What would it be like if we didn't have (gasp!) an internet connection? Can you imagine?! I try. I've definitely cut waaaaay back on the amount of time I spend in front of a screen of any sort. Checking my email one afternoon, I realized very little of it was from actual people--the majority was advertising and sales. Sales for things I don't need with links to more things I really don't have any interest in perusing. In a fit of tears (seriously), I systematically unsubscribed from nearly everything that was cluttering up my inbox and I can't begin to tell you how liberating it was to cut those cords.
This is my life. These are the days that make up my life. Why on Earth have I been spending so much time clicking it all away when I could be doing something? And I'm being pretty hard on myself here, because I don't (didn't) spend all that much time online. I still managed to accomplish a lot with my days. What I noticed, though, was a deeply engrained habit of "just checking". Email. News. Blogs. Weekly grocery ads. Any random thought that needed further clarification. And it wasn't making me feel good. So I stopped. Well, I'm stopping. It's a process.
Now...now I am beating the jeepers out of my to-do list. The collection of sites I actually pay attention to has dwindled until they can be counted on one hand. I'm reading so much more--in fact, I find I crave time to read a book more than I yearn to watch a movie lately. I'm imagining, in full color, what it would be like to completely disconnect and live outside of town. To raise a child with books and gardens and seasons, rather than Elmo, iPads, and days full of often fruitless tasks that do nothing but lead us further and further from feeling genuinely satisfied.
So, what's left is for me to find a balance. I do get some satisfaction from writing, but I'm not super thrilled that it sometimes feels like an obligation. We can't run away and build a life in the hills just yet, so I'll just have to bring the hills down to the Valley floor for now. And we haven't won the lottery, so the epic cross-country tour and the EuroVan will just have to wait. In the meantime, there are plenty of amazing things for us to do right here at home. And I will write when I feel like it.
And I will cook.
And step outside...
...to take a very good look...
...at all the extraordinary things...
...that are happening in my life.