Tuesday night Annie (my laptop) went on the fritz, so Wednesday morning I brought her in to get checked out at the tech gadget hospital. She ended up staying overnight. Luckily, it wasn’t anything major, like that dreaded blue screen problem I had with another laptop several years ago. Apparently, cat fur is able to get into the inner workings of a computer and if there is enough of it, it will clog up the thingys that make it work. The tech doctor gave Annie a good cleaning under her hood and I am now back in business.
While I was waiting to pick her up, 3 people in line ahead me were bringing in their Smartphones to be fixed. I found out the majority of the tech gadget hospital’s revenue is made from people dropping their Smartphones in water (lately swimming pools). What dipshit brings their Smartphone in the pool? Apparently, at least these 3 people did. I am working on not judging others, but sometimes I have to roll my eyes.
Being without access to social media for almost forty-eight hours wasn’t that hard and it gave me a chance to think about, how much time I spend reading other people’s blogs, tweeting, checking email, snooping around Facebook and Pinterest. I spend way too much time on Pinterest!
When personal computers and cell phones first came out, I said I would never get either one. I did just get rid of my flip phone a few months ago and went back to a landline, but my Annie is staying. I use her for everything and she helps me continue writing. Everyday I either blog, write essays or rewrite my book. If I had to do it with pen and paper my fingers would have worn out long ago. Annie helps me be a better writer along with her friend Ms. Spellcheck.
The Internet introduced me to other writers, famous and some not so much, all of whom I would never have known. It also turned me on to Buddhism and many of it’s teachers (this is a shortlist); Thich Nhat Hahn, Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Chris Grosso and Brad Warner. YouTube gives me front row seats to lectures about Buddhism, spirituality and contemporary philosophy. I could never have learned as much as I have in such a short time before the Internet. Libraries are still one of my favorite places to hang out (second to cemeteries) but there’s nothing better than sitting in my living room, alongside my cats, whose fur will eventually clog up my laptop again.
That being said, taking a break from Annie gave me a chance to put all the Buddhist and spiritual teachings I learned into practice. I spent more time outdoors, played with my cats and actually cleaned my patio. I spent more time “being” than doing, although I did finally read Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird that has been sitting on my coffee table almost 2 weeks.
I can thank the Internet for introducing me to her. She’s been around for many years but I never heard of her. Actually it was her picture that caught my attention.
I don’t know any middle-aged white women with dreads. Actually I do know another one but she isn’t a writer. Bird by Bird is a book for aspiring writers like me. I go to a creative writing class at a senior center once a week to learn basic grammar, but Lamott’s book goes into detail about how to be a good writer. She tells us how to get over writer’s block and stuff like that. I probably could find that information on the Net but its nice to actually read a real book. I don’t own a Kindle or whatever else they have out there and I can guarantee you, I won’t ever. I like the feel of a real book and flipping through the pages. You can’t do that with an eBook and don’t get me started about the iPad. That thing makes me dizzy!
Lamott writes that we can find inspiration for a story anywhere if we pay attention. That’s how I got the idea for this post today. Actually, I thought of it yesterday and wrote it in a small notebook I keep close to me for the sole purpose of jotting down ideas, so I don’t forget.
From now on I will make it a habit to unplug at least one day a week and if I’m really brave, a whole weekend.