Perhaps the only thing more challenging than living without shopping for six months is living without Internet access for six days. My beloved iMac crashed (again!) and has been enjoying an extended stay at the Genius Bar at SouthPoint Mall. I called today only to learn that it may be there until the weekend. You might as well cut off my right arm.
Typically, I check my email about 150 times a day. Really, this may only be a slight exaggeration. I check it first thing in the morning (despite Julie Morgenstern’s best advice), then check again before taking kids to school, then check every available moment throughout the day, and then, when the kids go to bed, I’m attached at the hip to my computer. If I had a Blackberry (or heaven forbid, the greatly anticipated iPhone), I’d be mainlining email and Internet crap all day long. I don’t receive that much important mail (yes…some is business and rather important–and this is a really busy time for organizers!, some is personal, and there is the administrivia from various boards I sit on…and there is also a lot I could live without). But I’m addicted to checking, and reading blog stats, and other meaningless gambling-like highs throughout the day (perhaps this time I really will hit the jackpot and get a message about that TV spot I tried out for???…more on that later).
So, after 6 days Internet-free, I realized I’m a much better mother without Internet access. Once I got over the DT’s from the first few days, I started paying more attention to my kids and actually enjoyed some extended playtime with them both, rather than sneaking away to check my messages. I know much has been written about “screen sucking” and “frazzing” and all of the other multi-tasking lingo of our generation. I’m here to tell you, shutting down for a few days was good for me.
Of course, when my mother arrived for a visit today, along with her Mac laptop we gave her for Christmas last year, I barely said hello before I knocked the kids over on my way to grab her computer and boot up. So here I sit, catching a buzz and blogging, and happy to be back. Somewhere, there has to be a happy medium.