Over the past week I’ve traded roughly the same amount of daily online time to be out of the house instead. I’ve roamed the county with my children, Lucy the puppy, and a couple friends. The mornings are gloomy and foggy up here in the mountains, and they’ve put me into a funk despite using my Sunbox bright light and drinking my beloved java. I am thankful that these grim, drizzly mornings turn into beautiful afternoons complete with sunshine and clouds wafting across blue skies. Good weather makes a huge difference in my ability to haul myself and the girls out the door.
I’m excited to share with you that I attended my first puppy training class with my two daughters last night. Although our Petsmart instructor is probably half my age, she’s a bona fide puppy whisperer – she’s simply awesome! “B.” was skilled at explaining concepts clearly and while she was nice, she was stern, and I liked that about her. At the start of class, B. asked us what other mammal is similar to dogs in terms of training techniques. Somehow I knew the answer. My arm shot up and I called out excitedly, “Dolphins!” At one point during college I seriously considered studying dolphins. B. informed us that she has actually worked with dolphins at my alma mater University of California at Santa Cruz. I was thrilled when she told us that dolphins and dogs share training techniques in common, and it was fun to be in a class with puppies as my classmates.
As far as my unplugging goes, it has only been for three days to be exact, but it feels like a lot longer than that! I still check out Facebook, email and Twitter each morning while drinking coffee. In the evenings I love reading other blogs on my Kindle while I work out on my elliptical – I make cryptic comments using my index finger on the tiny screen. But during the day it has felt healthier for me to lessen the amount of time I’ve been glued to my MacBook Pro and Kindle. I don’t have a smart phone, which for me is a very good thing. I can’t check the internet once I leave the house unless I bring my Kindle to a friendly unlocked WiFi zone.
I was further inspired by my blogging friend extraordinaire Kitt’s blog kittomalley.com. (a.k.a. Kitt O’Malley – Living with Bipolar Disorder. Loved by God.)
Her post “Doctor’s Orders” was published this week, and its primary topic seemed like a great omen. If you too find yourself challenged with spending an excessive amount of time online, you must read this post:
As much as I despise labels, I know I’ve been obsessive-compulsive in checking emails, surfing Facebook, doing wacky Google searches and the like. If I keep up this excessive behavior, I could see myself becoming burned out soon. Then I would most likely cut myself off from the online communities and blogosphere that I’ve come to treasure. I don’t want that to happen! So if it takes a few days longer for me to reply to comments, to read blogs and contribute comments than I ideally would like, I realize it’s no big deal. If I skip writing a blog post, no one is going to perish! What matters is the total amount of time I spend each day wrapped up in the internet.
I know the following statement is utterly obvious, but I haven’t internalized it until now:
The more I develop my life outside my laptop, the more I can bring back to share in my blog and other online outlets.
It won’t be easy to get out regularly, as my social anxiety continues to loom large, but I’m going to do it anyway. Having children and a feisty, energetic puppy forces me to plan excursions. We live near a ton of beautiful parks, and there’s locally owned Coffee 9 where the baristas are friendly, and Lucy can sit outside on the patio, loving the inevitable compliments from passerby.
What do you do for fun when you leave the house? I’d love to know!
Have a great weekend!!!
I took this photo of Lucy yesterday at the park. Earlier that day I brought the girls to Petsmart where they begged me to buy Lucy this “dog dress” for $2.99. I’ve always felt dogs shouldn’t wear clothes, but I caved this one time. Mark my words, never again!!!