You wake up, grab your phone and your Wi-fi doesn’t work. What do you do? (After freaking out a little bit) You turn on the mobile data, and before even having brushed your teeth, you walk around like a human antenna, holding your phone above your head, trying to get from LTE to 4G.
Fifteen minutes goes by….
What was happening on the internet, that was so important that you couldn’t start your day before reaching the 4G?
I know what it was. You saw the number “one” over a social media app icon, and you needed to see what it was about.
Could it be a like? A new follower? A reply to one of your posts? OMG, a DM?
With your 4Gs and your heart back in your chest, you check and see it was a “recommended post” published by someone you can’t recall who the heck is. (“See less often”, or “Snooze post like these for 30 days.” I don’t know what’s your poison)
Today I woke up and there was no internet. My problem wasn’t about checking my phone because I’ve deleted all the social apps a long time ago, so that I can have a life.
My problem was that when I sit down at my desk, 440 am sharp, I begin a strict routine: while I am drinking my coffee, I check the status of my blogs and my emails. None of which is important. None of which is to determine how my morning is going to be like. And yet it does.
I do that for thirty minutes or so, just to fully wake up and let the coffee kick in.
But today, given that I couldn’t do so, I stared at the screen.
I just… stared…
I looked at my planner and all the things I am to do offline, but nothing mattered to this brain, which was like, “Just call support again. Maybe they already fixed it. Maybe ‘an hour and thirty minutes’ are two minutes.”
And it got me thinking, like many times before, that this is … not… cool.
Every time the power goes off for instance, which in this city happens a lot during the summer, I think about that: my relationship with technology.
I grab a few candles, blank sheets, and my favorite pen. I sit down at the dinner table (because it is so pretty and I never use it, because it is uncomfortable) and I “think.”
And every single time, I write about the following: how twenty years ago I used to sit down at a table in my patio and draw. Without a drink, sometimes even without music. And how peaceful I’d felt listening to the birds chirping in the tree and just … drawing, and mind wondering.
How I used to, after my nap, think “What can I do this afternoon?” – Meet up with friends, go rolling skating by the river, go to the mall and buy another pen? -, instead of transferring my body from the bed to the couch and see what’s new on Netflix.
This is sad.
It makes me laugh, and it might make you laugh because I’ve unveiled your deepest feelings, but this is sad.
And you know what else I do, when the power goes off? I have a “short term epiphany.”
Writing under the candle lights, treasuring the silence, I think, “This feels so good!” And I write down a list of things to do so that I can cherish the life unplugged, or I create a whole new routine to live as I did before.
And boy I feel so proud!
“I am so present!”
Then the power comes back.
(You know that vibration you feel a second before all your appliances turn on? Exhilarating, right?)
And I yell, “THANK GOD.”
Besides the “benefits of the life unplugged,” today I got to thinking about how my routine is structured around things I cannot control. My precious mourning routine specially.
And I wondered, what can I do while I wait for the coffee to kick in that doesn’t require something that I may lack another day, like today?
Every night I could print a draft to review as I’m drinking the coffee… But that would require all my light bulbs on.
I could just start writing about whatever comes to my mind and see what happens… Nah… I don’t see myself doing that. (Plus, I would need the whole coffee.)
So, do the dishes? And drink my coffee standing up? Geez, what can I do, do, do?
Or what if…
… What if I do nothing? What if I turn a deaf ear to this hyper brain, and I simply sit down in front of a window… or nothing, with blank sheets and my favorite pen? And I take a sip and wonder, “Maybe today will be a beautiful day… What if I try to make a change?”
I believe I’ll do the latter.