Forced Thought

February 6, 2010

or, “What happens when your computer closely resembles a doorstop.”

This week I had the pleasure of taking care of my grandson while my daughter presented at a conference in Nashville. It was an enlightening experience, to say the least. And I have a few posts rattling around in my brain as a result, that part “to be continued”.

When I offered to take some vacation days to do this, it looked considerably different than it turned out. I would be able to close all of my open work projects, Asher would come to our house, and life as we know it would continue pretty much uninterrupted and carefree. Thinking through the logistics of navigating around a sleeping baby at five in the morning, we agreed that it would be better for all concerned if Asher slept in his own bed. As it turned out, I caught a monkey wrench at work and left with some things still on the bench. So, it was decided that I would pack up all my cares and woes and set up residence in Chesterton.

I left work early on Wednesday, armed with an accordion folder labeled “January 2010” and my laptop. After all, Asher goes to bed at 7:00 and sleeps until 9:00, then naps for a few hours in the middle of the day. There’s plenty of time in there to get some work done, even when you insert a few meals. Right.

We settled in, ate dinner, daddy bathed Asher, and by a little after 7:00 he was in bed. I plugged in my laptop, set the mouse squarely on the table to the right of the computer, and hit the power button. The familiar “wireless networks available” message appeared on the screen, Mark typed in the password. And nothing happened. We fiddled with it for awhile, but still nothing. So with not much left to do, I went to bed. At 8:30.

By 6:30 the next morning I had worked with the settings, unplugged the modem and router, and tried just about every other thing I could think of, to no avail. The plan to use the remote connection to work was definitely off the table. This admitted workaholic was lost to the world. Completely cut off. My lifeline was severed. Not only that, I couldn’t read the local papers on-line. Life without Google. Communication slowed to a snail’s pace using the text pad on my cell phone, which is definitely not my forte.

Somewhere around the middle of the second day, something interesting happened. Although Asher and I made a trip to work so that payroll could be processed, I realized there really was nothing else to do that couldn’t wait. All of the deadlines I had set were self-imposed. Not that there won’t be some catching up to do, but but the gears would not come to a grinding halt without me. Silly me. My mom always said that once  you pull your hand out of the bucket of water, the hole fills up.

That being said, a couple of big blocks of time appeared during the day with no work, but no Asher either. I rattled around the house, picked up toys, planned the next meal, and thought about things. Nothing real important, not work, just thoughts about things. It was nice. Honestly, it’s been a long time since work has not consumed my every moment even if only in thought. Some of that happens when you are married to someone you work with, but much of it is by my own doing.

Before long I was thinking about putting my thoughts down in writing. I had forgotten how good it feels. So here I am, sitting in front of my computer once again. But this time it’s for me.


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