I readily admit that I am still not entirely comfortable with wireless technology. I miss long curly telephone cords and purring electric typewriters. They felt solid and grounded, and I felt in control. I still keep track of appointments with a book-like calendar and I make notes on random slips of paper.
Today, I spend undue time worrying that my smart devices will outsmart me. I am uncomfortable with a car that reminds me to buckle my seatbelt, a navigation device that tells me I am not following directions properly, and a cell phone personality that questions my directives.
I am used to being in charge, and I want my technology to obey my commands and respond to my needs without being coddled.
At the very least, I hope to win ongoing battles without the need to call in reinforcements – read “young technicians who make me feel like an idiot because of my inability to solve the problem myself.”
I regularly forget that the way to bypass periodic operational hiccups with both my portable devices and my desktop computer is simply to turn them off, wait a few moments and reboot them. It may be akin to sending an unruly toddler to the corner for a time out, but it seems unnatural and unnecessary to me.
Unfortunately, in other areas of life, I also tend to undervalue the power of pushing the reset button.
A Spring Resolution
I recently returned from a quick overnight in Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. A short cruise out of Los Angeles offered sun and warmth, gently rolling seas and good companionship. I savored long, lazy days aboard ship with no agenda, no schedule, no daily deadlines – all equally beneficial for body and soul. I was served interesting food and adult beverages, enjoyed good stage shows and movies, caught a few spectacular sunsets, and watched cavorting whales, sea lions, pelicans and gulls.
We strolled the Cabo waterfront, listened to music, sampled local Margaritas and street tacos and thoroughly enjoyed leisurely time ashore.
As a writer, I am acutely aware that creativity is fueled by new experiences, interesting people, beauty, good food, and even a bit of personal indulgence. But the crush of daily life sometimes gets in the way.
Vacations, especially if they are short, simple and relatively unplanned, are invigorating. Even day trips can be memorable. As much as I love exotic destinations. I have come to believe in the restorative benefits of simple getaways. Unfortunately, those simple excursions don’t happen often enough. But they’re an indulgence I have promised myself more frequently this year.
Getting out in the world is – in my universe – the human reset button.
New Spring in My Step!
I returned to my desk this week with a fresh appreciation for the work I do. Freelancing is, in many ways, a dream job. I understand fully that I have the luxury of being able to escape to far horizons on a fairly regular basis. The flip side of that coin is that, more often than not, I take some work with me.
After all, those portable electronic devices have changed my world, for better or worse. Unless I disclose my whereabouts, there is no reason for anyone to know that I am not slaving away at my desk.
But this time, I chose not to work while in Mexico. Other than checking email occasionally, I did not write a single word. I did not check, nor did I post to social media. But I returned home with a mind alive with ideas, and a determination to work harder to tell the stories that I find interesting.
So, my promise – to myself – is to get back to work with renewed zest and spirit, and then to walk away much more often. That’s motivation I can embrace.
I pushed the reset button!