what am i distracting myself from? my great sober life?

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.

distractions. hmm.

what am i distracting myself from? my great sober life?

Happy day 180 to Stacey!

Happy day 100 to Debbie!

Happy day 50 to Liberte!

Happy day 50 to Ozgal!


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Sadly, I too get sucked in by the lulling quality of aimless internet time. Not the sober blogs- they serve a great purpose for me! I’ve taken a different approach to internet management: every time I sit down at a computer (ie, not on my treadmill desk)- I set my phone timer for 25 minutes. Then I need to do 5 minutes of activity (recorded on my FitBit, lol, I admit)- jogging in place, jumping jacks, something outdoors when the weather is nicer. Even at work.

    When I’m at home, more often my jogging or whatever takes me by something else that needs doing- put in a load of laundry, finish up the dishes, oooooh, I only have one more seam and that quilt top will be complete… I think getting up and doing something breaks that trance, that mesmerization with one more site, one more game, one more store on Etsy…and allows me to say to myself- isn’t there something else I’d rather be doing?

  • I agree and finding I’m spending way too much time online…. I get obsessed on my favs especially social media. With My obsessive personality I am going to set some new limits now too.

  • Amen! Must be a common thread for us boozers. Moderation is hard, so I, too, limit my screen time. Unchecked, it’s amazing what crap I find on the internet – do I really care what celebrities split in 2013? Or some random guy’s take on chemtrails and how the world is going to end by 2020? lol

  • I agree with this; too many electronic distractions keeping us from being present. I’ve never been much of a boob tube watcher, maybe 2-3 hours a week. Growing up my mother was very strict about its use. So many cultural iconic shows that I never saw and for that I’m glad. My addictive personality trends toward the news. I have 10-15 news sites and blogs that I read every morning with my coffee. Usually done by 10:00 or so. When on vacation I don’t do that and always realize in retrospect how relaxed it made me.

    • larry, you remind me, I’ve given up news entirely. I just don’t feel ‘better’ knowing about too much stuff. most news isn’t ‘good’ news. and my brain gets filled up with chaos in parts of the world that I can’t change and have no impact on my life …

  • I totally get this. I was becoming a sober blog junkie! There’s soooo many good ones to read. So I do my mail and my Belle stuff for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. Then after dinner I spend another half hour reading and commenting on some of my favorite blogs. I have a tv, trust me there’s nothing worth watching anymore. I listen to audio books during the day when I’m cleaning or in my car. You can get so much more stuff done sober.