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Without Connection


For most of my life I lived without a computer. That is what I thought - but no. Over half my life I have had one. What has changed through the years however is the many ways I have come to depend on it. In the beginning it was just email. Then photography. Slowly and surely most of the information of my life was transferred and committed to this wonderful yet terrifying machine.

Now, I think it is fair to say, all my information lives on my computer. I am a photographer so store hundreds of images on Lightroom, edit them on Photoshop. Access to the internet enables my checkbook, calendar, books, movies, music, social media sites, FaceTime and Zoom, to name just a few. Microsoft Word, Text Edit and Powerpoint allow me to write and edit.

Also my business, BerkshireStyle, sits completely on the computer. When I create each weekly issue, I am on my computer to connect to the internet. Research and our administration template is there, photographs online or on my computer. The e-blast is created with Constant Contact. Financial records, archives, notes and records are all stored on this 13 inch machine.

The pandemic brought a new set of uses, mainly meetings on Zoom. I had a passing knowledge before quarantine but, as I am sure it did with you, it expanded exponentially. As did my experience with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Showtime.

Already I have used the word computer too many times. Another symptom of my complete dependence on this device.

Which brings me to now. I purchased a new computer and, as living with a new friend, I am trying to get to know the various upgraded software programs. It is slow and frustrating. Another opportunity to show patience and grace, to be gentle with myself.

During the transition from one machine to another, I had two days without. Two days with no keyboard and only my phone on which, I must admit, I am no whiz. I use it only for its original purpose and email.

My two days off were a gift from heaven, After the original panic of what will I do with myself and will I survive wore off, there came a wave of calm. I was able to breathe a little better, to relax in a release of pressure. The biggest surprise of all was that I spent much more time on my feet, moving around the house around town, outside and in the park.

On my feet I filed a stack of papers that had long been waiting. I attended to home chores that had been on hold. I vacuumed the house. I spent time in the kitchen. (Not my usual habitat but I had the time to try different recipes.) I played with my dogs, took a walk through town - without the dogs - and window shopped. I walked in the park. I listened to music. I danced. And, at night, I streamed movies on Netflix.

What a surprise!!! A glimpse of another way to live. And one I thoroughly enjoyed.

My new computer is home. My work has not changed. I spend far too much time sitting, typing, editing, banking - the multitude of chores on this device. However, I am newly aware of my complete fealty and dependence and am working to change my behavior.

I now take half hour breaks to move, whatever that looks like. Walks are the goal but it is often housework, time in the kitchen, laundry, dog play. Weather permitting I take the dogs to the dog park. Occasionally I sit too long and am aware how my body reacts. It feels stiff and cranky now so I will sign off. It is a gorgeous late summer day and I am eager to take the dogs for a walk.

One a related subject, I just watched a movie, The Social Dilemma. It explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, has garnered numerous awards and is absolutely chilling. I recommend it highly.