Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Day to Smell the Roses

By R.J. Harlick

If you lost the ability to write and read for a day, what would you do?

When I started out to write this blog, I felt that since reading and writing were such an integral part of my life, I would be lost if I couldn’t do either for a day. Then I realized the world wouldn’t come to an end. Not being able to read or write would separate me from technology, my computer, my iPad and if I had one, a smart phone too. Which, for a day, I knew would be a good thing.

This technology, its constant demands on my attention, is very addictive.  If I check my email, Facebook, news websites, weather and so on once an hour I’m checking them every few minutes. I even do it while I am watching TV and most worrisome, while I am writing. Just like I’m doing as I write this blog.

If I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t readily get back to sleep, guess what I’ll do? You got it. Use my iPad, which just happens to be on the night table beside me, to check my email, Facebook, and so on and of course continue reading the current ebook. So an entire day and night not glued to a screen would be a very good thing.

A day without technology would force me to smell the roses or the pine trees as is more likely, since roses of the ilk of Janet Rudolph’s don’t exactly grow in the wilds of Quebec. Rather than being glued to my iPad while I eat my breakfast, I would watch the world wakeup outside my window, the chickadees and nuthatches flitting back and forth to the feeders and perhaps catch sight of a snowshoe hare, its white fur changing into the brown of summer.

Instead of taking a quick walk with my dogs in order to rush back to my computer and my writing, I would take a long lingering amble along the many trails that meander through the woods surrounding our log cabin.  Perhaps I would seek out the first flowers of spring, the delicate Spring Beauty or the Painted Trillium or I would toss stones onto the rotten ice on the lake to see if they would punch through to the cold depths below.


Rather than rushed emails to family and friends, I would actually pick up a phone and talk to them. I might even decide to hop in the car and pay them a visit or better yet walk or take my bike, since time wouldn’t matter. Lingering over tea, lunch, even dinner, we would share our lives with each other, something that isn’t so easily done by email or texting.


Yes, I could get used to a day without technology. It would be hard at first. But if I could curb that nervous twitch to check my email, see what my FB friends are doing, I just might discover another dimension to the world around me.  Perhaps I should establish a technology free day once a month. Not sure I could do it weekly yet, but maybe I could grow into it.

10 comments:

Robin Spano said...

Beautiful. God, that makes me want to shut it all off for a day, as well.

Barry Knister said...

It's time--past time--to be free. What's happening is that the single most valuable "resource" we have--time--is being siphoned off. And for what, exactly? But if you want the ultimate "day to smell the roses," you had to be in Detroit yesterday for Opening Day. Everything, every star, player, fan and weather-related element was in alignment. Go read about it. If you know anything about what Detroit is going through, you'll understand why this day was more than a little special.

RJ Harlick said...

Well put, Barry. It sounds like a very special day, one to treasure.

RJ Harlick said...

Robin S, why don't you join me? I've decided I am going to turn my technology off for a day. Every 4th Saturday in the month. Now all I need to do is to convince my husband to do the same thing...

Linda Wiken said...

You are so right, Robin! We all know that panicky feeling when a computer goes to the shop for repairs. I think Sunady might be a good technology-free day for me. I have a stack of REAL books waiting to be read. What a treat. Thanks.

RJ Harlick said...

Terrific, Linda and good luck. We'll share experiences. Might even need to set up a support group....:)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What an inspiring post, Robin. We should all stop and smell the pine trees.

Or I might just take a nap.

Thanks!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What an inspiring post, Robin. We should all stop and smell the pine trees.

Or I might just take a nap.

Thanks!

Susan C Shea said...

You've clearly hit a nerve with this. Funny how all that really appealing stuff seems like no match for electronic stimulation. No wonder we worry about kids who've grown up on it - they may not even know about the birds and the smell of pine needles baking in the sun. I think it's time for me to try the no-internet day (I don't watch enough TV for it to mater but I wouldn't want to rule out writing...)

Robin Spano said...

OK I'm definitely taking the rest of the day out in the garden. Over and out for me. Thx for the inspiration.