For over two weeks, I had no computer. My old MacBook Pro screen turned green. Then, rather than starting up, it would get to the (now green) Apple icon and then would start to boot again.
I had known for a while that my old laptop was potentially near the end of its life. The hardware was about six years old. For some reason, that seems to be the typical lifespan of computers that I use. The exceptions have been the two times I gave my less-than-six-year-old laptops away to family members. (Ironically, none of those family members consider me to be family any longer. Life changes.)
You see, having only a dead computer has given me time to focus on other things. I haven’t kept up with blog posts (the guest blog post that went up during that time took hours to convert/transfer the words and pictures without a full-blown computer); social media reading or posting; all of you: I just don’t find the tiny screen on my phone or even an iPad to be very easy places to read or compose most email messages. I’m also 2 weeks behind on some of my audio and video recording projects. Ouch!
But the void left by the dead computer has opened a rich treasure chest of reflection and noticings. Instead of jumping into email and tweets early every morning, I began to reflect quietly, read poetry, drink water, and play piano or guitar. My venturing out from my work-at-home jobs during the day to meet local friends has also increased during these weeks without a laptop. It’s no irony that before the computer died, I was often feeling lethargic and uninspired. Since starting these new practices, I consistently have more energy and a sense of enlivenment.
Today, like any other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
A new computer arrived yesterday. It’s a desktop this time. I’ve started to recover (I will resist the temptation to start on that metaphor) the information from my dead computer onto the new one. My intention is to maintain these sense of opening into life — through self-care, connecting with friends, music, and so on — long after the new computer is set up.
What practices help you keep inspiration and really living in your day-to-day?
7 thoughts on “Of Dead Computers and Really Living”
Gosh, Stan. Who can’t relate to the upside-down-ness of getting a new computer? Two weeks without a computer is like going cold turkey. I’ve read about people who’ve given up their tech for much longer periods of time, but not sure I could do that.
One of the things I do to re-awaken and connect with my real life is to turn off technology, usually for a day. No iPhone, iPad, iMac or MacBookPro for anything other than work-related tasks. I wrote a blog post about it. At first it was unnerving, but I came to realize how liberating it felt to be untethered from devicec, and not respond to pings, rings, dings in Pavlovian fashion.
Desktops help because you are able to cart them around even if you wanted to. I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy it!
Thanks, Terri! Great to see you stopped by.
I do remember your post. Doing the tech break purposefully may be something I do occasionally after this experience.
Blessings and hugs,
Stan, it was good to revisit this post. It was like a “tough love” digital detox. Almost gives you the jitters at first, until you realize most of what we do/say/ on social media is fun, but not essential to real life.
Thanks for the link. I love that we’ve crossed over from virtual to REAL LIFE friends. ((HUGS)) Terri
It’s so fun when writers (i.e., not me) drop by my blog. You said that so well. Yes, the essential things are made more clear in times like the one I related in this post.
And a big YES to connecting beyond the interwebs! ((hugs)) back…
Stan, I would definitely go through withdrawal if my laptop and iPad died!
It really helps me to have dinner with friends or family and buy tickets for events — stuff that gets me away from computers and reconnects me with life away from tech. I also LOVE good movies.
I hear you, Linda! It can be fun to find stuff that doesn’t cost money, too. Well, I live in the country which makes that more interesting. 🙂
And good movies? I’m with you there.
Thanks for dropping by. See you on Twitter…
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