Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lost and Found and Powered Down

The fabulous Huckdoll issued a challenge to step away from the computer, turn off the TV and stop with the cell phone for one hour on July 1st from 9:00PM to 10:00PM and to take that time to connect with the people in your house or just with yourself if there weren't any of those.

Turns out that as has been happening far too often of late during "the apartness," Tom and I had texted back and forth and talked a little throughout the day, but we hadn't really gotten to just sit and talk and hang out together, something that we consider the lifeblood of our relationship and somehting that we both cherish.

Almost on cue without knowing anything about any of this, right about 8:50PM Tom called me while I was mid-shut down, and I turned completely off both computers. Not sleep or hibernate or some other too quick to turn it back on state, but off. OFF. It was almsot eery not to hear the slight buzz that seems so constant as a backdrop to my life when I'm at home.

We had a really nice talk for about 40 minutes, and we both agreed that thousands of miles between us is no excuse to get flabby on our communication and connecting, and is in fact all the more reason we should be keeping it strong, so we will be making a conscious and deliberate effort to do that. Oddly enough, while being absorbed in reading blogs or Plurking (you haven't heard of that? really? go there now. please. then come back.) or doing whatever the hell it is when I stare at the screen for awhile does tend to suck time away from me, it can also make it easier than ever to stay in touch with my sweetheart. We have a little online Scrabble ass kicking, yep, my love, I know you are reading session planned for tonight, and how cool is that?

After we hung up, the computers stayed off another hour and a half or so while I dug through boxes looking for a particular poem Tom wrote me long ago because I've been meaning to find it but have been too busy mindlessly sitting in front of the computer. While looking, I got to sit on the floor and dig through a mix of old memories - my baby book, my mother's handwriting on an envelope she sent me in college, pages from journals I'd forgotten I'd written while she was dying, various bits of evidence of old friendships I'd somehow forgotten to miss, random pictures of me in Japan given with care in by those who took them, the blanket my mom cross-stitched for me before I was born and the doll I've had since birth, poems I wrote so many years ago, my report card from first grade and so very much more.

So at the end of a couple of hours being powered down, Tom and I found a reminder to connect more often because we enjoy each other's company in whatever form it has to take right now, and I found a connection to some major pieces that have shaped who I am. Sadly, I still haven't found that poem. Yet. I guess a couple of hours offline wasn't quite enough, but the next time I find myself going mindless at the screen but still wandering around the Internets just because it's there, I'll power down again to go look some more.


  1. plurking... okay, gonna do an indepth there...

    anyway, i hear what you say about power-lessness. a while ago here, sa went through load-shedding, 2 hours a day, twice daily. as frustrating as it was, the reconnecting with those who were around you was something! personal. one on one. plus the bonus of imprompto candelight dinners...

  2. oh, yes i've been finding that when life starts to interrupt my blogging, i need to turn off the computer and walk away.

    when my husband-then-boyfriend and I were long-distance we used to play endless games of backgammon on the internet. it was so much fun! it was like really hanging out but not! i'm glad you guys got to connect. that's really important.

  3. This was such a fabulous idea for a challenge. We actually disconnected last night. We ended up playing 1,204 games of CandyLand. Well, it felt like that many games:) But it was great not having to use my fingers to type ;)

    I try my best to disconnect for 90% of the weekend :)

  4. checked you out through huckdoll. Good stuff, will continue checking back.

  5. Hey, I participated in something I didn't even know was going on - I spend that time reading :)

  6. Hooray for powering down electronics and powering up you! Hope you find that poem soon.

  7. reminds me of that southpark where they were going 'californeyway' looking for internet

  8. I never heard about this, but funny thing is, the hubby and I did that last night, starting when he got home at 9:30. We just talked until we went to bed, then talked some more. I didn't sleep till almost 11:30. It was VERY nice ... it's not often I can get the hubby to disconnect.

    Glad you two were able to have your downtime together.

  9. I try very hard to leave the computer off in the evenings. It's hard, though, when I feel like the only other thing to do is watch TV. I'd LOVE to reconnect with my husband, but I honestly don't know how.

  10. You know, I debated doing the power down, but figured if I was away from all communication the night before I gave a final exam, I'd freak the crap out of my students, and who needs that??

    As easy as the computer and texting make life, it is nice to step away for a bit. You know, read things that are on real pages and not a glowing screen? :-)

    I'm glad you were able to find great things in your time 'off'!

  11. Awww, Maggie...that was so awesome to read!

    Thank you for participating and posting about it your time away. I was really neat to think that a whole lot of people were disconnecting all night in different parts of the world.

  12. My ideal family vacation would be a week in a cabin on a lake with no TV's, phones, computers, etc. Just us and other families hanging out and having fun. That was the kind of vacation we took every summer when I was a kid and I love those memories.


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