Some might call it "disconnected." Some might call it being "unplugged." Whatever you call it, it's what I've been for several weeks.
It's been a good, but busy time. I went on a long weekend retreat to Oregon. I've taken one child on a college visit (thumbs up!). I married another child off (thumbs up, again!). I've had seven relatives in the house for the better part of a week (thumbs up, of course!), including one super cute 18 month old who keeps us entertained and busy!
In the midst of all this, my laptop computer's wireless card died a final, irreparable death after being finicky as a cat with nine lives for two years. My hand-me-down iPhone 3G has slowed to a painful crawl, nearly audibly begging to be replaced with a snazzy 4GS (even if I'm still pouting the new iteration isn't a 5--I held out so long!).
My internet time has been limited to borrowed moments in the midst of the busy-ness and festivities. It's consisted of scrolling down the tiny screen on my phone, cursing as I try to leave a comment on Facebook using my thumbs or read an article that constantly refreshes itself, making me crazy as I attempt to find my place again. On rare occasion, I borrow my daughter's laptop when she's not using it for school to view wedding photos larger than 2" by 3", or sneak my mother's pink plaid netbook so I can write a blog post. (Bet you had no idea this was composed in pink plaid.)
It's been nice feeling a little more grounded in the "real world." Especially in the last week, my family probably appreciated me being more "in the moment" than I am when I can beam myself up to my virtual communities in seconds.
But I'm ready to get back to work. Next week, I'll purchase a new laptop and upgrade my phone. I'm ready to get my hands (with an annoying pre-wedding manicure I can't wait to lose!) on a shiny new computer keyboard and get started on the notes my editor will soon deliver for revisions to Calling Me Home. I'm ready to re-engage in conversation with my writing colleagues, my critique partners, my potential readers. I'm ready to start making detailed notes about the new story brewing in my head.
I'll enjoy these next few days before family is all gone home--a first visit to the zoo for my precious niece is on the schedule for tomorrow--and I'll miss them all terribly as I always do. But it's good to have a job I can do almost any time and anywhere. It's good to enjoy it so much I begin to feel a little antsy when I'm away too long. It's good to have "co-workers" I can't wait to talk to again. It's good to be in a career that makes me feel so "me" I miss it when I'm gone.
What do you miss about your job or your passion when you unplug for a time?