I spent yesterday trying to dig up all the weeds from a patch of ground in my backyard where I have unsuccessfully attempted to grow a garden. Currently there are two zucchini plants there which have bloomed and bloomed all summer but have yet to produce a single zucchini, and then a rather sprawling poppy plant. I have promised myself that next year-next year – there will be a glorious bed of flowers surrounding a small plot of vegetables, perhaps sweet peas, pumpkins and beets. It will be beautiful and fragrant and buzzing with bees. (My kids hate bees. Maybe I’ll rethink the flowers.)
This morning I woke up a little sore from all that weeding. I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down at my computer, just like every morning, to check in with all the online things I have that need tending – e-mails, social network connections, etc. I am so much more attentive to these things. Sometimes I feel too attentive to my online life, too plugged in to my computer, and too attached to technology in general.
I have a small list of life skills that I wish I’d learned better when I was young – sewing, cooking, gardening. I avoided those things back then because they seemed the height of domesticity, and I of course was going to be a rock star. I now appreciate how those things add value to my family’s life, particularly cooking and gardening. Good food is very important and I’m increasingly more cautious of the food available in restaurants and grocery stores.
I also love how tactile those activities are. So many different textures are involved with weeding, or cooking, or creating something with cloth or yarn. Technology makes everything smooth – the keys on my laptop, the roller ball on my mouse, even the keys on my synthesizer and the buttons on my sampler are smooth, almost bland. I sometimes wonder if it’s not making my life similar – smooth, bland.
As we move into August, the final summer month, I want to spend less time at my computer and more time outside preparing my fledgling garden or just running around with my kids. I want to make healthy, yummy food for my family and decorate my house to match the changing seasons.
I’ll still be doing music of course. I have shows coming up in October and November. Those months seems far away right now, but after the upcoming family vacation we have planned, it will be time for the kids to go back to school and then the days will do that crazy, runaway train thing that happens at the end of each year, like a rush to the downhill finish of Christmas.
How about you? Do you every feel too plugged in? Do certain times of the year make you more aware of your time spent working online versus working in the real world? I’d love to hear about it.