Well, both. Saturday I woke up without Internet. And I’m looking at going ‘Netless for six months. Although I suspended service mostly to economize, I was both looking forward to ‘Netless peace and feeling nervous about cutting back my means of livelihood.
Since waking up that first morning I haven’t really worried about the earning-a-living part. That’s manageable. I’ve done it before, after all. But you know what really drove me crazy? It was the day of the Nevada Democratic caucuses and I couldn’t play political junkie.
I have only one potential means of getting news: NPR on a clock radio. But I can’t bear the racket in the house and I’m way past the idea that I should have to wait until someone else chooses to deliver the news I want to hear on their schedule.
How 20th century!
I’m okay with NPR in the car, but Old Blue’s radio doesn’t work, so that’s that.
Gasp. Newsless. Utterly newsless. As bare of news as one of Joel’s plucked chickens is of feathers. On a day that might make political history. Madness!
I couldn’t even get a weather report. And what if there’s a tornado? A hurricane? A rain of frogs! It could happen — and who’d warn me to expect frogs splatting down from the sky? Or even mild tadpole showers? No one, that’s who.
I missed simply sitting down with the computer during breaks. And Saturday I needed breaks from all that cleaning and drilling and cussing.
There’s solitaire. But it’s not the same. Of course, the caucuses turned out as boring as, and more predictable than, solitaire. Good thing I didn’t waste all that time tracking live blogs, eh? But I so wanted Hillary humiliated. Oh well.
That said, Saturday was also a beautiful day. Nice enough to leave the door open for the critters to wander in and out and the fresh February air to destuff the house. Working in the kitchen with paint stripper, followed by Goof-Off, followed by Brasso, and all accompanied with Elbow Grease (TM), clear air was much appreciated.
As was the sheer focus on getting things done.
Habit kept drawing me back over to the computer before I’d realize, “Oh, there’s nothing there” and get on with life.
I was achy by evening, but satisfied. Habit is a cuss to change. And it’s odd earning a living on a machine that also serves as the closest thing to an unhealthy addiction I’ve ever had. Not an ideal combo, that.
But I could get used to this. By Sunday I was starting to and Monday I was so busy I didn’t miss home Internet at all. There’s the library. It let me schedule this post and look up how to fix old mortise locks.
Even if I need to spend an hour or more at the library some days, it’s nice to be able to walk away from the constant noise and buzz and intrusion of the thing, too. To put a box around the endless, everywhere Web. Limits. It’s more about that than it is about trying to escape it altogether. Establishing a zone of peacefulness. I can already feel that.
But by damn, when I want to look something up on Wikipedia, boy is it a nuisance to know I have to delay gratification, maybe even by a couple of whole days, can you imagine??? Oh, the deep inner torment!