A Day Without My Computer!

Jan 23

dreamstime_2033500Sometimes, the forces of the universe conspire against you.

Not in any major way, like illness or worse (I can’t bring myself to actually use the word death), but in minor terrifically annoying, irritating, Larry David ways, like not being able to open that !@#$?! impregnable plastic packaging on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Or: Depriving you of the Internet for a whole day. A whole day!  
Talk about enthusiasm curbing.

It happened to me at the worst possible time: just before Christmas when I have to get all those last minute gifts (well, cash in envelopes “count” as gifts, don’t they?) and find all the various and sundry things items I need for the holiday dinner.

Where ARE those napkin rings? Never mind, where are the napkins? And the candles? Sure, they’re in here someplace, (See: L&O:Lost & Found Division ) but honestly, it would be easier to just order some from Williams Sonoma. If I could find the catalog in that towering pile of cheery Christmas publications that will end up under the couch because who has time to look at them all and do I really need the holiday edition of Big and Tall Men.

Well, if it were a beefcake calendar, okay, a girl could benefit from a peek at some stud muffins at a time like this, but it’s a collection of ordinary-looking clothes for guys 6’12″or something, and I, poor lamb, am a woman, a mere 5’2 with no need of those humongous plaid shirts or washable extra-long khaki pants.

 When the Great Internet Interruption occurred (don’t ask why, because only the Internet gods know that, and maybe not even them), ‘Twas The Week Before Christmas and All Through the House . . .


AptMessMy built in computer desk was being installed. The apartment was a mess, with furniture and boxes piled about. The room itself was in chaos: I couldn’t get to my files, my checkbook, or my pencils even.

No Internet, No Blog! No Facebook Even!

Then it hit me: I couldn’t post my blog. Oh noooo. Not the blog. And it had that great review I got from Woman Around Town that I was hoping people would see in time to go to Amazon and buy books as gifts. Not to be.

And then there’s Facebook. Yes, Facebook.

I know that I’ve said in the past that I’m not really a Facebook kind of gal, but since I wrote that (Is Facebook Dead ?), I have, apparently, changed. I absolutely positively had to get on Facebook that day. Luckily, I discovered that I could do that on my beloved iPhone, which, of course, I already knew, but had never tried. Necessity, they always seem to say, is the mother of invention.

Personally, I’ve always felt that necessity is simply a mother. But don’t quote me on that.

swarkovski___iphoneBut the iPhone, as much as I love it (more than any other electronic device I’ve ever known), can only go so far. I have to get ON MY COMPUTER in order to post my blog, and to send any emails other than really, really short messages. Texting and tweeting are great for the nimble fingers of the Gossip Girl gang (Will you miss the show?), but when you actually want to write something? Not so much.

Are There Advantages To Being Without A Computer?

Actually, there are. It forces you to sit there and think about stuff. Remember thinking? It was what we used to do before we could Google anything or go to Wikipedia (never mind that much of it isn’t correct).

It’s what Sherlock Holmes does when he sits there quietly, putting his fingertips together and coming up with solutions. To problems.

There was an article about that recently in The Times, and the conclusion was that even a few minutes of quiet contemplation helps to clear your mind and return to the tasks of your life more mentally alert. Mediation works in the same way.

Well, I’m no Sherlock, and while I haven’t, like Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall, forgotten my mantra, I don’t meditate regularly anymore. However, this experience did force me to sit quietly for a while (I closed all the doors that weren’t off their hinges and found a place away from the noise of the drill and hammer) and thought about stuff.

Then I made lists. On paper. With a pen. (Found some in the kitchen drawer from hell. Who knew?) Then I finished the Christmas tree and packed up the stuff I wasn’t using (we have so much!) to be stored in our lock-up. I found a poster that might be just the thing for over my new vanity. I made a sandwich for lunch and read the newspaper. Quaint, no?

And I thought about how lucky I was to have a new desk, a vanity table, a Christmas tree, a family to celebrate with, all that corny but true stuff you already know but are too busy going online and sending emails to remind yourself of.

The next day, as the fates allowed, I was back in business: that is, back on line. But that day without a computer was nice, in a weird sort of way. You have to try it sometime.


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