That time I was attacked by a bee and lived to tell about it

Night was beginning to draw close. I had just spent the day unplugged and spent the day doing the things we did back in the 80’s and 90’s. Namely reading things on actual paper. I read a lot all day long and closed my book. Since I was outside, I thought it would be a good time to just sit and enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood a little bit. I sat in a lawn chair behind our tree that used to be a bush. It kept me somewhat hidden from the neighbors and gave the illusion of isolation.   I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of a summer evening. The lawn mower in the distance. People walking their dogs. The breeze in the trees. And then…the buzz of a bee.

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My on-line fast

The other day I took a walk. I always grab my phone because these days my phone is my camera also. From time to time, I like taking a snapshot of something I find on my walk. So I had my phone in my pocket and went for a walk around the block. The block. Not a very long walk. While I strolled along my phone beeped so of course I looked at it. It was an email from some spammer probably wanting me to buy such-and-such thing.  Immediately I realized what I had done or more to the point what I had not done. I did not wait until I was home to check my message, no, no. I checked it right then and there on the spot. That’s when I realized enough is enough. I needed to unplug for awhile.

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Mush for Brain

About the middle of last month, the blessed, wonderful HR Rep calculated everyone’s vacation time.  She noticed I had 16 hours of personal time and 48 hours of vacation time I needed to use by December 31 or lose it.  She notified my boss.  My boss notified me.

“Twist my arm!” I said.  “Guess I’ll schedule some time off.”

And so I did.

First, I started with Thanksgiving week.  That’s right.  I took the whole week off.  That accounted for three days or 24 hours.  And it was great!  I didn’t go anywhere.  However, I did work my butt off cleaning the house and getting ready for the holiday (which means company coming to visit).

Monday I went back to work.  You know me; I’m not one to give into hyperbole.  So trust me when I say, Monday was the hardest, longest, hardest day of my life.  It was one long, hard day.  Apparently, I’m still feeling the effects of brain-mush.

I arrived late (that’s not really a new thing.   Although I was hoping the week vacation would have helped motivate me getting up in the morning.  It did not).  I turned on the light to my windowless office and sighed.  It looked so dark.  I wondered if it always looks that dark (it does.  My office mate is one of those “IT” people who hate artificial light.  She had maintenance loosen the fluorescent light bulbs above her head so that they won’t turn on.  Her side of the office is always darker.  Plus, she’s on vacation so it felt extra dark.)

After sitting for a few moments staring at my blank computer monitor I realized it helps if I turn it on.  NO!  I wasn’t that bad.  Almost, but not quite.  I remembered how to turn on my computer.

However, one of the many chiefs came in to my office before 9:00 (seriously, who comes in with a problem before 9:00 Monday morning?!)  She explained the situation to me.  It sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking – “waa, waa, waaa, waa, waa, waa, waa.”  Let’s just say, there was a problem and if there was a giant finger pointing, it was in my direction.  Dangme.

So everything I planned to do –to get caught up – was put on hold.  I had to figure out the problem.  Not to toot my horn, but I worked out a solution…Tuesday at 4:30.  But this blog isn’t about how awesome I am for figuring it out. Although at 4:30 I really wanted to do cartwheels down the hall.

This blog is actually about the fact that I live about 14 minutes away from work.  Ten minutes into my drive home on Monday my mush-for-brain realized I left my phone at work.  There was an internal debate on whether I should go back for it or not.  Thirteen minutes into my commute I finally turned around.  I couldn’t imagine going a whole evening without my phone.  It has worked its way into my life and made itself indispensable.  Way to go, iPhone!  And a little unnerving.  I keep thinking of the villain in Spiderman 2.  Remember Doc Ock?  How those mechanical tentacle things overtook him and he became evil?  I don’t think my phone will make me do evil things.  Although, I wonder how that excuse would go over: my phone made me do it! 

But I do think I rely on my phone too much.

The remedy?  I’m going to unplug this weekend.  Or, actually, I’m going to leave it plugged into the wall.  It’s my goal to not look at my phone once after I leave work on Friday until Monday morning.  Can I do it?  I think I can get along without my actual phone features okay; it’s the 10,000 Facebook checks that might kill me. 

If I’m successful, I’ll report back on Monday.  If not, this blog never happened.

Wish me luck!