Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Time in My Hand

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I am at a long time low for time spent on the computer. Current mood, interests and some browser functionality troubles making it a less engaging draw than usual. This is mostly a very good thing, not being so tied to the screen feels liberating, but it sure makes it hard to keep up. When I do check in I am a little overwhelmed. There's no keeping up with twitter, that's for sure. You're either there or you're not. I frequent an Aspergers board, and an allergy one, and I am a member of 4+ nings (and that is after culling the list last year!). I am finding time for light lurking, but not enough to participate much. I have the ubiquitous, though mostly inactive, flicker, facebook, shelfari, and youtube accounts. I do tonnes of practical stuff online from banking to researching, shopping to managing my library activities (how thrilled was I the day I realized I could request whatever books my heart desired online and have them all ready in a tidy stack on my next visit to our closest library?!). And then there are the things I am really invested in, like keeping up with my sisters and my gerds (girl nerds!), the kick-ass online course I am only about halfway through, and of course, here...not just posting, but wandering through the aisles of blogland, absorbing inspiration and encouragement, and hopefully putting some back out there too.

But time, time, always with the time...and balance. I have more freedom with the choices I can make in regards to my own time than most people I know, yet still struggle with managing it...or maybe I struggle so much for that very reason. It is open ended, much of it flexible in my own hand...mine to figure out, mine to waste or make the most of. Yup, unbusy. Still working on the unbusy.

And what does less time on the computer mean? Yesterday it meant time to read to 2 sick boys, and when my voice was tired and I absolutely had to do some housework, it meant laundry folded and a clean kitchen while we listened to Stephen Fry read us Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone. Then when a very ill L started trailing me around the house wrapped in a grubby blanket, just to be near, it meant I could stop and go sit with him...for a long, long while. It also meant getting all caught up on Complex Collage (the aforementioned kick-ass course), although obviously, I haven't posted my work yet, (*irony*) and cooking the most delicious stir fry for supper (sick boys scarfing down tonnes of veggies=parental triumph).

But when considering my screen time, it is not so simple as in the olden days when it was crystal clear that blowing 4 hours playing Doom was not the best use of my afternoon...no question. (what? those monsters were not going to kill themselves.) Now, the value of time invested in the computer is a little more complex to quantify. I am doing good stuff on here, learning, sharing, accomplishing practical tasks. I broaden my own world by connecting to the world at large. I am old enough to still marvel at just how fracking cool the internet is! Remember when researching meant making umpteen phone calls, hauling ass to the library, and trying to decide just how out of date the info in that dusty Funk & Wagnall's was? I mean, c'mon! You will have to pry Google out of my cold dead hands. Internet=good. Computers are a necessary tool, and time on them, not only unavoidable, but beneficial in a myriad of ways.

However, it has been undeniably pleasant to be less plugged in, and when I sit down to check my home pages and email, sift through bookmarks and twitter feeds, I am reminded of just how much complexity I have added to my days. And the time eaten up!? How often does just checking your email end up as link after link after link of an hour's worth of rabbit holes? Or maybe that is just for us ADD-ers? (ooooo, shiny object...) For me it can be a frighteningly potent distraction. So pulling back a bit, as Martha would say, it's a good thing.




9 comments:

  1. Oh, E, I could have written chunks of this but you did it better. The photo is stunning. I need unbusy too, I can't keep up, but I need to know my people are OK, so check in once in a while OK?

    I think I'm breaking up with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube I'm only seeing casually. Ning, I'm down to the gerds and Blogger, well blogger I struggle with, and my emails are mostly alerts to check blogs, or spam and marketers, so I can fix that. My photo mania is still peaking, must scale that back a bit. And oh, my with the google and my cold dead hands. I am a blackbelt google fu master and no need to know will ever escape me either, but I'm trying to tamp down the rabbit hole effect.

    So glad you were there to sit and read to the boys and I truly wish us all well, enough with the sickness, yes?. Glad the daily routines let us be there when we're needed. We're lucky, you are so true. But need more time, time, time.

    Please share the art when you've made something else fabulous, I need my E fix! I have my unbusy bee in a prominent spot, and I see it every day and it still makes me smile. Hugs to you,

    Mel

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  2. less plugged in is GOOD! : ) enjoy!

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  3. @Mel That's me too, down to gerd ning & blogger plus a smattering of twitter & my course, and not on the ball with keeping up with any of it. "Blackbelt google fu master" made me laugh. The information, all the glorious information! I will still be around. (you couldn't get rid of me if you tried at this point, lady! ;) I just need to step back and let a bunch of the extraneous stuff go. And I am glad you like the unbusy bee. :) Warms the heart, that does.

    @La Dolce Vita Thanks! I will. :)

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  4. i'm glad you are happy less plugged in--tis spring now and the birds and bees to call one out to play after all, but i am also glad that you and mel are staying gerd connected. i would be very sadface if it were otherwise. I do get how it can be overwhelming, the net, but also how much fun the rabbit holes can be...i mean how else would i have learned this http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/04/10/i-lather-you-i-know-han-solo-soap-even-greedo-would-love/ existed =P

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  5. poop, that link is not clickable (it's star wars related so you may want to copy/paste and go peek-i thought the boys would squee) wait--i'll twitter dm it to you as well in case that makes it easier...

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  6. Dear E - glad you are choosing balance and happy to share you with those you can touch and hug and read a story. But am also happy to find comfort in your blog, truths and glimpses into your life. <3 TFoM

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  7. I love the picture. So. frickin. cool. There is so much depth and the crispness on the outline of the hand. It makes it so real, like I could just reach through the screen and touch it. And of course the way that you incorporate the Unbusy theme is just brilliant. Me likey.

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  8. As I start my 5th stupidly long day (ie... 14 hours of work) I jealously read your blog and can't wait until the 1st of May!!

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  9. i completely get this, i just cannot keep up with reading other people's blogs anymore and/or commenting. it just feels too overwhelming to me. too many people i like and want to read about. but i just can't do it right now and enter my own life the way i need to. But then i feel guilty for blogging when people i haven't had time to read come and say such nice things. Argh!
    (and please don't feel like you need to go visit my blog now, RESIST, or it becomes a vicious cycle!)
    I'm happy to see you here.
    I think you're doing great.

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