Offline break – it does a mind and body good

Picture of plug and socket, with arrow pointing away from the socket
Sometimes you just have to unplug

I took a break from social media yesterday.

I didn’t even turn on my computer.

My intention didn’t begin that way. I thought I’d just run some errands, take care of a few things, and then get online when my to-do list was less full.

But then I got going, and it felt great to get things taken care of — and it was a bit of a relief to not be bombarded by all the reports of upheaval and intense pain and socio-cultural warfare.

(Just to put things in perspective, in case you’re thinking I don’t have the stomach for making positive change happen in the world, it’s been a heavy week personally, as well as culturally — a friend of mine lost her beloved nephew just a few days ago – he was murdered in a safe, respectable neighborhood, and now his family is struggling just to cover the expenses of his funeral. So, yeah, I’m maxed out.)

I’m unfortunately able to see all sides of these kinds of things, and I can see all sorts of mitigating factors… which makes me an enemy to all who take sides and only want to win their side of things. I count myself has having a lot fewer friends now, than several weeks ago, because I have no tolerance for those who flatly refuse to take any responsibility at all for their contributions to toxic situations, and who put the onus of “fixing shit” onto everyone else. I have no patience for that. I’m feeling old, I’m feeling too experienced for my own peace of mind, and I have an old woman’s tendency to not give a flying fuck about shit I used to care deeply about, only 5 years ago.

My eyes are more open now.

And I don’t like what I see.

So, yesterday, I realized after about six hours of being unplugged, that it was really very nice to not have to wade through all the online drama (justified, and otherwise), and it was a welcome break to not be at a keyboard, also. I checked in briefly on Twitter, just to see if there was anything uplifting and hopeful. I found a great blog post that articulated an aspect of my life extremely well, and I saw a few comments that made me smile, or at the very least warranted a “heart”.

Then I went back to my chores.

And my reading.

And my journaling.

I haven’t written more than a page or two in my journal in years. But by the end of the day yesterday, I had 7 pages of my own thoughts on paper. And that felt pretty good.

I also noticed that my handwriting has gotten horrible over the past years. Too much typing, maybe. Or a degraded executive function. Or both.

So, I decided to see if I could write in cursive, like I used to do. I was raised in a time when cursive writing was the de facto standard, required in school, and expected of everyone. I even have peer-aged friends who still write  in cursive — a nearly lost art.

I got out some scrap paper, and I Googled “cursive” to refresh my memory about how you actually form those letters. Then I started practicing. And it’s hard. Really, really hard. But I really feel like it’s something I need to do more of. Because it has been shown to help executive function. And it’s a part of my past I don’t want to lose, just because I’m lazy or don’t make the effort.

So much else in my life is changing or going away, regardless of my influence — job situations, which are subject to acquisitions and mergers… friends disappearing… weather screwy, the economic situation uncertain, etc. etc. If I can save something from my past through my own effort, and carry that forward with me, then great.

I’ll do it.

So, I’m on Day Two of practicing, and I’m already getting better. It’s still hard, and I have difficulties shaping some letter combinations, but that will come with time. It will come.

And that’s it for my offline break. I’m back online, but I think I’ll be curtailing my activity — saving my energy for the really good stuff, pacing myself, and making sure that I’m not flaming out.

That wouldn’t be any good.

Not at all.

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4 thoughts on “Offline break – it does a mind and body good

  1. Oh, handwriting, marvellous endeavour…
    I’ve got my little (other) collection of fountain pens, different tips, different colours for writing when I feel, how I feel, my poems…
    Or proper pencil, proper sharpened, sitting outside, earplugged, huge coffee plus a well stuffed pipe of good tobacco, offline indeed.
    All the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      I have a couple of fountain pens, myself — one from my departed father-in-law, who used his to write poetry after he returned from WWII. He may have even used it during the war. Pencil is delightful. Best for poetry, I think. So tactile. So sensory. Very nice.

      Liked by 1 person

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