Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letting March slip through my fingers

If I died today, the most truthful thing that could be chiseled on my tombstone would be:

Here lies Michele Arnett, who never ran out of excuses.

I mean, today is the last day of March, and for reasons I can't explain, I still have roughly the same to-do list as I did at the beginning of this month.  Where did the time go?

I don't watch much tv, I'm not having an affair, I don't drink (during the day, anyway), I'm not a therapeudic shopper, I don't have a month's worth of dinners in the freezer...what the heck have I been doing this month?

Answer:  Internet.

I can lose an entire morning looking at the antiques for sale on craigslist Chicago.

I spend valuable hours chasing down k-cup deals on ebay, effectively canceling my minuscule cost savings in lost time.

  And facebook - well, facebook has become a problem for me.

Once I get caught up on everyone else's business, I jump on a word game and blow another hour.  It's inexcuseable, and I'm preparing to disentangle myself from all but the most cursory involvement on that site.  I'll check in on my kids' activity and a few friends who are far away and not available for regular conversation, but I need to quit posting the status of my laundry on that site.  And the local weather.  And my complaints about the length of whatever season I happen to find myself in today.  I truly don't care about your laundry or your weather - what makes me think you care about mine?

Like many in these parts, the long winter, cold temps and long-lived snow made it very easy to commune via laptop, Ipad, etc., for months on end.  I'd go from facebook to craigslist to ebay to Land's End Overstocks to various news and blog sites before the kids were even on the bus.  Fire off a few emails, play a few games of Word Drop, glance at the clock and it's noon.  Time loses all meaning when you get caught up in surfing, shopping, catching up on stuff.  But when I look up and and entire month is gone, it's time to take my time more seriously, while taking a vacation from OPS (other people's stuff) shopping.

 So I'm setting this goal for myself - wean self from facebook over spring break (next week).  I still want to publish my blog posts there, because frankly, I don't think anyone besides my mother would read Polite Ravings if I didn't smear it all over facebook and Google Buzz.  So I'll stay plugged in, but I'm going to attempt to severely limit my visits to the virtual party room and try to see and talk to people the old fashioned way - in person, or on the phone.

That's right, I'm going to waste more time and precious natural resources dropping by your houses, calling you during dinner, sending silly cards with dogs in sunglasses for no reason, and emailing hilarious recycled jokes and videos to you.  I know you can't wait until I stop using facebook for my social hub.  Now I'm going to be bothering you from multiple communication platforms.

It's going to take some planning, but I'm committed to rediscovering social networking without the aid of a computer.  Today I already talked to 3 people on the phone, and visited two at their homes.  It felt good, and I even got hugs.

And there is no doubt that hugs beat

by a country mile.

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