Are you disconnecting? ——————————————- 19th July 2015

Last Light at Beavertail Lighthouse

Last Light at Beavertail Lighthouse

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere … and in the middle of nowhere you find yourself …” – Stacy Westfall

In the last week, I have been offline more than on – it started off unintentionally as my Internet Service Provider seemed to have neglected their core duty of providing the Internet service I pay for – seems to be more widespread than isolated. Well I’m not complaining, since other than getting a raw deal there, offline mode seems to work for me at times, as I learned a few months ago.

Back in April, I took a solitary vacation in Tennessee – the intention was to take a break from the daily grind and spend some time grounding myself to nature. Almost every day I was out hiking, nature walking and doing either photography or simply enjoying some view of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Somewhere close to me leaving Tennessee and proceeding to the next leg of my vacation, I decided I would stay in the cabin one day and catch up on email and social media. So I woke up late, made some tea, powered up and … alas no Internet. I tried all my devices before I called the front desk to enquire. Seems that a truck had accidentally pulled down the connection that linked the resort to the rest of the world and they didn’t know when it would be resolved. A quick roll of my eyes to the heavens and a sigh, followed by a small reassurance to self that this was a first world country and that service would certainly be restored within the hour, I hung up on a very polite girl named Sue whose accent was so adorable that when she gave me the news, it was easy to withhold the shriek of disbelief.

My first thought “why oh why did I chose today of all days to stay in the cabin … I really should have done something outdoors”. So I went down to the restaurant and got lunch, watched whatever there was on the tube since I had no phone to distract me … and then noticed that everyone else there was doing the same … it may seem trivial, but in the last few years with people getting more and more intimate with their phone, it seems like we hardly ever watch anything else, let alone have our focus in a common direction or …each other. Gasp!

I went back to my room, took a nap, followed by a long soak in my jacuzzi (which was simply decorative until this point), did laundry, watched a movie and then realized that in between all that, I had checked if the Internet was back up…oh at least a hundred times … sigh I thought, now I know what “stir-crazy” feels like (thankfully it seems a long way off from “bat-sh*t-crazy) and on realization of this I made a conscious effort to check less often.

“Unplug the World, Ground Yourself and Rewire Your Thoughts” – Nisha Ramroop

I read … I wrote and several cups of tea later I was sitting on my balcony listening to the birds, then to the rain, then to the music I had stored on my iPad, mostly hours of the haunting and beautiful voices of Florence Welsh and Lana Del Rey. By dinner time, the front desk called me to let me know that the service wouldn’t be back up until the next day and in that instant I realized that not only I could, but I would survive 24 hours plus with being disconnected. I blissfully started planning the rest of my night, which included more writing and music and it was almost surreal, a powerful reminder that this was how I spent many hours on the weekend growing up and it was nice to be back there in my head. I felt truly happy.

Lots of time to think, to reflect on self and the choices that I made for the year thus far (which has been pretty awesome by the way). I have become a strong advocate for getting rid of the negative energies in your life as quickly as possible – people and things that suck the life force out of you … that detracts more than it adds and makes you feel less than the person you really are at times. In the direct opposite to that, I have started surrounding myself with creative, happy, fun, positive people and I know that I add to their lives as much as they each do to mine.

So many ideas have seen fruition this year, so many more successes to feel proud of and thrilled to have started back drawing and painting and realize that I still have that skill, even though it has been dormant for years.

So yes in that day back in April, I woke up at close to midday and proceeded to have the most boring, uneventful and albeit restful day that I have had in years. And I took a page out of that to reference at will. I was disconnected from the world and all of it’s distractions as I reconnected to self … a reminder of an uncomplicated time … a simple feeling I wish for you …

Enjoying my own company [Tennessee]

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