Saturday, August 16, 2014

Closing Windows

If you want to know the state of my mind these days, all you have to do is glance at our computer screens and you will see how cluttered or scattered or tidy my thoughts are - by the amount of windows I have 'open'. Then multiply that by three because I have Wi-Fi access on my cell phone and net book as well. It is hard 'closing all of those windows' at the same time. Which is perhaps why my days of 'severed connections' were a much needed lesson for me.

I have spent two hours this morning running (okay, I am only ambling) around the house tying up loose ends.
  • Finish daycare blog post
  • Wash sheets and make bed; fold laundry; put away
  • Read meters and submit reading
  • Reply to email
  • Copy and paste Family History email into document
  • Change Facebook password (possibility of being hacked after 'friending' someone who was already a friend; please let me know if you receive a second 'Friend' request from me!)
  • Wish prior Daycare Daughter a happy birthday
  • Print off coupon for bonus AirMiles
  • Deposit daycare income and update spreadsheets (pay bills another day)
  • Empty dishwasher; tidy kitchen clutter
  • Give Senior Cat his pill
  • Get ready to run out the door to put in Day #1 of my two-day Bookkeeping Weekend
I think that I have quite literally 'closed all of my windows'. On the computer and off of it. I am trying to empty the clutter of my mind so that I can come home to a clean slate tonight (I went and did at least three more things after I wrote that sentence). 

I have a bad case of (too many) Open Window(s) Syndrome. My thoughts are pinging around in my head like the tangled web that I weave when I follow a link on the computer. I read one thing and I follow that thought to a new web page. I read that and my thoughts divert to two other things; then three more; and another unrelated thought over here. "I will just 'open this window' right now so that I remember to follow through on this thought later" is the constant refrain in my mind (I just went and followed through on another unrelated thought as I wrote this).

Our home has a terminal case of 'open windows'. My family Book Project; the never-ending list of things to be cleaned, repaired, replaced, donated, thrown away, ... (and the list goes on); people I should call, email or write; little adventures that I should/could plan; birthdays/holidays/deaths/occasions that should elicit some outbound contact (yes, there is another sympathy card sitting on the kitchen table that requires a 'personal touch' before I mail it off)...

Such is life. My story is no different than anyone else's. Perhaps it is multiplied by the fact that I am far too connected to this world of ours. 

It used to be that any time you walked out of your door, all 'connections' were severed. You ran your errands, had lunch with a friend or took a vacation and turned off everything except what (or who) was right in front of you. "Thank you", cell phones (I write sarcastically). You stole that freedom from us!

Okay. Cell phones became the norm. For almost everyone (thanks, Mom for holding out on this one; you are my idol). Then came texting. One would think that a text is akin to an email. Even if you know it is there, you should not feel obligated to read it until you are alone and have the time. NO! That doesn't happen. Text messages take much too high of a priority in many cases (mine included and even my sister confessed that she feels much the same). Texting has become the new 'let me butt into the line of your life and become your number one priority'. Texts, you are so rude. I abhor you. Yet I love you. Thank you for letting me receive those urgent messages when I need them (I am not being sarcastic here).

Add a phone data plan to that? And you have 'me' (even though all I have is a WiFi connection). Far, far, far too connected. Outside in the back yard? I can read my emails. Driving past an open WiFi connection? My phone will pick it up and beep at me, to tell me I have an unread message. Sitting on the couch and spending 'quality time' winding down with my Daycare Crew before nap time? I can often be found lurking my Facebook page in lieu of watching the Berenstain Bears for the twenty eighth time. And the list goes on.

"TURN IT OFF, GIRL" shouted my internet connection to me. Time and time again this week. But what happened the moment I was hooked back to all of my services? I was at the computer or on my phone checking to see what I had missed while I was away.

I am officially shutting all of my windows and walking out of this door. If I am very smart (I am not), I will not start opening them the minute I walk back in. 

I need to change this habit. But I am hooked. I am so beyond hooked. I am addicted. 

There is a part of me that enjoyed our period of Forced Silence. I think that I should incorporate this into my day. An hour at a time. Then work up to a day. And beyond. Sometimes? I like to listen to my own thoughts and the thoughts of those around me. 

Just for today. I will turn it all off. At least until I finish my work day...

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