Day 14 - Unplug and Connect

No surprise about today's blog, tapped out on my iPad (still unable to upload to website blog)...

Today, there was a common thread in conversations with folk that linked to computer issues. Funny how that was, even though I didn’t mention my own dilemma with my MacBook refusing to come to life.

I began to see how reliant we can be on technology and how impactful it is upon our sense of wellbeing, and in some instances, our identity. People were telling me about passwords that go astray; we lose them or forget them; we mix them up with other letters and numbers society calls us to combine and store. Often computer language is foreign to us, and this can be intimidating – along with the speak that technical knowers, commonly called IT folk, direct at us at speeds of light. I don’t know that my neurons ever fired that quickly. Still, we all agreed, we’d not be without them.

Well, today, I also came to realise just how attached I’d become to my MacBook. It hit me soon after I had tried all the so-call ‘fixes’ and called the Apple Store to no avail. I sat in front of my unresponsive computer and just stared at it. Then I looked around at the room I was in and actually thought ‘What will I do now?’ That question didn’t so much relate to the mechanical issue at hand, because I’d made an arrangement to take it to a repair centre. No, the ‘I’m at a loss’ question quite literally asked of myself, ‘what do I do?’

It was then I considered how much of my life revolves around that computer. My writing, my business, much of my social engagements, my contact with family, my client sessions, my financial interactions, creative projects. My laptop has become my hub; the centre around which my life moves.

That awareness was new. And it wasn’t altogether comfortable.

And here my spirit is giving me yet another opportunity to grow. Another line in my vision statement is about connection: ‘ I am connected with people and loved ones.’ Today told me that my connection has heavily relied on circuit boards, workable monitors and wiring. I’ve had a more intimate relationship with my computer than I’ve had with the people in my life..

Gee, how sad is that?

One of my conversations today related to vulnerability and with the opportunities that can arise from being open in vulnerability. We explored the possibilities for knowing self better, and for connecting with feelings and others in that state.

A lot has been written about vulnerability in recent years; how richly transformative it can be. Though it seems quite odd, and atrociously ‘first-world’ to admit, when my computer ‘died’ I recognise that I felt vulnerable. It had become so much a part of my identity, my identification with it and the perceived connections it provides, that when access was removed, I felt isolated, cut-off, stranded, anxious and momentarily hopeless.

Incredulously, I realised that the computer knows me better than most people – if for nothing else than the 40-odd years of heart-felt and oft times very personal poetry stored on it…

My conversations today helped me appreciate myself away from the computer. I know, it sounds so ridiculous. But truly, it felt freeing after a while. I felt my shoulders relax; tension drop away. Being away from the screen helped to realise how much I’ve taken on, and how much I can let go; helped me feel into myself and my identity in the moment, rather than through social media.

In fact, this disconnection of computer-me has been so liberating and so connecting. It’s allowed me to step back and feel myself again as the conduit through which my connections, feelings, love and care flows – rather than through a keyboard and 15 inch screen.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m going to be super happy when my ‘puter is returned all fixed, but this separation (anthropomorphism intended), has afforded me space to prioritise my wellbeing, and how I come to relationship and connection with people.

So, those who live that little bit closer to me – expect to see a lot more of me in the flesh!!

New motto…

Switch off – Unplug – Connect