Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unplugging

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

I didn't think I could do it - go three days without internet access. No facebook, email, twitter, pinterest, Cozy Chicks, none of 'youse' guys to hang with. The very thought made my forehead sweat with anxiety. How could I go to the campground bathrooms without the security of my phone, let alone wander off into the woods where reception would be virtually non-existent? I resolved to at least try.

So there I was in a Wisconsin state park with a tent, a cot, and a family who knew what they were doing. And did I work! Initially, hauling everything out to my car and driving there. Then setting up, with meals to cook and dishes to wash, and everything took way longer than loading a dishwasher. When I wasn't working my buns off, or hiking in a really awesome prairie, I faced long stretches with nothing to do. On an average day, I'd be hovering over my laptop, checking out my online friends' activities. But this wasn't average, because I had left my 'stuff' at home. Good thing I brought books along (and no, not on a device. Real ones).

At the end of the weekend, I had to pack it all up, drive home, and haul it all back into my house.

But ya know what? I returned feeling incredibly healthy - both mentally and physically - and excited about getting back to work. No aches and pains bothered me as they usual do. No chatter had been going on in my head about nothing even remotely important (I have a lot of that). I hadn't worried at all about my future or regretted events from my past.

Then I realized that for those three beautiful days, I had been living totally in the here and now, focusing on what was going on around me rather than what was happening inside. I was looking out, and it felt great. I can't wait to do it again. Unplug, tune out, leave 'stuff' behind. Um...well...at least leave certain 'stuff' behind. Because now I have a whole lot of new 'stuff' to deal with. But that's okay. Those are essentials.

Try it on for size. Unplug for an hour or a day or a few days, and see where the experience takes you. You won't regret it.

11 comments:

Peg Herring said...

I know what you mean! It's great to HAVE to relax, because it's the only way to really do it. We went to Alaska in June, and for days had no net and often no phone service. Gee, we had to look at each other, talk to each other!

Deb said...

You are so right, Peg, about having to. It's a gift.

NoraA said...

No thank you. Our idea of roughing it is a log cabin with kitchen and running hot water. It came with the bare essentials of a tiny fridge, a 20" stove and uncomfortable beds. For my daily exercise I had to hike down the hill to the pool area to pick up a spotty wi-fa signal. There's no way either of us could be that unplugged. I took my tablet and she had her i-touch(psnl) and her crackberry (offc) to check her e-mails on. I packed my (gifted) RT Book Bag with unread books and we were ready for anything.

CindyD said...

We are off for a road trip and we don't have an Ipad or Iphone, so I will only be able to connect when someone else's computer is available... I THINK I'll be okay!

Deb said...

A log cabin sounds divine!

Deb said...

You will be just fine. Have fun!

Debbie Rhoades said...

One of my Amish fiction author friends challenged us to have a technology free Sabbath every week. Virtually the same thing you did for 3 days. I haven't been able to do it yet, but I am going to do it this weekend. I guess technology is like an addiction. I don't like the idea of anything having that big of a hold on me. God knows it eats up way too much of my time.

Heather said...

I did that this past weekend. Not the camping part (though I'd love to go again sometime), but unplugging -- at least from the computer ( I don't have a cell phone, though I know a few people who could do with a few days away from theirs). I did not log on to the computer once over the weekend, from the time I left work Friday afternoon until the time I got to work Monday morning. Instead I spent the bulk of the weekend reading, finishing two 450+ page (print) books. It's good to completely disconnect once in a while.

Deb said...

Good for you, Debbie. And you are right - it is an addiction!

Deb said...

And we almost have to put it on our calendar as a reminder. Otherwise, we get sucked back in!

Aurian said...

I am glad you had a great time Deb :) I can get so lost in a great book that I don't check my email and such for hours. But when the book is finished, I need to clear my head again, and for that the internet works perfectly.
On vacation though, I don't need the internet at all.