It’s Tuesday, and I’ve been spending the last several days in another dimension – one where time, access to information and connection are very different. It truly is like being in the Twilight Zone!
This past Saturday in the early evening, I happened to take a look at the box where my WiFi/internet comes into the house, and it was swarmed with ants—thousands of little tiny ants in my living room. I know these guys, there is an ongoing war between me and them! Last November they took out an electric outlet which left me in the dark for several days before I could get an electrician out to restore order.
This time is more bizarre because it took out my capacity to use the web and my phone (which is voice over internet). I’m left with my truly basic cell phone, designed for emergencies only. What that means is that it’s a basic “burner” phone. I can call and get texts but no data at all. It’s sort of reliable.
Of course Frontier doesn’t see this as urgent so they have decided to drop in and fix it on Wednesday. I was delighted to have a neighbor who allowed me to use her computer so I could email my three clients that I had calls with on Monday, and friends I was supposed to meet on Tuesday. I still need to contact the clients booked on Wednesday to warn them. Theoretically it will be fixed by the time of their calls, but I’m not really trusting that.
So here I am writing my blog, not in WordPress where I normally do this. Instead it’s back to Microsoft Word for me. I have TV because I have been on an antenna for that for several years. I also have a fairly big collection of movies on DVD. So there is that.
The phone doesn’t ring. That’s odd in a way. Somehow that’s more about all the catch up I’ll need and want to do when I am reconnected to people.
Which brings me to the real reason I’m writing this blog. The most pervasive and odd part of this ‘blackout’ is that I can’t go look anything up, any little fact. Things like:
- What’s the weather going to be like today?
- Which internet provider gives the best service? (Frontier had me on hold for an hour, and wasn’t clever enough to have an option where I could choose to have them call me back. They did continue to suggest that I use the internet to solve my problem…hmm…but I both digress and rant.)
- Is the next Phryne Fisher Mystery ready for me to download onto my tablet from the library?
- What’s an easier Hair Ball treatment to use than that sticky brown toothpaste I can’t get down Miss Teak’s throat?
One of the reasons I don’t have a smart phone is that when I’m out in the world, I want to be present in the experience. So I’m frankly amazed at how many times I go look something up out of curiosity, a desire to plan, or wanting to gather data to make a decision.
Most of my childhood through my teenage years I spent summers in Wyoming with my maternal grandmother, “Cupcake” (so named by me when I was very young because she was sweet and had white hair – Frosting on top). She never had a TV, and reception for those that did was spotty anyway. We read, played games, wrote letters, sewed, knitted, talked…did things. The phone was on a party line so people didn’t tend to have really long conversations, and if they did, they did so knowing that someone might be listening. Summers where very different than my life at home where I had a TV in my room, and spent much time on the phone as a teenager.
I held the two places as equally valuable, just different. Frankly I think these two different worlds helped me to be both adaptable and curious.
Today I’m feeling calmer about this turn of events. There is something in this ‘experiment’ about the value of just ‘being’ where I am in the moment.
I have learned something from this hiatus. It’s something around allowing myself to sink into where I am right now, instead of anticipating and leaning toward what’s next. Trying to cram it all in to the detriment of not really experiencing the fullness of what’s here. Oddly, for me, the next step will be to limit how many times I go look something up once I am able to do that again. The question will be: “Do I need to know that now? Or can it wait?”
What might the experience of being without phone or internet in your daily life for several days be like for you? And could there be a pony in the midst of that pile? Looks like at the end of this I’ll have to acknowledge some value in the ants’ act after all… hmmm.
Shell Tain, the Untangler
PS: it did finally all get sorted. I’m back in the present!