Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Summer: Take a Break!

Happy Summer, everyone! If your schedule is anything like mine right now, I bet you're having a difficult time fitting everything there is to do into a short 7-day week. Where does the time go? I want to write, paint, blog, visit friends... But the days just seem to whoosh away. Which makes me think we all need a break--an Internet break!

Don't get me wrong--I'm a big fan of the Internet, probably too much so. And that's precisely why I'm going to pull the plug for a couple of weeks. Starting on Friday I'm going to try: no web surfing, no tweeting, no looking up vegetarian crockpot recipes. Instead, I'm going back to old-school basics: my journal and Inktense pencils; print magazines and books; and lots of daydreaming while staring at cloud formations. Want to join me?

Here's my top 12 list of fun things to do while offline:
  1. READ. Glorious reading. I plan to peruse as many used bookstores as possible and bring home some great additions to the TBR pile.
  2. WRITE. Yes, I do write every day. But for the next few weeks I won't be using any kind of technology other than pen and paper.
  3. DRAW. Oh, do I have some fun art projects lined up.
  4. SHOP. Artist's dates--every day. All those little odd and fun things (i.e., art supplies) I would normally be too busy to find.
  5. PARTY. With real live people.
  6. MEDITATE. I want to visit some special and sacred sites. Looking forward to the silence of some genuine retreat hours.
  7. AFTERNOON TEA. A long-lost ritual that also involves visiting with real, live people, not just staring at lovely scenes on Pinterest.
  8. COOK. I want to experiment with fun and foreign ingredients I would not normally use. Bon apetit!
  9. MOVIES. In theaters. With popcorn. Maybe even take in some matinees.
  10. PLAN. Halfway through the year I like to take a fresh look at my goal list, the one I made in January. It's nice to see where I am with it, and where I still need to go. Working on the list in an unhurried atmosphere helps to put it all into perspective for me.
  11. DREAM. What would I like to add to my goal list before the year is over? Maybe there are items I would prefer to discard and replace with something more fulfilling. This is the perfect opportunity to dream big.
  12. SLEEP. Ah, yes. Afternoon siestas. Early to bed, late to rise. I need this. Added benefit: more dreams and inspiration for all the wonderful things listed above. Just give me a pillow and a blankie and I'll be on my way.
Treating myself to some vacation time away from the web wasn't a decision I made lightly. I enjoy social networking and having a constant source of research material at my fingertips. The most important thing I'll be doing to make sure I don't fall into temptation and "just look up what's on TV" or "check my email--just this once..." is to pack away my computer and to stay far away from any libraries or Internet cafes with their banks of blinking screens. Wish me luck!

Tip of the Day: My goal of 2-3 weeks of radio silence may be too extreme or impractical for you at this exact moment, so you might want to start slow. How about setting aside one day a week or weekend to go Internet-free? Use the extra time to relax, regroup, and rewind. See you in a few weeks! (And yes, I will miss you.)

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