Monday, February 20, 2012

Quarantine


More important than the Internet.




Also more important than the Internet.



So, beginning at bus-stop time on Friday afternoon, I went on an Internet semi-vacation over the weekend. I've been sick, and being still sick after nearly two full weeks (and yes, I'm STILL sick) was really getting to me. As every mom knows, being sick for many days in a row is challenging enough before you have kids, but when you're responsible for pretty much everything about the lives of not just yourself but of multiple small children as well, the word "challenging" doesn't even begin to cover it. I felt a strong need to nourish my body somehow in an attempt to finally feel healthy again, and since the conventional strategies (medicine, sleep, tea, vitamin-rich foods, probiotics, zero physical activity) were not helping at all, I think I subconsciously grasped at other straws. What did my sick self need? Things like chats with my BFFs, reading novels, taking naps, snuggling with my children, getting some vitamin D. None of that is Internet-related.

No, I didn't go offline completely. I stayed on Facebook, because Facebook has become my most frequent and reliable avenue for communication with my large circle of local mom friends--and that is integral when you've been largely laid up at home for the past two weeks and aren't running into anyone at playdates or gymnastics class or the elementary school. My local mom friends are awesome about sending me love and get-well wishes and Girl Scout cookie connections, all of which can be very restorative when you're feeling sick and low.

But I didn't read any blogs, I didn't work (I freelance-write for an online company when possible), I didn't do any Internet shopping. I didn't read the New York Times online, nor write, read or answer any e-mails other than an exchange with my two best mom friends and some business correspondence regarding a spring book reading at a famous out-of-town bookshop. I didn't hang out on twitter. I didn't write any essays for publication on various websites. I didn't draft any future blog posts.

My online vacation didn't cure my illness. But it gave me a lot more time in my day with which to focus on getting better, and with which to think about some current big life questions. It was much more pleasant to hang out with my babies than to conduct a bunch of business online. It occurred to me that I haven't had a vacation of any kind since August of 2005. It reminded me of what life used to be like before the Internet, smartphones and other various technologies took over the world.

I strongly believe that if you're sick for weeks at a time, something about your life is not working or is not supportive of your health. Our bodies send us messages all the time. It's just up to us to hear and interpret them. I believe my body is telling me to get off the laptop for awhile. It's been a tough couple of years, this creating of my book and getting it published. I've done it all while also working around the clock taking care of my children, a job that's beyond exhausting even when you don't have anything else going on. I think my body is crying uncle. Think about it: I got sick the evening of the day of my book's full release. The minute my book was out in full, I got sick. My body said, "Enough for awhile, girl."

So I'll be back online again this week, but consider yourself warned: I'm setting limits. At least until I'm finally healthy again.

1 comment:

Rita said...

I'm in the opposite frame of mind: I've been stuck in the house FOR FIVE DAYS with two sick kids. The Internet is the only thing keeping me from going insane. Ha!