Now, that’s pretty, isn’t it? I find I like starting my day gazing upon this beauty.
Oh, but I forgot – I actually started my day with a cup of coffee and a good book. As you know, I’ve been doing that for a week or so. I cannot tell you what a difference it’s made in my early morning hours. As of today – mid-August – I’ve read as many books as I normally read in an entire month. (By the way, I keep a list of the books I have read on Just Let Me Finish This Page – it’s in the navigation bar.) Obviously, I deeply love reading, but beyond that, the more I read, the more books I can share with you, either on this blog or on Just Let Me Finish This Page. I feel much more productive. And I feel calmer, more rooted, because reading a good book does that for me.
It’s so much more satisfying than endlessly surfing the web.
And that’s the other change that’s happening right now. I am being very selective about when and for how long I go online. I go online at some point in the morning to write my blog post here and every few days, an additional post on JLMFTP. I read my email. I reply to comments. And I visit some blogs and news sites. I check in on Facebook.
And then I sign out.
The internet is wondrous, yes. But it can also be a black hole. We all know how easy it is to go online and come out on the other side several hours later. We shake our heads and wonder “where did the time go?” I’ve been there many times. And sometimes that is necessary; doing research, for example – I do a fair amount of it for my professional work. But most of the time, it isn’t, really – it’s just a visit to a virtual world. And that world is stimulating and full of friends and interesting and educational, but…it’s still virtual.
You could argue that my visits inside the pages of a book are not based on reality, either. And that would be true. But a book stimulates my imagination in a way that my laptop cannot. Books have been a constant in my life since I was a wee girl. That has never changed. And when I read a book, I’m not surfing. I’m reading. I’m following one story, written only in those pages, and a world is created in my mind and not on a laptop screen.
And then there’s life. A life that includes watching a bunny chew on my grass this morning and seeing a young deer eating some vegetation outside my den window, watching birds frolic in the birdbath, cuddling my dog, observing what’s going on around me, taking walks, mowing the lawn, interacting, helping, talking to my husband, talking to my family and friends, doing something creative, gardening, listening to music. Being.
In the end, that’s far more important.
Don and I have discovered that we really have to guard against being on our laptops – he in the living room, me in the den – for long periods of time. Yes, we’re in the same house and we’re together, but we’re also in our own little virtual worlds. There’s that time suck again. The black hole. We’re getting much better about it, I’m happy to say. I’d rather talk to Don, see his face, hear his thoughts, than bury my head in my laptop. We’re working to make space for that in our morning hours. There’s nothing more important.
I write two blogs. One is a book blog, so it involves a fair amount of research, reading and then reviewing books, and searching the web for newsworthy information about all things bookish. This blog is a different animal. It’s a journal of my daily life. I use only my photos, which means I also edit them. I write original content every day – my voice, my words, nothing pulled from Pinterest or other sites – because that’s a choice I made long ago and one I am committed to. I reply to comments. I deal with email. I visit other blogs.
Let’s be honest here, even with all that being done on a daily basis, I really don’t need to be online more than 2 or 3 hours. Often less. Lately, decidedly less.
As always, these are simply my thoughts and realizations about how I choose to spend my time. I love what the internet has afforded me, not the least of which is the opportunity to be a blogger. I can’t even begin to say how wonderful and life-changing that has been for me. I love to write and this blog has been a wonderful way in which to share my writing with you. But now that I’m older and wiser (I can only hope) I have learned that I have to draw a line in the sand. On one side: the internet. On the other side: life. A life lived online for too many hours is not a good thing.
Silly, but sometimes it’s a relatively small change that makes a huge difference. Choosing to read a book for an hour or two upon rising each morning. Not opening the laptop until later in the morning. Knowing when to sign off and close it up.
An agreement with myself.
I’m off to work outside for a while. After I cuddle my doggie and kiss my husband.