Part of these cycles of paring down the noise in my life involves feeding my need to disconnect when I have that urge. That said, the last time I disconnected, I came back with some very interesting bits of insight which settled into my bones and made me feel like Julien for a moment or two.
This past week, I felt the touch again. The last time, I just read and prioritized responses. This time, I simply turned it off.
All of it.
For one. Whole. Week.
The first couple of days were murder. I do not sleep much. In fact, I sleep maybe four or five hours a day and only in sets of two hours at a time. I leave the computer on the desk. There is a scented candle lit. The last few days have had no sleeping music. It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, I just can’t sleep longer when it’s time to actually sleep; if it were mid-afternoon, I could easily snooze for five hours solid (or can I?).
That said, when I woke up in the middle of the night on the first night, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t mill about on the interwebz because I had no other real reason to. After a while of frustration, I decided to:
- retrieve the clothes from the dryer and put all of them away.
- lift weights.
- jot down ideas for things to focus on the next day.
After this, I thought about nabbing a nap, but decided to exercise again, then shower since there was no way I was napping and waking up before work.
The whole week passed by like this. I had to find so many things to do to fill up free time that I would have spent checking on this or that instead of getting things done:
- bought a bike so my roommate wouldn’t have to ride alone
- played DDR for about an hour twice in that week
- more reading
- more writing
- more time with my roommate in general
- crying with friends that needed someone to cry with
- laughing with friends that had good things to enjoy
That last one was interesting. It seems that, coincidentally, I am at the beginning of a small spiritual re-awakening in the middle of this week so less noise from everywhere else was helpful to that process so I could take things in and enjoy them.
I had some bdays with friends this week, so I left town. Mind you, again, I would have probably done what they were doing (checking social media apps), but I was to be free of that until the last day of the trip, so I:
- went to the beach
- went to dinner
- went to a bar
- went to a club
- took pictures
- played in the waves
- got swept away by the waves
- played in the sand
- chased seagulls away from our cheetohs
- let my towel fly in the wind while I held on
- got complimented on my looks; i didn’t know anyone was looking
- tanned (but not so much thanks to sunscreen)
- made a few new friends
In short, all of the things that make time with your friends awesome when you’re at the beach and not lost in the world of media. Mind you, I love all of my tweeps and FB peeps and I missed them a lot. I was sad that some of them were having rough days that I missed as I was away, but they got on fine without me and some of them called me or wrote me and I was able to catch up with everyone after I got home anyway.
To remind you all: Social Media is part of my job responsibilities where I work. When Sunday rolled around, I posted for a solid hour with everything I had to comment on having missed so much, but it was relieving to not have anything to respond to for a while and just space out sometimes or think about other things or gather my own scattered thoughts after a long day of work and look up my own info because I didn’t have people to ask and actually use my feed reader app and email and my phone.
You know what didn’t happen while I was gone? World-ending disaster. People missed me (and I them), but they were okay.
Maybe this will happen again, maybe not, but whether it does or it doesn’t, the lessons (not to mention the joy of that week) will remain and that’s the important thing.
What do you think about all this?