one of the things that i do when i’m at home on vacation, is i limit my computer time. i set up a schedule and i stick to it. why? reasons! like with lots of things, if there are no parameters, i find myself in front of my computer all day doing just about nothing, including playing video games, reading articles that don’t interest me, checking facebook, and then cycling back around again in an ADHD kind of loop: email, facebook, video game, bad tv, email, facebook, game.
this is part of the reason why i don’t have a physical TV. i would just turn it on and then i’d watch whatever was there. Honey i shrunk the kids, Clean sweep, Trading spaces, Littlest people weddings … and it’s not like i can just watch tv and be happy about it, either, i have to berate myself the whole time: “this is ridiculous, why are watching this, you should be doing x or y, finish this show and then turn it off, oh you just wasted an entire afternoon.”
so about 10 years ago i got rid of the tv. i still watch shows online, but individual chosen shows, not just “turn it on and see what’s there for hours.”
i’m the same with online stuff. Yes, i use the computer for work, and work has office hours. but i work from home. so i could be ever-on. and when on vacation, i could fill up my time in front of the screen instead of actually ‘vacationing’ (reading, making a puzzle, playing cards).
so for vacations (summer/winter) when i’m at home, i institute a computer rule. my particular rules are: i can be online until 12 noon every day, then turn it off, with only a half-hour at 6 pm to check in, and then off again until morning. If i sleep in, then i get less time … My husband is as bad as i am with online distractions, so he does this on vacation too.
yesterday, i got up, had bfast, caught up on all my emails from the 3 days christmas vacation away, wrote a blog post, prepared the micro email, got all the envelopes ready to mail bracelets and necklaces, and sent an email to my cardiologist. I wanted to record an audio, but i was out of time. at 12:04 pm my husband was standing in the doorway of the office saying “it’s time!” … i literally ran out of time to list all of the happy sober celebrations for Team 100 lovelies. Maybe i missed mentioning you. and you saw that i left you out. and you felt sad and a bit pissed. please know that i didn’t do it on purpose 🙂 please know that my husband is trying to help me stay the fuck off the computer while on vacation.
please understand that moderation in all things ‘compulsive’ is hard work. it’d be easier to give up online time entirely. (i don’t have a portable/cell/pda/ipad for just this reason). please know that setting limits and living within them is hard. it’s easier to have none (no booze). it’s easier to have none (no tv). and it’s a challenge to do what i want to do in the time allotted online each day. why? well, because i’m like everyone else here. i have more ideas on what i want to do than there is time. i know you can relate 🙂
so let me sign off with this. yesterday, after i turned off the computer at noon, i went and ordered 10 kg of bergamot lemons (hooray), i bought my fancy salon shampoo (finally), i picked up lunch from the bakery. i came home, had lunch, drank tea, read my book. i did two loads of laundry. i cleaned up the bedroom and unpacked my luggage from the trip. i finished one book and started a new one. i tried to make bread like we’d had on vacation. i made a list of all the things i wanted to do online beginning at 6 pm (including finding a new recipe for kugelhopf bread, the first recipe didn’t work well).i roasted a chicken and made mashed potatoes with cranberries (delayed christmas dinner). i had a shower. i played cards with my husband. we watched one hour of one tv show (on the laptop, in bed, no wifi). then i slept 10.5 hours.
what gets done when i turn off the computer/tv? everything else! the house is cleaner. i read more. i definitely sleep more (and better). we’re more likely to go for a walk after dinner if there’s no online distraction waiting.
what am i distracting myself from? my great sober life?