa Clara. It was great to see Kristine and Adrienne (and mom Michelle) from A Verb For Keeping Warm. Of course I hung out (always too briefly) with Debbi at the BMFA booth (my stomping ground for a year). And I got to meet Jeanne and Julie from CreativeBug and hear how the sock knitting flash mob we put on was included in their investor presentations. It’s impossible to do a quick drive-by at Stitches, but we had to rush back to the City because work email and network servers were going to be shut off at 4pm. So much for working from home through the night.
Discombobulated is a better description of me and time yesterday. The unsettled anxiety about a four-legged friend haunted me. The rampant consumerism combined with the joyful gathering of kindred spirits is dizzying. (I could write at length on my ethical conflicts of stash hoarding.) The ever-present stress of work and the whispering (oft-neglected) call of personal passion projects tore me from being present.
There’s no easy fix, but I can’t help but think this could be helped with a simple scamper. I’ve fallen completely off my training plan for the past two weeks, save last Saturday. It’s more fuel for my head’s nagging negative fire. (See, you still can’t train properly! You’re lazy.) An hour or two pounding myself out of my brain and into my body could be a step toward the grounding that was missing yesterday.
But now it’s Saturday. An new day. A vet visit. A return to Stitches for after-hours communion with a few friends. And maybe a run.
The day switched into tomorrow without a moment set aside to type. A pet peeve of mine is complaining about not writing, yet it seems to be a crutch of late. My whole schedule needs to be reconsidered. I come home too late and too grumpy from the office that all I have room for is some leftover pizza and Dance Moms. Runs have been skipped for at least two weeks. Knitting wasn’t touched for days on end. Rut would be an understatement, but I’m in it.