July 28, 2015

Time On My Hands

Filed under: MiscellAnnia — Tags: , , , — Ann @ 6:58 am

I’ve been a heavy user of Facebook since its inception. There are many reasons for this, among them: I love to write. I love to keep in touch with friends. In decades past, when letter-writing and phone calls were our only options for staying connected over long distances, I was a passionate penner of missives. I kept up correspondences with Camp Seabow mates, family, friends who moved away and, after I met so many new people through this blog’s namesake, Sacred Wilderness, I had letter-writing relationships with countless people from all over the world, including one guy who was in prison for environmental terrorism. Social media’s raw beginnings — Bulletin Board Systems and Usenet — were like catnip to me. Additionally, I was a member of a number of Yahoogroups communities, so making the jump to Facebook was easy — it was the same thing, but with pictures and attachments. The other reason it was such a draw for me is that when my partner’s illnesses and medications kept him sleeping 16 hours a day, checking in with virtual friends was a much-needed remedy for loneliness.

Recently, however, I’ve started to experience diminishing returns. I’ve realized that too many hours have slipped into dull oblivion as I’ve scrolled through Friends’ Status Updates, read shared articles or viewed shared videos, or Scrabbled and Crushed until my legs ached from sitting. Just as I was deciding that I needed to spend less time online, yesterday morning a thought shook my center: I literally couldn’t remember how I used to spend my free hours before Facebook. So, deciding to pretend that Facebooking wasn’t an option, I paid close attention to the choices I made instead. This is what I did:

1) Cleaned the weeds and leaves out of the front planter boxes, then swept up the mess so that the front of the apartment looks neat and tidy;
2) Tended to all of my indoor plants — repotting, adding soil, loosening soil, trimming off old brown parts, dusting leaves;
3) Read several chapters in my neuroscience book, sharing all of the most exciting information with Neal;
4) Sat outside in a patio chair…..just, sat;
5) Organized all of my piano sheet music and books, and played the piano for over two hours.

All of those tasks left me feeling rosy, accomplished, and filled up. Playing on Facebook rarely provides such deep satisfaction. Message received.

As I started to write, “This is my second week of an at-home vacation so I have more time on my hands than usual,” I became fascinated by the concept of having time “on our hands.” I’ve never noticed before what a beautiful little visual that conjures, the idea that we hold precious time in our cupped hands as gingerly as if we’d hold a fragile flower. We hold possibility, we hold energy unleashed, we hold our very lives and futures in the time that we have yet to spend and the choices that we make about how to use that time.

I can’t wait to find out what I decide to do today with all that glorious potential.

Powered by WordPress Hosted by Sonic.net