I’ve taken a couple of days to think about this and have decided I am really going to do it. It is something I need and yes, if you really want to know, I think it is going to be really hard.
I started blogging twelve years ago for various reasons but I will tell you I was going through a very lonely time in my life. Or maybe I was coming to the end of that lonely time? I was in a relationship that at times was held together by my fear of being forgotten after putting so much effort into it. First I wrote obsessively in journals – and then I discovered the world of blogging. For the first time I had people to talk to while I wrote. It’s a lovely world at times but it can also be a bit much.
Twelve years is a long time in the blogging world – even if you have closed down numerous blogs and changed your name a number of times. As Steph at Bella’s Bookshelves mentioned in the comments on my last post the blogging/social media world is fickle. It takes time to build up a readership base and it takes very little to lose them. I’ve never been one of the popular bloggers and I’ve always been okay with that but I do appreciate every single person who reads my blog. At my best estimate there are approximately 12 loyal readers/commenters, two family members, a couple of my mom’s friends and two ex-boyfriends who pop in now and then but don’t leave comments. I am grateful to all who read – whether you comment or not.
However, somewhere along the way I’ve lost the thread of what I want to say. I’ve lost my focus. I get on the Internet and I open up a dozen or more tabs while trying to write a post and my attention span is pulled in a dozen different ways. I spend an inordinate amount of time doing nothing.
When I am away from the computer I think about the things I could be doing on the computer. I’m reading a book and the thought hisses slowly and softly in my mind, “check your e-mail.” I fight it for a while but as that snake hisses louder I put the book down and check. The Mister is helping the girls brush their teeth before bed and I turn to the computer. Why not fill those 2.5 minutes with pure nothing?
The Internet has killed my attention span – I have no one but myself to blame for this.
So how long am I going to step away from the Internet?
100 days to break myself of what I feel is becoming a bit of an addiction.
100 days to relearn how to live with free time without filling it up mindlessly with checking my e-mail or blog surfing.
100 days is a long time in the blogging world but a month seemed too short. 40 days seemed too biblical and I’m not ready to start just yet so this isn’t a Lenten thing. 100 days seemed like it might be enough time to find myself again without searching the Internet to find who I am looking for. Sometimes the comparisons get to be too much – you know? The options too many.
So what will I do? Well, I suspect in the beginning I won’t know what to do with myself. Will I write or knit or sew or read? I will probably wander around the house a little lost. I fear I will be a little lost. Being on the Internet is a bit like having friends. I will miss the blogs I read all the time and wonder what is going on in the lives of others but it sometimes feels like I care more about what other people are doing than what I am doing and I need to get that back.
During this time I will hopefully be getting my second round of eye surgery and there is the garden to plant. I want to make some clothes for the girls. I want to make some clothes for myself. I have a whole house that needs purging and organizing and cleaning. I have a husband to hangout with in the evening. I miss holding a pen and writing letters.
This won’t be easy and it will take some preparation. No Internet means no obsessively putting books on hold at the library. It means no online recipes, sewing tutorials (that I have never followed anyway), knitting patterns or Internet shopping. In fact, I haven’t even thought of all the things it means. Obviously I won’t be able to give up e-mail completely because that is how people communicate these days but I am trying to decide the best way to limit that. Maybe twice a week? Only Sunday nights? See, instead of just letting go I’m already over-thinking it. How much do I prepare? Should I write down my favourite recipes or just wing it? What if the dozen cookbooks in my kitchen aren’t enough? What if I can’t sew anything from the hundreds of patterns in my basement!? (I’m joking here – see above about too many options.)
This all starts on March 1st and runs for 100 days. If I did my math correctly I will be back on June 9th. I will still be around here until then – still getting my Internet fix until I have the Mister change the password.