Ditching the dreaming
We spent the past couple of days on a slap-bang road trip to Phoenix, land of many, many air-conditioned buildings. We had a great time visiting family (the reason for the trip) and gasping in shock at the temperature, which swung from a low of 95 degrees (at 2:30 a.m.) to a high of somewhere over 110 degrees (midday). We didn’t do much else, since how are you supposed to be a tourist in a city that resembles nothing so much as a wood-fired oven?
Instead of becoming acquainted with the incredibly overbuilt and smooth-as-butter roads that make up the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, we stayed indoors and were amazed by the wonder of the modern world that is air-conditioning. (Think about it for a minute. Artificial refrigeration? A-ma-zing. Without it there is NO WAY Phoenix would be the sixth-largest city in the U.S.).
I spent no time online this weekend, since I didn’t bother taking my laptop with me. This means that I took a break from some of the blogs I’ve been following. It’s a short break, sure, but it’s still a break. I didn’t check the blogs Friday, because I was getting ready for the trip; Saturday and Sunday we were under way; today (Monday) I spent the entire day running errands, doing laundry, and generally working on the house.
The result? I got a lot more done today than I imagined I would, including a seasonal purge of Thing Two’s wardrobe (she helped) that I’d been putting off for a couple of months. She now has only clothing that is the right size and that she likes to wear. I also discovered a major hole in her wardrobe — namely, underwear that fits her. Oops.
It’s a pretty sure bet that if I’d turned on the computer earlier today I would have accomplished much less than I did, with serious consequences for Thing Two’s underwear drawer. I’m forced to admit that reading blogs about housekeeping, design, lifestyle, and culinary adventures (yeah, I’m looking at you, Smitten Kitchen) does not directly translate into a graceful, beautiful, well-organized home filled with tempting delicacies. It does, however, contribute significantly to the slightly lumpy, derriere-shaped curves in the seat of my preferred armchair.
Reading these blogs has given me a mind richer with ideas, and a wider view of the world. Both of these are positive to me, and I enjoy them. But if I’m honest with myself I can’t pretend that they are better than a cozy, well-kept home, or that knowing someone’s secret recipe for blueberry cobbler is in any way a substitute for a complete and appropriate child’s wardrobe. I want to see a little more domestic magic happening here at home, in a very non-vicarious way, and there are only so many hours in a day. This means that I’m going to have to bring the way I spend my time in better alignment with what I know I value.
How to do this is always a challenge, at least until it becomes a habit. I’m not kidding myself into thinking that I can quit my blogs cold turkey and never go back — I’m not into that form of deprivation. But maybe I can sneak a little weekly hiatus in there, give me a chance to switch out some dreaming for some doing. An Internet-free weekend might be the ticket, a mental break to let some of that online inspiration trickle down into our offline lives.
I’m curious, of course, as to whether or not this will work, or if I’ll just take the time I’d normally spend noodling around on the Web and instead spend it playing solitaire or reading cooking magazines. I’m curious about other people’s experiences. Does anyone out there successfully redirect their time when they do something like this? Inquiring minds want to know.