Oh, dear reader, do not assume this joyful event came without struggle; it did not. There were countless unexpected delays, parts that needed to be ordered and then did not arrive when expected, messages that were not relayed as requested, and internet connections that failed to cooperate. All told, there were three trips to and from Birmingham in pursuit of the blessed reunion. All monetary proceeds from eighteen hours of house cleanings went to secure my precious laptop in a repaired condition. Dear reader, it has been a two-and-a-half week-long nightmare, each lonely moment separating me from my beloved computer complete misery.

But I am a survivor. I cut corners by checking only one of my email addresses regularly when I borrowed Hubby’s computer for an hour each day. I declined to visit my favorite industry blogs. I was almost thankful for the Olympics for interrupting regularly scheduled television so I could safely avoid Hulu. I sated my need for TV by watching my half-hour soap opera as frequently as I could.

Instead of my usual computer-driven life, I found other occupations for my time. I wrote blog entries by hand (Oh, the dedication!), I read eleven books (six of which are decidedly children’s books, two were non-fiction – though one of them was less than 100 pages long – and at least one was quite demanding and took several days to read), I cleaned the main living areas in my home four times. I made fourteen lunches for Hubby. I lost six pounds. I washed ten loads of laundry and three loads of dishes. I went grocery shopping four times, two of which were to get items I forgot in preparation for cake baking. It snowed twice. I hand painted (okay, spray painted mostly) my dining room table and chairs (which look awesome, by the way!). I survived life without constant access to Facebook, Outlook, Pandora, AIM and Hulu, as difficult as it seemed at the time.

This afternoon has had a subtle glow about it. I caught up with Nathan, Eric, and Le R (ie, my favorite publishing bloggers). I had surprisingly little television to entertain myself with, but that was okay because I listened to all of the “teen pop” I could possibly handle on Pandora. I chatted on AIM. I stalked on Facebook. I pressed the addictive “send/receive” button in my Outlook about ten thousand times. I sent and responded to emails. I listened to a commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard in 2008 (highly recommended). I composed this blog entry without hand writing a single word. I edited my resume and wrote a cover letter (though I admit I did this out of necessity rather than for the enjoyment of it).

Tomorrow, though, I hope to strike a balance. In my two-and-a-half weeks of laptop withdrawal, I’ve come to realize that perhaps I, when left to my own devices, spend rather more time than I should staring at a computer screen. Quite a lot can be accomplished when one’s lap isn’t being constantly occupied by a computer. So tomorrow, when the glow of the reunion has faded, I plan to do things that require moving. Don’t get me wrong, much can be done with the use of my beloved laptop as well, but I’ve become sort of accustomed to a clean house and proper conversations with people. Here’s to the attempt, at least!

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What’s the point of a computer without internet? Makes it difficult to do just about anything useful. I’m writing a blog post now, in a word processor. How old school! Though if I’m actually being honest with myself, I have written several of my last posts in Microsoft Word. It’s a format I’m comfortable with and have been using for(basically)ever. I think the early years were Word Perfect, but my dad would have to be the one to confirm that. Anyway, at least I’m not attempting to write my posts by hand. On paper. Now that would be old school.

But I’m surprised by how heavily I rely on the internet. I probably spend 65% of my waking hours on the computer, checking my email, [note: I’d like to go ahead and add a link to my last post, but I can’t do that without the internet!] looking at blog stats and writing new posts, reading others’ blogs, chatting with buddies, researching businesses…the list is lengthy. And now all I can think to do with my computer is write.

Not that writing isn’t a productive use of my time – it is. Sharpening my skills and all that. I imagine that I wouldn’t get through a post today had it not been for a lapse in internet connection.

Which, now MANY hours later, has clearly been fixed because it took me from 9:30am (the time of  conception of this post) to now, nearly 5pm, to get back to it. I’m a busy lady! I’m working two jobs! But I’ll tell you, a good portion of what kept me busy today was on the internet. I know I’m not saying anything new and exciting in my praising the wonders of cyberspace, but really, how awesome is the instant connectivity, communication, and the seemingly endless availability of information that comes with an internet connection?

Which is why, when I erect my tent in the woods to avoid real life, an internet connection is a real must have. Right along with water, food, and firewood.

Surprisingly, though, I spent a good deal of my weekend completely unhooked. It was a holiday weekend and my phone was dead half the time (not really a stretch if you know me… chargers are hard to keep up with and considering my deep hatred for the phone…why not let it die?) but more curiously, my laptop was closed much of the weekend. Not all – there was a great deal of football being watched this weekend for which I somehow missed inheriting the love my mother and sister share for the excessive watching of. (That sentence really doesn’t make sense, but I’m acknowledging it, so that makes it okay, right?) So I had to do something and the internet provided endless fun.

Despite these few hours of football induced web-surfing, I was surprised at what little time I spent with computer in lap. I guess that just goes to show how much I enjoyed the company and how un-compelled I felt to do any work whatsoever.

Even so, after this holiday of thanks, I must say that I am VERY thankful for the internet (and you should be too! How else would you get to read my every thought?)!